This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2020)
This article concerns the period 199 BC – 190 BC.
|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
- The Roman general Gnaeus Baebius Tamphilus attacks the Insubres in Gaul, but loses over 6,700 soldiers in the process.
- Scipio Africanus becomes censor and princeps Senatus (the titular head of the Roman Senate).
- The Roman law, Lex Porcia, is proposed by the tribune P. Porcius Laeca to give Roman citizens in Italy and provinces the right of appeal in capital cases.
- After his election to the consulship, Titus Quinctius Flamininus is chosen to replace Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus as the leading Roman general in Macedonia. He then crosses into Macedonia with his army. Flamininus realizes that future peace depends on breaking the power of king Philip V of Macedon, not merely humbling him. He secures the backing of the Achaean League and then opens peace negotiations with Philip at Nicaea in Locris. Though peace proposals are submitted to the Roman Senate, the talks break down, and fighting resumes.
- Titus Quinctius Flamininus' forces manage to push Philip V out of most of Greece, except for a few fortresses. He then defeats Philip V in the Battle of the Aous, near modern Tepelenë in Albania.
- The Battle of Panium is fought between Seleucid forces led by Antiochus III and Ptolemaic forces led by Scopas of Aetolia. The Seleucids win the battle which allows Antiochus III to obtain entire possession of Palestine and Coele-Syria from King Ptolemy V of Egypt. Though the Romans send ambassadors to Ptolemy V, they are unable to lend him any serious assistance against Antiochus III.
- In the resulting peace, Antiochus III agrees to give his daughter Cleopatra in marriage to Ptolemy V.
- Following the defeat of the Han at the hands of the Xiongnu at Baideng in 200 BC, courtier Liu Jing (劉敬) is dispatched by Han emperor Gaozu for negotiations. The peace settlement eventually reached between the parties includes a Han princess given in marriage to the chanyu (called heqin 和親 or "harmonious kinship"); periodic tribute of silk, liquor and rice to the Xiongnu; equal status between the states; and the Great Wall as mutual border. This treaty sets the pattern for relations between the Han and the Xiongnu for some sixty years.
- Eumenes II becomes King of Pergamum following the death of his father Attalus I Soter.
- Antiochus III occupies parts of the kingdom of Pergamum and a number of Greek cities in Anatolia.
- The Egyptian King, Ptolemy V, fights rebels in the Nile Delta, exhibiting great cruelty toward those of their leaders who capitulate.
- The Spartan ruler, Nabis, acquires the important city of Argos from Philip V of Macedon, as the price of his alliance with the Macedonians. Nabis then defects to the Romans in the expectation of being able to hold on to his conquest.
- The Battle of Cynoscephalae in Thessaly gives a Roman army under pro-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus a decisive victory over Philip V of Macedon. In the Treaty of Tempe, the terms of the peace proposed by the Roman general and adopted by the Roman Senate specify that Philip V can retain his throne and control of Macedonia, but he has to abandon all the Greek cities he has conquered. Philip also has to provide to the Romans 1,000 talents as indemnity, surrender most of his fleet and provide hostages, including his younger son, Demetrius, who is to be held in Rome. The Aetolians propose that Philip V be ejected from his throne but Flamininus opposes this.
- The volcanic island of Hiera emerges from under the sea near Thera.
- The Insubres, Gauls of the Po Valley, believed by the Romans to have been incited to revolt by Carthage, are finally defeated.
- A new category of Roman priests, the tresviri epulones, are elected to supervise the feasts of the gods; the first three men selected are Gaius Licinius Lucullus, Publius Manlius, and Publius Porcius Laeca.
- At the Isthmian Games at Corinth, the Roman general and pro-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus proclaims that all Greeks are to be free and governed by their own laws. For this deed he is hailed in many Greek cities as a saviour and accorded homage alongside the gods.
- Flamininus accuses the Spartan ruler, Nabis, of tyranny, takes Gythium in Laconia and forces Nabis to surrender Argos.
