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Great battles Notorious people


372 AD
The Huns, under Balamir, cross the Volga and defeat the Ostrogoths in the Ukraine.
Some Ostrogoths join in with the Huns; some penetrate into the land of the Visigoths, north of the Danube.

1 AD – Beginning of the Christian Era (1 AD, anno domini)
– a system first used by Dionysius Exiguus in 527 AD. Phraates V and the young Gaius Caesar meet on an island in the Euphrates and Rome recognizes Parthia as a power of some standing while Parthia renounces the right to interfere in Armenia

Literature and Drama
Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

159 BC
In the space of a century the number of Roman citizens has grown by about an eighth to 338,314.

215 BC (-212 BC)
The Carthaginians fail to recapture Sardinia. Hannibal captures Tarentum but is denied any reinforcements from Spain by the activities of Publius Scipio senior and his brother Cnaeus. Syracuse revolts against Rome and holds out for four years.

509 BC
Politics, Government, Law, and Economy
After the expulsion of King Tarquinius Superbus the Romans draw up a republican constitution. The system of twin consulate is established along with the twin office of quaestors as financial and legal officers.

Predictably power is vested in the landed aristocracy, with their Senate of much greater importance than the people’s Assembly. The Plebs (i.e., all those other than aristocratic families, including the growing commercial class) now begin their long struggle for power, sometimes known as the Struggle of the Orders, which affects Roman politics throughout the life of the Republic.

733 BC (-722 BC)
Israel and Syria, with some backing from Van and the Neo-Hittites, form a confederacy against Assyria, which King Ahaz of Judah refuses to join. Tiglath-Pileser III comes to the support of Ahaz and invades Syria and northern Israel. He extinguishes the Syrian monarchy, sets up a puppet king, Hosea, in Israel, and deports the leading citizens of Galilee.

Society, Education, and Religion
The prophets Micah and Isaiah announce their warnings and denunciations for action to avoid disaster. Both regard Assyria as the necessary instrument of God’s displeasure if the people will not mend their ways. However, Isaiah is by no means without hope, nor can he conceive of Jerusalem not surviving – hence his later uncompromising advice to Hezekiah to defy the Assyrians.

1115 BC
Tiglath-Pileser I comes to the Assyrian throne and consolidates Assyrian power. He takes full opportunity of the fact that all the neighbouring powers are weak, rounds off his country’s first period of power with a series of military campaigns coupled with sound and enlightened administration. He strikes northwest into the Taurus mountains, relieves the pressure of a combination of petty princes on his province of Kummukh (Roman Commegane), and meets and defeats the remnants of the Hittites. He also reaches the Mediterranean coast and extracts tribute from the Lebanon, Byblos, and Sidon.

1200 BC
Probable date for the first arrival of the Dorian Greeks, or at least a new group of Greek speakers, in the Peloponnese. Their arrival was followed during the remainder of the century by the destruction of the Mycenaean palaces. The palaces destroyed are Mycenae itself, Tiryns (probably caused by an earthquake), and Pylos where the Linear B tablets appear to tell of the struggle. This century sees the end of the Bronze Age in the Middle East and the Aegean and the beginning of a Dark Age, at least in the latter area. The turmoil caused by the People of the Sea may have been caused by renewed pressure, from the north, of Indo-European tribes; as the century progresses these tribes, in particular the Phrygians and Dorian Greeks, penetrate into Asia Minor and Greece.

Society, Education, and Religion
In China, The Book of Changes, or I Ching, a dissertation on divination, probably appears in this century.

Humanities and Scholarship
At Pylos in the Peloponnese (legendary home of the Homeric Nestor) the Linear B tablets expand from their traditional function of ration indents and so forth to record a series of military and naval dispositions – perhaps made in an effort to stay the invasion of the Dorian Greeks.

1300 BC
The great city of the Shang Dynasty – An Yang on the Huan river, north of the Hwang-ho – is founded about now, although the date could be up to 100 years earlier. The traditional founder is the tribal chief Pan-Keng.

