5th century BC

The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC.

Ac.parthenon5
The Parthenon of Athens seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west. Location 23°43'35.69"E 37°58'17.39"N

This century saw the establishment of Pataliputra as a capital of the Magadha Empire. This city would later 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, Jainism and Buddhism. This period saw Mahavira and Buddha spreading their respective teachings in the northern plains of India. This essentially changed the socio-cultural and political dynamics of the region of South Asia. Buddhism would later go on to become one of the major world religions.

This period also 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 also 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, Sophocles, 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 successfully prevented the annexation of Greece by the Persians, Sparta, 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, and its growing imperialistic ambitions as leader of the Delian League, and the traditionally dominant Sparta led to a protracted stalemate in the Peloponnesian war.

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

Events

490s BC

480s BC

470s BC

460s BC

450s BC

440s BC

430s BC

420s BC

410s BC

  • 419 BC: The Peace of Nicias is broken when Sparta defeats Argos.
  • 418 BC: The Spartans win a major victory over the Athenians in the Battle of Mantinea, the biggest land battle of the Peloponnesian War.
  • 416 BC: The Athenians capture the island of Melos and treat the inhabitants with great cruelty.
  • 416 BC: The Athenians adheres a plea of help from Sicily and starts planning an invasion of the island.
  • 415 BC: The sacred Hermae busts in Athens are mutilated just before the expedition to Sicily is sent away. One of the culprits, Andocides, is captured and is forced to turn informer. He names the other mutilators, among them Alcibiades, who are sentenced to death in their absence.
  • 415 BC: Alcibiades defects from Athens to Sparta after having learned about his death sentence.
  • 414 BC: The Athenians try to make a breakthrough in their siege of Syracuse but are defeated by the Spartans.
  • 413 BC: Demosthenes suggests the Athenians leave Syracuse in order to return to Athens, where help is needed. However, Nicias refuses and they are again defeated in battle by the Spartans. Both Demosthenes and Nicias are killed.
  • 413 BC: Caria allies itself with Sparta.
  • 412 BC: The Persian Empire starts preparing an invasion of Ionia and signs a treaty with Sparta about it.
  • 411 BC: The democracy in Athens is overthrown and replaced by the oligarchic Council of Four Hundred. This council is itself soon defeated and order is almost restored, when the Five Thousand start ruling. Early next year, they are also overthrown and the old democracy is restored.
  • 410 BC: Athens regains control over its vital grain route from the Black Sea by defeating Sparta in the Battle of Cyzicus.

400s BC

  • 409 BC: Athens recaptures Byzantium, thereby putting an end to its revolt against Athens and taking control of the whole Bosporus.
  • 409 BC: The city of Rhodes is founded.
  • 409 BC: The Carthaginians invade Sicily.
  • 408 BC: The Persian king, Darius II, decides to aid Sparta in the war and makes his son Cyrus a satrap. However, Cyrus starts collecting an army to benefit his own interests, rather than his father's.
  • 408 BC: Alcibiades returns to Athens in triumph after an absence of seven years.
  • 407 BC: The Athenian fleet is routed by the Spartan one in the Battle of Notium, which gives Alcibiades' opponents a reason to strip him of command. He never returns to Athens again.
  • 406 BC: Athens defeats Sparta in the Battle of Arginusae and the blockade of Conon is lifted.
  • 406 BC: Sparta sues for peace, but Athens rejects this.
  • 406 BC: The Carthaginians once again invade Sicily and return to Carthage with spoils of war, but also with the plague.
  • 405 BC: The Spartan king Pausanias lays siege to Athens, which makes the city start starving.
  • 405 BC: Dionysius the Elder rises to power in Syracuse. He signs a peace with Carthage and starts consolidating and expanding his influence.
  • April 25, 404 BC: Athens surrenders to Sparta, ending the Peloponnesian War. Sparta introduces an oligarchic system, the Thirty Tyrants, in Athens.
  • 404 BC: Egypt rebels against Persian rule.
  • 403 BC: The Chinese state of Jin is divided into three smaller nations.[1]
  • 403 BC: Some exiled Athenians return to fight the Thirty Tyrants and restore democracy in Athens. They are, however, narrowly defeated by the Spartans in the Battle of Piraeus. After this, the Spartan king Pausanias allows democracy to be restored in Athens.
  • 403 BC: Thrasybulus restores the Athenian democracy and grants an almost general amnesty.
  • 403 BC: The Athenians adopt the Ionian alphabet.
  • 401 BC: Cyrus the Younger rebels against the Persian king Artaxerxes II but is, however, eventually slain in battle.
  • 400 BC: After Cyrus has been killed, his Greek mercenaries make their way back to Greece, where Sparta is so impressed with their feats in and march through Persia that they declare war on the Persians.
  • 400 BC: The Carthaginians occupy Malta.
  • 400 BC: The Egyptians successfully revolt against Persian rule.
  • 400 BC: London has its origins as far back as this time.
  • 400 BC: Jōmon period ends in Ancient Japan.

