The 470s decade ran from January 1, 470, to December 31, 479.

Millennium: 1st millennium
  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Establishments
  • Disestablishments



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  • Summer – Odoacer, chieftain of the Germanic tribes (Herulic - Scirian foederati), visits the imperial palace at Ravenna. He petitions Orestes (magister militum) to reward his mercenaries for their services and their support of his rebellion a year earlier, by making good on his promise to grant them lands to settle permanently in Italy. Orestes refuses this proposal and Odoacer leads his tribesmen in a revolt.
  • August – Basiliscus, Roman usurper, is deposed and Zeno is restored as emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. With the support of his adviser Illus, he besieges Constantinople, but the Senate opens the gates, allowing him to resume the throne. Basiliscus flees to sanctuary in a church, but surrenders himself and his family after extracting a solemn promise from Zeno not to shed their blood. Basiliscus is sent to a fortress in Cappadocia, where he later dies from starvation.
  • August 23 – Odoacer, age 43, is proclaimed rex Italiae ("king of Italy") by his troops. He leads his Ostrogoth army into the Po Valley, and advances to Ravenna while plundering the countryside.
  • September 4Romulus Augustulus, Roman usurper of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed by Odoacer at Ravenna. Odoacer spares the boy's life and gives him a pension of 6,000 solidi, but exiles him to the "Castellum Lucullanum" (Castel dell'Ovo), on the island of Megaride in the Gulf of Naples. His father Orestes had been arrested a week earlier near Piacenza, and swiftly executed. This event will later be romanticized in Western literature and history as the Fall of Rome, and is traditionally used by historians to mark the beginning of the European Middle Ages.[11][12]
  • Julius Nepos, de jure ruler, becomes legally the last "Western Roman Emperor." He governs Dalmatia (Balkans), Morocco, and Northwest Gaul until his death in 480, but has no effective power on the Italian Peninsula.
  • Odoacer crosses the Maritime Alps with a Gothic army and invades Provence (Southern Gaul). He conquers the cities of Arles and Marseilles, after a victorious battle against the Burgundians.
  • The Visigoths under King Euric march into Italy, and suffer defeat against the forces of Odoacer. Emperor Zeno concludes a peace treaty between the Goths and Odoacer surrenders the newly conquered territory in Gaul. Euric pledges himself to undertake no further hostilities.
  • The Roman Senate petitions Zeno to recognize Nepos as deposed and take the sole emperorship himself, abolishing the 91 year east/west division of the empire and recognizing Odoacer's authority in Italy. Zeno declines the first request, but names Odoacer Patricius, investing his rule with Imperial legitimacy.
  • Winter – Zeno recognizes the full extent of the Vandal Kingdom, including all of western Africa, the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. King Gaiseric gives Sicily, with the exception of the city of Lilybaeum, to Odoacer in return for tribute.

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  1. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. 1. Santa Babara, CA, Denver, CO, Oxford, UK: ABC-CLIO. p. 178. ISBN 9781851096725.
  2. ^ Cameron, Averil (2012) [1993]. The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 395-700. Routledge History of the Ancient World (Second ed.). London & New York: Routledge. p. 37. ISBN 9781136673061.
  3. ^ McKitterick, Rosamond; Fouracre, Paul; Reuter, Timothy; Abulafia, David; Luscombe, David Edward; Allmand, C. T.; Riley-Smith, Jonathan; Jones, Michael (2005). The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 1, C.500-c.700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 170. ISBN 9780521362917.
  4. ^ Heeren, Arnold Hermann Ludwig (1833) [1799]. A Manual of Ancient History: Particularly with Regard to the Constitutions, the Commerce, and the Colonies, of the States of Antiquity (Second ed.). Oxford: D.A. Talboys. p. 474.
  5. ^ Oaks, Dumbarton; Collection, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and; Grierson, Philip; Collection, Whittemore; Mays, Melinda (1992). Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: From Arcadius and Honorius to the Accession of Anastasius. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. p. 269. ISBN 9780884021933.
  6. ^ Greene, Eric (March 2008). "Another Look at Early Chan: Daoxuan, Bodhidharma, and the Three Levels Movement". T'oung Pao. 94 (1): 49–114. doi:10.1163/008254308X367022. ISSN 0082-5433.
  7. ^ Yoon, So-Yeon (14 July 2018). "A journey through the glorious Baekje Dynasty : Visiting sites in Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan reveals the beauty of the kingdom". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  8. ^ Huntington, John C.; Chandrasekhar, Chaya (2000). "The Dharmacakramudrā Variant at Ajanta: An Iconological Study". Chāchājī: Professor Walter M. Spink Felicitation Volume. 30 (1): 33–39. JSTOR 4629567.
  9. ^ Pomeranz, Yoni (May 2016). "Ordinary Jews in the Babylonian Talmud: Rabbinic Representations and Historical Interpretation". Yale University.
  10. ^ Steiner, Shannon (17 May 2016). "Byzantine Church Of Saint Symeon Stylites In Syria Damaged By Missile Attack". Archaeology News Network. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Middle Ages". Dictionary.com.
  12. ^ Bruni, Leonardo (2001) [1442]. Hankins, James, ed. History of the Florentine People. 1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. xvii. ISBN 978-0-674-00506-8.
  13. ^ Worcester), Florence (of (1853). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, with a Continuation and Appendix. Seeleys. p. 172.
470s BC

