6th century BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
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The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC.

This century represents the peak of a period in human history popularly known as Axial Age. This period saw the emergence of five major thought streams springing from five great thinkers in different parts of the world: Buddha and Mahavira in India, Zoroaster in Persia, Pythagoras in Greece and Confucius in China. Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or slightly later.[1] This is the oldest still known grammar of any language.

In Western Asia, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after successfully rebelling against Assyrian rule. The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was ended in the 540s by Cyrus, who founded the Persian Empire in its stead. The Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.

In Iron Age Europe, the Celtic expansion was in progress. China was in the Spring and Autumn period.


590s BC[edit]

Monument 1, an Olmec colossal head at La Venta

580s BC[edit]

An engraving on an eye stone of onyx with an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II
Medieval image of Thales

570s BC[edit]

560s BC[edit]

Croesus on the pyre, Attic red-figure amphora

550s BC[edit]

540s BC[edit]

530s BC[edit]

520s BC[edit]

510s BC[edit]

Image of Laozi

500s BC[edit]

Significant people[edit]

Political leaders[edit]

Arts and entertainment[edit]


Philosophy and religion[edit]


Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]

Sovereign States[edit]

See: List of sovereign states in the 6th century BC.


  1. ^ Ritual and mantras: rules without meaning Google Books
  2. ^ "History of the SUDAN". www.historyworld.net. 2007. Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  3. ^ Daniel 10:4 Bible Online


Decades and years[edit]