221 BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
221 BC in various calendars
Gregorian calendar 221 BC
Ab urbe condita 533
Ancient Egypt era XXXIII dynasty, 103
- Pharaoh Ptolemy IV Philopator, 1
Ancient Greek era 139th Olympiad, year 4
Assyrian calendar 4530
Balinese saka calendar N/A
Bengali calendar −813
Berber calendar 730
Buddhist calendar 324
Burmese calendar −858
Byzantine calendar 5288–5289
Chinese calendar 己卯(Earth Rabbit)
2476 or 2416
    — to —
庚辰年 (Metal Dragon)
2477 or 2417
Coptic calendar −504 – −503
Discordian calendar 946
Ethiopian calendar −228 – −227
Hebrew calendar 3540–3541
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat −164 – −163
 - Shaka Samvat N/A
 - Kali Yuga 2880–2881
Holocene calendar 9780
Iranian calendar 842 BP – 841 BP
Islamic calendar 868 BH – 867 BH
Javanese calendar N/A
Julian calendar N/A
Korean calendar 2113
Minguo calendar 2132 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar −1688
Seleucid era 91/92 AG
Thai solar calendar 322–323
Tibetan calendar 阴土兔年
(female Earth-Rabbit)
−94 or −475 or −1247
    — to —
(male Iron-Dragon)
−93 or −474 or −1246

Year 221 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Asina and Rufus/Lepidus (or, less frequently, year 533 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 221 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


By place[edit]


  • The Carthaginian general Hasdrubal is murdered by a Celtic assassin while campaigning to increase the Carthaginian hold on Spain. Following the assassination of Hasdrubal, Hannibal, the son of the Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, is proclaimed commander-in-chief by the army and his appointment is confirmed by the Carthaginian government.
  • Hannibal immediately moves to consolidate Carthage's control of Spain. He marries a Spanish princess, Imilce, then begins to conquer various Spanish tribes. He fights against the Olcades and captures their capital, Althaea; quells the Vaccaei in the northwest; and, making the seaport of Cartagena (Carthago Nova, the capital of Carthaginian Spain) his base, wins a resounding victory over the Carpetani in the region of the Tagus River.


Seleucid Empire[edit]

  • The satrap of Media, Molon, and his brother, Alexander, revolt against Antiochus III, primarily due to their hatred towards Hermeias, Antiochus' chief minister. Molon is able to become master of the Seleucid domains to the east of the Tigris. He is stopped by Antioochus III's forces in his attempts to pass that river. Xenoetas, one of Antiochus' generals, is sent against Molon with a large force, but is surprised by Molon's forces and his whole army is cut to pieces and Xenoetas is killed. The rebel satrap now crosses the Tigris, and makes himself master of the city of Seleucia on the Tigris, together with the whole of Babylonia and Mesopotamia.


Roman Republic[edit]


  • The state of Qi – by now the only other independent state in China – surrenders to the state of Qin without a fight. Ying Zheng, the king of Qin unifies China and proclaims himself the First Emperor, as he is the first Chinese sovereign able to rule the whole country, thus ending the Warring States period. He is known by historians as Qin Shi Huang.
  • The Chinese bronze age ends (approximate date).