This article concerns the period 479 BC – 470 BC.

== Events ==

=== 479 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Persian commander Mardonius, now based in Thessaly, wins support from Argus and western Arcadia. He tries to win over Athens but fails.

Mardonius attacks Athens once more and the Athenians are forced to retreat, whereupon he razes the city. The Spartans march north to support Athens against the Persians.

August 27

The Battle of Plataea in Boeotia ends the Persian invasions of Greece as the Persian general Mardonius is routed by the Greeks under Pausanias, nephew of the former Spartan King, Leonidas I. The Athenian contingent is led by the repatriated Aristides. Mardonius is killed in the battle and the Greeks capture enormous amounts of loot. Thebes is captured shortly thereafter and the Theban collaborators executed by Pausanias.

Meanwhile at sea, the Persians are defeated by a Greek fleet headed by Leotychidas of Sparta and Xanthippus of Athens in the Battle of Mycale, off the coast of Lydia in Asia Minor.

Potidaea is struck by a tsunami.

=== 478 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Despite Spartan opposition, Athens is refortified as well as rebuilt after the Persian destruction of the city.

With the help of the Athenian statesman and general, Cimon, Aristides commands an Athenian fleet of 30 ships that the Spartan commander Pausanias leads to free the Greek cities on Cyprus and capture Byzantium from the Persians and their Phoenician allies.

While Pausanias is occupying Byzantium, his arrogance and his adoption of Persian clothing and manners offends the allies and raises suspicions of disloyalty. Pausanias is recalled to Sparta, where he is tried and acquitted of the charge of treason, but he is not restored to his command.

====== Sicily ======

Hiero I (Hieron) becomes the Tyrant of Syracuse following the death of his brother Gelo.

====== China ======

A Temple of Confucius is established in (modern-day) Qufu.

=== 477 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Spartan co-ruler Leotychides and the Athenian leader Themistocles lead a fleet and army to reoccupy northern Greece and to punish the aristocratic family of the Aleuads for having aided the Persians. Leotychides is caught accepting a bribe during the operations in Thessaly.

Greek maritime cities around the Aegean Sea no longer wish to be under Spartan control and at Delos offer their allegiance, through Aristides, to Athens. They form the Delian League (also known as the Confederacy of Delos) with Cimon as their principal commander.

====== Roman Republic ======

Roman forces in a stronghold on the Cremera River are defeated by an army of Veientes from the Etruscan city of Veii in the Battle of the Cremera.

=== 476 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Convicted in Sparta on the charge of accepting a bribe from the Aleudae family whilst leading an expedition to Thessaly against the family for their collaboration with the Persians, the Spartan King Leotychidas flees to the temple of Athena Alea in Tegea, Arcadia. A sentence of exile is passed upon him; his house is razed, and his grandson, Archidamus II, ascends the Spartan throne in his place.

Cimon of Athens increases his power at the expense of Themistocles. He ousts Pausanias and the Spartans from the area around the Bosporus. The Spartans, hearing that Pausanias is intriguing with the Persians, recall him and he is "disciplined".

Under the leadership of Kimon, the Delian League continues to fight the Persians and to release the Ionian cities from Persian domination. The capture of Eion on the Strymon from the Persians is led by Cimon.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

The Greek poet Pindar visits Sicily and is made welcome at the courts of Theron of Acragas and Hieron I of Syracuse. They commission some of his greatest poetry. It is through these connections that Pindar's reputation spreads all over the Greek world.

=== 475 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Cimon leads an Athenian attack on the island of Skyros and expels the indigenous inhabitants who are regarded as pirates.

The first recorded eruption of Mount Etna.

