The Delphic Hymns are two musical compositions from Ancient Greece, which survive in substantial fragments. They were long regarded as being dated circa 138 BCE and 128 BCE but recent scholarship has shown it they were both written for performance at the Athenian Pythaides in 128 BCE. If indeed it dates from ten years before the second, the First Delphic Hymn is the earliest unambiguous surviving example of notated music from anywhere in the western world whose composer is known by name. Both Delphic Hymns were addressed to Apollo, were found inscribed on stone fragments from the south outer wall of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi in 1893 by French archaeologist Théophile Homolle, while Henri Weil restored the Greek text and Théodore Reinach transcribed the music to modern notation. Reconstruction of the fragments was facilitated by the fact that the First Hymn uses vocal notation, the second one employs instrumental notation, it was long been believed that all that could be told of the composer of the First Hymn is that it was written by an Athenian, around 138 BCE, since the heading of the inscription giving the name of the composer is damaged and difficult to read.
However, careful reading of this inscription shows that it cannot be the ethnic "Athenaîos", but rather names "Athēnaios Athēnaiou" as the composer. The Second Delphic hymn has been dated to 128 BC; the name of the composer has survived, both in the heading of the hymn and in a separate inscription: Limēnios, son of Thoinos, an Athenian. The occasion of the performance of both hymns was a Pythaid, a special religious procession of the Athenians towards Delphi held on specific occasions after certain omens. Both hymns are differentiated by their notation; the First Hymn is in so-called vocal notation and it is in the cretic meter throughout. The First Delphic Hymn falls into two large parts, a Paean, in three verses, what might have been called a Hyporchema or dance; however all of the last part is lost. The image below shows the first verse of the hymn in conventional transcription; the letters above the words represent the notes of music. Various modern recordings of the music can be found in External links.
In this verse the singers call on the Muses to leave their home on Mount Helicon and to join in the song in honour of Apollo. This part has been translated by Armand D'Angour as follows: Hark, you whose domain is deep-forested Helicon, loud-thundering Zeus’ fair-armed daughters: come with songs to celebrate your brother Phoebus of the golden hair, who over the twin peaks of this mountain, accompanied by the far-famed Delphic maidens, comes to the streams of the flowing Castalian spring as he visits his mountain oracle. Ten different notes in all are used in this first verse; the fourth note from the bottom is the so-called mesē, or central note, to which the music most returns. Music with this mese was said to be in the Phrygian mode. There are more notes above the mese than below it. F and B♭ below the mese are not used, the lowest note, here E♭, is used only in the first section of the hymn; the note above the mese D♭ occurs only in one place in section one, in bar 24, but is much more extensively used in verse 2.
According to Pöhlmann and West, an archaic pentatonic effect is produced in the lowest tetrachords by avoiding the lichanos, while above the mese there is modulation between a conjunct chromatic tetrachord and a disjunct diatonic one, extended by two more chromatic notes, A♭ and A. The second verse describes the presence of the delegation from Attica and the sacrifice of Arabian incense and young bulls that they are making, it mentions the sound of the pipes and the lyre accompanying the sacrifice. In this verse there is a change of key. There is extensive use of the notes above the mese, there is repeated use of the note B♮ below the mese; the strings Greek lyre were not tuned in the same way as those of a modern piano, the intervals from C to D♭ and from D♭ to D were less than a modern semitone. Therefore in this section the music wanders around a small group of spaced notes; the technical term for a group of spaced notes like this is a pyknon. The text reads: Behold, Attica with its great city is at prayer, dwellers on the unconquered land of the armed Tritonian goddess.
And the shrill, blaring aulos weaves a
The Achaean League was a Hellenistic-era confederation of Greek city states on the northern and central Peloponnese. The league was named after the region of Achaea in the northwestern Peloponnese, which formed its original core; the first league was formed in the fifth century BC. The second Achaean League was established in 280 BC; as a rival of Antigonid Macedon and an ally of Rome, the league played a major role in the expansion of the Roman Republic into Greece. This process led to the League's conquest and dissolution by the Romans in 146 BC; the League represents the most successful attempt by the Greek city states to develop a form of federalism, which balanced the need for collective action with the desire for local autonomy. Through the writings of the Achaean statesman Polybius, this structure has had an influence on the constitution of the United States and other modern federal states; the first Achaean League became active in the fifth century in the northwestern Peloponnese. After the catastrophic destruction of the ancient capital Helike by an earthquake and tsunami in 373 BC, it appears to have lapsed sometime in the fourth century.
