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Eastern hemisphere at the end of the 3rd century BC.
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.
Overview [ edit ]
Mediterranean 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 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.
India, Ashoka the Great ruled the Maurya Empire. The Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties of the classical age flourished in the ancient Tamil country. The Xiong Nu were at the height of their power in Mongolia. The Warring States period in China drew to a close, with Qin Shihuang conquering 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. The Protohistoric Period began in the Korean peninsula.
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, first battle of the Third Samnite War
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 then capture the Samnite cities of
Taurasia, Bovianum Vetus and Aufidena
Agathocles, king of Syracuse, Sicily, assists the Italian Greeks against the Bruttians and supported the Greeks against the Romans
Ptolemy gives his stepdaughter Theoxena in marriage to Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse Ptolemy finally brings the rebellious region of
Cyrene under his control. He places the region under the rule of his stepson Magas.
Bindusara succeeds his father Chandragupta Maurya as emperor of the Mauryan Empire Theater,
Epidauros, is built with later additions
The Pyramid of the Moon, one of several monuments built in
Significant people [ edit ]
Mencius, Chinese philosopher and sage (371 BC–289 BC)
Euclid, geometer (c. 365 BC–275 BC)
Qu Yuan, Chinese poet and scholar from State of Chu (340 BC–278 BC)
Ilamcetcenni, Cholas ruler of South India in Sangam Age around 301 BC.
Han Fei, Chinese philosopher from State of Han (280 BC–233 BC)
Ashoka the Great, Mauryan ruler of India (304 BC–232 BC, reigned 269 BC–232 BC)
Diodotus I Soter, Seleucid satrap of Bactria, first ruler of Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (285 BC–239 BC, reigned 255 BC–239 BC)
Qin Shi Huang, Chinese Emperor (259 BC–210 BC, reigned 246 BC–210 BC)
Emperor Gaozu of Han, founder of the Han Dynasty in China, (256 BC–195 BC, reigned 202 BC–195 BC)
Xiang Yu (232 BC–202 BC), Chinese rebel general against the Qin Dynasty and nemesis of Liu Bang in the Chu-Han contention.
Archimedes of Syracuse, mathematician, physicist, and engineer (c. 287 BC–212 BC)
Eratosthenes (c. 276 BC–194 BC), Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer
Apollonius of Perga, mathematician (c. 262 BC–190 BC)
Hannibal, military leader of Carthage (247 BC–182 BC) the "second"
Brennus, Gaulish chieftain, invades Macedonia in 279 BC The
Ptolemaic dynasty rules Egypt
Appius Claudius Caecus, Aqua Appia, Via Appia, invented letter G
Arcesilaus, founder of new Academy
Manetho, wrote History of Egypt
Xun Zi, founder of Legalism (philosophy)
Zeno of Citium, founder of Stoicism
Bai Qi, Chinese general
Song Yu, Chinese poet
Apollonius of Rhodes, author of Jason and the Argonauts
Ch'a Ruler I Ajaw of Palenque ( 252- ? BC)
Inventions, discoveries, introductions [ edit ]
Eratosthenes accurately calculates diameter of the Earth.
Weiqi well-established in China, and may date back to the 2nd millennium BC. Stone of Canopus (for Ptolemy III), No. 1, in Rosetta Stone Series of 3 stones. Implements leap year in Egypt. Leap year not formally recognized until Caesar in 55 BC.
293 BC: first Roman
sundial [Pliny (79ce): Natural History 7.213].
Water screw invented by Archimedes. Invention of the
musical instrument hydraulis, the precursory to the Pipe organ by Ctesibius, a Greek engineer working in Alexandria.
Emperor Gaozu of Han China discovers an elaborate mechanical puppet theater in the treasury of the previous ruler Qin Shihuang. The enormous
Du Jiang Yan Irrigation System of China is engineered and constructed by Li Bing in 256 BC. Burial chamber, Tomb of the Reliefs,
Cerveteri, is made. Great Stupa,
Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India, Maurya period, is founded by King Ashoka.
Silk is exported to Europe from China.
Armillary spheres, models of objects in the sky developed by the Greeks, are in use as teaching tools.
Evidence [ edit ]
Much of what is known of this century comes from the works of the Greek historian
Polybius, whose main concern is the story of how Rome comes to dominate the known world.
Decades and years [ edit ]