====== China ======

Zhou Yuan Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts ======

The painter Polygnotus of Thasos begins his work (approximate date).

=== 474 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Italy ======

Hiero I, tyrant of Sicily, allied with naval forces from the maritime Greek cities of southern Italy to defeat the Etruscan navy in the Battle of Cumae as the Etruscans try to capture the Greek city of Cumae. This victory marks the end of the Etruscan aggression against the Greeks in southern Italy and saves the Greeks of Campania from Etruscan domination.

Taras signs an alliance with Rhegion, to counter the Messapians, Peucetians, and Lucanians, but the joint armies of the Tarentines and Rhegines are defeated near Kailia.

Hiero builds Castello Aragonese on the island of Ischia.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

The Greek poet Pindar moves to Thebes after two years at the Sicilian Court of Hiero I of Syracuse. While at Thebes, he composes lyric odes to celebrate triumphs in the Olympic Games and other athletic events.

=== 473 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== China ======

The State of Wu is annexed by the State of Yue.

====== Japan ======

The Hikawa Shrine is established in Saitama, Saitama.

=== 472 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Carystus in Euboea is forced to join the Delian League after the Athenians attack the city (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

The tragedy The Persians is produced by Aeschylus. It is the oldest surviving classical Greek play.

=== 471 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Athenian politician Themistocles loses the confidence of the Athenian people, partly due to his arrogance and partly due to his alleged readiness to take bribes. As a result, he is ostracized and retires to Argos.

The colony of Pixunte (Pixous) is founded in Magna Graecia.

=== 470 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Suspected of plotting to seize power in Sparta by instigating a helot uprising, Pausanias takes refuge in the Temple of Athena of the Brazen House to escape arrest. The sanctuary is respected, but the Spartans wall in the sanctuary and starve Pausanias to death.

==== By topic ====

====== Architecture ======

The construction of the Temple of Zeus, begins at Olympia, Greece. This includes the relief sculpture (of which fragments now remain at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia) of Apollo with battling Lapiths and centaurs (approximate date).

====== Art ======

The Charioteer, in the Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi, is created in commemoration of a victory in the Pythian Games of 478 or 474 BC (approximate date). It is now preserved at the Delphi Archaeological Museum.

Pan Painter makes a "bell krater" (an earthenware piece that is used to mix water and wine) which has a red-figure decoration of Artemis slaying Actaeon. It is now preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (approximate date).

Alpes Cottiae

Alpes Cottiae [alˈpeːs ˈkɔt.tjae̯] was a province of the Roman Empire, one of three small provinces straddling the Alps between modern France and Italy. Its name survives in the modern Cottian Alps. In antiquity, the province's most important duty was the safeguarding of communications over the Alpine passes.

Alpes Cottiae was bordered by Gallia Narbonensis to the west, Alpes Maritimae to the south, Italia to the east, and Alpes Graiae to the north. The provincial capital was at Segusio (modern Susa in Piedmont).

Alpes Maritimae

Alpes Maritimae ([alˈpeːs maˈri.ti.mae̯]) was a province of the Roman Empire. It was one of the three provinces straddling the Alps between modern France and Italy, along with Alpes Poeninae and Alpes Cottiae. The province included parts of the present-day French departments of Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Hautes-Alpes.

Alpes Poeninae

Alpes Poeninae [alˈpeːs ˈpoe̯nɪnae̯], also known as Alpes Graiae, was a small Alpine province of the Roman Empire, one of three such provinces in the western Alps between Italy and Gaul. It comprised the Val d'Aosta region (Italy) and the Canton Valais (Switzerland).

Its strongest indigenous tribe were the Salassi. Their territory was annexed by emperor Augustus in 15 BC. Its chief city was Augusta Praetoria Salassorum (Aosta).

Anthemius of Tralles

Anthemius of Tralles (Greek: Ἀνθέμιος ὁ Τραλλιανός, Medieval Greek: [anˈθemios o traliaˈnos], Anthémios o Trallianós; c. 474 – 533 x 558) was a Greek from Tralles who worked as a geometer and architect in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. With Isidore of Miletus, he designed the Hagia Sophia for Justinian I.

