The Real Life Age of Empires
Quick jump into the story. Choose your century and enjoy
3000BC ~ 2000BC ~ 1500BC ~ 1000BC
700BC ~ 550BC
Agriculture is brought by immigrants from the highlands of Palestine
to the Nile Valley.
In Sumer, early settlements appears between the rivers
Primitive farmers came down from the Zagros Mountains and learn
to control flooding with dikes, and how to irrigate their summer
Agricultural communities gradually form city-states along the banks
of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
The Summerians learn how to obtain copper from ore and to make bronze
by 3500 BC.
The world's first cities appear along the banks of the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers just north of what is now the Persian Gulf.
these cities make up the Uruk culture, named after the principal
city, Uruk, which is the Biblical Erech. This culture invents writing
and the lunar calendar, uses metals extensively, develops a practice
of medicine, and builds monumental architecture. Even so, no unified
government links these cities, and they remain independent for almost
one thousand years.
The earliest known prehistoric civilizations occupy the Aegean world.
This period marks the rise and fall of the Minoan and Mycenaean
Archeological evidence indicates that the Sumerians are making use
of wheeled transportation.
The Indus Valley civilization grows up along the banks of the Indus
River in what is now Pakistan. The two most important sites uncovered
so far by archeologists are Harappa and Mohenjo-Dara; both cities
show considerable development including multi-level houses and
plumbing. The Indus Valley civilization appears to have collapsed
because natural disaster altered the course of the Indus River.
Cuneiform writing emerges in Mesopotamia. This form of writing,
involving wedge-shaped characters, is used to record the first epics
in world history, including Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta and
the first stories about Gilgamesh.
King Menes of Upper Egypt conquers Lower Egypt and establishes
the First Dinasty.
During this period in ancient Egypt, the Archaic period, Narmer
unites Egypt. Hieroglyphic writing develops.
Large populations conglomerate around the Nile River due to the
abundance of food. Flooding is under control and irrigation put
much more land under cultivation.
In Egypt, the 365 day calendar is introduced.
The Sumerian King, Gilgamesh, rules the city of Uruk, which has
now grown to a population of more than 50,000. Gilgamesh is the
subject of many epics, including the Sumerian "Gilgamesh and
Enkidu in the Nether World" and the Babylonian "Epic of
King Djoser founds the third dynasty in Egypt thereby issuing the
period of the Old Kingdom, which lasts until 2200. He also builds
the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the first known pyramid in Egypt. During
the Old Kingdom, the power of the pharaoh is absolute.
Pharoah Khufu builds the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
Sargon I seizes the throne of Kish, and gradually conquers all of
the city-states of Akkadia. Sargon will establish the first Empire
of history, extending his control along the Fertile Crescent from
Elam, to the east of Sumer, to the Mediterranean coast.
Sargon I founds and rules the city-state of Akkad, after leaving
the city of Kish, where he was an important official. Sargon is
the first ruler in history to maintain a standing army. Even so,
his empire lasts less than two hundred years.
Sargon conquers the independent city-states of Sumer and institutes
a central government. But by 2130, Sumer regains its independence
from Akkadian rule, though it does not revert back to independent
city-states. At this time, Sumer is ruled from the important city
Cultural exchange between the Indus Valley civilization and
(present day Iraq) is especially prominent.
In the Far East, the Hsia Dynasty unfolds during this period.
no archeological evidence to date has confirmed this.
The first intermediate period of Egypt begins with the collapse
of the Old Kingdom, mostly because of crop failure combined with
low revenue due to the pyramid building projects. It ends in 2050.
Indo-European invaders, speaking the earliest forms of Greek,
the mainland of Greece, and the Mycenaean Civilization (named after
the leading Greek city on the peninsula from 1600-1200 BCE)
The Sumerian King List is written, recording all the kings and
ruling Sumer from the earliest times. According to this list, Eridu
is named as the earliest settlement, a claim that seems to be
by archeological evidence.
