1st millennium BC
The 1st millennium BC is the period of time between from the year 1000 BC to 1 BC. It encompasses the Iron Age in the Old World and sees the transition from the Ancient Near East to classical antiquity. World population doubled over the course of the millennium, from about 100 million to about 200–250 million; the Neo-Assyrian Empire dominates the Near East in the early centuries of the millennium, supplanted by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century. Ancient Egypt is in decline, falls to the Achaemenids in 525 BC. In Greece, Classical Antiquity begins with the colonization of Magna Graecia and peaks with the conquest of the Achaemenids and the subsequent flourishing of Hellenistic civilization; the Roman Republic supplants the Etruscans and the Carthaginians. The close of the millennium sees the rise of the Roman Empire; the early Celts dominate Central Europe. In East Africa, the Nubian Empire and Aksum arise. In South Asia, the Vedic civilization blends into the Maurya Empire; the Scythians dominate Central Asia.
In China, the Spring and Autumn period sees the rise of Confucianism. Towards the close of the millennium, the Han Dynasty extends Chinese power towards Central Asia, where it borders on Indo-Greek and Iranian states. Japan is in the Yayoi period; the Maya civilization rises in Mesoamerica. The first millennium BC is the formative period of the classical world religions, with the development of early Judaism Zoroastrianism in the Near East, Vedic religion and Vedanta and Buddhism in India. Early literature develops in Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit and Chinese; the term Axial Age, coined by Karl Jaspers, is intended to express the crucial importance of the period of c. the 8th to 2nd centuries BC in world history. World population more than doubled over the course of the millennium, from about an estimated 50–100 million to an estimated 170–300 million. Close to 90% of world population at the end of the first millennium BC lived in the Iron Age civilizations of the Old World; the population of the Americas was below 20 million, concentrated in Mesoamerica.
The population of Oceania was less than one million people. 10th century BC Near East: Neo-Assyrian Empire Near East: Shoshenq I invades Canaan Aegean: Helladic period ends 9th century BC Egypt: 872 BC: Nile floods the Temple of Luxor Egypt: 836 BC: Civil war in Egypt North Africa: 814 BC: Carthage founded China: 841 BCndash. Greece: Archaic Greece, Greek alphabet Greece: Homer 776 BC: Greece: First Olympiad 753 BC: Europe: foundation of Rome 7th century BC 671 BC: Assyrian conquest of Egypt Near East: 631 BC: Death of Ashurbanipal, decline of the Assyrian Empire 6th century BC Egypt: 592 BC: Psamtik II sacks Napata Sudan: Aspelta moves the Kushite capital to Meroe Near East: 539 BC: Achaemenid conquest of Babylon under Cyrus the Great South Asia: Śramaṇa movement and "second urbanisation" South Asia: Early Buddhism Europe: 509 BC: Roman Republic 5th century BC China: 479 BC: death of Confucius China: 476 BC: Warring States period China: 486 BC: Grand Canal construction begins Near East: Second Temple Judaism, redaction of the Hebrew Bible Greece: beginning of the classical period.