- According to the Roman scholar and writer Marcus Terentius Varro, the foundation of a library at Pergamum around this time by Eumenes II of Pergamum, combined with an embargo on papyrus by Ptolemy V, leads to the invention of parchment.
- The Rosetta Stone is created. This stone is a Ptolemaic era stele written with the same text in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and demotic) and in classical Greek. The translation of the Greek passage reveals that the inscription is a royal edict recording the benefits conferred on Egypt by the pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphanes at the time of his coronation. This stone will provide the key to the hieroglyphic, or pictographic writing, of ancient Egypt and the decree on it reveals the increasing influence of Egyptian natives, remitted debts and taxes, released prisoners, pardoned rebels who have surrendered, and granted increased benefactions to the temples.
- Antiochus III's army crosses the Hellespont into Thrace, where he claims sovereignty over territory that has been won by Seleucus I in 281 BC. A war of harassment and diplomacy with Rome ensues. The Romans send ambassadors demanding that Antiochus stay out of Greece and set free all the autonomous communities in Anatolia. To meet these demands would mean Antiochus III giving up the western part of his Seleucid Empire. Thus Antiochus refuses the Romans' demands.
- Because of his administrative and constitutional reforms in Carthage, Hannibal becomes unpopular with an important faction of the Carthaginian nobility and he is denounced to the Romans for inciting the Seleucid king Antiochus III to take up arms against the Romans. Rome demands that Carthage surrender Hannibal. However, Hannibal voluntarily goes into exile.
- Tensions between Antiochus III and Rome increase when Hannibal is given refuge by Antiochus III at Ephesus and becomes his adviser.
- After Roman diplomatic intervention, Antiochus III finally halts his war with Egypt. In the peace agreement (the Peace of Lysimachia), Antiochus III formally takes possession of southern Syria, which has been fought over for 100 years by the Ptolemies and Seleucids, and also takes possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia.
- A Spanish revolt against Roman consolidation of the ex-Carthaginian colonies is effectively put down by Marcus Porcius Cato ("the Censor"). He avoids one defeat by paying the Celtiberians 200 talents (around 120,000 denarii), a much-criticised tactic. On Cato's return to Rome, Aemilius Paulus succeeds him as Roman governor in Spain.
- The Roman sumptuary law, the Lex Oppia, which restricts not only a woman's wealth, but also her display of wealth, is repealed despite consul Marcus Porcius Cato's strong opposition.
- The Battle of Gythium is fought between Sparta and a coalition of Rome, Rhodes, the Achaean League and Pergamum. As the port of Gythium is an important Spartan base, the allies decide to capture it before they advance inland to Sparta. The Romans and the Acheans are joined outside the city by the Pergamese and Rhodian fleets. The Spartans hold out, however the pro-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus arrives with 4,000 extra men. Facing too great an army, the Spartans decide to surrender the city on the condition that the garrison can leave unharmed. As a result, Nabis, the tyrant of Sparta, is forced to abandon the surrounding land and withdraw to the city of Sparta. Later that year, Sparta capitulates to the allies.
- Aristophanes of Byzantium, Greek scholar, critic and grammarian, becomes the chief librarian at Alexandria.
- Chang'an, the capital of China, is thought to become the largest city in the world at this time, taking over from Pataliputra, the capital of the Mauryan empire.
- Haemosu Dangun, the first ruler of Buyeo, dies and his son Mosuri Dangun succeeds him to the throne.
- After checking the ambitions of the Spartan tyrant, Nabis, the Roman forces under pro-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus finally withdraw from Greece.
- With the Roman legions under Flaminius returning to Italy, the Greek states are once again on their own. The Romans leave the dominant powers in the region; the kingdom of Macedonia, the Aetolians, the strengthened Achaean League and the weakened Sparta. The Aetolians, who have opposed the Roman intervention in Greek affairs, incite the Spartan leader, Nabis, to retake his former territories and regain his influence in Greek affairs.