The regional Achaean League was reformed in 281/0 BC by the communities of Dyme, Patrae and Tritaea, joined in 275 by Aegium, which controlled the important sanctuary of Zeus Homarios. The league grew to include the entire Achaean heartland, after a decade it had ten or eleven members; the key moment for the League's transformation into a major power came in 251, when Aratus, the exiled son of a former magistrate of Sicyon, overthrew the tyranny in his native city and brought it into the Achaean League. Since the Sicyonians were of Dorian and Ionian origin, their inclusion opened the League for other national elements. Aratus only twenty years old became the leading politician of the League. In the thirty two years between 245 and his death in 213, Aratus would hold the office of general a total of sixteen times. At this time, Central Greece and the Peloponnese were dominated by the Macedonian Kingdom of Antigonus II Gonatas who maintained garrisons at key strategic points such as Chalcis and Acrocorinth, the so-called "fetters of Greece".
In other cities of the Peloponnese, namely Argos and Megalopolis, Antigonus had installed friendly rulers who were perceived as tyrants by the Achaeans. Aratus, who had lost his father by the hands of such a man, called for the liberation of these cities and secured financial support for the League from Ptolemy II of Egypt, an enemy of the Antigonids, he used the money to challenge the Macedonian hold on the Peloponnese. Aratus' greatest success came when he captured Corinth and the fortress of Acrocorinth in 243 BC in a daring night attack; this blocked Macedonian access to the Peloponnese by land, isolating their allies at Megalopolis and Argos. In light of this success, a number of Greek communities, including Epidaurus and Megara joined the League and Ptolemy III increased Egypt's support for the Achaeans, being elected as the League's hegemon in return. Antigonus Gonatas made peace with the Achaean League in a treaty of 240 BC, ceding the territories that he had lost in Greece; the increased size of the league meant a bigger citizen army and more wealth, used to hire mercenaries, but it led to hostility from the remaining independent Greek states Elis, the Aetolian League and Sparta, which perceived the Achaeans as a threat.
Corinth was followed by Megalopolis in 235 BC and Argos in 229 BC. However the league soon ran into difficulties with the revived Sparta of Cleomenes III. Aratus was forced to call in the aid of the Macedonian King, Antigonus III Doson, who defeated Cleomenes in Sellasia. Antigonus Doson re-established Macedonian control over much of the region. In 220 BC, the Achaean League entered into a war against the Aetolian League, called the "Social War"; the young king Philip V of Macedon sided with the Achaeans and called for a Panhellenic conference in Corinth, where the Aetolian aggression was condemned. After Aratus's death, the League joined Rome in the Second Macedonian War, which broke Macedonian power in mainland Greece; the Achaean League was one of the main beneficiaries. Under the leadership of Philopoemen, the League was able to defeat a weakened Sparta and take control of the entire Peloponnese; the League's dominance was not to last however. During the Third Macedonian War, the League flirted with the idea of an alliance with Perseus of Macedon, the Romans punished it by taking several hostages to ensure good behavior, including Polybius, the Hellenistic historian who subsequently wrote about the rise of the Roman Republic.
