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|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
|438 BC by topic|
|Gregorian calendar||438 BC|
|Ab urbe condita||316|
|Ancient Egypt era||XXVII dynasty, 88|
|- Pharaoh||Artaxerxes I of Persia, 28|
|Ancient Greek era||85th Olympiad, year 3|
|Balinese saka calendar||N/A|
|Chinese calendar||壬寅年 (Water Tiger)|
2259 or 2199
— to —
癸卯年 (Water Rabbit)
2260 or 2200
|Coptic calendar||−721 – −720|
|Ethiopian calendar||−445 – −444|
|- Vikram Samvat||−381 – −380|
|- Shaka Samvat||N/A|
|- Kali Yuga||2663–2664|
|Iranian calendar||1059 BP – 1058 BP|
|Islamic calendar||1092 BH – 1091 BH|
|Minguo calendar||2349 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||105–106|
−311 or −692 or −1464
— to —
−310 or −691 or −1463
Year 438 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Macerinus, Iullus and Cincinnatus (or, less frequently, year 316 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 438 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 Parthenon on the Acropolis at Athens is completed by Ictinus and Callicrates and is consecrated after 9 years of construction. It is dedicated at the Panathenaea (a festival held in honour of Athena every four years on the Acropolis).
- The colossal statue of the Athena Parthenos, which Phidias has made for the Parthenon, is completed and dedicated. It is made of gold and ivory and stands some 12 metres high.
- Telephus, a play by the renowned playwright Euripides, is produced in Athens. This tragedy did not survive to modern times.
- The Greek playwright Euripides' play Alcestis is performed in the Dionysia, an Athenian dramatic festival.
- Three seated Goddesses (possibly Hestia, Dione and Aphrodite), from the east pediment of the Parthenon, are made (finished in 432 BC). They are now kept at The British Museum in London.
- The Ionic frieze on the north side of the Parthenon, is created (finished in 432 BC). Parts of this frieze are now preserved in museums in Europe, including the Horsemen (at the British Museum, London), and the Marshals and Young Women (now at Musée du Louvre, Paris), which once formed part of the Procession on the frieze.