In Egypt, the period of the Middle Kingdom begins with its capital
at Thebes. It ends in 1786. Around this time, an early political
treatise, The Plea of the Eloquent Peasant, is written, calling
for a benevolent ruler.
The Egyptians domesticate the cat for the purpose of catching snakes.
Around this time, advances in astronomy enable the Egyptians to
predict the annual flooding of the Nile.
The Old Babylonian period begins in Mesopotamia after the collapse
of Sumer, probably due to an increase in the salt content of the
soil thereby making farming difficult. Considerably weakened by
poor crops, and therefore a lack of surplus goods, the Sumerians
are conquered by the Amorites, who are situated in Babylon.
the center of civility shifts to the north. Though they preserve
most of the Sumerian culture, the Amorites introduce their semetic
language, an early ancestor to Hebrew, into the region.
Minoan Civilization (named after the Cretan ruler Minos) reaches
its height with its central power in Knossos on the island of Crete.
This culture is apparently more female-oriented and peaceful than
others at the time.
Indo-European immigrants slowly inhabit Italy by way of the Alps.
They bring the horse, the wheeled cart, and artistic knowledge of
bronze work to the Italian peninsula. Two different groups, the
Greeks and the Etruscans, occupy different regions of the peninsula
during the eighth century.
The Twelfth Dynasty, Egypt's "golden" age, begins. It
ends with the Middle Kingdom in 1786. During this period, power
is somewhat distributed through the social classes. Religion shifts
from a wealth-based system to one based on proper conduct. Queen
Soreknofru is one of the rulers during this dynasty.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is redacted from Sumerian sources and written
in the semetic language. Thus, though Gilgamesh was Sumerian, his
Epic is Babylonian.
Babylonia is founded as a kingdom by Semetic Amorite barbarians
who overran much of Canaan, Akkad, and Sumer one hundred years
The Hittites begins expanding their kingdom, using both force and
diplomacy to bring rival city-states and kingdoms in Asia Minor
under their control. Hattusas, their greatest capital had previously
been the capital of the Hatti, one of their many conquests.
The Minoans have developed a new script, now called Linear A.
Sometime between these dates a semetic group of nomads migrate from
Sumer to Canaan and then on to Egypt. They are led by a caravan
trader, the Patriarch Abraham, who will become the father of the
nation of Israel.
The Old Babylonians are employing advanced mathematical operations,
such as, multiplication, division and square roots. In addition,
they are using a duodecimal system (a system based on 12 and 6)
to measure time. We still use their system for counting minutes
An Amorite king of the Assyrians had established control over most
of northern Mesopotamia. Their power was short-lived in this period,
due first to the rise of Babylonia under Hammurabi and the rise
of the Mitanni in modern Syria.
The small kingdom of Babylonia is inherited by Hammurabi, who will
rules until 1750. During those 42 years, Hammurabi will extend the
kingdom to encompass all of Sumer to the east and Akkad to the north.
He will defeat and push back the barbarian Gutians of the Zagros
Mountains, as well as the Elamites and the Assyrians. This was the
first Great Babylonian empire.
In Egypt, the second intermediate period begins due to internal
dissention between the nobility and the pharaoh. It lasts until
The Shang Dynasty, according to tradition, the second dynasty in
ancient China, begins. It florishes on the banks of the Yellow River
around 1400 and ends around 1027. The Shang Dynasty is known for
its use of bronze containers, oracle bones, and human sacrifice,
a practice that ends shortly after the collapse of the dynasty.
The Amorite King, Hammurabi, conquers all of Sumer. Around the same
time, he writes his Code of Laws containing 282 rules including
the principles of an eye for an eye and let the buyer beware. It
is one of the first codes of law in world history, predated only
by the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar.
Hammurabi dies, but his empire lasts for another one hundred and
fifty years, until 1600, when the Kassites, a non-semetic people,
conquer most of Mesopotamia with the help of light chariot
A revolution against the Hyksos begins in Upper (southern) Egypt
and spreads throughout the country.