Greece: Greco-Persian Wars Greece: 440 BC: Herodotus' Histories Greece: 431 BC: Peloponnesian War Oceania: Austronesian expansion reaches Western Polynesia 4th century BC Greece: 395 BC: Corinthian War Egypt: 343 BC: Achaemenid conquest Greece/Asia/Egypt: 330s BC: conquests of Alexander the Great, end of the Achaemenid Empire, Macedonian Empire, beginning of the Hellenistic period South Asia: Mauryan Empire 3rd century BC China: Qin Unified China China: 206 BC: Han Dynasty South Asia: 261 BC: Kalinga war Rome: Roman expansion in Italy Rome/Carthage: Punic Wars 264 BC: First Punic War 218 BC Second Punic War 2nd century BC Rome/Carthage: 149 BC Third Punic War, Roman province of Africa Rome/Greece: 146 BC Battle of Corinth, beginning of the Roman era South Asia: 185 BC: Fall of the Maurya Empire China: Confucianism became the state ideology of China 1st century BC China: 91 BC: Records of the Grand Historian finished Rome/Europe: 58-50 BC Gallic Wars Rome: 32/30 BC: Final War of the Roman Republic Rome/Egypt: 31 BC: Roman conquest of Egypt Rome/Europe/West Asia/Africa: 27 BC: Roman Empire Some of the central figures of the Axial Age are legendary or semi-legendary, with no contemporary written records available RulersChina: Dynasties in Chinese history, List of Chinese monarchs Egypt: Third Intermediate Period of Egypt Carthage: List of monarchs of Carthage Assyrian Empire: List of Assyrian kings Babylonia: Neo-Babylonian_dynasty Canaan / Biblical Levant: Kings of Israel and Judah Achaemenid Persia: List of monarchs of Persia Kingdom of Kush: List of monarchs of Kush Classical Greece: Monarchs: List of kings of Sparta, Thirty Tyrants Athenian democracy: Pericles Macedon: List of ancient Macedonians, Argead dynasty Hellenistic period: Ptolemaic Dynasty, Antigonid dynasty, Hasmonean dynasty Rome: kings of Rome, List of Roman consuls Parthian Empire: List of Parthian kings India: List of Indian monarchsReligion, p
The Buddhist calendar is a set of lunisolar calendars used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka and Chinese populations of Malaysia and Singapore for religious or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar; the Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the sidereal year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is not accurate for sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is drifting out of sync with the sidereal one day every 100 years.
Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken. Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used for Theravada Buddhist festivals, no longer has the official calendar status anywhere; the Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand. The calculation methodology of the current versions of Southeast Asian Buddhist calendars is based on that of the Burmese calendar, in use in various Southeast Asian kingdoms down to the 19th century under the names of Chula Sakarat and Jolak Sakaraj; the Burmese calendar in turn was based on the "original" Surya Siddhanta system of ancient India. One key difference with Indian systems is that the Burmese system has followed a variation of the Metonic cycle, it is unclear from where, how the Metonic system was introduced. The Burmese system, indeed the Southeast Asian systems, thus use a "strange" combination of sidereal years from Indian calendar in combination with the Metonic cycle better for tropical years.
In all Theravada traditions, the calendar's epochal year 0 date was the day in which the Buddha attained parinibbāna. However, not all traditions agree on when it took place. In Burmese Buddhist tradition, it was 13 May 544 BCE, but in Thailand, it was 11 March 545 BCE, the date which the current Thai lunisolar and solar calendars use as the epochal date. Yet, the Thai calendars for some reason have fixed the difference between their Buddhist Era numbering and the Christian/Common Era numbering at 543, which points to an epochal year of 544 BCE, not 545 BCE. In Myanmar, the difference between BE and CE can be 543 or 544 for CE dates, 544 or 543 for BCE dates, depending on the month of the Buddhist Era. In Sri Lanka, the difference between BE and CE is 544; the calendar recognizes two types of months: sidereal month. The Synodic months are used to compose the years while the 27 lunar sidereal days, alongside the 12 signs of the zodiac, are used for astrological calculations; the days of the month are counted in two halves and waning.
The 15th of the waxing is the civil full moon day. The civil new moon day is the last day of the month; because of the inaccuracy of the calendrical calculation systems, the mean and real New Moons coincide. The mean New Moon precedes the real New Moon; as the Synodic lunar month is 29.5 days, the calendar uses alternating months of 29 and 30 days. Various regional versions of Chula Sakarat/Burmese calendar existed across various regions of mainland Southeast Asia. Unlike Burmese systems, Lan Na, Lan Xang and Sukhothai systems refer to the months by numbers, not by names; this means reading ancient texts and inscriptions in Thailand requires constant vigilance, not just in making sure one is operating for the correct region, but for variations within regions itself when incursions cause a variation in practice. However, Cambodian month system, which begins with Margasirsa as the first month, demonstrated by the names and numbers; the Buddhist calendar is a lunisolar calendar in which the months are based on lunar months and years are based on solar years.