Significant people

Visual arts

Literature

Science and philosophy

Sports

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Sovereign states

See: List of sovereign states in the 5th century BC.

References

  1. ^ Zhao, Dingxin (2004). "Comment: Spurious Causation in a Historical Process: War and Bureaucratization in Early China". American Sociological Review. 69 (4): 603–607. doi:10.1177/000312240406900407.
Alexander I of Macedon

Alexander I of Macedon (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μακεδών), known with the title Philhellene (Greek: φιλέλλην, literally "lover of the Greeks", meaning "patriot") was the ruler of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon from c. 498 BC until his death in 454 BC. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alcetas II.

Amyrtaeus

Amyrtaeus (hellenization of the original Egyptian name Amenirdisu) of Sais is the only Pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt and is thought to be related to the royal family of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664–525 BC). He ended the first Persian occupation of Egypt (i.e. the Twenty-seventh Dynasty: 525–404 BC) and reigned from 404 BC to 399 BC. Amyrtaeus' successful insurrection inaugurated Egypt's last significant phase of independence under native sovereigns, which lasted for about 60 years until the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BC.

Archelaus I of Macedon

Archelaus I (; Greek: Ἀρχέλαος Α΄ Arkhelaos, Άρχων του Λαού, Lord of the People) was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon from 413 to 399 BC. He was a capable and beneficent ruler, known for the sweeping changes he made in state administration, the military, and commerce. By the time that he died, Archelaus had succeeded in converting Macedon into a significantly stronger power. Thucydides credited Archelaus with doing more for his kingdom's military infrastructure than all of his predecessors together.

Artaxerxes II of Persia

Artaxerxes II Mnemon (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂, meaning "whose reign is through truth") was the Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm (King of Kings) of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.

Greek authors gave him the epithet "Mnemon" (Greek: mnḗmona, in Old Persian: abiataka), meaning "remembering; having a good memory".

Artaxerxes I of Persia

Artaxerxes I (, Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂 Artaxšaça, "whose rule (xšaça < *xšaϑram) is through arta ("truth"); Hebrew: אַרְתַּחְשַׁשְׂתָּא, Modern: ʾArtaḥšásta, Tiberian: ʾArtaḥšasetāʾ; Ancient Greek: Ἀρταξέρξης, translit. Artaxérxēs) was the sixth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, from 465-424 BC. He was the third son of Xerxes I.

He may have been the "Artasyrus" mentioned by Herodotus as being a satrap of the royal satrapy of Bactria.

In Greek sources he is also surnamed "long-handed" (Ancient Greek: μακρόχειρ Makrókheir; Latin: Longimanus), allegedly because his right hand was longer than his left.

Darius II

Darius II Ochus, also Darius II Nothus (Old Persian: Dārayavahuš), was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC.The Elephantine papyri mention Darius II as a contemporary of the high priest Johanan of Ezra 10:6.Artaxerxes I, who died in 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes II was murdered by his brother Secydianus or Sogdianus (the form of the name is uncertain). His illegitimate brother, Ochus, satrap of Hyrcania, rebelled against Sogdianus, and after a short fight killed him, and suppressed by treachery the attempt of his own brother Arsites to imitate his example. Ochus adopted the name Darius (Greek sources often call him Darius Nothos, "Bastard"). Neither the names Xerxes II nor Sogdianus occur in the dates of the numerous Babylonian tablets from Nippur; here effectively the reign of Darius II follows immediately after that of Artaxerxes I.

Historians know little about Darius II's reign. A rebellion by the Medes in 409 BC is mentioned by Xenophon. It does seem that Darius II was quite dependent on his wife Parysatis. In excerpts from Ctesias some harem intrigues are recorded, in which he played a disreputable part.

Delian League

The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece. The League's modern name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the treasury stood until, in a symbolic gesture, Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BC.Shortly after its inception, Athens began to use the League's navy for its own purposes – which led to its naming by historians as the Athenian Empire. This behavior frequently led to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. By 431 BC, Athens's heavy-handed control of the Delian League prompted the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; the League was dissolved upon the war's conclusion in 404 BC under the direction of Lysander, the Spartan commander.