The Aryans invade the Indus Valley region.
Between these dates, the Early Vedic period of Indian civilization
The Hittites, another non-semetic people who speak an Indo-European
language, capture Babylon and retreat, leaving the city open to
Kassite domination. The Kassites remain in power for about three
hundred years, maintaining the Sumerian/Babylonian culture without
offering innovations of their own.
The period of the New Kingdom begins when Ahmose defeats the Hyksos
and establishes the XVIII Dynasty. The New Kingom ends around 1087.
Unlike earlier periods, this period is imperialistic enabled by
new modes of warfare introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos. Queen
Hatshepsut is one of the rulers of the XVIII Dynasty.
Writing disappears from India for a time with the destruction of
the Indus Valley civilization.
By this time, the kingdom of Kush has been established to the south
of Egypt. The people of Kush, known as the Kushites, are
The Hittite culture reaches its high point, dominating the territory
to the North and East of Babylon, including Turkey and northern
Palestine. By this time, the Hittite's have constructed a mythology
with a state pantheon.
Mycenaean Civilization replaces Minoan Civilization after the
of Knossos. Bronze weapons, war-scenes on art, Cyclopean defence
walls, and the fact that male warriors were buried with their weapons
provide evidence for the claim that the Mycenaeans were militaristic.
The horse-drawn chariot emerges around this time. The Mycenaeans
dominate the Aegean world for about 200 years.
In China, P'an Keng founds the city of Anyang. By this time, a mature
culture including both writing and art has developed.
Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton), concerned about abuses in the Osiris cult
of Egypt, posits a new monotheistic religion, perhaps the first,
dedicated to the worship of the sun. He moves the capital of Egypt
from Thebes to El-Amarna. The new religion does not last long; the
cult of Akhenaton is abolished under the reign of his successor,
Pharaoh Tutankhamen ("King Tut"), who moves the capital
back to Thebes and returns to the old religion. Akhenaton's beautiful
wife, Nefertiti, achieves her own position in world history.
Period of the Middle Assyrian Empire. Several strong kings first
reasserted Assyrian independence, and begins encroaching on
The greatest Hittite King, Suppiluliuma I, besieges the city of
Carchemish that is controlling an important ford and trade route
over the Euphrates River. During the siege he received a letter
from Ankhesenamun, the newly widowed wife of Tutankhamun. The queen
of Egypt asked that Suppiluliuma send one of his sons to be her
new husband and king of Egypt. Suppiluliuma took too long to
and negotiate, and an Egyptian courtier-priest seized the widow
and the throne. Peace between the two great powers was not arranged
until 70 years later.
The earliest alphabetic system appears in the city of Ugarit, located
in modern Syria. Ugarit is an important trading center between
Palestine, Anatolia, and the ports of the Levant. The best known
script from this time is called Ugaritic, which has a 32 letter
alphabet and is probably the ancestor of all later alphabetic
Rameses II ("the Great") rules Egypt.
For several generations the Hittites and the Egyptians remained
diplomatic and military rivals. The great battle of Kadesh was fought
between these superpowers around 1300 BC and was commemorated in
Egypt by a great pictorial relief, an epic poem, and an official
written record. After several decades of uneasy stalemate, the two
powers signed a peace treaty and mutual defense pact, perhaps in
response to growing Assyrian power to the east. A copy of the treaty
was inscribed on the walls of an Egyptian temple at Karnak where
it can be read even today.
The Assyrians, a semetic people, establish an empire spreading out
from the town of Assur in northern Mesopotamia. By 1250, they commit
themselves to conquering the Kassite Empire to the south.
The Hittites fight off invading Egyptians, thereby demonstrating
the strength of their power. This power is probably rooted in an
economic advantage they have from trading the metals that are
in the region of Turkey. Even so, their empire falls in 1185, to
the "Sea People," an invading group coming from the West
whose precise identity is unknown.
