279 BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
279 BC in various calendars
Gregorian calendar279 BC
Ab urbe condita475
Ancient Egypt eraXXXIII dynasty, 45
- PharaohPtolemy II Philadelphus, 5
Ancient Greek era125th Olympiad, year 2
Assyrian calendar4472
Balinese saka calendarN/A
Bengali calendar−871
Berber calendar672
Buddhist calendar266
Burmese calendar−916
Byzantine calendar5230–5231
Chinese calendar辛巳年 (Metal Snake)
2419 or 2212
    — to —
壬午年 (Water Horse)
2420 or 2213
Coptic calendar−562 – −561
Discordian calendar888
Ethiopian calendar−286 – −285
Hebrew calendar3482–3483
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat−222 – −221
 - Shaka SamvatN/A
 - Kali Yuga2822–2823
Holocene calendar9722
Iranian calendar900 BP – 899 BP
Islamic calendar928 BH – 927 BH
Javanese calendarN/A
Julian calendarN/A
Korean calendar2055
Minguo calendar2190 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−1746
Seleucid era33/34 AG
Thai solar calendar264–265
Tibetan calendar阴金蛇年
(female Iron-Snake)
−152 or −533 or −1305
    — to —
(male Water-Horse)
−151 or −532 or −1304
The west Mediterranean in 279 BC.

Year 279 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Publius Sulpicius Saverrio and Publius Decius Mus (or, less frequently, year 475 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 279 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 many years.


By place[edit]


  • An army of Gauls under Brennus invade Greece. A section of the army, commanded by Bolgios, crushes a Macedonian army led by Ptolemy Keraunos, who is killed in the battle. At the narrow pass of Thermopylae, on the east coast of Central Greece, Brennus' forces suffer heavy losses while trying to break through the Greek defence comprising the Phocians and the Aetolians. Eventually Brennus finds a way around the pass but the Greeks escape by sea. Brennus pushes on to Delphi where he is defeated and forced to retreat, after which he dies of wounds sustained in the battle. His army falls back to the river Spercheios where it is routed by Thessalians and Malians. Some of the survivors settle in a part of Asia Minor that will eventually be called Galatia, while some settle in Thrace, founding a short-lived city-state named Tylis.
  • With the death of Ptolemy Keraunos, the previous King of Macedonia, Antipater II becomes king again. However, his new reign lasts only a few months before he is killed by his cousin Sosthenes who becomes the new King of Macedonia.
  • The Phocians are readmitted into the Amphictyonic League after they have joined in the defence of Delphi against the Gauls.

Roman Republic[edit]

  • The Carthaginians and the Romans agree to support each other against a common foe. The Carthaginians give Rome money and ships in their fight against Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus.
  • Pyrrhus realizes that he cannot capture Rome and suggests peace terms to the Romans. Pyrrhus sends his chief advisor, Cineas, to Rome to negotiate a peace. Cineas demands that the Romans halt their aggression against the Greeks of southern Italy and restore the lands the Romans have taken from the Bruttii, the Apulians, and the Samnites. The Romans reject his demands, largely at the instigation of the former Roman censor, Appius Claudius Caecus.
  • In renewed fighting, Pyrrhus of Epirus, leading the combined Tarantine, Oscan, Samnite, and Greek forces, wins a 'Pyrrhic victory' against the Romans led by consul Publius Decius Mus at the Battle of Asculum, called such because his victory comes at a great cost to his own forces. Pyrrhus is reported to have said afterwards, "One more victory against the Romans and we shall be utterly ruined!" Disheartened, Pyrrhus retires to Tarentum and sends Cineas to make renewed peace overtures to Rome. These talks are inconclusive.


The Balkans[edit]





  1. ^ Qian, Sima. Records of the Grand Historian, Section: Basic Annals of Qin, Section: Bai Qi.
  2. ^ Qian, Sima. Records of the Grand Historian, Section: Lian Po.