278 BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
278 BC in various calendars
Gregorian calendar278 BC
Ab urbe condita476
Ancient Egypt eraXXXIII dynasty, 46
- PharaohPtolemy II Philadelphus, 6
Ancient Greek era125th Olympiad, year 3
Assyrian calendar4473
Balinese saka calendarN/A
Bengali calendar−870
Berber calendar673
Buddhist calendar267
Burmese calendar−915
Byzantine calendar5231–5232
Chinese calendar壬午年 (Water Horse)
2419 or 2359
    — to —
癸未年 (Water Goat)
2420 or 2360
Coptic calendar−561 – −560
Discordian calendar889
Ethiopian calendar−285 – −284
Hebrew calendar3483–3484
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat−221 – −220
 - Shaka SamvatN/A
 - Kali Yuga2823–2824
Holocene calendar9723
Iranian calendar899 BP – 898 BP
Islamic calendar927 BH – 926 BH
Javanese calendarN/A
Julian calendarN/A
Korean calendar2056
Minguo calendar2189 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−1745
Seleucid era34/35 AG
Thai solar calendar265–266
Tibetan calendar阳水马年
(male Water-Horse)
−151 or −532 or −1304
    — to —
(female Water-Goat)
−150 or −531 or −1303

Year 278 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Luscinus and Papus (or, less frequently, year 476 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 278 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.[1]


By place[edit]

Seleucid Empire[edit]

  • After their defeats in Greece, the Gauls move into Asia Minor. The Seleucid king Antiochus wins a major battle over the Gauls leading to his being given the title of Soter (Greek for "saviour"). The Gauls settle down to become the "Galatians" and are paid 2,000 talents annually by the Seleucid kings to keep the peace.
  • Antigonus concludes a peace with Antiochus who surrenders his claim to Macedonia. Thereafter Antigonus II's foreign policy is marked by friendship with the Seleucids.
  • Nicomedes I becomes the first ruler of Bithynia to assume the title of king. He founds the city of Nicomedia, which soon rises to great prosperity.


  • The Carthaginians seize an opportunity to interfere in a quarrel between Syracuse and Agrigentum and besiege Syracuse. The Syracusans ask for help from Pyrrhus and Pyrrhus transfers his army there.
  • On his arrival in Sicily, Pyrrhus' forces win battles against the Carthaginians across Sicily. Pyrrhus conquers almost all of Sicily except for Lilybaeum (Marsala).
  • Pyrrhus is proclaimed king of Sicily. He plans for his son Helenus to inherit the kingdom of Sicily and his other son Alexander to inherit Italy.


  • The heartland of the State of Chu in the modern Hubei province is overrun by the powerful state of Qin from the west under Bai Qi's leadership. Sailing down the Han river from Bashu, Bai Qi captures Ying - the capital of Chu - as well as Yiling, and his army reaches as far as Jingling. Bai Qi is honoured as Lord Wu'an (武安君; literally: Lord of Martial Peace). The Chu government moves to the east, occupying various temporary capitals until settling in Shouchun in 241 BC.[2]
  • Qu Yuan writes the poem "Lament for Ying" after the fall of the capital of Chu.




  1. ^ "278 B.C. - events and references - Attalus.org".
  2. ^ Qian, Sima. Records of the Grand Historian, Section: Basic Annals of Qin, Section: Bai Qi.