Under the direction of Moses, the Israelites leave Egypt and head
for the "promised land."
Though this is disputed, some scholars believe that the Mycenaeans
wage war with the Trojans of western Asia Minor and are successful.
By 1100 BC they are overtaken by barbaric Dorian invaders who are
using iron weapons. From this point, Greek culture enters the
Dark Ages, characterized by the disappearance of writing and a
in architecture and other aspects of material culture. The period
lasts until about 800 BC. The two Homeric epics, The Iliad and The
Odyssey, are often used by scholars as evidence of the traditions
and institutions in place during this time. However, such use is
The Hebrews, who migrated from Canaan to Egypt several hundred years
earlier, return from Egypt after wandering for several years in
the Sinai desert and begin the conquest of Canaan. This conquest
is slow and painful and will take a hundred years. When the fighting
stops, the Hebrews emerge as victors. They parcel the land of Canaan
into tribal territories creating a system of government known as
The Assyrian ruler, Tukulti-Ninurta, captures Babylon and the region
of southern Mesopotamia, but Assyrian control does not last long.
The Hittite empire is suddenly destroyed. Fortifications at Hattusas
were thrown down and the city burnt to the ground. It is not known
by whom. The Kaskans, barbarians from the Russian steppes, penetrated
their empire around 1300 BC and plundered Hattusas. They may have
returned to finish the job for good.
The Hebrews are ruled by the Judges during a period of relative
stability that will be upset with the Philistine invasion of 1050.
Rameses III defeats the Sea People. Rameses is pharaoh until 1151.
He is the last great pharaoh to rule in Egypt. In 1175 he builds
his temple palace at Medinet Habu.
Tiglath-Pileser I rules the Assyrians.
The Philistines invade Israel from the North. Facing the threat
of annihiliation, the Hebrews institute a governmental reform. The
amphictyony proves insufficient in the face of the new dangers,
so the people of Israel ask Samuel, the last of the judges, to select
The last Shang ruler, Chou Hsin, is conquered by Wu-wang, and the
Chou Dynasty begins. Ending in 221 BC, it lasts longer than any
other dynasty in China. It is typically divided into three periods:
the Western Chou period (1027- 771), the Ch'un Ch'iu period
and the Warring States period (481-221).
Samuel selects Saul to be king of Israel thereby unifying the tribes
of Israel into a nation. Facing many losses against the Philistines,
Saul eventually commits suicide. Around the same time, David,
his own campaign against the Philistines, proves victorious.
David becomes king of Israel. As such, he begins to build a
government based in Jerusalem, implementing forced labor, a census
and a mechanism for collecting taxes. The First Temple period of
Hebrew history begins with the rule of David.
During this period of Indian civilization, the Late Vedic period,
the Aryans are integrated into Indian culture. The caste system
Solomon becomes king of Iisrael. Intent on completing David's plan
to make Jerusalem stand out among the region's cities and to affirm
the religious commitment of the Hebrews, Solomon undertakes many
expensive building projects, including the building of the temple
in Jerusalem. Facing financial difficulties, Solomon raises taxes
and employs forced labor.
Solomon dies. The northerners, unwilling to pay taxes to help with
the financial difficulties of Jerusalem and the national court,
separate from the southern people. Two nations are created, Israel
to the north with its capital in Samaria and Judah to the south
with its capital in Jerusalem. Solomon's sons rule the two kingdoms,
Jeroboam in the North and Rehoboam in the South.
The Assyrians expand their empire to the west. By 840, they will
have conquered Syria and Turkey, the territory that at one time
belonged to the Hittites.
Ashur-nars-pal II was the cruellest of all the Assyrian kings,
and his death was much welcomed for everyone. Ashur-nars-pal
cavalry in warfare and became the creator of the new Assyrian empire.