In 146 BC, the league's relations with Rome collapsed, leading to the Achaean War. The Romans under Lucius Mummius defeated the Achaeans at the Battle of Corinth, razed Corinth and dissolved the League. G. T. Griffith has written that Achaean War was "a hopeless enterprise for the Achaeans, badly led and backed by no adequate reserves of money or men." Lucius Mummius received the agnomen Achaicus for his role. The original name Koinon of Achaeans continues to exist in epigraphy, denoting either the previous Peloponnesian members or the whole of Roman Achaea. In c. 120 BC Achaeans of cities in the Peloponnese dedicated an honorary inscription to Olympian Zeus, after a military expedition with Gnaeus Domitius against the Galatians in Gallia Transalpina. In Athens, in AD 221–222, the koinon of Achaeans, when the strategos was Egnatius Brachyllus, decided to send an embassy to the emperor Caracalla The government of
Han campaigns against Minyue
The Han campaigns against Minyue were a series of three Han military campaigns dispatched against the Minyue state. The first campaign was in response to Minyue's invasion of Eastern Ou in 138 BC. In 135 BC, a second campaign was sent to intervene in a war between Nanyue. After the campaign, Minyue was partitioned into Minyue, ruled by a Han proxy king, Dongyue. Dongyue was defeated in a third military campaign in 111 BC and the former Minyue territory was annexed by the Han Empire; the Qin Dynasty's military incursions in the south of what is now China began a period of expansion that continued under the next dynasty, the Han. After the fall of the Qin, Minyue was established in 202 BC, Eastern Ou in 192 BC, with the support of the Han, they were rewarded with greater autonomy in return for their contributions to the revolt against the Qin. The local rulers of the Minyue region had sided with Liu Bang's Han instead of Xiang Yu's Chu during the Chu–Han Contention, a civil war that ensued during the collapse of the Qin.
Minyue was created by carving out the former Qin province of Minzhong, with Dongye as the capital, into a new kingdom ruled by Zou Wuzhu. A decade Zou Yao was granted control over Donghai, popularly referred to as Eastern Ou after the name of the kingdom's capital; the title was bestowed with a declaration by the Han emperor that "Zou Yan, the chief of Min, achieved great merit and his people supported the Han cause". The Han historian Sima Qian claims both rulers were descendants of Goujian, the 5th century BC ruler of Yue; the family had lost their status as rulers during the Qin's wars of unification, when they were demoted to local chieftains. In 138 BC, Minyue invaded the Eastern Ou, prompting Eastern Ou to request the intervention of Han forces; the Han court was divided over offering military support. The campaign was opposed by the Han commander-in-chief Tian Fen, who argued that warfare between the Yue tribes occurred and the affairs of Yue were not the responsibility of the Han government.
The concept of Chinese centrality among nations persuaded the court to dispatch an army. In accordance with Chinese political philosophy, the ruler or Son of Heaven held a mandate that obligated the emperor to help smaller countries in need. Otherwise, as the Han official Zhuang Zhu phrased it, "how could we treat the myriad kingdoms as our children?"A Han naval force led by Zhuang Zhu departed from Shaoxing in northern Zhejiang towards Minyue. The Minyue surrendered before the arrival of the Han troops, withdrew from Eastern Ou. There were plans to move the residents of Eastern Ou to the area between the Huai River and Yangtze River, following a request by the king of Eastern Ou. In 135 BC, war broke out. Zhao Mo, the king of Nanyue, received the military assistance of the Han. In 180 BC, Zhao had offered to submit as a vassal and the Han agreed, a decision, based on Zhao's ancestral roots in northern China. An army led by the generals Wang Hui and Han Anguo was ordered to invade Minyue; the campaign was cut short by palace infighting in the Minyue court.
Panicked at news of an invasion, the younger brother of the Minyue king Zou Ying, Zou Yushan, conspired with the royal court to depose Ying. Yushan killed his brother with a spear, decapitated the corpse, sent the head to Wang; the Han forces withdrew soon after. Zhao Mo was grateful for the speed of the intervention against Minyue; the Han official Zhuang Zhu was dispatched to meet with the Nanyue emperor, who expressed his gratitude. Zhao sent his son, the prince Zhao Yingqi, to the Han capital at Chang'an, where he was to work for the Emperor. In the aftermath of the campaign, Minyue had split into a dual monarchy and Dongyue. Minyue was controlled by the Han through a proxy ruler, while Dongyue was independently ruled by Zou Yushan, the brother who deposed the former king during the invasion. Zou Chou was selected to fill the role of Han proxy ruler because he was the only member of the Minyue royal family who refused to take part in the war against Nanyue. However, his efforts to exert control over the people of Minyue were not successful.
