Ancient History & Civilisation

Chronology

It should be noted that although the sequence of events in relation to each other is reasonably certain, and although there is good evidence for the absolute dating of most of these events, the dating of others remains uncertain. In particular, for the period between 322 and 310 there are two possible chronological sequences which differ by a year or so (the ‘high’ and ‘low’ chronologies). All dates are BC.

405

Athenian fleet defeated at Aegospotami. Dionysius I seizes power in Syracuse. Accession of Artaxerxes II of Persia.

404

Surrender of Athens. The Long Walls demolished. Rule of the Thirty Tyrants begins.

403

Revolution of Thrasybulus. Fall of the Thirty Tyrants and democracy restored at Athens.

401

Rebellion of Cyrus against Artaxerxes. Battle of Cunaxa.

400

Sparta begins fighting Persians in Asia Minor.

396

Agesilaus begins campaign in Asia Minor.

395

Beginning of the Corinthian War. Coalition of Athens, Corinth and Thebes against Sparta. Battle of Haliartus.

394

Agesilaus recalled from Asia. Sparta defeats the opposing alliance at battles of Nemea and Coroneia. Persian fleet defeats Spartans at Cnidus.

392

End of Carthaginian War with Syracuse. Sparta at war with Corinth and Argos. Diplomatic mission of the Spartan Antalcidas to Sardis.

389

Thrasybulus sails to Hellespont and wins over Byzantium and Chalcedon to alliance with Athens.

388

Plato’s first visit to Syracuse.

386

The Peace of Antalcidas (or King’s Peace). Dionysius I captures Rhegium.

382

The Cadmeia, acropolis of Thebes, seized by Phoebidas.

379

Liberation of Thebes by Pelopidas and others.

378

Failure of Sphodrias’ raid on Piraeus. Alliance between Athens and Thebes. Agesilaus invades Boeotia. Second Athenian Confederacy founded.

377

Second invasion of Thebes by Agesilaus.

376

Athenian fleet under Chabrias defeats Spartans off Naxos.

375

Spartan force defeated by Thebans at Tegyra.

374

Persia attempts to retake Egypt.

372

Alliance between Thebes and Jason of Pherae.

371

Peace agreed between Sparta, Athens and other Greek states (except Thebes). Spartans defeated at Leuctra by Boeotian forces.

370

Assassination of Jason of Pherae. Autumn/winter Allied army under Pelopidas and Epaminondas invades Laconia.

369

Founding of Messene despite Spartan opposition. Summer Second allied invasion of Laconia. Pelopidas’ first expedition to Thessaly. The young Philip of Macedon in Thebes as hostage.

368

Pelopidas’ second expedition to Thessaly; imprisoned by Alexander of Pherae. War between Syracuse and Carthage.

367

Epaminondas sent to Thessaly; secures release of Pelopidas. Death of Dionysius I. Plato’s second visit to Syracuse begins. Return of Philistus to Syracuse. Embassies from Sparta, Athens and Thebes in Persia.

366

Dion exiled from Syracuse by Dionysius II. Thebes takes Oropus from Athens.

365

Plato expelled from Syracuse.

364

Pelopidas’ third expedition to Thessaly; killed at battle of Cynoscephalae.

362

Battle of Mantineia; Epaminondas killed.

361

Plato’s final visit to Syracuse. Agesilaus in Egypt.

360

Death of Agesilaus in Egypt.

359

Death of Artaxerxes II. Accession of Philip II of Macedonia.

357

Outbreak of Social War between Athens and her allies. Dion’s expedition to Sicily. Dionysius II besieged in Ortygia. Philip takes Amphipolis.

356

The new Syracusan fleet defeats Dionysius II’s ships; Philistus killed. Birth of Alexander the Great. Outbreak of Third Sacred War. Dionysius escapes from Syracuse. His son Apollocrates surrenders.

355

End of Social War.

354

Murder of Dion.

348

Phocion’s campaign in Euboea. Philip takes Olynthus.

346

Peace of Philocrates between Athens and Philip of Macedon. Dionysius II regains power in Syracuse.

344

Timoleon’s expedition to Sicily. Dionysius II surrenders.

343

Repopulation of Syracuse begins. Aristotle becomes Alexander’s tutor.