Cruel methods of subjugation put the conquered peoples into a state
of fear. Impalement, scourging and mass-executions were used. A
new residence with a gigantic palace was established at Calah, built
811 - 757 BC
Sian-Chien was a prince who successfully defended the Chinese
retreat from the Huns in the North. As a reward for his battles
against the Huns Sian-Chien received the state of Chin from the
emperor. He assumed the title Prince of Chin and became the first
ruler of the state which gave China its name.
Sammuramat rules Assyria as Queen. She is one of the very few women
to achieve prominance in the ancient world. It is remarkable that
the mighty Assyrians were willing to accept a Queen as ruler.
Increase in trade and the establishment of governmental defense
fortifications allows for the emergence of Greek city-states from
tribal communities. These grow up around marketplaces and include
Athens, Thebes and Megara on the Greek mainland. The Greek
are considered the most famous units of Greek political life to
develop in this society.
The Brahmans, a priestly caste, begin to emerge in India.
The Upanishads are written around this time; the doctrines of rebirth
and the transmigration of souls start to appear, leading to important
theological transformations within Hinduism.
This period, often referred to as the Archaic period, marks the
developments of literature and the arts, politics, philosophy and
science. The Peloponnesian city of Corinth, SPARTA and cities along
the coast of the Aegean Sea flourish. For the most part, the Greek
city-states are similar in their political evolution, with the
of Sparta's elite dictatorship. Most begin their political histories
as monarchies, evolve to oligarchies, are overthrown during the
age of the tyrants (650-500 BC) and eventually establish democracies
in the sixth and fifth centuries. Of the Greek city-states, Athens
and Sparta were the two most important.
The Chou Dynasty faces difficulty when its leader, King Yu, alienates
the noble class who refuse to answer his call for help against
barbarians. King Yu is killed and the nobles install a new leader.
The capital is moved eastward to Loyang, thus ending the
Archeological research indicates that the founders of Rome itself
are Italic people who occupy the area south of the Tiber River.
By the sixth century BC, Rome will have become the dominant power
of most of its surrounding area. Their conservative government
of a kingship, resembling the traditional values of the patriarchal
family; an assembly, composed of male citizens of military age;
and a Senate, comprised of elders who serve as the heads of different
Kashta, the ruler of Kush, begins a campaign against Egypt. With
the help of his son, Piankhy, he is successful. Piankhy becomes
pharaoh of Egypt.
The Assyrians conquer Israel, leaving nothing behind. Nonetheless,
the Hebrew kingdom of Judah manages to survive.
The Ch'un Ch'iu period begins. This period is characterized by
a deteriorization of a feudal system and a collapse of central
It ends in 481.
Sennacherib rules the Assyrians and builds a new capital in Ninevah
where he begins to form a library of Sumerian and Babylonian tablets.
Sennacherib is a powerful ruler who manages to subdue the entire
region of western Asia.
Sennacherib, king of Assyria besieges Jerusalem, without success.
Hesiod, Greece's second poet (after Homer) and the first poet to
name himself, is composing his poetry. His most important works
are The Theogony and Works and Days.
Ashurbanipal was the last of the great kings of Assyria.
succeeded his father Esarhadon in 669 BC. He achieved the greatest
territorial expansion of the Assyrian empire which included
Persia, Syria, and Egypt, although Egypt was soon lost as a result
of a revolt. Ashurbanipal was not only a feared warrior but also
a great patron of the arts. He established a famous library at his
capital Niniveh with over 20 000 clay tablets. Soon after his
Assyria fell to the combined forces of Babylonia and Media, and
the empire disappeared from history.
Sennacherib destroys Babylon, but his son rebuilds it. By 650, it
has once again become prosperous.
Egypt is conquered by the Assyrians. But when the Assyrian empire
collapses just under ten years later, Egypt enjoys a century or
so of independence.
Ashurbanipal succeeds Sennacherib as ruler of Assyria. He continues
to develop the library and, by the time he has finished, collects
more than 22,000 clay tablets. In 648, Ashurbanipal destroys the
newly rebuilt city of Babylon in a fierce campaign.