The subjects of the kingdom pledged their loyalty to Zou Yushan instead. Yushan declared himself king of Minyue without the consent of the Han ruler; the emperor was informed of Yushan's actions, recognized him as king of Dongyue instead of ordering a second invasion. Emperor Wu considered it a reward to Yushan for ending the war; the assassination had prevented the Han from wasting any more resources on the conflict. Dongyue had an uneasy relationship with the Han. In 112 BC, Han officials were killed in a military engagement with Dongyue; as Han troops returned from the Han–Nanyue War in 111 BC, the Han government debated annexing Dongyue. Dongyue, under King Zou Yushan, had agreed to assist the Han campaign against Nanyue, but the Dongyue army never reached Nanyue. Yushan blamed the delay on the weather; the proposal to annex Dongyue was dismissed by Emperor Wu. The naval force arrived home without having attacked Dongyue. Zou caught wind of Yang's request, responded by revolting against the Han.
Han forces were led by General Han Yue, General Yang Pu, commander Wang Wenshu, two marquises of Yue ancestry. The army crushed the rebellion and captured Dongyue in the last months of 111 BC, placing the former Minyue territory under Han rule. Historical records report that Minyue and Dongyue were emptied of people, that its residents were deported to the territories between the Huai River and the Yangtze River; the alleged population transfer was a resumption of a policy, planned since 138 BC. The Han government considered the mountainous region difficult to control and was war
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus was a politician of the Roman Republic, the first prominent member of the Populares, a reformist faction. He belonged to the highest aristocracy, as his father was consul and his mother, Cornelia Africana, was the daughter of Scipio Africanus; as a plebeian tribune, Tiberius Gracchus caused political turmoil in the Republic with his reforms of agrarian legislation that sought to transfer land from wealthy, predominantly nobile landowners to poorer citizens. He was murdered, along with many of his supporters, by members of the Roman Senate and supporters of the conservative Optimates faction. A decade his younger brother, Gaius Gracchus, attempted similar legislation, suffered a similar fate. Tiberius was born between 169 and 164 BC. Tiberius' maternal grandparents were Scipio Africanus and Aemilia Paulla, Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus' sister, his own sister Sempronia was the wife of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, another important general and politician.
Tiberius was raised with his sister and his brother Gaius Gracchus. He married Claudia Pulchra, daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher. Tiberius' military career started in the Third Punic War, as military tribune appointed to the staff of his brother in law, Scipio Aemilianus. During his tenure as military tribune under Aemilianus, Tiberius became known for his bravery and discipline, recorded as the first to scale the enemy walls of Carthage during the Roman siege in 146 BCE. In 137 BC he was appointed quaestor to consul Gaius Hostilius Mancinus and served his term in Numantia; the campaign was unsuccessful. Tiberius, as quaestor, saved the army from destruction by signing a peace treaty with the Numantines, an action reserved for a Legate. In the negotiations, Tiberius recalled the exploits of his father Tiberius, who had waged war in Spain but had struck a peace agreement with the Numantines; the Numantines so respected Tiberius that when they learned he had lost his ledgers when they had despoiled the Roman camp, they invited him back to their city, offering him a banquet and allowing Tiberius to take back not only his ledgers but anything else he wanted from the spoils.
Tiberius, refused to take anything else save some incense used for sacrificial rituals. Tiberius' actions stirred up a frenzy in Rome; the people voted to have Mancinus sent back to the Numantines in chains, a proposition Mancinus himself accepted, though the Numantines refused to accept him as a prisoner. Scipio Aemilianus played a significant role in supporting Tiberius and his officers, but failed to prevent further punishment meted out to Mancinus nor did he support the ratification of Tiberius' treaty. Despite this, Plutarch mentions that this caused little friction between the two men, posits that Tiberius would have never fallen victim to assassination had Scipio not been away campaigning against the same Numantines given the amount of political clout that Scipio wielded in Rome. Rome's internal political situation was not peaceful. In the last hundred years, there had been several wars. Since legionaries were required to serve in a complete campaign, no matter how long it was, soldiers left their farms in the hands of wives and children.