One of its primary objectives is to synchronize the lunar part with the solar part. The lunar months twelve of them, consist alternately of 29 days and 30 days, such that a normal lunar year will contain 354 days, as opposed to the solar year of ~365.25 days. Therefore, some form of addition to the lunar year is necessary; the overall basis for it is provided by cycles of 57 years. Eleven extra days are inserted in every 57 years, seven extra months of 30 days are inserted in every 19 years; this provides 20819 complete days to both calendars. This 57-year cycle would provide a mean year of about 365.2456 days and a mean month of about 29.530496 days, if not corrected. As such, the calendar adds an intercalary month in leap years and sometimes an intercalary day in great leap years; the intercalary month not only corrects the length of the year but corrects the accumulating error of the month to extent of half a day. The average length of the month is further corrected by adding a day to Nayon
Vikram Samvat. It uses solar sidereal years; the Vikram Samvat is notable because many medieval era inscriptions use it. It is said to be named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, but the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical records before the 9th century, rather the same calendaring system is found by other names such as Krita and Malava. In the colonial era scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain; however epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis and likely was an error. Starting in the 9th century and thereafter, epigraphical artwork uses Vikrama-Samvat, suggesting that sometime around the 9th-century, the Hindu calendar era, in use became popular as Vikram Samvat, while Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.
Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated; the defeated king retired to the forest. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana. On, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era"; the Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana. The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842 CE.
This inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE; the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. For this reason, multiple authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a purely legendary king or the title adopted by a king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, changed the name of the era to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman: Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir, is the same person as the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Earlier, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes.
However, this was disputed by Robert Bracey following the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, dated in two eras. The theory seems to be now discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE; the traditional New Year of Vikram Samvat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Burma, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. In addition to Nepal, the Vikram Samvat calendar is recognized in North and East India, in Gujarat among Hindus. Hindu religious festivals are based on a Luni-Solar calendar, not Solar calendar, based on Vikram Samvat. In North India, the new year in Vikram Samvat starts from the first day of Chaitra Skukla paksha. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays fall in the same month of the Bengali and Theravada Buddhist calendars, are related through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar, the first day of the month Kartik; the Vikrami era is an ancient calendar and has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. It is one of the several regional Hindu calendars that have been in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodical lunar months and 365 solar days; the lunar new year starts on the new moon in the month of Chaitra. This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India; the Vikrami Samvat has been in use in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times, remains in use by the Hindus in north, w
The Berber calendar is the agricultural calendar traditionally used by Berbers. It is known as the fellaḥi; the calendar is utilized to regulate the seasonal agricultural works. The Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar, is not suited for agriculture because it does not relate to seasonal cycles. In other parts of the Islamic world either Iranian solar calendars, the Coptic calendar, the Rumi calendar, or other calendars based on the Julian calendar, were used before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar; the current Berber calendar is a legacy of the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis and the Roman province of Africa, as it is a surviving form of the Julian calendar. The latter calendar was used in Europe before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, with month names derived from Latin. Berber populations used various indigenous calendars, such as that of the Guanche autochthones of the Canary Islands; however little is known of these ancient calendrical systems. The agricultural Berber calendar still in use is certainly derived from the Julian calendar, introduced in the Roman province of Africa at the time of Roman domination.
The names of the months of this calendar are derived from the corresponding Latin names and races of the Roman calendar denominations of Kalends and Ides exist: El Qabisi, an Islamic jurisconsult by Kairawan who lived in the 11th century, condemned the custom of celebrating "pagans'" festivals and cited, among traditional habits of North Africa, that of observing January Qalandas. The length of the year and of the individual months is the same as in the Julian calendar: three years of 365 days followed by a leap year of 366, without exceptions, 30- and 31-day months, except for the second one that has 28 days; the only slight discrepancy lies in that the extra day in leap years is not added at the end of February, but at the end of the year. This means that the beginning of the year corresponds to the 14th day of January in the Gregorian calendar, which coincides with the offset accumulated during the centuries between astronomical dates and the Julian calendar. In addition to the subdivision by months, within the traditional agricultural calendar there are other partitions, by "seasons" or by "strong periods", characterized by particular festivals and celebrations.