Sparta's form of government, which is adapted from the Dorians,
is heavily influenced by militarianism. The Messenian wars initiate
Sparta's fear of change. They remain an isolated people, primarily
by banning trade and discouraging travel outside of Spartan
Alcaeus, Greek lyric poet, is born in Mytilene on the island of
Lesbos. His lyrics expound on contemporary politics, love, hymns
to Apollo and Hermes, and include some drinking songs.
The Assyrian empire collapses. Babylonians and Medes achieves their
independance, and dominates Mesopotamia.
Nebuchadnessar II was the king of Babylonia who captured Jerusalem
in 586 BC, and destroyed the city. This ended the Judean kingdom,
and was the beginning of the 'Babylonian Captivity' of many Jews.
During Nebuchadnessar's reign the Neo-Babylonian empire attained
its peak and the city of Babylon its greatest glory. Among many
other building projects he built the 'Hanging Gardens' one of the
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Babylonians (particularly, the Chaldeans) with the help of the
Medes, who occupy what is today Iran, begin a campaign to destroy
the Assyrians. In 612 they succeed, and the Assyrian capital of
Ninevah is destroyed. Without the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, a semetic
people, rule the entire region thereby issuing in the New Babylonian
period, which lasts until 539.
Sappho, Greek lyric poet of Lesbos, is born. The most famous female
poet of the ancient world, Sappho is inscribed in the Palatine
among the Muses, rather than among the great lyric poets, in the
second century BC. Her lyric poetry includes the exploration of
female sexuality, female values in a male dominated society, and
Nebuchadnezzar II rules in Babylon, where he undertakes several
monumental building projects, including the Hanging Gardens of
This New Babylonian Revival uses glazed bricks for building thereby
creating a colorful city.
The Persian prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra) founds the religion
known as Zoroastrianism.
The Etruscans, believed to be natives of Asia Minor, establish cities
stretching from northern to central Italy. Their major contributions
to the Romans are the arch and the vault, gladiatorial combat for
entertainment and the study of animals to predict future events.
The Greeks establish city-states along the southern coast of Italy
and the island of Sicily. Their contributions to the Romans are
the basis of the Roman alphabet, many religious concepts and artistic
talent as well as mythology.
Nebuchadnezzar II captures Jerusalem and forces its King and nobles
Lao-tzu, author of The Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism, lives
around this time. He encourages people to live simply and according
Solon, the great elegiac poet, is appointed chief magistrate of
Athens. His reforms include both political and economical adjustments
which lead to dissatisfaction in the upper and lower classes.
Jerusalem falls to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar II once again, after
an eighteen-month siege, when their puppet ruler tried to rebels.
Several Hebrews are taken to Babylon beginning the "Babylonian
Captivity." The book of Ezekiel is written at this time.
In Miletus, the founding city of philosophy, Thales predicts a total
eclipse of the sun. The founder of the Melesian school, Thales,
teaches that all things are composed of moisture; he is the first
to put forth a rational explanation of the cosmos. By the end of
the sixth century, philosophers begin to question the metaphysical
nature of the cosmos with inquiries into the nature of being, the
meaning of truth, and the relationship between the divine and the
Nebuchadnezzar II besieges and destroy the city of Tyr.
Gautama Siddharta Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is born somewhere
in what is today Nepal. He will die sometime around 483.
Cyrus II becomes King of the small Persian kingdom of Anshan. In
the following ten years, he will subjugate the eastern part of Persia
and establish a reputation among even his rivals as a great leader.
558 - 491 BC
Bimbisara is one of the early kings of the Indian kingdom of
Magadha. His expansion of the kingdom is considered to have laid
the foundations for the later expansion of the Maurya Empire.
was a friend of Jina (Founder of Jainism in India) and a protector
of Buddha. The king's support made Buddhism a popular movement in
Nabodinus, last of the Chaldean Dynasty, takes the throne of Babylon.
He introduces new reforms that gives him control of temple finances.
