400s BC (decade)

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Centuries: 6th century BC5th century BC4th century BC
Decades: 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC400s BC390s BC 380s BC 370s BC
Years: 409 BC 408 BC 407 BC 406 BC 405 BC 404 BC 403 BC 402 BC 401 BC 400 BC
Categories: BirthsDeathsArchitecture
EstablishmentsDisestablishments

400s BC: events by year[edit]

Contents: 409 BC 408 BC 407 BC 406 BC 405 BC 404 BC 403 BC 402 BC 401 BC 400 BC

409 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

Carthage[edit]

  • Taking advantage of the quarrels between the Greek cities in Sicily and of the mutual exhaustion of Athens and Syracuse, Carthage seeks to reimpose its influence over the island. Hannibal Mago, grandson of Hamilcar, invades Sicily with a strong force. He defeats the Sicilian Greeks and avenges his grandfather through the torture and killing of 3,000 Greek prisoners. He captures the cities of Selinus (modern Selinunte) and Himera, before returning triumphantly to Carthage with the spoils of war.

By topic[edit]

Literature[edit]

408 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Persian Empire[edit]

  • King Darius II of Persia decides to continue the war against Athens and give support to the Spartans. His wife, Parysatis, persuades him to appoint his younger son, Cyrus, as satrap (governor) of Lydia, Phrygia, and Cappadocia and commander in chief of the Achaemenian forces in Asia Minor in place of Tissaphernes.
  • Tissaphernes' influence is limited to the satrapy of Caria. Darius II also gives Cyrus funds to re-create the Spartan fleet and sends him to Sardis with instructions to increase Persian support for Sparta. Cyrus begins to collect an army of mercenaries (including Greeks) for his own ends.

Greece[edit]

  • Alcibiades enters Athens in triumph after an absence of 7 years. He leads the religious procession from Athens to Eleusis, thus atoning for his alleged impiety in 415 BC when he was held to have joined in profaning the Sacred Mysteries. Alcibiades is appointed commander-in-chief with autocratic powers and leaves for Samos to rejoin his fleet.
  • The Spartan admiral Lysander arrives at Ephesus in autumn and builds up a great fleet with help from the new Persian satrap, Cyrus.
  • At the Panhellenic gathering at Olympia, the philosopher Gorgias speaks out against the Spartan alliance with Persia.

Sicily[edit]

By topic[edit]

Literature[edit]

407 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

Sicily[edit]

  • The exiled former leader of the moderate democrats of Syracuse, Hermocrates, is killed while attempting to force his way back into Syracuse.

406 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • Callicratidas is appointed as the navarch of the Spartan fleet, replacing Lysander. Callicratidas assembles a fleet and sails to Methymna, on Lesbos, to which he lays siege. This move threatens the Athenian grain supply.
  • Alcibiades is replaced by a board of generals. Athens sends a member of the board, Admiral Conon, to relieve the siege of Mytilene. To defend Lesbos, Conon is forced to move his numerically inferior fleet from Samos to the Hekatonnesi islands near Methymna. When Callicratidas attacks him, Conon is forced back to Mytilene, where he is blockaded by Callicratidas' Spartan fleet.
  • Athens wins the Battle of Arginusae, near Lesbos, and the blockade of Conon is broken. To relieve Conon, the Athenians assemble a new fleet composed largely of newly constructed ships manned by inexperienced crews. This inexperienced fleet is inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders employ new and unorthodox tactics, which allow the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory. The Spartan force is soundly defeated, and Callicratidas is killed.
  • Returning to Athens after the battle, Theramenes leads Athenian agitation against the eight generals who have commanded in the engagement; the six who have returned to Athens are condemned for negligence in not having picked up survivors from the ships disabled in the battle. The Athenian generals (including Pericles' son) are put to death.
  • Sparta sues for peace, which the Athenian leader Cleophon rejects. Sparta yields to demands by the Persian satrap Cyrus that Lysander command a fleet in the Hellespont.

Roman Republic[edit]

  • The Roman forces begin a decade-long siege against Veii.

Carthage[edit]

  • The Carthaginians again invade Sicily and attack Agrigentum (Acragas). Plague breaks out in their camp and Hannibal Mago dies. Himilco assumes command and captures Agrigentum (Acragas), Gela and Camarina. Gela is destroyed and its treasures sacked. The survivors take refuge in Syracuse. The plague is carried back to Carthage by its soldiers.

405 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

Sicily[edit]

  • Dionysius the Elder rises to power as the tyrant of Syracuse. He makes peace with the Carthaginian general, Himilco (whose army has been weakened by the plague), and fortifies Syracuse. This treaty leaves Carthage in control of most of Sicily.
  • Dionysius the Elder ruthlessly consolidates and expands his power. He builds a wall around Syracuse and fortifies Epipolae. The Greek citizens of Naxos, Catana, and Leontini are removed from their cities; many of them are enslaved and their homes are given to Sicilian and Italian mercenaries. Dionysius prepares his army to fight against Carthage, which now occupies western and southern Sicily.