Small farms in this situation went bankrupt and were bought up by the wealthy upper class, forming huge private estates. Furthermore, some lands ended up being taken by the state in war, both in elsewhere. After the war was over, much of this conquered land would be sold to or rented to various members of the populace. Much of this land was given to only a few farmers who had large amounts of land that were more profitable than the smaller farms; the farmers with large farms had their land worked by slaves and did not do the work themselves, unlike landowners with smaller farms. According to Plutarch, "when Tiberius on his way to Numantia passed through Etruria and found the country depopulated and its husbandmen and shepherds imported barbarian slaves, he first conceived the policy, to be the source of countless ills to himself and to his brother."When the soldiers returned from the legions, they had nowhere to go, so they went to Rome to join the thousands of unemployed who roamed the city.
As only men who owned property were allowed to enroll in the army, the number of men eligible for army duty was therefore shrinking. Plutarch noted, "Then the poor, ejected from their land, no longer showed themselves eager for military service, neglected the bringing up of children, so that soon all Italy was conscious of a dearth of freemen, was filled with gangs of foreign slaves, by whose aid the rich cultivated their estates, from which they had driven away the free citizens."In 133 BC Tiberius was elected tribune of the people. Soon he started to legislate on the matter of the homeless legionaries. Speaking before a crowd at the Rostra, Tiberius said, "The wild beasts that roam over Italy have their dens, each has a place of repose and refuge, but the men who fight and die for Italy enjoy nothing but
3rd century BC
The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of epoch, or historical period. In the Mediterranean Basin, the first few decades of this century were characterized by a balance of power between the Greek Hellenistic kingdoms in the east, the great mercantile power of Carthage in the west; this balance was shattered when conflict arose between the Roman Republic. In the following decades, the Carthaginian Republic was first humbled and destroyed by the Romans in the First and Second Punic Wars. Following the Second Punic War, Rome became the most important power in the western Mediterranean. In the eastern Mediterranean, the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Kingdom, successor states to the empire of Alexander the Great, fought a series of Syrian Wars for control over the Levant. In mainland Greece, the short-lived Antipatrid dynasty of Macedon was overthrown and replaced by the Antigonid dynasty in 294 BC, a royal house that would dominate the affairs of Hellenistic Greece for a century until the stalemate of the First Macedonian War against Rome.
Macedon would lose the Cretan War against the Greek city-state of Rhodes and its allies. In India, Ashoka ruled the Maurya Empire; the Pandya and Chera dynasties of the classical age flourished in the ancient Tamil country. The Warring States period in China drew to a close, with Qin Shi Huang conquering the six other nation-states and establishing the short-lived Qin dynasty, the first empire of China, followed in the same century by the long-lasting Han dynasty. However, a brief interregnum and civil war existed between the Qin and Han periods known as the Chu-Han contention, lasting until 202 BC with the ultimate victory of Liu Bang over Xiang Yu; the Protohistoric Period began in the Korean peninsula. In the following century the Chinese Han dynasty would conquer the Gojoseon kingdom of northern Korea; the Xiongnu were at the height of their power in Mongolia. They defeated the Han Chinese at the Battle of Baideng in 200 BC, marking the beginning of the forced Heqin tributary agreement and marriage alliance that would last several decades.
299 BC: The Samnites, seizing their chance when Rome is engaged on the Lombard plain, start the Third Samnite War with a collection of mercenaries from Gaul and Sabine and Etruscan allies to help them. 298 BC: The Samnites defeat the Romans under Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus in the Battle of Camerinum, the first battle of the Third Samnite War. 294 BC: Antipater II of Macedon is killed by Lysimachus, allowing Demetrius I to become king of Macedonia, thus ending the Antipatrid dynasty's control over Hellenistic Greece and ushering in a period of rule by the Antigonid dynasty. 293 BC: The Chinese State of Qin reduced the threat of the State of Wei and the State of Han with the Qin victory in the Battle of Yique. Roman armies penetrate into the heart of the Samnite territory and capture the Samnite cities of Taurasia, Bovianum Vetus and Aufidena. Agathocles, king of Syracuse, assists the Italian Greeks against the Bruttians. Bindusara succeeds his father Chandragupta Maurya as emperor of the Mauryan Empire.