- With his peace agreement with the Egyptians in place, Antiochus III now turns his attention to the West. He is encouraged to challenge Rome's protection of the Greeks by his advisor, the former Carthaginian general Hannibal.
- Philip V of Macedon, along with Rhodes, Pergamum, and the Achaean League, join Rome against Antiochus III.
- The Battle of Mutina is fought near Modena, between the Romans and the Gauls. The Romans are victorious in the battle which effectively ends the threat of the Gauls in Italy.
- The Italian towns of Liternum and Puteoli become Roman colonies.
- The construction of the first city wall of Chang'an begins.
- The Wiman Joseon kingdom of northern Korea (Choson) is founded by the Chinese Han Dynasty general Wiman.
- Eumenes II of Pergamum appeals to Rome for help against the Seleucid king Antiochus III who is threatening to conquer Greece. The Roman pro-consul Titus Quinctius Flamininus supports the Roman championship of Greek autonomy in Anatolia.
- Flamininus is sent to negotiate with Antiochus III and warns him not to interfere with the Greek states. Antiochus does not accept that Flamininus has the authority to speak for the Greeks and only promises to leave Greece alone only if the Romans do the same.
- Flamininus attempts to rally the Greeks against Antiochus III and to counter the pro-Seleucid policy of the Aetolians. When the Aetolians call on Antiochus III for aid, Flamininus persuades the Achaean League to declare war on both parties. He also prevents Philopoemen from taking Sparta.
- In the meantime, the Spartan ruler, Nabis, moves to recover lost territory, including Gythium.
- Carneades of Cyrene moves to Athens to found the third or new Academy.
- Cleopatra I Syra, daughter of Antiochus III and Laodice, marries the Egyptian King Ptolemy V Epiphanes.
- The Achaeans respond to Sparta's renewed interest in recovering lost territory by sending an envoy to Rome with a request for help. In response, the Roman Senate sends the praetor Atilius with a navy, as well as an embassy headed by Titus Quinctius Flamininus.
- Not waiting for the Roman fleet to arrive, the Achaean army and navy head towards Gythium under the command of Philopoemen. The Achaean fleet under Tiso is defeated by the Spartan fleet. On land, the Achaeans are unable to defeat the Spartan forces outside Gythium and Philopoemen retreats to Tegea.
- When Philopoemen reenters Laconia for a second attempt, his forces are ambushed by the Spartan tyrant, Nabis, but nevertheless Philopoemen manages to gain a victory over the Spartan forces.
- Philopoemen's plans for capturing Sparta itself are put on hold at the request of the Roman envoy Flaminius after his arrival in Greece. In return, Nabis decides, for the moment, to accept the status quo.
- Nabis then appeals to the Aetolians for help. They send 1,000 cavalry under the command of Alexamenus to Sparta. However, the Aetolians murder Nabis and temporarily occupy Sparta. The Aetolian troops seize the palace and set about looting the city, but the inhabitants of Sparta are able to rally and force them leave the city. Philopoemen, however, takes advantage of the Aetolian treachery and enters Sparta with his Achaean army. Now in full control of Sparta, Philopoemen forces Sparta to become a member state of the Achaean League.
- Seleucid forces under their king, Antiochus III, invade Greece at the invitation of the Aetolian League, who are revolting against the Romans. The Aetolians appoint him commander in chief of their league. Antiochus lands in Demetrias, Thessaly with only 10,500 men and occupies Euboea. However, he finds little support for his cause in central Greece.
- The Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio and Cato the Elder cut the Seleucid king Antiochus III off from his reinforcements in Thrace and outflank his position at the pass of Thermopylae in the Battle of Thermopylae. With the remainder of his troops, Antiochus flees to Chalcis on Euboea and from there he retreats by sea to Ephesus.
- Manius Acilius Glabrio then turns his attention to the Aetolian League, which has persuaded Antiochus to declare war against Rome, and is only prevented from crushing them by the intercession of Titus Quinctius Flamininus.
- Scipio Africanus persuades the Roman Senate to continue the war against Antiochus III by making him the chief commander and allowing him and his brother, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, to follow Antiochus into Anatolia.