Not all the four seasons have retained a Berber denomination: the words for spring and autumn are used everywhere, more sparingly the winter and, among northern Berbers, the Berber name for the autumn has been preserved only in Jebel Nafusa. Spring tafsut – Begins on 15 furar Summer anebdu – Begins on 17 mayu Autumn amwal / aməwan ( – Begins on 17 ghusht Winter tagrest - Begins on 16 numbír An interesting element is the existing opposition between two 40-day terms, one representing the coldest part of winter and one the hottest period of summer; the coldest period is made up by 20 "white nights", from 12 to 31 dujamber, 20 "black nights", beginning on the first day of yennayer, corresponding to the Gregorian 14 January. The first day of the year is celebrated in various ways in the different parts of North Africa. A widespread tradition is a meal with particular foods. In some regions, it is marked by the sacrifice of an animal. In Algeria, such a holiday is celebrated by many people who don't use the Berber calendar in daily life.
A characteristic trait of this festivity, which blurs with the Islamic Day of Ashura, is the presence, in many regions, of ritual invocations with formulas like bennayu, babiyyanu, bu-ini, etc. Such expressions, according to many scholars, may be derived from of the ancient bonus annus wishes. A curious aspect of the Yennayer celebrations concerns the date of New Year's Day. Though once this anniversary fell everywhere on 14 January, because of a mistake introduced by some Berber cultural associations active in recovering customs on the verge of extinction, at present in a wide part of Algeria it is common opinion that the date of "Berber New Year's Day" is 12 January and not the 14th; the celebration at the 12, two days before the traditional one, it had been explicitly signaled in the city of Oran. El Azara is the period of the year extending, according to the Berber calendar, from 3 to 13 February and known by a climate sometimes hot, sometimes cold. Before the cold ends and spring begins there is a period of the year, feared.
It consists of ten days straddling the months of furar and mars, it is characterised by strong winds. It is said that, during this term, one should suspend many activities, should not marry nor go out during the night, leaving instead full scope to mysterious powers, which in that period are active and celebrate their weddings. Due to a linguistic taboo, in Djerba these creatures are called imbarken, i.e. "the blessed ones", whence this period takes its name. Jamrat el Ma, "embers of the sea", 27 February, is marked by a rise in sea temperature. Jamrat el Trab, "land embers" in English, is the period from 6 to 10 March and known to be marked by a mixture of heavy rain and sunny weather. Jamrat or coal is a term used t
Artaxerxes III Ochus of Persia was the eleventh emperor of the Achaemenid Empire, as well as the first Pharaoh of the 31st dynasty of Egypt. He was succeeded by his son, Arses of Persia, his reign coincided with the reign of Philip II in Nectanebo II in Egypt. In his Historia Scholastica Petrus Comestor identified Artaxerxes III as the successor of Ahasuerus in the book of Esther. Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes was a commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered and his father, Artaxerxes II died. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as king, he started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, was followed up by rebellions throughout the western part of his empire. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, driving him from Egypt, stopping a revolt in Phoenicia on the way. In Artaxerxes' years, Philip II of Macedon's power was increasing in Greece, where he tried to convince the Greeks to revolt against the Achaemenid Empire.
His activities were opposed by Artaxerxes, with his support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege. There is evidence for a renewed building policy at Persepolis in his life, where Artaxerxes erected a new palace and built his own tomb, began long-term projects such as the Unfinished Gate. Artaxerxes III was the throne name adopted by Ochus when he succeeded his father in 358 BC, he is referred to as Ochus, but in modern Iran he is known as Ardeshir III. In Babylonian inscriptions he is called "Umasu, called Artakshatsu"; the same form of the name occurs in the Syrian version of the Canon of Kings by Elias of Nusaybin. Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes had been a commander of his father's army. In 359 BC, just before ascending the throne, he attacked Egypt as a reaction to Egypt's failed attacks on coastal regions of Phoenicia. In 358 BC his father, Artaxerxes II, died, it was said to be because of a broken heart caused by his children's behaviour, since his other sons, Darius and Tiribazus had been eliminated by plots, Artaxerxes III succeeded him as king.
