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260s BC

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Title: 260s BC  
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260s BC

Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Centuries: 4th century BC3rd century BC2nd century BC
Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC260s BC250s BC 240s BC 230s BC
Years: 269 BC 268 BC 267 BC 266 BC 265 BC 264 BC 263 BC 262 BC 261 BC 260 BC
260s BC-related
categories:
BirthsDeaths
Establishments

260s BC: events by year

Contents: 269 BC 268 BC 267 BC 266 BC 265 BC 264 BC 263 BC 262 BC 261 BC 260 BC

269 BC

By place

Sicily

  • The Mamertines, a body of Campanian mercenaries who have been employed by Agathocles, the former tyrant of Syracuse, capture the stronghold of Messana (Messina in north-eastern Sicily), from which they harass the Syracusans. The Syracusan military leader, Hieron, defeats them in a pitched battle at the Longanus River near Mylae, but Carthaginian forces intervene to prevent him from capturing Messana. His grateful countrymen then choose Hieron as their king and tyrant, to be known as Hieron II.

268 BC

By place

Roman Republic

  • The Roman denarius coin is minted for the first time.
  • The Romans found a colony at Malventum which they, for superstitious reasons, call Beneventum (since male means bad and bene means good in Latin).

Greece

  • Chremonides, an Athenian statesman and general, issues the Decree of Chremonides, creating an alliance between Sparta, Athens, and Ptolemy II of Egypt. The origins of this alliance lay in the continuing desire of many Greek states, notably Athens and Sparta, for a restoration of their former independence, along with the desire of Ptolemy II to create troubles for his rival Antigonus II, King of Macedonia. Ptolemy II's ambitions in the Aegean Sea are threatened by Antigonus Gonatas' fleet, so he carefully builds up a coalition against Macedonia in Greece. He especially cultivates Athens by supplying the city with grain.

India

267 BC

By place

Greece

266 BC

By place

Roman Republic

Asia Minor

India

265 BC

By place

Greece

Italy

By topic

Arts & sciences

264 BC

By place

Greece

  • Abantidas, the son of Paseas, becomes tyrant of the Greek city-state of Sicyon after murdering Cleinias. He either banishes or puts to death Cleinias' friends and relations. Cleinias' young son, Aratus, narrowly escapes death.

Roman Republic

  • The tyrant of Syracuse, Hiero II, once more attacks the Mamertines. They ally themselves with a nearby Carthaginian fleet and hold off the Syracusans. However, when the Carthaginians do not leave, the Mamertines appeal to Rome for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection. Although initially reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome is unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore enters into an alliance with the Mamertines. By this action, the First Punic War begins and will embroil Rome in a conflict with Carthage that will continue for 23 years.
  • The Roman consul Appius Claudius Caudex and his two legions are deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army has gone into action outside the Italian peninsula.
  • Appius Claudius Caudex leads his forces to Messina, and as the Mamertines have convinced the Carthaginians to withdraw, he meets with only minimal resistance. The Mamertines hand the city over to Appius Claudius, but the Carthaginians return to set up a blockade. The Syracusans, meanwhile, are also stationed outside the city.
  • Appius Claudius leads his troops outside the city of Messina to defeat the Syracusans in battle forcing Hiero to retreat back to Syracuse. The next day Claudius defeats the Carthaginians.
  • The temple to Vertumnus is built on the Aventine Hill in Rome.
  • Three pairs of gladiators face off in the first recorded gladiatorial combat, held at the funeral games in honour of aristocrat Junius Brutus Pera in the Forum Boarium.

China

  • The Chinese Confucian philosopher Xunzi visits the State of Qin. He writes of his and others' admiration for the government officials of Qin, whom he says are serious and sincere, free from the tendency to form cliques. The Qin officials are disciplined by a meritocracy of rather harsh methods imposed by the Legalist philosophy.

263 BC

By place

Roman Republic

Greece

Asia Minor

  • Eumenes I succeeds his uncle Philetaerus to the throne of Pergamum. As Philetaerus was a eunuch, he adopted his nephew Eumenes (the son of Philetaerus' brother also named Eumenes) as his successor.

262 BC

By place

Greece

  • After Athens surrenders following a long siege by Macedonian forces, Antigonus II Gonatas re-garrisons Athens and forbids the city from making war. Otherwise, he leaves Athens alone as the seat of philosophy and learning in Greece.

Roman Republic

  • Rome besieges the city of Agrigentum which is held by Carthage under the command of Hannibal Gisco. Rome's siege involves both consular armies – a total of four Roman legions – and takes several months to resolve. The garrison of Agrigentum manages to call for reinforcements and a Carthaginian relief force commanded by Hanno comes to the rescue and destroys the Roman supply base at Erbessus. Nevertheless, after a few skirmishes, the battle of Agrigentum is fought and won by Rome, and the city falls. Gisco manages to escape to Carthage in the late stages of the battle.
  • After the loss of Agrigentum, the Carthaginians retire to organise their fleet. In the meantime, the Romans sack Agrigentum and enslave its Greek inhabitants. The Romans are now determined to drive the Carthaginians out of Sicily.

Seleucid Empire

  • Seleucid king Antiochus I's eldest son Seleucus, who has ruled in the east of the kingdom as viceroy for a number of years, is put to death by his father on the charge of rebellion.
  • Antiochus I tries to break the growing power of Pergamum by force of arms. Eumenes I, the new ruler of Pergamum, liberates his city from the overlordship of the Seleucids by defeating the army of Antiochus I near Sardis (the capital of Lydia), and thereby establishing an independent city-state.
  • Antiochus I dies and is succeeded by his second son Antiochus II Theos.

261 BC

By place

Roman Republic

Seleucid Empire

260 BC

By place

Sicily

  • The Roman advance continues westward from Agrigentum with their forces relieving the besieged cities of Segesta and Macella. These cities have sided with the Roman cause, and have come under Carthaginian attack for doing so.
  • Hannibal Gisco returns to fight in Sicily as the admiral in charge of the Carthaginian fleet in the Strait of Messina. With the Romans about to launch their first ever navy, Carthage is determined that this innovation be thwarted. Gisco defeats part of the Roman fleet and captures the Roman consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina in an encounter near Lipari; the consul's nickname Asina (which means donkey) is earned in this encounter. However, this Carthaginian victory is of limited practical value as the bulk of the Roman fleet continues to manoeuvre in the surrounding waters.
  • Confident in Carthage's superiority at sea, Hannibal Gisco deploys his ships for the Battle of Mylae in the traditional long line arrangement. Although inexperienced in sea battles, the Romans, led by consul Gaius Duilius Nepos, heavily defeat the Carthaginian fleet, mainly due to the innovative use of land tactics in naval warfare (including the use of the grappling irons and the corvus boarding bridge).
  • Having lost the confidence of his peers, Hannibal Gisco is subsequently executed for incompetence shortly afterwards, together with other defeated Punic generals.
  • In the north of Sicily, the Romans, with their northern sea flank secured by their naval victory in the Battle of Mylae, advance toward Thermae. They are defeated there by the Carthaginians under Hamilcar.

Egypt

China


Births

Deaths

Euclid

References

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