Battle of Cumae

The Battle of Cumae was a naval battle in 474 BC between the combined navies of Syracuse and Cumae against the Etruscans.The Greek city of Cumae was founded in 8th century BC in an area towards the southern Etruscan border. By 504 the southern Etruscans were defeated by the Cumaeans, but they still maintained a powerful force. In 474 they were able to raise a fleet to launch a direct attack on Cumae.After he was called for military assistance Hiero I of Syracuse allied with naval forces from the maritime Greek cities of southern Italy to defend against Etruscan expansion into southern Italy. In 474 they met and defeated the Etruscan fleet at Cumae in the Bay of Naples. After their defeat, the Etruscans lost much of their political influence in Italy. They lost control of the sea and their territories were eventually taken over by the Romans, Samnites, and Gauls. The Syracusans dedicated a captured Etruscan helmet at the great panhellenic sanctuary at Olympia, a piece of armour found in the German excavations there. The Etruscans would later join the failed Athenian expedition against Syracuse in 415 BC, which contributed even further to their decline.The battle was later honored in Pindar's first Pythian Ode.

Battle of the Cremera

The Battle of the Cremera was fought between the Roman Republic and the Etruscan city of Veii, in 477 BC (276 AUC).

It most likely occurred on 18 July, although Ovid gives a different date of 13 February.

Ephialtes of Trachis

Ephialtes (; Greek: Ἐφιάλτης, Ephialtēs; although Herodotus spelled it as Ἐπιάλτης, Epialtes) was the son of Eurydemus (Greek: Εὐρύδημος) of Malis. He betrayed his homeland, in hope of receiving some kind of reward from the Persians, by showing the Persian forces a path around the allied Greek position at the pass of Thermopylae, which helped them win the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.

Fall of Ravenna

The Fall of Ravenna, capital of the Western Roman Empire, occurred in early September 476 after a minor confrontation between the Heruli under their King Odoacer and the remnants of the Western Roman Army in Italy. The Roman Empire had been in relative decline since the beginning of the barbarian invasions and Rome, the symbolical heart and largest city of the Western Empire, was sacked in 410 by the Visigoths and in 455 by the Vandals. By 476 the Roman Emperor was little more than a warlord having very little de facto control of any territory outside of Italy. The last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was not even recognized as a legitimate ruler outside of Italy; the Eastern Roman Empire recognized Julius Nepos as the true Western Roman Emperor.

Herulians were foederati of the Western Roman Empire; they were mercenary troops of the Roman Army of Italy. They envied the fortune of their brethren in Gaul, Spain, and Africa, whose victorious arms had acquired an independent and perpetual inheritance; and they insisted that a third part of the lands of Italy should be immediately divided among them. Orestes, the father of Emperor Romulus Augustus, rejected their demand - causing their revolt. From all the camps and garrisons of Italy the confederates flocked to the standard of Odoacer, their leader; Orestes later retreated to Pavia. Pavia was subsequently pillaged and Orestes was executed.The decisive battle was fought on September 2, 476 near Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire: it saw the Foederati defeat the largely depleted Roman garrison. The city, defended by Paulus (the brother of Orestes) was captured swiftly and easily. Two days later, the sixteen year old Emperor Romulus Augustulus was forced to abdicate by Odoacer, ending twelve-hundred years of Roman rule in Italy beginning with the Roman Kingdom in 753 BC. Romulus was sent into retirement in Campania.

Germania Inferior

Germania Inferior ("Lower Germany") was a Roman province located on the west bank of the Rhine and bordering the North sea.

Germania Superior

Germania Superior ("Upper Germania") was an imperial province of the Roman Empire. It comprised an area of today's western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, and southwestern Germany. Important cities were Besançon (Vesontio), Strasbourg (Argentoratum), Wiesbaden (Aquae Mattiacae), and Germania Superior's capital, Mainz (Mogontiacum). It comprised the Middle Rhine, bordering on the Limes Germanicus, and on the Alpine province of Raetia to the south-east. Although it had been occupied militarily since the reign of Augustus, Germania Superior (along with Germania Inferior) was not made into an official province until c. 85 AD.

Hecataeus of Miletus

Hecataeus of Miletus (; Greek: Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Μιλήσιος; c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), son of Hegesander, was an early Greek historian and geographer.

Hippocrates of Chios

Hippocrates of Chios (Greek: Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Χῖος; c. 470 – c. 410 BC) was an ancient Greek mathematician, geometer, and astronomer.

He was born on the isle of Chios, where he was originally a merchant. After some misadventures (he was robbed by either pirates or fraudulent customs officials) he went to Athens, possibly for litigation, where he became a leading mathematician.

On Chios, Hippocrates may have been a pupil of the mathematician and astronomer Oenopides of Chios. In his mathematical work there probably was some Pythagorean influence too, perhaps via contacts between Chios and the neighbouring island of Samos, a center of Pythagorean thinking: Hippocrates has been described as a 'para-Pythagorean', a philosophical 'fellow traveler'. "Reduction" arguments such as reductio ad absurdum argument (or proof by contradiction) has been traced to him, as has the use of power to denote the square of a line.

