2nd century BC
|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
|Decades:||190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC
140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC
|Categories:||Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
The 2nd century BC started the first day of 200 BC and ended the last day of 101 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, although depending on the region being studied, other terms may be more proper (for instance, if regarding only the Eastern Mediterranean, it would best be called part of the Hellenistic period).
Fresh from its victories in the Second Punic War, the Roman Republic continued its expansion into neighbouring territories, eventually annexing Greece, and the North African coast after completely destroying the city of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. Rome's influence was also felt in the near east, as crumbling Hellenistic states like the Seleucid Empire were forced to make treaties on Roman terms in order to avoid confrontation with the new masters of the western Mediterranean. The period is noted for the emergence of a new arrogance on the part of the Romans, which manifested itself in provincial corruption, and a shameless lust for wealth and status among the privileged classes. The end of the century witnessed the reforming of the Roman Army from a citizen army to a voluntary professional force, under the guidance of the great general and statesman Gaius Marius—(Marian Reforms).
In East Asia, China reached a high point under the Han Dynasty. The Han Empire extended its boundaries from Korea in the east to Vietnam in the South to the borders of modern day Kazakhstan in the west. Also in the 2nd century BC, the Han dispatched the explorer Zhang Qian to explore the lands to the west and to form an alliance with the Yuezhi people in order to combat the nomadic tribe of the Xiongnu.
- March 14, 190 BC: Solar eclipse recorded in Rome [Livy: Ab Urbe Condita 37.4.4].
- 175 BC: Antiochus IV Epiphanes, took possession of the Syrian throne, at the murder of his brother Seleucus IV Philopator, which rightly belonged to his nephew Demetrius I Soter.
- 168 BC: Battle of Pydna—The Macedonian phalanx defeated by Romans.
- June 21, 168 BC: Lunar eclipse recorded in Rome [Livy: Ab Urbe Condita 44.37.8].
- 164 BC, 25 Kislev: Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. Events commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.
- 147 BC: Hasmonean victories restore autonomy to Judea.
- 148 BC: Rome conquers Macedonia.
- 146 BC: Rome destroys and razes the city of Carthage in the Third Punic War.
- 133 BC: assassination of Tiberius Gracchus
- 129 BC: collapse of the Seleucid Empire.
- 121 BC: assassination of Gaius Gracchus
- 108 BC: Gojoseon-Han War—Han Dynasty finally destroyed Wanggeom seong, the capital of Wiman Joseon. And Han Dynasty founded Four Commanderies of Han to govern Wiman Joseon.
- 107 BC: Roman consul Gaius Marius passes the Marian Reforms, which remove all ownership restrictions for joining the Roman Army.
- 113 BC – 101 BC: Migration of the Cimbri and the Teutons, defeated at the battles of Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae.
- Theravada Buddhism is officially introduced to Sri Lanka by the Venerable Mahinda.
- 2nd or 1st century BC: Hagesandros, Polydoros, Athanadoros of Rhodes make Laocoön and his Sons. Perhaps the original or a Roman copy of the 1st century AD is discovered in 1506. It is now at Musei Vaticani, Museo Pio Clementino, Cortile Ottagono, Rome.
- Porta Augusta, Perugia, is built.
- House of the Vettii, Pompeii, is built.
- Late 2nd century BC – Temple perhaps dedicated to Portunes, Forum Boarium, Rome, is built.
- Late 2nd century BC or early 1st century BC – Aulus Metellus, found near Perugia, is made. It is now kept at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence.
- Shortly before 100 BC the Scythians overran Parthia.
- Buddhist monks begin to hew caves for their own use out of the stone plateaus in the region of south-central India known as the Deccan (approximate date).
- The Segestani were attacked by the Romans
- Andriscus, last independent ruler of Macedon
- Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the last effective ruler of the Seleucid Empire
- Antiochus VII Sidetes, last King of a United Seleucid Empire
- Apollonius of Perga, Greek geometer
- Appius Claudius Pulcher, Roman consul and censor
- Boiorix, king of the Cimbri
- Cicero, Roman orator and Statesman (106 BC-43 BC)
- Flaccus, musical collaborator of Terence
- Hipparchus, considered the greatest astronomical observer
- Jonathan Maccabaeus, leader of the Hasmonean rebellion and first autonomous ruler of Judea
- Judas Maccabeus, leader of the Hasmonean rebellion and its first successful general
- Liu An, Chinese prince and noted geographer
- Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, Roman general and politician
- Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Roman general and politician
- Lucius Mummius Achaicus, conqueror of Corinth
- Gaius Marius, Roman general and politician
- Perseus of Macedon, last King of the Antigonid dynasty
- Plautus, Latin playwright
- Quintus Lutatius Catulus, Roman general
- Scipio Aemilianus Africanus, conqueror of Carthage
- Sima Qian, father of Chinese historiography
- Terence, Latin playwright
- Teutobod, King of the Teutons
- Wei Qing, a general of Han Dynasty, who strike Xiongnu deeply leading Chinese army and enabled Han control Western Regions later
- Emperor Wu of Han, considered one of the greatest emperors throughout the History of China
- Zhang Qian, Chinese diplomat and explorer
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
- The Chinese first produce Paper.
- Silk Road between Europe and Asia
- Hipparchus discovers precession of Earth's equinoxes and compiles first trigonometric tables
- Liu An invented tofu
- The Roman concrete (pozzolana) first used
- Rotary mill invented by the ancient Greeks
- A system for sending signs to communicate quickly over a long distance is described by Polybios
- The earliest known winnowing machine is depicted in a Han Dynasty Chinese tomb model.
- C.Michael Hogan, Silk Road, North China, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham
- Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.
Decades and years