This article concerns the period 399 BC – 390 BC.
|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
- February 15 – The Greek philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by Athenian authorities, condemned for impiety and the corruption of youth. He refuses to flee into exile and dies by drinking hemlock.
- Sparta forces Elis to surrender in the spring.
- The Spartan admiral, Lysander, tries to effect a political revolution in Sparta by suggesting that the king should not automatically be given the leadership of the army. He also suggests that the position of king should be elective. However, he is unsuccessful in achieving these reforms, and earns the disfavour of King Agesilaus II of Sparta.
- King Archelaus I of Macedon is killed during a hunt, by one of the royal pages, his lover Craterus.
- King Amyrtaeus of Egypt is defeated in battle by his successor, Nepherites I of Mendes, and executed at Memphis. King Nepherites I, or Nefaarud I, founds the Twenty-ninth dynasty of Egypt. He makes Mendes his capital.
- Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, breaks his peace treaty with Carthage and strikes at Carthaginian cities in the western corner of Sicily which have been weakened by the plague. There is a massacre of Carthaginians in many of these cities. Motya, with its fine harbour, is attacked and captured.
- Called on by the Ionians to assist them against the Persian King Artaxerxes II, King Agesilaus II of Sparta launches an ambitious campaign in Asia Minor.
- The Carthaginians establish the town of Lilybaeum in Sicily to replace Motya.
- Himilco crosses to Sicily from Carthage with a fresh army, conquers the north coast, puts Dionysius I, the Tyrant of Syracuse, on the defensive and besieges Syracuse. However, the Carthaginian army again suffers from the plague. The Syracusans counterattack and completely defeat Himilco's army. Himilco has to escape back to Carthage.
- The Persians assemble a joint Phoenician, Cilician, and Cypriot fleet, under the command of the experienced Athenian admiral, Conon, and seize Rhodes.
- The Carthaginians are forced to abandon their siege of Syracuse (begun in 398 BC), but destroy Messina. Dionysius' first war with Carthage ends with a notable victory for Dionysius, who confines his enemy's power to an area of northwest Sicily. On his return home, the Carthaginian general, Himilco, commits suicide.
- Agesilaus II, the King of Sparta, campaigns successfully in Asia Minor against the Persian satraps Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes and inflicts a major defeat on Tissaphernes at Sardis. Agesilaus agrees to a three months' truce with the Persians under Tissaphernes, the satrap of Lydia and Caria. Negotiations conducted during that time prove fruitless, and on its termination, Agesilaus raids Phrygia, where he easily captures an immense amount of booty, since Tissaphernes has concentrated his troops in Caria.
- Marcus Furius Camillus is made dictator by the Romans. Camillus finally destroys the Etruscan city of Veii in southern Etruria as the town falls to Roman forces after what is said to be a 10 year siege. The capture of Veii and its surrounding territories marks the first major expansion of Rome which doubles its territory after this victory.
- The Romans introduce pay for their army.
- Kyniska becomes the first woman to win an event at the Olympic Games when the horse-drawn chariot she sponsors crosses the finish line first, even though the prohibition on women competing forces her to hire a man to drive it.
- The Persian satrap Tissaphernes' enemy Parysatis, mother of Cyrus, succeeds in persuading Persian King Artaxerxes II to have him executed at Colossae, Phrygia (now Turkey). Parysatis cannot forgive Tissaphernes for the rough treatment he has handed out to her favourite son, the late Cyrus.
- After spending the winter in organizing a cavalry force, Agesilaus II, the King of Sparta, makes a successful incursion into Lydia in the spring.
- Tithraustes replaces Tissaphernes. An armistice is concluded between Tithraustes and Agesilaus. Tithraustes bribes the Spartans to move north into the satrapy of Pharnabazus.
- Unable to defeat Agesilaus's army, Pharnabazus decides to force Agesilaus to withdraw by stirring up trouble on the Greek mainland. He dispatches Timocrates of Rhodes to visit Athens, Thebes, Corinth, and Argos to incite and bribe them to act against Sparta. Timocrates succeeds in persuading powerful factions in each of those states to pursue an anti-Spartan policy.