Laches (general)

Laches (; Greek: Λάχης; c. 475 – 418 BCE) was an Athenian aristocrat (son of Melanopos) and general during the Peloponnesian War.


Nicias (; Νικίας Nikias; c. 470–413 BC), was an Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father, which was invested in the silver mines around Attica's Mt. Laurium. Following the death of Pericles in 429 BC, he became the principal rival of Cleon and the democrats in the struggle for the political leadership of the Athenian state. He was a moderate in his political views and opposed the aggressive imperialism of the democrats. His principal aim was to conclude a peace with Sparta as soon as it could be obtained on terms favourable to Athens.

He was regularly elected to serve as strategos (general) for Athens during the Peloponnesian War. He led several expeditions which achieved little. Nevertheless, he was largely responsible for the successful negotiations which led to the Peace of Nicias in 421 BC.

Following the Peace, he objected to the ambitious plans of Alcibiades for advancing Athens' interests. Despite this, Nicias was appointed to participate in the Athenian invasion of Sicily. The Athenian siege of Syracuse was nearly successful until the arrival of the Spartan general Gylippus, who turned the situation around so that the Athenians were themselves under siege. Nicias led his forces in a desperate attempt to escape by land. However, they were cut off and he and his Athenian army were overwhelmed and defeated. His army was almost wiped out, and though Nicias reminded Gylippus of all the times he had spared him, he was nevertheless killed.

Pausanias (general)

Pausanias (Greek: Παυσανίας; died c. 470 BC) was a Spartan regent, general, and war leader for the Greeks who was suspected of conspiring with the Persian king, Xerxes I, during the Greco-Persian Wars. What is known of his life is largely according to Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, together with a handful of other classical sources.


Raetia (; Latin: [ˈraetia]; also spelled Rhaetia) was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian (Raeti or Rhaeti) people. It bordered on the west with the country of the Helvetii, on the east with Noricum, on the north with Vindelicia, on the south-west with Transalpine Gaul and on the south with Venetia et Histria.

It thus comprised the districts occupied in modern times by eastern and central Switzerland (containing the Upper Rhine and Lake Constance), southern Germany (Bavaria and most of Baden-Württemberg), Vorarlberg and the greater part of Tyrol in Austria, and part of northern Lombardy in Italy. The region of Vindelicia (today eastern Württemberg and western Bavaria) was annexed to the province at a later date than the others. The northern border of Raetia during the times of Augustus and Tiberius was the River Danube. Later the Limes Germanicus marked the northern boundary, stretching for 166 km north of the Danube. Raetia linked to Italy across the Alps over the Reschen Pass, by the Via Claudia Augusta.

The capital of the province was Augusta Vindelicorum, present-day Augsburg in southern Germany.

Septem Provinciae

The Diocese of the Seven Provinces (Latin: Dioecesis Septem Provinciarum), originally called the Diocese of Vienne (Latin: Dioecesis Viennensis) after the city of Vienna (modern Vienne), was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, under the praetorian prefecture of Gaul. It encompassed southern and western Gaul (Aquitania and Gallia Narbonensis), that is, modern France south and west of the Loire, including Provence.

The diocese comprised the following provinces: Aquitanica I, Aquitanica II, Novempopulana (Aquitanica III), Narbonensis I, Narbonensis II, Viennensis and Alpes Maritimae.

Third Council of Ephesus

The Third Council of Ephesus was held in the Anatolian city of Ephesus in 475. It was presided over by Pope Timothy II of Alexandria, and also attended by Peter the Fuller, then Patriarch of Antioch, and Paul the Exarch of Ephesus. It ratified a recent Encyclical of Emperor Basiliscus, reportedly signed by 500-700 bishops throughout the Empire, which condemned the Council of Chalcedon and particularly the Tome of Leo. This council thus constitutes one of the most significant synodical condemnations of Chalcedon for the Oriental Orthodox. In response to the accusations of certain Chalcedonians that they, the Non-Chalcedonians, had adopted the erroneous teachings of Eutyches, the attendees of Ephesus III summarily anathematized all teachings which compromised the humanity of Christ, but without any explicite mention of Eutyches. Additionally, the council restored the complete autonomy of the Ecclesiastical Exarchate of Ephesus (corresponding to the civil Diocese of Asia), which had been compromised at Chalcedon by ascribing authority to the Patriarch of Constantinople over Thrace, Pontus, and Asia.

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