For several years, he will not perform the important New Year
in the name of the Babylonian deity Marduk, renewer of the fertility
of the land. Unrest and dissatisfaction these events will foster
will come at a bad time, with the gradual expansion of a new power
to the east, the Persian empire.
K'ung Fu-tzu (Confucius), author of The Analects, is born. Among
other things, Confucius teaches the importance of centralized
and filial piety. Like Aristotle, he belives the state to be a
institution. Confucius dies around 479.
The Medes surrenders their own capital at Ecbatana when their king
attempted to reasserts his control over Persia, to Cyrus II, who
will be known as Cyrus the Great from this day on.
Cyrus the Great occupies the Median capital at Ecbatana, and founds
the Persian Empire.
The first of the Athenian tyrants, Peisistratus, replaces Solon
Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is born. He will die around 486.
Cyrus the Persian captures Babylon after the New Babylonian leader,
Belshazaar, fails to read "the handwriting on the wall."
Cyrus founds the Persian Empire which lasts until 331 BCE, when
it is conquered by Alexander the Great. Cyrus returns some of the
exiled Hebrews to Palestine; others among the Hebrews prefer to
stay in Babylon, where a second Jewish center is established, the
first being the one in Jerusalem.
Cyrus the Persian campaigns west of the Indus River.
The sea battle of Alasia, near Corsica, opposes Greek colonists
against Etruscans and Carthageneans.
Pythagoras and his followers found the city of Croton and combine
philosophy and literature with political activity as the foundation
of their community. Pythagoras, mathematician and philosopher, is
credited with the Pythagorean theorem and the Pythagorean table
of opposites (the "dualism" that underlies Greek
Cyrus dies leaving behind him the largest empire to date. His son,
Cambyses, succeeds him and adds to the empire by conquering Egypt.
Egypt is conquered by the Persians, who rule until 405. From this
point onward, Egypt is ruled by Persian or Greek forces.
Greek drama grows out of the Dionysian festivals. The plays of
are considered to be the beginning of this long history of tragic
drama. His stories are drawn from conflicts between the individual
and the cosmos.
Darius I ("The Great") succeeds Cambyses as emperor of
Persia. He engages in many large building programs, including a
system of roads. In addition, he institutes the first postal
The Hebrews rebuild Solomon's Temple which had been destroyed in
the sack of 586, thereby beginning the Second Temple period of Hebrew
Pindar, considered by some to be the greatest Greek lyric poet,
is born in Cynoscephalae, Boeotia. Pindar's odes celebrate games
held at the religious festivals of Greece. Athletic victory serves
as the ground for his poetic fancy and his religious, moral, and
aesthetic insights. He dies in 438 BCE.
Darius the Persian conquers the Indus Valley region, making the
area a province of the Persian Empire.
Darius' expansion dream to the north is stopped at the Danube, mainly
due to the encroaching Schytians established there.
Parmenides of Elea is born. He is the founder of the Eleatic school
in the Phocaean colony in southern Italy. He is the first to focus
attention on the central problem of Greek metaphysics: the nature
of being. For Parmenides, the laws governing the universe are stable.
Change is merely an illusion.
Hippias, the son of Peisistratus, succeeds his father and is
by a group of nobles with the help of Sparta.
The Roman monarchy is overthrown and replaced with a republic. For
more than two centuries following the establishment of the Roman
Republic, Rome is constantly at war with the other inhabitants of
Italy (the Etruscans and the Greeks).
Cleisthenes, the father of Athenian democracy, rules Athens. His
reforms grant full rights to all free men of Athens.
The height of Greek sculpture begins with the work of Phidias. His
masterpieces include the statue of Athena in the Parthenon, the
Parthenon reliefs and the statue of Zeus in the Temple of Olympian
Zeus. The second most important sculptor, Myron, is renowned for
his statue of the discus thrower.
Apparition of the word "Celts", designing barbarians
from the east who comes to occupy a large part of Europe. Herodotos
situates their origin at the sources of the Danube.
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