Athenians vote to kill all the men on the captured island of Mytilene, but the next day change their mind - almost too late. Aristophanes wins first prize in Athens for his comedy The Acharnians.
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The Greek philosopher Democritus declares that matter is composed of indivisible and indestructible atoms. Go to atomism in World Encyclopedia 1 ed. The Athenians, capturing Melos, kill all the males of the island and sell the women and children into slavery. The Persians, renewing their interest in the Aegean, fund the Spartans in the building of a fleet to match that of Athens.
The Greeks develop the three classical styles of column, the Doric, the Ionic and the Corinthian.
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A Carthaginian army lands near Marsala to begin the long involvement of Carthage in Sicily. The last remaining Athenian fleet is surprised and destroyed by the Spartans in the Hellespont. The famous Long Walls of Athens, her impregnable defence, are dismantled by the Spartans in the final act of the Peloponnesian War. Greek mercenaries, on the losing side at Cunaxa, begin a long journey home - described by Xenophon in the Anabasis. Hippocrates, on the Greek island of Kos, founds an influential school of medicine.
Socrates, convicted in Athens of impiety, is sentenced to death and drinks the hemlock. The Romans capture the nearby Etruscan town of Veii, beginning a long process of territorial expansion. Celtic tribes , pushing south through the Alps, reach Rome and sack the city. Plato establishes a school in Akademeia, a suburb of Athens. Central to Plato's philosophy is the theory that there are higher Forms of reality, of which our senses perceive only a transient shadow.
Go to Plato c. A Greek text, attributed to Polybus, argues that the human body is composed of four humours. Go to four humours in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy 2 rev ed. A Spartan army is overwhelmed at Leuctra by a smaller number of Thebans under Epaminondas. Aristotle, at the age of seventeen, comes to Athens to join Plato's academy. Go to Aristotle — bc in World Encyclopedia 1 ed.
Philip II sets about making Macedon the most powerful state in Greece. Alexander the Great is born in Pella, the capital of his father Philip II, at the heart of the expanding Macedonian kingdom. Eudoxus of Cnidus proposes the concept of transparent spheres supporting the bodies visible in the heavens. Go to Eudoxus of Cnidus c. Private financiers in Athens give loans, take deposits, change money from one currency to another and arrange credit for travellers. Go to credit in The Oxford Classical Dictionary 3 rev ed.
The earliest description of a pulley appears in a Greek text. Go to pulley in World Encyclopedia 1 ed. The citizens of Olynthus abandon their houses, with elaborate mosaic floors, when their city is attacked by Philip of Macedon. Aristotle is employed in Macedon as tutor to the year-old heir to the throne, Alexander. The theatre at Epidaurus is the earliest and best surviving example of a classical Greek stage and auditorium.
Alexander the Great, at the age of sixteen, conducts his first successful military campaign — against the Thracians. Go to artillery in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World 1 ed. Philip of Macedon persuades most of the Greek city-states, brought together in Corinth, to agree to a military alliance with himself as leader.
Before departing for the east, Alexander destroys Thebes and enslaves the Thebans for rebelling against the League of Corinth. Go to Thebes in World Encyclopedia 1 ed. Aristotle tackles wide-ranging subjects on a systematic basis, leaving to his successors an encyclopedia of contemporary thought. Pytheas, a Greek explorer, sails up the west coast of Britain and finds beyond it a more northerly land which he calls Thule.
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Go to Pytheas c. The Celts move across the Channel into Britain, soon becoming the dominant ethnic group in the island. The Greek author Theophrastus writes On the History of Plants , the earliest surviving work on botany. Go to Theophrastus c.
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The flexibility of the Roman legion transforms the Greek phalanx into an even more effective fighting machine. Vesta, goddess of the hearth, is served in Rome by virgin priestesses who tend the sacred flame in her shrine. Epicurus postulates a universe of indestructible atoms in which man himself is responsible for achieving a balanced life. Go to Epicureanism in World Encyclopedia 1 ed.
The Roman siege technique is improved by the 'tortoise' which protects the attacking force. The Colossus, a giant statue of Helios the sun god, is erected beside the harbour of Rhodes. Pyrrhus lands in Italy, with 25, men and 20 elephants, to fight for the Greek colony of Tarentum against the Romans. On the small Greek island of Samos an astronomer, Aristarchus, comes to the startling conclusion that the earth is in orbit round the sun.
Go to Aristarchus of Samos c. The first gladiatorial contests in Rome are part of the entertainment at a funeral, and soon become popular. Go to gladiator in A Dictionary of World History 2 ed. A Carthaginian quinquereme, captured by the Romans, is used as the model for the first Roman fleet - constructed in two months. Go to quinquereme in The Oxford Classical Dictionary 3 rev ed. The new Roman fleet wins a decisive victory over the Carthaginians at Mylae, thanks largely to the 'raven' corvus in Latin.
Archimedes it is said leaps out of his bath shouting eureka 'I have found it' when he perceives how to test for relative density.
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The Romans evolve a system of numerals which, until the end of the Middle Ages, is a handicap to western arithmetic. Go to Roman numeral in World Encyclopedia 1 ed. To help the king of Syracuse extract water from the hold of a ship so the story goes , Archimedes invents the screw now known by his name. Go to Archimedes' screw in World Encyclopedia 1 ed. A Roman naval victory at Trapani, off the northwest tip of Sicily, completes the blockade of the Carthaginians and ends the First Punic War.
Spain, with its mines of gold, silver and copper, is a hotly disputed region between Carthage and Rome. Hamilcar Barca dies fighting in Spain, after establishing a strong Carthaginian presence in the peninsula.
Go to Hamilcar Barca c. Sardinia and Corsica are annexed by Rome, becoming the second Roman overseas province. A treaty defines the Ebro river as the Spanish boundary between Carthage and Rome. Hannibal succeeds to the command of the Carthaginian forces in Spain, on the death of his brother-in-law Hasdrubal. Go to Hannibal c. The Greek mathematician Eratosthenes calculates the circumference of the world with the help of shadows and camels.
Hannibal crosses the Alps with his elephants, beginning the Second Punic War. Hannibal surprises and traps a Roman army on a narrow plain beside Lake Trasimene. Hannibal destroys a Roman army at Cannae, in the most severe defeat ever suffered by Rome. Carthaginian Spain is handed over to Rome to become two new provinces, at the end of the Second Punic War. The Romans, after defeating Macedon, announce at the Isthmian Games that all Greek states are now free under Roman protection.
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