Demaratus

Demaratus, or Demaratos (Greek: Δημάρατος), was a king of Sparta from around 510 until 491 BC, 15th of the Eurypontid line, successor to his father Ariston. As king, he is known chiefly for his opposition to the other, co-ruling Spartan king, Cleomenes I. He later migrated to Achaemenid Persia where he was given asylum and land, and fought on the Persian side during the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Leonidas I

Leonidas I (; Doric Λεωνίδας Α´, Leōnídas A'; Ionic and Attic Greek: Λεωνίδης Α´, Leōnídēs A' [leɔːnídɛːs]; "son of the lion"; died 11 August 480 BC) was a warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta, and the 17th of the Agiad line; a dynasty which claimed descent from the mythological demigod Heracles. He was the husband of Gorgo, the daughter of Cleomenes I of Sparta. Leonidas had a notable participation in the Second Persian War, where he led the allied Greek forces to a last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) while attempting to defend the pass from the invading Persian army.

Leucippus

Leucippus (; Greek: Λεύκιππος, Leúkippos; fl. 5th cent. BCE) is reported in some ancient sources to have been a philosopher who was the earliest Greek to develop the theory of atomism—the idea that everything is composed entirely of various imperishable, indivisible elements called atoms. Leucippus often appears as the master to his pupil Democritus, a philosopher also touted as the originator of the atomic theory. However, a brief notice in Diogenes Laërtius’s life of Epicurus says that on the testimony of Epicurus, Leucippus never existed. As the philosophical heir of Democritus, Epicurus's word has some weight, and indeed a controversy over this matter raged in German scholarship for many years at the close of the 19th century. Furthermore, in his Corpus Democriteum, Thrasyllus of Alexandria, an astrologer and writer living under the emperor Tiberius (14–37 CE), compiled a list of writings on atomism that he attributed to Democritus to the exclusion of Leucippus. The present consensus among the world's historians of philosophy is that this Leucippus is historical. The matter must remain moot unless more information is forthcoming from the record.

Leucippus was most likely born in Miletus, although Abdera and Elea are also mentioned as possible birthplaces.

List of political entities in the 5th century BC

The development of states—large-scale, populous, politically centralized, and socially stratified polities/societies governed by powerful rulers—marks one of the major milestones in the evolution of human societies. Archaeologists often distinguish between primary (or pristine) states and secondary states. Primary states evolved independently through largely internal developmental processes rather than through the influence of any other pre-existing state. The earliest known primary states appeared in Mesopotamia c. 3700 BC, in Egypt c. 3300 BC, in the Indus Valley c. 2500 BC, India c. 1700 BC, and in China c. 1600 BC. As they interacted with their less developed neighbors through trade, warfare, migration, and more generalized ideological influences, the primary states directly or indirectly fostered the emergence of secondary states in surrounding areas, for example, the Hittites in Anatolia, the Minoan and Mycenaean states of the Aegean, or the Nubian kingdoms in the Sudan. According to Professor Gil Stein of the University of Chicago Oriental Institute, "The excavations and archaeological surveys of the last few decades have vastly increased both the quantity and quality of what we know about ancient states and urbanism. Archaeologists have broadened the scope of their research beyond the traditional focus on rulers and urban elites. Current research now aims at understanding the role of urban commoners, craft specialists, and village-based farmers in the overall organization of ancient states and societies. Given the immense geographical scope encompassed by the term 'the Ancient World'". The notion of a sovereign state arises in the 16th century with the development of modern diplomacy.For earlier times, the term "sovereign state" is an anachronism. What corresponded to sovereign states in the medieval and ancient period were monarchs ruling By the Grace of God, de facto feudal or imperial autocrats, or de facto independent nations or tribal confederations. This is a list of sovereign states that existed between 500 BC and 401 BC.

Panyassis

Panyassis of Halicarnassus, sometimes known as Panyasis (Ancient Greek: Πανύασις), was a 5th century BC Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey).

Philocles

Philocles (Greek: Φιλοκλῆς), was an Athenian tragic poet during the 5th century BC. Through his mother, Philopatho (Greek: Φιλοπαθώ), he had three famous uncles: Aeschylus, the famous poet, Cynaegirus, hero of the battle of Marathon, and Ameinias, hero of the battle of Salamis. The Suda claims that Philocles was the father of the tragic playwright Morsimus, who was in turn the father of the tragedian Astydamas

Scythian archers

The Scythian archers were a hypothesized police force of 5th- and early 4th-century BC Athens that is recorded in some Greek artworks and literature. The force is said to have consisted of 300 armed Scythians (a nomadic people living in the Eurasian Steppe) who were public slaves in Athens. They acted for a group of eleven elected Athenian magistrates "who were responsible for arrests and executions and for some aspects of public order" in the city.