- The Roman calendar, which is four months ahead of the seasons, is adjusted (by Lex Acilia de intercalando).
- Cisalpine Gaul becomes a Roman province.
- The Carthaginians manage to collect the indemnity due to Rome (through the peace treaty signed between them ten years earlier) but not payable in full for 50 years. The Romans, in order to keep their hold on Carthage, refuse to accept the early payment of the indemnity.
- Arsaces II, king of Parthia, is considered to have been murdered on the orders of Antiochus III. Arsaces is succeeded by his cousin Phriapatius.
- The Battle of the Eurymedon is fought between a Seleucid fleet and ships from Rhodes and Pergamum, who are allied with the Roman Republic. The Seleucids are led by the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Rhodians and their allies are victorious and Hannibal's fleet is forced to flee.
- Subsequently, the naval Battle of Myonessus is fought between a Seleucid fleet and a Roman fleet with the help of Rhodian ships. The Romans and their allies are victorious.
- As Philip V of Macedon has aided Rome against her enemies on the Greek peninsula, his tribute to Rome is remitted and his son, Demetrius, is restored to him after being held hostage in Rome for a number of years.
- Meeting no further resistance from the Seleucids and their allies, the Roman army under general Scipio Africanus and his brother Lucius, along with King Eumenes II of Pergamum and other allies, cross the Hellespont into Anatolia.
- With the increasingly real threat to his Empire from the Romans, Antiochus III is eager to negotiate on the basis of Rome's previous demands, but the Romans insist that he first give up the region west of the Taurus Mountains. When Antiochus refuses, the Battle of Magnesia is fought near Magnesia ad Sipylum, on the plains of Lydia in Anatolia, between the Romans, led by the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio and his brother, Scipio Africanus, with their ally Eumenes II of Pergamum, and the army of Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire. The resulting decisive Roman victory ends the conflict with the Seleucids for the control of Greece.
- Following Antiochus III's defeat by the Romans, two of Antiochus III's Armenian satraps, Artaxias and Zariadres, declare themselves independent of the Seleucids. With Roman consent, they establish themselves as kings of the Kingdom of Armenia and the district of Sophene (Armenia Minor), respectively. Artaxias builds his capital, Artaxata, on the Araxes River (now the Aras River) near Lake Sevan.
- For assisting the Romans in defeating Antiochus III, Eumenes II of Pergamum is rewarded with a great increase in territory. He is given control over the Thracian Chersonese (the modern Gallipoli peninsula) and over most of the former Seleucid possessions in Anatolia.
- Mithridates I (or Mithradates), "Great King" of Parthia from about 171 BC who turned Parthia into a major political power and expanded the empire westward into Mesopotamia (d. 138 BC)
- Terence or Publius Terentius Afer, Roman comic playwright (approximate date) (d. 159 BC)
- Attalus I Soter, ruler of Pergamum from 241 BC, who has taken on the title of king after about 230 BC. Through his military and diplomatic skills, he has created a powerful kingdom in Anatolia (b. 269 BC)
- Liu Taigong, Chinese emperor of the Han Dynasty
- Han Xin, Chinese general during the Chu–Han Contention
- Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, Roman consul and censor
- Peng Yue, Chinese general of the Western Han Dynasty
- Xin, Chinese king during the Warring States Period
- June 1 – Gaozu of Han (or Gao), first Emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty, who has ruled from 202 BC (b. 256 or 247 BC)
- Eratosthenes, Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer (b. 276 BC)
- Concubine Qi, also known as Lady Qi or Consort Qi, favoured concubine of Han Gaozu (personal name Liu Bang), the first emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty
- Xiao He, prime minister of the early Han Dynasty in China who has been a key figure in Liu Bang's rise to power after the fall of the Qin Dynasty
- Nabis, tyrant and last independent ruler (from 207 BC) of Sparta
- Xiang Bo, Chinese nobleman of the Chu State (Seven Kingdoms)