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|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
|396 BC by topic|
|Gregorian calendar||396 BC|
|Ab urbe condita||358|
|Ancient Egypt era||XXIX dynasty, 3|
|- Pharaoh||Nepherites I, 3|
|Ancient Greek era||96th Olympiad (victor)¹|
|Balinese saka calendar||N/A|
|Chinese calendar||甲申年 (Wood Monkey)|
2301 or 2241
— to —
乙酉年 (Wood Rooster)
2302 or 2242
|Coptic calendar||−679 – −678|
|Ethiopian calendar||−403 – −402|
|- Vikram Samvat||−339 – −338|
|- Shaka Samvat||N/A|
|- Kali Yuga||2705–2706|
|Iranian calendar||1017 BP – 1016 BP|
|Islamic calendar||1048 BH – 1047 BH|
|Minguo calendar||2307 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||147–148|
−269 or −650 or −1422
— to —
−268 or −649 or −1421
Year 396 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Saccus, Capitolinus, Esquilinus, Augurinus, Capitolinus and Priscus (or, less frequently, year 358 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 396 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.
- The Persians assemble a joint Phoenician, Cilician, and Cypriot fleet, under the command of the experienced Athenian admiral, Conon, and seize Rhodes.
- The Carthaginians are forced to abandon their siege of Syracuse (begun in 398 BC), but destroy Messina. Dionysius' first war with Carthage ends with a notable victory for Dionysius, who confines his enemy's power to an area of northwest Sicily. On his return home, the Carthaginian general, Himilco, commits suicide.
- Agesilaus II, the King of Sparta, campaigns successfully in Asia Minor against the Persian satraps Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes and inflicts a major defeat on Tissaphernes at Sardis. Agesilaus agrees to a three months' truce with the Persians under Tissaphernes, the satrap of Lydia and Caria. Negotiations conducted during that time prove fruitless, and on its termination, Agesilaus raids Phrygia, where he easily captures an immense amount of booty, since Tissaphernes has concentrated his troops in Caria.
- Marcus Furius Camillus is made dictator by the Romans. Camillus finally destroys the Etruscan city of Veii in southern Etruria as the town falls to Roman forces after what is said to be a 10 year siege. The capture of Veii and its surrounding territories marks the first major expansion of Rome which doubles its territory after this victory.
- The Romans introduce pay for their army.
- Kyniska becomes the first woman to win an event at the Olympic Games when the horse-drawn chariot she sponsors crosses the finish line first, even though the prohibition on women competing forces her to hire a man to drive it.
- Lycurgus, Athenian statesman and orator (d. 323 BC)
- Venus, Greek philosopher and scholar (or rector) of the Academy (d. 314 BC)