Archaeological digging from the beginning of the 20th century has shown that the traditional claim for a great city is justified, and that a brilliant but barbaric culture exists for two and a half centuries.

Politics, Government, Law, and Economy
(-1250 BC) Mycenaean maritime trade is extensive, extending into Syria in the east and probably as far as the British Isles in the west.

The Trojan War and the Hittite references to the Ahhiyawa lead to the supposition that the Mycenaeans, besides punishing the rape of Helen, are seeking to gain commercial advantages in the control of the entrance to the Black Sea by war.

Society, Education, and Religion
‘Linear B’ tablets found at Mycenaean Thebes and at Tiryns are thought to date from about this time, thus bridging the gap between those at Knossos and Pylos.After the expulsion of King Tarquinius Superbus the Romans draw up a republic.

1600 BC
In the Aegean, Greek-speaking invaders have penetrated into the Peloponnese, where they begin to prosper and grow rich. They evolve the Mycenaean culture, named after its chief stronghold, Mycenae. Mycenae is ruled by a dynasty of kings, whose ‘shaft graves’ (discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae) date from this century.

Politics, Government, Law, and Economy
The Minoans’ favourable position on trade routes across the eastern Mediterranean, extends their influence throughout the Aegean. Their new palaces develop into political, economic, administrative, and religious centres, also containing storehouses and craftsmen’s workshops. Their rulers go down in Greek legend as great law-makers. The Mycenean ‘shaft graves’, discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae, contain great wealth and fine art and weaponry, indicating the Mycenaean princes are rapidly accumulating wealth.

Society, Education, and Religion
The Minoans change from a largely pictographic hieroglyphic script to ‘Linear A’. This new script is not so elaborate or efficient as the later ‘Linear B’; it has not yet been deciphered and is presumed to have been in the unknown Minoan tongue. The ‘snake goddess’ and other artefacts found at Knossos and elsewhere in Crete indicate a Minoan worship of a ‘Mother-Earth’ goddess. The ‘bull-leap’ fresco at Knossos and similar works demonstrate a great Minoan preoccupation with the bull, perhaps symbolizing the power of the earthquake. There is also evidence of both human and animal sacrifice on Crete around this time. Stonehenge probably reaches its final form about the end of this century.

4200 BC
The Sumerian civilization begins, though the Sumerian language may have come with later influxes. The first move is made to occupy the marshland of the twin rivers Tigris-Euphrates, probably from the Iranian plateau to the east. Townships begin to be formed, of which the first is traditionally Eridu.

There may have been later influxes of people into the area and the speakers of the Sumerian language may have been amongst these.

Settlements begin to appear on the banks of the Nile. The earliest cultures, probably lasting for the rest of this millennium and perhaps beyond, are known as the Tasian and Badarian.

5000 BC
Society, Education, and Religion
The neolithic way of life strengthens religious feeling, particularly the belief in the magical connection between the cycle of seed-time and harvest and the cycle of human life. Human sacrifice is practised, particularly of the great, so that their death and rebirth in their successor may have beneficial influence. The Urban Revolution also increases the importance of religion; most towns are ruled by a priest-king.

Everyday Life
Towns and villages, previously isolated and exceptional, now proliferate. This ‘Urban Revolution’ brings a change of life style.

10000 BC
In northern Europe the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age begins.
It is a food-gathering way of life, based on fishing and fowling rather than wide-range hunting; it is adapted to new conditions, either a forest or a water-side environment, with humans forced to the periphery by the all-pervading forest.
Science, Technology, and Discovery

(-7000 BC) The mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) way of life produces some important inventions: the barbed fish-hook and harpoon; the bow and arrow, with its ‘microlith’ flint tip; the flint socketed-axe; the woven basket; the cooking pot of baked clay; and the comb. Some examples of these tools have been found at Star Carr in Yorkshire.

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