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 the Classical era, 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, and the great mercantile power of Carthage in the west. This balance was shattered when conflict arose between ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. In the following decades, the Carthaginian Republic was first humbled and then 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 roughly a century until the stalemate of the First Macedonian War against Rome. Macedon would also lose the Cretan War against the Greek city-state of Rhodes and its allies.

In India, Ashoka ruled the Maurya Empire. The Pandya, Chola 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, which was 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.

Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Centuries:
Timelines:
State leaders:
Decades:
Categories: Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments

Events

290s BC

280s BC

270s BC

Sarnath capital
The Lion Capital of Ashoka of Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, now the National Emblem of India, 3rd century BC, dated to the reign of Ashoka the Great during the Maurya Empire

260s BC

250s BC

240s BC

230s BC

220s BC

210s BC

200s BC

Significant people

Politics and government

Literature

Science and philosophy

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Sovereign states

See: List of sovereign states in the 3rd century BC.

References

  1. ^ Pliny Natural History 7.213
  2. ^ Yannopoulos, Stavros; Lyberatos, Gerasimos; Theodossiou, Nicolaos; Li, Wang; Valipour, Mohammad; Tamburrino, Aldo; Angelakis, Andreas (2015). "Evolution of Water Lifting Devices (Pumps) over the Centuries Worldwide". Water. 7 (9): 5031–5060. doi:10.3390/w7095031.
Alexander V of Macedon

Alexander V of Macedon (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος Εʹ ὁ Μακεδών; died 294 BC) was the third and youngest son of Cassander and Thessalonica of Macedon, who was a half-sister of Alexander the Great. He ruled as King of Macedon along with his brother Antipater from 297 to 294 BC.

When Antipater murdered their mother and ousted him from power, Alexander turned to Pyrrhus and Demetrius I Poliorcetes for help in recovering his throne. To the former he promised, as the price of his alliance, the land on the sea-coast of Macedonia, together with the provinces of Ambracia, Acarnania, and Amphilochia. Demetrius, according to Plutarch, arrived after Pyrrhus had retired, and when matters had been settled between Alexander and Antipater. Demetrius was now an unwelcome visitor, and Alexander, while he received him with all outward civility, is said by Plutarch to have laid a plan for murdering him at a banquet, a plan which was stymied by the precautions of Demetrius. The next day Demetrius took his departure, and Alexander attended him as far as Thessaly. Here, at Larissa, Alexander went to dine with Demetrius, and, taking no guards with him, was assassinated, together with his friends who attended him.

Antigonus III Doson

Antigonus III Doson (Greek: Ἀντίγονος Γ΄ Δώσων, 263–221 BC) was king of Macedon from 229 BC to 221 BC. He was a member of the Antigonid dynasty.

Antiochus II Theos

Antiochus II Theos (Greek: Ἀντίοχος Β΄ ὁ Θεός; 286 – July 246 BC) was a Greek king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who reigned from 261 to 246 BC. He succeeded his father Antiochus I Soter in the winter of 262–61 BC. He was the younger son of Antiochus I and princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes.

Antipater II of Macedon

Antipater II of Macedon (Greek: Ἀντίπατρος Βʹ ὁ Μακεδών), was the son of Cassander and Thessalonike of Macedon, who was a half-sister of Alexander the Great. He was king of Macedon from 297 BC until 294 BC, jointly with his brother Alexander V. Eventually, he murdered his mother and ousted his brother from the throne. Alexander turned to Pyrrhus and Demetrius I Poliorcetes for help, and Demetrius I overthrew Antipater and then had Alexander murdered. Antipater was killed by Lysimachus, after he fled from Demetrius I to Thrace. His wife was Eurydice, his paternal cousin who was a daughter of Lysimachus.

Cassander

Cassander (Greek: Κάσσανδρος Ἀντιπάτρου, Kassandros Antipatrou; "son of Antipatros": c. 355 BC – 297 BC) was king of the Hellenistic kingdom of Macedon from 305 BC until 297 BC, and de facto ruler of southern Greece from 317 BC until his death.Eldest son of Antipater and a contemporary of Alexander the Great, Cassander was one of the Diadochi who warred over Alexander's empire following the latter's death in 323 BC. Cassander later seized the crown by having Alexander's son and heir Alexander IV murdered. In governing Macedonia from 317 BC until 297 BC, Cassander restored peace and prosperity to the kingdom, while founding or restoring numerous cities (including Thessalonica, Cassandreia, and Thebes); however, his ruthlessness in dealing with political enemies complicates assessments of his rule.

Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes (Ancient Greek: ὁ Κολοσσὸς Ῥόδιος, romanized: ho Kolossòs Rhódios Greek: Κολοσσός της Ρόδου, romanized: Kolossós tes Rhódou) was a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son Demetrius I of Macedon unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. According to most contemporary descriptions, the Colossus stood approximately 70 cubits, or 33 metres (108 feet) high—the approximate height of the modern Statue of Liberty from feet to crown—making it the tallest statue of the ancient world. It collapsed during the earthquake of 226 BC; although parts of it were preserved. In accordance with a certain oracle, the Rhodians did not build it again. John Malalas wrote that Hadrian in his reign reerected the Colossus, but he was wrong.As of 2015, there are tentative plans to build a new Colossus at Rhodes Harbour, although the actual location of the original remains in dispute.

Demetrius I of Macedon

Demetrius I (; Ancient Greek: Δημήτριος; 337–283 BC), called Poliorcetes (; Greek: Πολιορκητής, "The Besieger"), son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Stratonice, was a Macedonian nobleman, military leader, and finally king of Macedon (294–288 BC). He belonged to the Antigonid dynasty and was its first member to rule Macedonia.