The Epi-Olmec culture forms as a successor civilization to the Olmecs in Mesoamerica. 285 BC: The Pharos of Alexandria is completed. 281 BC: Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination of his father Seleucus becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. 281 BC: Achaean League founded in Greece. 280 BC: King Pyrrhus of Epirus invades Italy in an attempt to subjugate the Romans and bring Italy under a new empire ruled by himself. 280 BC: Construction of the Colossus of Rhodes is completed. 279 BC: Singidunum and Taurunum, today's Belgrade and Zemun, are founded by Scordisci Celts. After failing to decisively defeat the Romans, Pyrrhus of Epirus withdraws from Italy. Gallic migration to Macedon and Galatia. During the Gallic invasion of Greece, the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos is killed in battle by the forces of the Celtic ruler Bolgios. However, both he and Brennus are driven out of Macedonian territory by Sosthenes of Macedon. 277 BC: in the Battle of Lysimachia, the invasion by Gauls is defeated by Antigonus II of Macedon.
274 BC: the First Syrian War erupts between Antiochus I Soter of the Seleucid dynasty and Ptolemy II Philadelphus of the Ptolemaic dynasty over control of Syria and southern Anatolia. 273 BC – 232 BC: Ashoka the Great ruled the Maurya Empire. 265 BC: Kalinga War takes place between Ashoka the Great and the kingdom of Kalinga. 264 BC: First Punic War breaks out between the Carthaginian Empire and the Roman Republic. 261 BC: Antiochus II Theos, 2nd son, at the death of his father becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. 260 BC: Battle of Changping between the State of Qin and the State of Zhao in China. 260 BC: Ashoka inscribes the Edicts of Ashoka. 258 BC: An Dương Vương overthrows the Hồng Bàng Dynasty in Viet Nam. 257 BC: Thục Dynasty takes over Vietnam. 246 BC: The death of Antiochus II sparks the Third Syrian War. Expansion of the Achaean League. 241 BC: First Punic War ends in Carthaginian defeat. Rome demands large reparations, annexes Sicily and Corsica. 240 BC: On May 15, Chinese mathematicians observed and recorded the passage of the Halley's Comet.
230 BC: The Chinese Qin State conquers Han. 230 BC: Simuka declares independence from Mauryan rule and establishes the Satavahana Empire. 229 BC: The First Illyrian War ends with a Roman victory. 229 BC: Last tyrants on the Peloponnese abdicate, Argos joins the Achaean League, Athens liberated from Macedonian garrison. 227 BC: The attempted assassination of Ying Zheng, king
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
2nd century BC
The 2nd century BC started the first day of 200 BC and ended the last day of 101 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, although depending on the region being studied, other terms may be more suitable, it considered to be the end of the Axial Age. In the context of the Eastern Mediterranean, it is referred to as the Hellenistic period. Fresh from its victories in the Second Punic War, the Roman Republic continued its expansion into neighboring territories annexing Greece and the North African coast, after destroying the city of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. Rome's influence was felt in the Near East, as crumbling Hellenistic states like the Seleucid Empire were forced to make treaties on Roman terms to avoid confrontation with the new masters of the western Mediterranean; the end of the century witnessed the reform of the Roman Army from a citizen army into a voluntary professional force, under the guidance of the noted general and statesman Gaius Marius. In South Asia, the Mauryan Empire in India collapsed when Brihadnatha, the last emperor, was killed by Pushyamitra Shunga, a Mauryan general and the founder of the Shunga Empire.
In East Asia, China reached a high point under the Han Dynasty. The Han Empire extended its boundaries from Korea in the east to Vietnam in the South to the borders of modern-day Kazakhstan in the west. In the 2nd century BC, the Han dispatched the explorer Zhang Qian to explore the lands to the west and to form an alliance with the Yuezhi people in order to combat the nomadic tribe of the Xiongnu. 198 BC: Battle of Panium: Antiochus III of the Seleucid empire defeats Ptolemy V of Egypt and takes control of Coele Syria and Judea. 197 BC: Flamininus defeats Philip V of Macedon at the Battle of Cynoscephalae. 196 BC: Antiochus III conquers western Asia Minor and Thrace, with severe impact on relations with Rome. 196 BC: Empress Lü's execution of Han Xin leads to the Ying Bu rebellion. 195 BC: The War against Nabis marks the end of Spartan power in Greece. 195 BC: Emperor Gaozu of Han dies and is succeeded by his son Hui. True power falls to Empress Lü. 194 BC: Wiman establishes Wiman Joseon in Korea.