342

Timoleon expels Leptines from Apollonia.

c. 340

Carthaginian expedition arrives at Lilybaeum. Timoleon defeats Carthaginians at battle of Crimisus (exact date uncertain).

340

Athenian expedition to assist Byzantium and Perinthus against Philip of Macedon.

339

Timoleon makes peace with Carthage.

338

Philip defeats Athens, Thebes and their allies at Chaeronea.

337

League of Corinth supports Philip’s plans for invasion of Persia.

336

Accession of Darius III in Persia. Assassination of Philip and accession of Alexander in Macedonia. Alexander establishes control of Macedonia.

335

Thebes is destroyed by Alexander.

334

Spring Alexander invades Asia Minor. May Wins battle of the Granicus. Receives surrender of Sardis. Captures Miletus. Autumn Siege of Halicarnassus begins. Winter Alexander advances through Lydia and Pamphylia.

333

Alexander marches on Celaenae; cuts the knot at Gordium. Summer Advances to the Cilician Gates. November Victory over Darius at Issus. Advances through Phoenicia. First peace offer by Darius.

332

January–February Surrender of Byblos and Sidon; siege of Tyre begun; second peace offer from Darius. August Fall of Tyre. October Gaza captured. Alexander crowned as Pharaoh at Memphis.

331

Alexander visits oracle of Zeus Ammon at Siwa. April Founds Alexandria; marches north through Syria. 1 October Defeats Darius at Gaugamela. Winter Enters Babylon and Susa. Defeat of Agis by Antipater in the Peloponnese (or early 330).

330

January Alexander enters and sacks Persepolis. Spring Sets out for Ecbatana and renews pursuit of Darius. July Murder of Darius. August Alexander advances to Drangiana. Autumn Conspiracy of Philotas discovered; execution of Philotas and Parmenio. Winter Alexander advances through Arachosia. Demosthenes delivers his speech On the crown.

329

Spring Alexander turns north and crosses Hindu Kush. May Advances north into Bactria in pursuit of Bessus; Macedonian veterans and Thessalian volunteers posted home. Bessus captured. Summer Alexander advances to Samarkand. Battle of Jaxartes. Revolt of Spitamenes in Sogdiana. Winter Alexander takes up winter-quarters in Bactria.

328

Execution of Bessus. Campaign against Spitamenes. Summer Killing of Cleitus at Samarkand.

327

Winter Alexander married to Roxane. Recruitment of young Persians; conspiracy of the pages; execution of Callisthenes. Invasion of India.

326

March Alexander regroups in Taxila. July Defeats Porus at the Hydaspes river; army mutinies at the Hyphasis river and refuses to go further east. November Fleet and army sail down the Indus.

325

Alexander campaigns against the Brahman cities. Severely wounded by the Mallians. July Reaches the Indus delta. August Army begins march through the Gedrosian desert. Winter Alexander is rejoined by Nearchus with the fleet.

324

Alexander returns to Susa; restoration of order and reorganization of army and administration. Alexander declares that exiles must be allowed to return to the Greek cities. Summer Army rebels at Opis against scheme for partial demobilization. Craterus appointed regent in Greece to replace Antipater, and entrusted with leading Macedonian veterans home. Harpalus arrives in Athens. Death of Hephaestion.

323

Winter Campaign against the Cossaeans. Spring Alexander returns to Babylon. May Contracts fever. June Dies in Babylon. Coalition of Greek states formed against Macedon. Autumn Antipater besieged in Lamia (Lamian War).

322

Spring Leonnatus reaches Antipater with reinforcements but is killed. Summer Battles of Crannon and Amorgos; Greek coalition collapses. October Surrender of Athens; flight and (November) suicide of Demosthenes. Perdiccas and Eumenes conquer Cappadocia.

321 or 320

Summer Craterus killed in battle with Eumenes. Perdiccas invades Egypt but is killed by his troops. Winter Conference at Triparadeisus in Syria; Antipater becomes regent.

319

Spring Eumenes besieged in Nora. Autumn Death of Antipater. Polyperchon proclaimed regent. War breaks out between Polyperchon and Cassander, Antipater’s son. Polyperchon supports the democratic, Cassander the oligarchic factions throughout Greece.

318

Spring Eumenes withdraws from Nora. Democratic regime seizes power in Athens. Execution of Phocion. Autumn Eumenes withdraws to Babylonia.