Etazeta of Bithynia

Etazeta (fl. 255 BC – 254 BC) was the second wife of Nicomedes I, king of Bithynia and a ruler of Bithynia.

Euclid

Euclid (; Ancient Greek: Εὐκλείδης – Eukleídēs, pronounced [eu̯.kleː.dɛːs]; fl. 300 BC), sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "founder of geometry" or the "father of geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (323–283 BC). His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics, serving as the main textbook for teaching mathematics (especially geometry) from the time of its publication until the late 19th or early 20th century. In the Elements, Euclid deduced the theorems of what is now called Euclidean geometry from a small set of axioms. Euclid also wrote works on perspective, conic sections, spherical geometry, number theory, and mathematical rigour.

The English name Euclid is the anglicized version of the Greek name Εὐκλείδης, which means "renowned, glorious".

Ionic Greek

Ionic Greek was a subdialect of the Attic–Ionic or Eastern dialect group of Ancient Greek.

List of political entities in the 3rd century BC

This is a list of sovereign states or polities that existed in the 3rd century BC.

Philip IV of Macedon

Philip IV of Macedon (Greek: Φίλιππος Δʹ ὁ Μακεδών; died 297 BC) was the son of Cassander. He briefly succeeded his father on the throne of Macedon prior to his death. Philip IV died of wasting disease at Elatea, leaving the throne to his two younger brothers, Antipater and Alexander.

Philip V of Macedon

Philip V (Greek: Φίλιππος; 238–179 BC) was king (Basileus) of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia from 221 to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of the Roman Republic. He would lead Macedon against Rome in the First and Second Macedonian Wars, losing both but allying with Rome in the Roman-Seleucid War towards the end of his reign.

Philip was attractive and charismatic as a young man. A dashing and courageous warrior, he was inevitably compared to Alexander the Great and was nicknamed beloved of the Hellenes (ἐρώμενος τῶν Ἑλλήνων) because he became, as Polybius put it, "...the beloved of the Hellenes for his charitable inclination".

Ptolemy IV Philopator

Ptolemy IV Philopator (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Φιλοπάτωρ, Ptolemaĩos Philopátōr "Ptolemy, lover of his Father"; 245/4–204 BC), son of Ptolemy III and Berenice II, was the fourth Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 221 to 204 BC. The decline of the Ptolemaic dynasty began under the reign of Ptolemy IV.

Ptolemy I Soter

Ptolemy I Soter (; Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great of the Kingdom of Macedon in northern Greece who became ruler of Egypt, part of Alexander's former empire. Ptolemy was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BC to his death. He was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, turning the country into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.

Ptolemy I was the son of Arsinoe of Macedon by either her husband Lagus or Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander. Ptolemy was one of Alexander's most trusted companions and military officers. After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, Ptolemy retrieved his body as it was en route to be buried in Macedon, placing it in Memphis instead, where it was later moved to Alexandria in a new tomb. Afterwards he joined a coalition against Perdiccas, the royal regent over Philip III of Macedon. The latter invaded Egypt but was assassinated by his own officers in 320 BC, allowing Ptolemy I to consolidate his control over the country. After a series of wars between Alexander's successors, Ptolemy gained a claim to Judea in southern Syria which was disputed with the Syrian king Seleucus I Nicator, his former ally. He also took control of Cyprus and Cyrenaica, the latter of which was placed under the control of Ptolemy's stepson Magas.

Ptolemy I may have married Thaïs, his mistress during the life of Alexander; he is known to have married the Persian noblewoman Artakama on Alexander's orders. He later married Eurydice, daughter of the Macedonian regent Antipater; their sons Ptolemy Keraunos and Meleager ruled in turn as kings of the kingdom their maternal grandfather had governed. Ptolemy's final marriage was to Eurydice's cousin and lady-in-waiting, Berenice I. Their son Ptolemy II, Ptolemy I's successor, ruled jointly with his sister-wife Arsinoe II, who had previously been married to their father's political enemy Lysimachus and their half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos.

Ptolemy V Epiphanes

Ptolemy V Epiphanes (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Ἐπιφανής, Ptolemaĩos Epiphanḗs "Ptolemy the Illustrious"; 210–181 BC), son of the siblings Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty from 204 to 181 BC. He inherited the throne at the age of five, and under a series of regents, the kingdom was paralyzed. The Rosetta Stone was produced during his reign in 196 BC. He was a son of Ptolemy IV of Egypt and Arsinoe III of Egypt.

Purva Mimamsa Sutras

The Mimamsa Sutra (Sanskrit: मीमांसा सूत्र, Mīmāṁsā Sūtra) or the Purva Mimamsa Sutras (ca. 300–200 BCE), written by Rishi Jaimini is one of the most important ancient Hindu philosophical texts. It forms the basis of Mimamsa, the earliest of the six orthodox schools (darshanas) of Indian philosophy. According to tradition, sage Jaimini was one of the disciples of sage Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata.

Quintus Fabius Pictor

Quintus Fabius Pictor (born c. 270 BC, fl. about 200 BC) was the earliest Roman historiographer and is considered the first of the annalists. He was a member of the Senate, and a member of the gens Fabia.

Seleucus III Ceraunus

Seleucus III Soter, called Seleucus Ceraunus (Greek: Σέλευκος Γ΄ ὁ Σωτήρ, ὁ Κεραυνός; c. 243 BC – April/June 223 BC, ruled December 225 – April/June 223 BC), was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Kingdom, the eldest son of Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II.

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