- The "Corinthian War" begins, with Athens, Thebes, Corinth and Argos (with the backing of Persia) against Sparta. The Spartans prepare to send out an army against this new alliance, and order Agesilaus to return to Greece. Agesilaus sets out for Sparta with his troops, crossing the Hellespont and marching west through Thrace.
- The Spartans arrange for two armies, one under the Spartan general Lysander and the other under the Spartan King Pausanias, to rendezvous at and attack the Boeotian city of Haliartus. Lysander, arriving before Pausanias, persuades the city of Orchomenus to revolt from the Boeotian confederacy, and then advances to Haliartus with his troops. There, he is killed after bringing his forces too near the walls of the city.
- The Battle of Haliartus between the Spartans and the Thebans ends inconclusively. Pausanias, arriving a day later, takes back the bodies of the Spartan dead under a truce, and returns to Sparta. There, he is put on trial for his life and flees to Tegea before he can be convicted. Pausanias is replaced as king of Sparta by his son Agesipolis I.
- The allies, Athens, Thebes, Corinth and Argos, gather a large army at Corinth. A sizable army is sent out from Sparta to challenge this force. The two sides meet on the dry bed of the Nemea River, in Corinthian territory. In the resultant Battle of Nemea, the Spartans win a major victory over the allies.
- The Athenian general Conon, the Persian satrap Pharnabazus and Evagoras, King of Salamis, win an overwhelming naval victory over the Spartans under Peisander in the Battle of Cnidus (near Rhodes). Following this victory, Conon and Pharnabazus sail along the coast of Ionia, expelling Spartan governors and garrisons from the cities, although they fail to reduce the Spartan bases at Abydos and Sestos. With the Spartan bid for building an empire crumbling, Persia gains mastery of the Aegean.
- The two sides' armies meet each other again at Coronea, in Theban territory in the Battle of Coronea. Once more, the Spartans under King Agesilaus II are successful in battle. After this victory, Agesilaus sails with his army across the Gulf of Corinth and returns to Sparta.
- The temple of Athena Alea in Tegea is burned down, but is however soon rebuilt to the designs of Scopas of Paros.
- The Athenian general Conon and the Persian satrap Pharnabazus sail to mainland Greece, where they raid the coast of Laconia and seize the island of Cythera, where they leave a garrison and an Athenian governor.
- Pharnabazus dispatches Conon with substantial funds and a large part of the fleet to Attica, where he joins in the rebuilding of the long walls from Athens to Piraeus, a project that had been initiated by Thrasybulus in the previous year. The construction is soon completed and Athens quickly takes advantage of its walls and its fleet to seize the islands of Scyros, Imbros, and Lemnos, on which it establishes cleruchies (citizen colonies).
- Fighting breaks out in Corinth between the democratic and oligarchic parties. The democrats, supported by Argos, launch an attack on their opponents, and the oligarchs are driven from the city. These exiles go to the Spartans, based at this time at Sicyon, for support, while the Athenians and Boeotians support the democrats.
- In a night attack, the Spartans and exiles succeed in seizing Lechaeum, Corinth's port on the Gulf of Corinth, and defeat an army that comes out to challenge them the next day.
- Amyntas III, a great grandson of Alexander I, becomes king of Macedonia following the disorders that have plagued the country following the death of the powerful King Archelaus I in 399 BC.
- Upon the death of King Nepherites I, two rival factions fight for the throne; one backing Muthis, son of Nepherites I, and the other supporting Psammuthes. Psammuthes is successful, but he only manages to reign as King of Egypt for part of the year.
- Hakor overthrows his predecessor, Psammuthes, as King of Egypt claiming to be the grandson of Nepherites I, founder of the 29th Dynasty.
- The Persian general, Struthas is dispatched by King Artaxerxes II to take command of the satrapy of Sardis, replacing Tiribazus, and to pursue an anti-Spartan policy.