His first order was the execution of over 80 of his nearest relations to secure his place as king. In 355 BC, Artaxerxes forced Athens to conclude a peace which required the city's forces to leave Anatolia and to acknowledge the independence of its rebellious allies. Artaxerxes started a campaign against the rebellious Cadusii, but he managed to appease both of the Cadusian kings. One individual who emerged from this campaign was Darius Codomannus, who occupied the Persian throne as Darius III. Artaxerxes ordered the disbanding of all the satrapal armies of Asia Minor, as he felt that they could no longer guarantee peace in the west and was concerned that these armies equipped the western satraps with the means to revolt; the order was however ignored by Artabazus II, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, who asked for the help of Athens in a rebellion against the king. Athens sent assistance. Artabazos was at first supported by Chares, an Athenian general, his mercenaries, whom he rewarded generously.
The gold coinage of Artabazos is thought to have been issued to reward the troops of Chares. The Satrap of Mysia, Orontes I supported Artabazus. Artabazos was supported by the Thebans, who sent him 5,000 men under Pammenes. With the assistance of these and other allies, Artabazos defeated the King in two great battles in 354 BC. However, in 353 BC, they were disbanded. Orontes was pardoned by the king, while Artabazus fled with his family to the safety of the court of Philip II of Macedon, where he remained from 352 to 342. In around 351 BC, Artaxerxes embarked on a campaign to recover Egypt, which had revolted under his father, Artaxerxes II. At the same time a rebellion had broken out in Asia Minor, being supported by Thebes, threatened to become serious. Levying a vast army, Artaxerxes marched into Egypt, engaged Nectanebo II. After a year of fighting the Egyptian Pharaoh, Nectanebo inflicted a crushing defeat on the Persians with the support of mercenaries led by the Greek generals: the Athenian Diophantus and the Spartan Lamius.
Artaxerxes was compelled to postpone his plans to reconquer Egypt. Soon after this Egyptian defeat, Phoenicia and Cyprus declared their independence from Persian rule. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes committed responsibility for the suppression of the Cyprian rebels to Idrieus, prince of Caria, who employed 8000 Greek mercenaries and forty triremes, commanded by Phocion the Athenian, Evagoras, son of the elder Evagoras, the Cypriot monarch. Idrieus succeeded in reducing Cyprus. Artaxerxes initiated a counter-offensive against Sidon by commanding the satrap of Syria Belesys and Mazaeus, the satrap of Cilicia, to invade the city and to keep the Phoenicians in check. Both satraps suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Tennes, the Sidonese king, aided by 40,000 Greek mercenaries sent to him by Nectanebo II and commanded by Mentor of Rhodes; as a result, the Persian forces were driven out of Phoenicia. After this, Artaxerxes led an army of 330,000 men against Sidon. Artaxerxes' army comprised 300,000 foot soldiers, 30,000 cavalry, 300 triremes, 500 tra
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
5th century BC
The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC. This century saw the establishment of Pataliputra as a capital of the Magadha Empire; this city would become the ruling capital of different Indian kingdoms for about a thousand years. This period saw the rise of two great philosophical schools of the east and Buddhism; this period saw Mahavira and Buddha spreading their respective teachings in the northern plains of India. This changed the socio-cultural and political dynamics of the region of South Asia. Buddhism would go on to become one of the major world religions; this period saw the work of Yaska, who created Nirukta, that would lay the foundation stone for Sanskrit grammar and is one of the oldest works on grammar known to mankind. This century is traditionally recognized as the classical period of the Greeks, which would continue all the way through the 4th century until the time of Alexander the Great; the life of Socrates represented a major milestone in Greek philosophy though his teachings only survive through the work of his students, most notably Plato and Xenophon.
The tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides, as well as the comedian Aristophanes all date from this era and many of their works are still considered classics of the western theatrical canon. The Persian Wars, fought between a coalition of Greek cities and the vast Achaemenid Persian Empire was a pivotal moment in Greek politics. After having prevented the annexation of Greece by the Persians, the dominant power in the coalition, had no intention of further offensive action and considered the war over. Meanwhile, Athens counter-attacked, liberating Greek subjects of the Persian Empire up and down the Ionian coast and mobilizing a new coalition, the Delian League. Tensions between Athens, its growing imperialistic ambitions as leader of the Delian League, the traditionally dominant Sparta led to a protracted stalemate in the Peloponnesian war. Demotic becomes the dominant script of ancient Egypt. 499 BC: Aristagoras, acting on behalf of the Persian Empire, leads a failed attack on the rebellious island of Naxos.