192 BC: Antiochus III invades Greece, beginning the Roman-Syrian War. 192 BC: The Yue Kingdom of Eastern Ou established in Zhejiang with Chinese support. 191 BC: Battle of Thermopylae: Glabrio drives Antiochus III out of Greece. 190 BC: Battle of Magnesia: Rome and Pergamon drive Antiochus III out of Asia Minor. 189 BC: Galatian War: Vulso and Pergamon defeat Galatia. 188 BC: Emperor Hui of Han dies. Empress Lü remains in power. 185 BC: Ptolemy V defeats Ankhmakis and regains control of Upper Egypt. C.185 BC: Pushyamitra Shunga assassinates the last Maurya emperor, founding the Shunga dynasty. 183 BC: Zhao Tuo of Nanyue declares himself Emperor and attacks China. 180 BC: Lü Clan Disturbance: with the death of Empress Lü, Emperor Wen of Han is placed on the throne. C.180 BC: Demetrius I of Bactria invades India, leading to the establishment of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. 179 BC: Tiberius Gracchus ends the First Celtiberian War. 179 BC: Zhao Tuo of Nanyue makes peace with China. 176 BC: The Yuezhi attack the Xiongnu.
175 BC: Antiochus IV Epiphanes, took possession of the Syrian throne, at the murder of his brother Seleucus IV Philopator, which rightly belonged to his nephew Demetrius I Soter. 174 BC: The Xiongnu defeat the Yuezhi, who emigrate to Ili valley. 168 BC: Roman victory in the Battle of Pydna leads to the dissolution of the Antigonid Kingdom of Macedon. 168 BC: Antiochus IV of the Seleucid empire invades Egypt, but is forced to turn back by Gaius Popillius Laenas. 167 BC: Mithradates I of Parthia takes Margiana and Aria from the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. 164 BC, 25 Kislev: Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. 164 BC: Ptolemy VIII drives Ptolemy VI out of Alexandria. He flees to Rome. 164 BC: Antiochus IV dies on campaign, leaving the Seleucid empire to a nine-year-old child. 163 BC: Ptolemy VI regains Alexandria. Ptolemy VIII takes Cyrenaica. 163 BC: The rebel Timarchus seizes Media and Babylonia. 163 BC: On May 20, Chinese mathematicians observed and recorded the passage of the Halley's Comet.
161 BC: Battle of Vijithapura: Dutthagamani defeats the Tamil King Ellalan. 161 BC: Demetrius I Soter seizes the Seleucid throne, beginning a succession war that would consume the Seleucid realm for a century. 160 BC: The Wusun drive the Yuezhi out of the Ili valley. 158 BC: The Xiongnu attack northern China. 157 BC: Emperor Wen of Han dies and is succeeded by his son Jing. 155 BC: The Lusitanians begin the Lusitanian War against Rome. 154 BC: The Celtiberians of Numantia begin the Numantine War against Rome. 154 BC: Liu Pi leads the Rebellion of the Seven States against Emperor Jing of Han China and is defeated. 152 BC: Alexander Balas starts a revolt against Demetrius I Soter with the support of Jonathan Maccabaeus 148 BC: Mithradates I of Parthia takes Ecbatana from the Seleucids. 148 BC: Rome conquers Macedonia. 147 BC: Hasmonean victories restore autonomy to Judea. 146 BC: Rome destroys and razes the city of Carthage and destroys the Achaean League and razes Corinth. 145 BC: Battle of Antioch: Alexander Balas of the Seleucid empire loses his throne and Ptolemy VI of Egypt loses his life.
145 BC: Ptolemy VIII takes control of Alexandria. C. 145 BC: Ai-Khanoum is sacked. 141 BC: Emperor Jing of Han dies and is succeeded by his son Wu whose attempts at reform are stymied by his grandmother. 139 BC: The assassination of Viriathus marks the end of the Lusitanian War. 139 BC: Mithradates I of Parthia defeats the Seleucid king Demetrius II Nicator and captures Babylonia. 138 BC: Minyue's invasion of Eastern Ou sparks off the H