Sogdianus of Persia

Sogdianus ( or ) was king of Persia in 424–423 BC. He ruled the Achaemenid Empire for a short time, with little recognition in his kingdom known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly an illegitimate son of Artaxerxes I by his concubine Alogyne of Babylon.

The last inscription mentioning Artaxerxes I being alive can be dated to December 24, 424 BC. His death resulted in at least three of his sons proclaiming themselves Kings. The first was Xerxes II, who was reportedly his only legitimate son by Queen Damaspia and was formerly Crown Prince. He was apparently only recognized in Persia. The second was Sogdianus himself, possibly recognized in Elam. The third was Ochus, son of Artaxerxes I by his concubine Cosmartidene of Babylon and satrap of Hyrcania. Ochus was also married to their common half-sister Parysatis, daughter of Artaxerxes I and his concubine Andia of Babylon. The first inscription of Ochus as Darius II can be dated to January 10, 423 BC. He seems to have been recognized by Medes, Babylonia and Egypt.

This chaotic state of affairs would prove short-lived. Xerxes II only ruled for forty-five days. He was reportedly murdered while drunk by Pharnacyas and Menostanes on Sogdianus' orders. Sogdianus apparently gained the support of his regions. He reigned for six months and fifteen days before being captured by his half-brother, Ochus, who rebelled against him. Sogdianus was executed by being suffocated in ash because Ochus had promised he would not die by the sword, by poison or by hunger. Ochus became Darius II; he was the sole ruler of the Persian Empire until 404 BC.

Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt

The Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXVIII, alternatively 28th Dynasty or Dynasty 28) is usually classified as the third dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Late Period. The 28th Dynasty lasted from 404 BC to 398 BC and it includes only one Pharaoh, Amyrtaeus (Amenirdis), also known as Psamtik V or Psammetichus V. Amyrtaeus was probably the grandson of the Amyrtaeus of Sais, who is known to have carried on a rebellion in 465–463 BC with the Libyan chief, Inarus (himself a grandson of Psamtik III), against the satrap Achaemenes of Achaemenid Egypt.

Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt

The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXVII, alternatively 27th Dynasty or Dynasty 27), also known as the First Egyptian Satrapy (Old Persian: Mudrāya) was effectively a province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 525 BC and 404 BC. It was founded by Cambyses II, the King of Persia, after his conquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the rebellion and crowning of Amyrtaeus as Pharaoh. A second period of Achaemenid rule in Egypt occurred under the Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt (343-322 BC).

Xerxes I

Xerxes I (; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayaṛša (Khshāyarsha ) "ruling over heroes", Greek Ξέρξης Xérxēs [ksérksɛːs]; 519–465 BC), called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Xerxes I is one of the Persian kings identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther. He is also notable in Western history for his failed invasion of Greece in 480 BC. His forces temporarily overran mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth until the losses at Salamis and Plataea a year later reversed these gains and ended the second invasion decisively. Xerxes also crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon. Roman Ghirshman says that, "After this he ceased to use the title of 'king of Babylon', calling himself simply 'king of the Persians and the Medes'."Xerxes oversaw the completion of various construction projects at Susa and Persepolis.

Xerxes II of Persia

Xerxes II (; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayaṛša (Khshāyarsha ) "ruling over heroes", Greek Ξέρξης Xérxēs [ksérksɛːs]; 519–465 BC), was a Persian king and the son and successor of Artaxerxes I.

After a reign of forty-five days, he was assassinated in 424 BC by his brother Sogdianus, who in turn was murdered by Darius II. He is an obscure historical figure known primarily from the writings of Ctesias. He was reportedly the only legitimate son of Artaxerxes I and his Queen Damaspia. He is known to have served as Crown Prince.

The last inscription mentioning Artaxerxes I being alive can be dated to 424 BC. Xerxes apparently succeeded to the throne but two of his illegitimate brothers claimed the throne for themselves. The first was Sogdianus, Artaxerxes I's son by his concubine Alogyne of Babylon. The second was Darius II, Artaxerxes I's son by his concubine Cosmartidene of Babylon, who was married to their common half-sister Parysatis, daughter of Artaxerxes I and his concubine Andia of Babylon.Xerxes II was apparently only recognized as king in Persia and Sogdianus in Elam. Ochus' first inscription as Darius II can be dated to January 10, 423 BC. He was already satrap of Hyrcania and was soon recognized by Media, Babylonia and Egypt. Xerxes II only ruled forty-five days. He was reportedly murdered by Pharnacyas and Menostanes on Sogdianus' orders, while drunk. Sogdianus apparently gained the support of his regions. Sogdianus was killed a few months later. Darius II became the sole ruler of the Persian Empire and reigned until 404 BC.

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