- The Spartans dispatch an ambassador, Antalcidas, to the Persian satrap Tiribazus, hoping to turn the Persians against the allies by informing them of Conon's use of the Persian fleet to begin rebuilding the Athenian empire. Learning of this, the Athenians send an embassy led by Conon to present their case to the Persians at Sardis. Alarmed by Conon's actions, Tiribazus arrests him, and secretly provides the Spartans with money to equip a fleet. Although Conon quickly escapes, he dies in Cyprus without returning to Athens.
- A peace conference between the Greek city-states is held in Sparta. Andocides, Athenian orator and politician, goes with three colleagues to negotiate peace with Sparta. The conference is unsuccessful and Athens rejects the terms and exiles the ambassadors.
- Dionysius I of Syracuse, having increased his power over the native Sicilians (Sicels), is now attacked by a second Carthaginian expedition. He is forced to ally himself with the Sicels. The Carthaginian army, under Mago II, is defeated, makes peace, and returns to Carthage. The treaty with Carthage is advantageous to Dionysius.
- The Persian satrap, Struthas, pursues an anti-Spartan policy, prompting the Spartans to order their governor to the Greek cities of Ionia, Thibron, to attack him. Thibron successfully ravages Persian territory for a time, but is killed, along with a number of his men, when Struthas ambushes them.
- Evagoras of Salamis and the Persians battle each other for control of Cyprus. Aided by the Athenians and the Egyptians, Evagoras extends his rule over the greater part of Cyprus and to several cities of Anatolia.
- The Athenian general, Iphicrates, with a force composed almost entirely of light troops and peltasts (javelin throwers), wins a decisive victory against the Spartan regiment that has been stationed at Lechaeum in the Battle of Lechaeum. This is the first time that a force of light infantry defeats a unit of Greek hoplites.
- Iphicrates also campaigns against Phlius and Arcadia, decisively defeating their armies and plundering the territory of the Arcadians when they refuse to engage his troops. After this victory, an Argive army marches to Corinth, and, seizing the Acrocorinth, effectively merges Argos and Corinth.
- Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, begins an attempt to extend his rule to the Greek cities of southern Italy. He unsuccessfully besieges Rhegium.
- The Roman dictator Marcus Furius Camillus is accused of making an unfair distribution of the spoils of his victory at Veii. He goes into voluntary exile.
- Quintus Fabius Ambustus and two other Fabii are sent as ambassadors by Rome to a wandering tribe of Celts (whom the Romans call Gauls), under Brennus, who are advancing down the Tiber while the Celtic army is besieging Clusium. After Quintus Fabius' group become involved in a skirmish with the Gauls and kill one of the Gauls' leaders, the offended Gauls demand that Rome surrender the Fabii members to them. The Romans refuse, so the Gauls advance on Rome.
- July 18 – Battle of the Allia: Brennus, a chieftain of the Senones of the Adriatic coast of Italy, leads an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome. They capture the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which is successfully held against them. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempt to buy their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agree to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold.
- The Pharaoh of Egypt, Hakor (Akoris), concludes a tripartite alliance with Evagoras, king of Cyprus, and Athens.
- Lycurgus, Athenian statesman and orator (d. 323 BC)
- Xenocrates, Greek philosopher and scholarch (or rector) of the Academy (d. 314 BC)
- King Amyrtaeus of Egypt
- King Archelaus I of Macedon
- Socrates, Greek philosopher (b. c. 470 BC)
- Lysander, Spartan general and admiral
- Tissaphernes, Persian satrap
- Shishunaga, founder of the Shishunaga dynasty of South Asia
- Conon, Athenian general (approximate date)
- Carney, Elizabeth (2015). King and Court in Ancient Macedonia: Rivalry, Treason and Conspiracy. ISD LLC. p. 156. ISBN 9781910589083.
- "Socrates | Biography, Philosophy, Beliefs, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 August 2018.