2nd century BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
State leaders:
  • 3rd century BC
  • 2nd century BC
  • 1st century BC
Categories: BirthsDeaths
The eastern hemisphere at the end of the 2nd century BC.

The 2nd century BC was a century that started on the first day of 200 BC and ended on the last day of 101 BC. It is considered part of the Classical period of history.

After having won the Second Punic War, the Roman Republic continued expanding by conquering neighbouring territories. It eventually made Greece part of its empire. It also took the coast of North Africa after destroying the city of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. In the east, the Seleucid Empire was forced to make concessions to Rome in order to avoid war. Rome came to dominate the Mediterranean Sea during this period. By the end of the century, its army changed from conscription to a voluntary professional force. These changes were known as the Marian Reforms.

In East Asia, China became very successful under the Han Dynasty. Its empire extended from Korea in the east to Vietnam in the South and, to the borders of what is today Kazakhstan in the west. The Han also try to get help in fighting the Xiongnu from the Yuezhi people in the west.[1] It is also during this century that the first paper was made in China.

In 101 BC, the Cimbri develop a taste for Italian luxuries. Omens, including the spontaneous movement of the sacred shields. Marius joins up with the army of Catulus. Marius and Catulus destroy the Cimbri at Campi Raudii, near Vercellae. News of the battle of Vercellae miraculously reaches Rome on the same day. Marius grants Roman citizenship to soldiers from Camerinum. Aquillius defeats the remaining rebel slaves and ends their revolt.   

The triumph of Marius and Catulus. The death of Queen Cleopatra, allegedly murdered by her son, Ptolemaeus Alexander.Elections for new tribunes: A.Nunnius, one of the candidates, is murdered by supporters of Saturninus. The aediles L.Crassus and Q.Scaevola hold magnificent games.  Publicius Malleolus is convicted of matricide. Glaucia passes a law on extortion. Catullus dedicates a temple to Fortuna Huiusce Diei, and uses the booty from the war against the Cimbri to build a portico.

References[change | change source]

  1. C.Michael Hogan, Silk Road, North China, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham