|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
|285 BC by topic|
Year 285 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Canina and Lepidus (or, less frequently, year 469 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 285 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.
- June 26 – Egypt's Ptolemy I Soter abdicates. He is succeeded by his youngest son by his wife Berenice, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who has been co-regent for three years.
- A 110 metre tall lighthouse on the island of Pharos in Alexandria's harbour is completed and serves as a landmark for ships in the eastern Mediterranean. Built by Sostratus of Cnidus for Ptolemy II of Egypt, it is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is a technological triumph and is the archetype of all lighthouses since. A broad spiral ramp leads to the top, where a fire burns at night.
- Demetrius Poliorcetes is deserted by his troops and surrenders to Seleucus at Cilicia, where Seleucus keeps him a prisoner.
- Dicaearchus, Greek philosopher, cartographer, geographer, mathematician and author (b. c. 350 BC)
- Theophrastus, Greek philosopher, a native of Eressos in Lesbos, the successor of Aristotle in the Peripatetic school (b. c. 370 BC)