By topic[edit]

Drama[edit]

Art[edit]

404 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • The Athenian leader Cleophon continues to urge resistance against the Peloponnesians, but the situation becomes desperate and he is arrested, condemned to death and executed.
  • April 25Athens, full of refugees and weakened by plague and hunger, capitulates and the Peloponnesian War ends.
  • Theramenes secures terms that save the city of Athens from destruction. The Spartans allow Athens to retain its independence. However, Athens loses all its foreign possessions and what is left of its fleet and is required to become an ally of Sparta. The Long Walls around Athens are pulled down. Greek towns across the Aegean Sea in Ionia are again the subjects of the Persian Empire.
  • The Spartan general, Lysander, puts in place a puppet government in Athens with the establishment of the oligarchy of the "Thirty Tyrants" under Critias and including Theramenes as a leading member. This government executes a number of citizens and deprives all but a few of their rights.
  • Many of Athens' former allies are now ruled by boards of ten (decarchy), often reinforced with garrisons under a Spartan commander (Harmost).
  • The Athenian general Thrasybulus is exiled by the Thirty (the oligarchy of Athens), and he retires to Thebes.
  • A split develops between Theramenes and Critias who has Theramenes killed (by drinking poison) on charges of treason.
  • Emerging after the Spartan victory at Aegospotami, the former Athenian leader, Alcibiades, takes refuge in Phrygia in northwestern Asia Minor with the Persian satrap, Pharnabazus, and seeks their assistance for the Athenians. The Spartans discover his plans and arrange with Pharnabazus to have him assassinated.
  • Lysander sails to Samos and conquers it for Sparta.

Egypt[edit]

Persian Empire[edit]

  • The Persian King Darius II dies of an illness in Babylon. He is succeeded by his son Artaxerxes II (Memnon—'the Mindful').
  • Darius II's younger son, Cyrus, is accused by Tissaphernes, the satrap of Caria, of plotting his brother Artaxerxes II's murder. On the intercession of Artaxerxes II and Cyrus's mother, Parysatis, however, Cyrus is pardoned and sent back to his satrapy.

403 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • Thrasybulus leads the democratic resistance to the new oligarchic government, known as the Thirty Tyrants, that the victorious Spartans have imposed on Athens. He commands a small force of exiles that invades Attica and, in successive battles, defeats first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchic government (which includes the Spartan general, Lysander) in the Battle of Munychia. The leader of the Thirty Tyrants, Critias, is killed in the battle.
  • The Battle of Piraeus is fought between Athenian exiles, who have defeated the government of the Thirty Tyrants and occupied Piraeus, and a Spartan force sent to combat them. In the battle, the Spartans narrowly defeat the exiles, with both sides suffering large numbers of casualties. After the battle, the Agiad King of Sparta, Pausanias arranges a settlement between the two parties which allows the reunification of Athens and Piraeus, and the re-establishment of democratic government in Athens. The remaining oligarchic Thirty Tyrants are allowed to flee to Eleusis.
  • Thrasybulus restores democratic institutions to Athens and grants amnesties to all except the oligarchic extremists. He is helped by Lysias, the Athenian orator, in arguing the case against the oligarchy.
  • Andocides, Athenian orator and politician, who has been implicated in the mutilation of the Herms on the eve of the departure of the Athenian expedition against Sicily in 415 BC, returns from exile under the general amnesty.

China[edit]

By topic[edit]

Literature[edit]

402 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]

401 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Persian empire[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • The Greek mercenaries fighting for Cyrus are left stranded after Cyrus' defeat. They fight their way north through hostile Persians, Armenians, and Kurds to Trapezus on the coast of the Black Sea under Xenophon, who becomes their leader when the Persian satrap, Tissaphernes has Clearchus of Sparta and the other senior Greek captains captured and executed by Artaxerxes.
  • Agesilaus II becomes king of Sparta on the death of his stepbrother Agis II.

China[edit]

By topic[edit]

Literature[edit]

400 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

  • Artaxerxes II King of Persia appoints Tissaphernes to take over all the districts in Asia Minor over which Artaxerxes II's brother Cyrus had been governor before his revolt.
  • Xenophon's "Ten Thousand" make their way back to Greece, with most of the men enlisting with the Spartans. Xenophon's successful march through the Persian Empire encourages Sparta to turn on the Persians and begin wars against the Persians in Asia Minor.
  • With the outbreak of the war between Sparta and the Persians, the Athenian admiral, Conon, obtains joint command, with Pharnabazus, of a Persian fleet.
  • War breaks out between Sparta and Elis.
  • The Carthaginians occupy Malta.
  • London has its origins on a rise above marshy waters at the point where the Walbrook joins the River Thames. The Celtic king, Belin, rebuilds an earth wall surrounding a few dozen huts and orders a small landing place to be cut into the south side of the wall, along the river front, where a wooden quay is built (approximate date)
  • Amyrtaeus of Sais successfully completes a revolt against Persian control by gaining control of all of Upper Egypt.
  • The Olmec culture in Mesoamerica comes to an end as its city of La Venta is abandoned (around this year).
  • San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán is abandoned (around this year).

By topic[edit]


Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

References[edit]