499 BC: Aristagoras instigates the Ionian Revolt, beginning the Persian Wars between Greece and Persia. 499 BC: Sardis sacked by Athenian and Ionian troops. 498 BC: Leontini subjugated by Hippocrates of Gela. 498 BC: Alexander I succeeds his father Amyntas I as king of Macedon. 496 BC: Battle of Lake Regillus: A legendary early Roman victory, won over either the Etruscans or the Latins. 496 BC: Sophocles is born. 495 BC: Temple to Mercury on the Circus Maximus in Rome is built. 494 BC: The Battle of Lade, where Persians take back Ionia. 494 BC: Two tribunes of the plebs and two plebeian aediles are elected for the first time in Rome: the office of the tribunate is established. 494 BC: The year Rome changed from an Aristocratic Republic to a Liberalized Republic. 493 BC: Piraeus, the port town of Athens, is founded. 493 BC: Coriolanus captures the Volscian town of Corioli for Rome. 492 BC: First expedition of King Darius I of Persia against Greece, under the leadership of his son-in-law Mardonius. This marks the start of the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. 491 BC: Leotychidas succeeds his cousin Demaratus as king of Sparta.
491 BC: Gelo becomes Tyrant of Gela. 490 BC: The Battle of Marathon, where Darius I of Persia is defeated by the Athenians and Plataeans under Miltiades 490 BC: Phidippides runs 40 kilometers from Marathon to Athens to announce the news of the Greek victory. 489 BC: Cities of Rhodes unite and start construction of the new city of Rhodes. 488 BC: Leonidas I succeeds his brother Cleomenes I as king of Sparta after Cleomenes is judged insane. 487 BC: Egypt revolts against the Persians. 487 BC: Aegina and Athens go to war. 487 BC: Athenian Archonship becomes elective by lot, an important milestone in the move towards radical Athenian democracy. 486 BC: First part of the Grand Canal of China is built. 486 BC: Xerxes I succeeds Darius I as Great King of Persia. 486 BC: Egypt revolts against Persian rule. 486 BC: First Buddhist Council at Rejgaha, under the patronage of King Ajatasattu. Oral tradition established for the first time. 484 BC: Athenian playwright Aeschylus wins a poetry prize. 484 BC: Xerxes I abolishes the Kingdom of Babel and removes the golden statue of Bel.
484 BC: Persians regain control of Egypt. 483 BC: Gautama Buddha dies. 483 BC: Xerxes I of Persia starts planning his expedition against Greece 481 BC: The Isthmus of Corinth ends a war between Athens and Aegina. 480 BC: King Xerxes I of Persia sets out to conquer Greece. 480 BC: Cimon and his friends burn horse-bridles as an offering to Athena and join the marines 480 BC: Pleistarchus succeeds his father Leonidas I as king of Sparta. August, 480 BC: Battle of Artemisium—The Persian fleet fights an inconclusive battle with the Greek allied fleet. August 11, 480 BC: The Battle of Thermopylae, a costly victory by Persians over the Greeks. September 23, 480 BC: Battle of Salamis between Greece and Persia, leading to a Greek victory. 480 BC: Battle of Himera—The Carthaginians under Hamilcar are defeated by the Greeks of Sicily, led by Gelon of Syracuse. 480 BC: Roman troops march against the Veientines. 479 BC: The Battle of Plataea, the Greeks defeat the Persians, ending the Persian Wars. 479 BC: Battle of Mycale.
479 BC: Potidaea is struck by a tsunami. 479 BC: Chinese philosopher Confucius dies. 478 BC: Establishment of the Temple of Confucius at Qufu. 477 BC: The Delian League is inaugurated. 476 BC: Archidamus II succeeds his grandfather Leotychides, banished to Tegea, as king of Sparta. 475 BC: King Xuan of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty. 474 BC: Battle of Cumae—The Syracusans under Hiero