317

Winter Cassander occupies Athens; limits the franchise; installs Demetrius of Phaleron as governor. Autumn Antigonus attacks Eumenes in Asia; battle of Paraetacene (or 316). Olympias, Alexander’s mother, executes Philip Arrhidaeus and Philip’s wife, Eurydice.

316

January Eumenes defeated by Antigonus at the battle of Gabiene and is murdered (or 315). Spring Cassander expels Polyperchon from Macedonia. Cassander captures and executes Olympias. Antigonus occupies Syria and expels Seleucus from Babylon (or 315).

315

Coalition of Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy against Antigonus. Both Ptolemy and Antigonus proclaim freedom for the Greeks.

312

Autumn (or Spring) Ptolemy and Seleucus defeat Demetrius at Gaza. Demetrius defeats Ptolemy’s army at Myus.

311

Seleucus returns to Babylon (or 312). Peace settlement reached: Cassander regent in Greece, Lysimachus in control of Thrace, Ptolemy of Egypt, Antigonus of Asia Minor.

310

Cassander murders Roxane and her son, Alexander IV (or 309). Ptolemy occupies Cyprus. Agathocles invades Africa.

307

June Demetrius expels Demetrius of Phaleron and ‘liberates’ Athens.

306

Demetrius defeats Ptolemy’s fleet off Salamis in Cyprus. Antigonus and Demetrius assume the title of kings; their example is soon followed by Ptolemy, Seleucus and Lysimachus. Winter Antigonus’ and Demetrius’ failed invasion of Egypt.

305/4

Demetrius besieges Rhodes.

304

Demetrius raises Cassander’s siege of Athens.

303

Demetrius invades the Peloponnese.

302

Demetrius re-forms Alexander’s Hellenic League at Corinth. Fresh coalition of Cassander, Ptolemy, Seleucus and Lysimachus against Antigonus and Demetrius. Pyrrhus expelled from Epirus.

301

‘Battle of the Kings’ at Ipsus; Antigonus defeated and killed; Demetrius escapes but, finding little support in Athens or Greece, withdraws to the Hellespont to rebuild his forces.

299

Seleucus marries Demetrius’ daughter Stratonice. Demetrius’ fortunes revive. Pyrrhus sent to Egypt as hostage.

297

May Death of Cassander. Pyrrhus restored in Epirus.

295

Demetrius besieges and captures Athens.

294

Autumn Demetrius enters Macedonia; kills Alexander, Cassander’s successor; assumes the crown.

291

Demetrius captures Thebes.

289

Demetrius campaigns in Aetolia and Epirus against Pyrrhus. Begins to build large fleet.

288

New coalition of Lysimachus, Seleucus, Ptolemy and Pyrrhus against Demetrius. Autumn Pyrrhus invades Macedonia; Demetrius’ troops go over to him and he withdraws from Macedonia.

287

Spring Athens revolts from Demetrius.

286

Demetrius raises troops in Greece; crosses to Miletus; attacks Lysimachus’ territories in Caria and Lydia.

285

January Demetrius’ guerrilla campaigns terminated by sickness; surrenders to Seleucus; is kept in open captivity in Syria. Pyrrhus withdraws from Macedonia.

282

Demetrius dies in captivity.

281

Seleucus defeats and kills Lysimachus at the battle of Corupedium, but is assassinated soon after.

280

Pyrrhus crosses to Italy at the invitation of Tarentum and defeats Romans in first battle at Heracleia; advances on Rome and attempts to negotiate through Cineas; his terms rejected. Gauls invade Macedonia and Greece.

279

Romans renew the war; inconclusive and costly battle at Asculum.

278

Pyrrhus crosses to Sicily at the islanders’ invitation to help them against the Carthaginians.

277

Antigonus Gonatas defeats the Gauls and takes Macedonia.

275

Pyrrhus defeated by the Romans at Beneventum.

274

Pyrrhus returns to Epirus with barely a third of his original army.

273

Pyrrhus invades Macedonia and defeats Antigonus Gonatas.

272

Fall of Tarentum to the Romans. Pyrrhus accepts invitation to help Cleonymus regain throne of Sparta. Repulsed from Sparta, he attempts to capture Argos; engaging the Argives and Antigonus, he is killed in street-fighting.

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