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We examine both works of fiction and important contemporaneous works on non-fiction which set the context for early Science Fiction and Fantasy.
There are 48 hotlinks here to authors, magazines, films, or television items elsewhere in the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide or beyond. Most recently updated: 3 July 2000 [76 kilobytes].
This web page draws heavily on FACTS as listed in "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988]. It does not copy the TEXT of that fine and recommended reference, and has value added in correlating the scientific and literary production of the century, and in hotlinking to additional resources.
Facts were also checked against "The 1979 Hammond Almanac" [ed. Martin A. Bacheller et al., Maplewood, New Jersey, 1978], p.795. It also utilizes facts from Volume I of D.E. Smith's "History of Mathematics" [(c) 1921 by David Eugene Smith; (c) 1951 by May Luse Smith; New York: Dover, 1958]. Jump Straight to the Chronology, or else first read:

1st MILLENNIUM B.C.: Executive Summary

{to be done} This page is growing too large; 500 BC-1 BC will need to be split off and expanded as its own page, or else broken into centuries. Fiction About the 1st MILLENNIUM B.C. {to be done} Jump to Century-by-Century Chronology of 1st MILLENNIUM B.C.: 1,050 BC to 1,000 BC 1,000 BC to 950 BC 950 BC to 900 BC 900 BC to 850 BC 850 BC to 800 BC 800 BC to 750 BC 750 BC to 700 BC 700 BC to 650 BC 650 BC to 600 BC 600 BC to 550 BC 550 BC to 500 BC 500 BC to 450 BC 450 BC to 400 BC 400 BC to 350 BC 350 BC to 300 BC 300 BC to 250 BC 250 BC to 200 BC 200 BC to 150 BC 150 BC to 100 BC 100 BC to 50 BC 50 BC to 1 BC

1,050 BC to 1,000 BC

1,027 BC: The Shang Dynasty in China is overcome by the Chou (from what are now Kansu and Shensi provinces). [Hellemans p.18] This is later known as the Classical Age of China, known for: * The Five Classics * the teachings of Confucius * the teachings of Mencius * the teachings of Lao-Tze [Hammond Almanac, p.789] The Duke of Chou in China builds an early "south-pointing carriage" or magnetic compass; a south-pointing carriage uses a differential gear to keep a part of the carriage pointing in the same direction as the carriage turns. [Hellemans p.19] 1,020-1004 BC: Saul is the first King of the Hebrews. [Hammond Almanac, p.788] c.1,000 BC: David selects Jerusalem as the capital city of the Hebrews.

1,000 BC to 950 BC

c.1,000 BC: Teutonic tribes settle in northern Europe. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.1,000 BC: Latin tribes settle in Italy. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 1,000-744 BC: The sea dominated by Phoenicians, who sail as far north as Cornwall (for Tin) and far down the west coast of Africa. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] The Etruscans use a form of false teeth, mostly for cosmetic purposes. [Hellemans p.19] Oats are cultivated in central Europe. [Hellemans p.19] Chinese counting boards originate. [Hellemans p.19] Dyes made from purple murex are introduced by the Phoenicians. [Hellemans p.19] c.999-936 BC Hiram I, King of Phoenicia (in Tyre), described in the Old Testament as an ally of the King David and King Solomon. Hiram I cooperated with Solomon, supplying him with material (including cedars from Lebanon) for the construction of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. Hiram encouraged extensive trade in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, which providing his capital city Tyre with great wealth. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.992-c.925 BC Solomon, King of Judah, second son of King David. In his reign, Israel reached its greatest glory and wealth. King Solomon comprehended that the special interests of the 12 tribes of Israel threatened the unity of the state, so he redivided the kingdom into 12 administrative districts whose borders were intentionally different from old tribal boundaries. A great diplomat, he negotiated close trade relations with Arabia and Phoenicia. With the wealth obtained in this trade, Solomon carried out extensive building projects in Jerusalem, (i.e. the palace, the famous temple, etc.). Yet high taxes plus alliances with heathen courts allowed discontent by the conservative populace, later bringing disruption of the kingdom under his Solomon's son, Rehoboam. King Solomon was (and is) also famous as a poet and philosopher, and is regarded as the author of the biblical "Song of Solomon." Solomon was attributed remarkable wisdom, the basis of his legendary status in the history of Judaism. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.985-c.907 BC Chinese Emperor Mu-wang reigned while the central authority of the Chou court was threatened by surrounding feudal states. Emperor Mu-wang nonetheless enlarged the crown lands and consolidated his power. Thus, the western Chou dynasty experienced its great and final flowering. Mu-wang's military campaigns extended along the Huang-ho river into central Asia, all the way to Tibet. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.981-c.918 BC Ahia, Prophet of Judah, called for the purification of the cult of Jahweh. Ahia criticised social injustice, prophesizing revolt. He led an uprising against the house of David, leading to the separation of Israel from Judah. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.976-c.914 BC Shoshenk I (Shishak) King of Egypt, originally a Libyan soldier from the Nile delta, rocketed to power and ruled the all of Egypt. The Old Testament describes his plunder of Jerusalem, and that he supported Jeroboam, the pretender who challenged the right of Solomon's son Rehoboam to succeed to the throne of Israel. Shoshenk's military victories were celebrated by inscriptions and reliefs at Karnak. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory

950 BC to 900 BC

Darius I has a canal constructed from the Nile to the Red Sea, effectively linking the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, although, like other ancient canals, it eventually falls into disuse. [Hellemans p.19] c.930 c.869 BC Omri, King of Israel, father of Ahab, is mentioned unflatteringly in the Old Testament, but is thought by modern scholars to have been one of the most important kings of Israel. He unified the 12 warring tribes of Israel and established Samaria as his capital. He defeateded Moab, and allied with Tyre (Phoenicia), resulting in foreign customs diffusing into the Jewish kingdom. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.927-c.850 BC Eljiah, Hebrew Prophet, rescued the the Yahweh religion from corruption by nature worship of Baal. Contemporary with the reign of King Ahab, Phoenician deities were imported and worshipped in Israel. Elijah led the "Jehovic countermovement." He denounced courtly corruption, attacked the cult of Baal, and taught that there was no reality other than the God of Israel. He also preached the idea of salvation as bestowed on purified true believers in the true God. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.912-859 BC Ashur-nars-pal II, King of Assyria, said to be the cruellest of all the kings of Assyria. He introduced cavalry into warfare, thus creating of the new Assyrian empire. Sadistic techniques such as impalement, scourging, and mass-executions were used to induce fear in the regions he conquered. A gigantic palace was built at Calah by deportees from annexed areas. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory

900 BC to 850 BC

900 BC: Chavins unite Peru [David W. Koeller] Claimed to have flourished beginning 1000 BC, with painted relief sculpture and stone ceremonial center at Chavin de Hunatar for a Jaguar cult, with gold ornaments and distinctive ceramics; the culture to end by about 200 BC. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 900-400 BC: Etruscans, probably from Lydia (Asia Minor) establish a civilization in Italy and an ocean-going power. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.890-815 BC Jehu, King of Israel, was anointed king of Israel by followers of the prophet Elisha. Jehu continued the suppression the Baal cult, exploited the poor, and had to pay protection money to the Assyrians, yet still had continous war with the king of Damascus, once the Assyrian armies withdrew. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.882-c.798 BC Elisha, Hebrew Prophet, succeeded Elijah in the struggle to maintain the worship of Yaweh despite the invading Phoenician Baal cult. Jehu (above) was anointed as king of Israel by a representative of Elisha. Elisha demanded that King Jehu eliminate Baal from Israel. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 876 BC: The symbol for zero is used in an inscription in India, the first known reference to this symbol, although the concept may have originated much earlier. [Hellemans p.19] c.852-c.774 BC Pygmalion, King of Tyre, last significant king of Tyre, defended the fortress/city against advancing Greek colonists and Assyrian armies. Pygmalion extended Phoenician influence along the coast of North Africa. He executed the husband of his sister Dido, a priest who fled with Dido to North Africa where she founded the city of Carthage, according to legend. In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was King of Cyprus, and fell in love with a statue of Aphrodite. George Bernard Shaw wrote a play, "Pygmalion", which was adapted to the musical and film "My Fair Lady." paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory Natural gas from wells is used in China. [Hellemans p.19]

850 BC to 800 BC

814 BC: Phoenecians found the city of Carthage. 811 BC-757 BC Sian-Chien, Prince of Chin, successfully defended the Chinese retreat from northern Huns. In reward, Sian-Chien received from the emperor the state of Chin, assuming the title "Prince of Chin." He was thus the first ruler of the state from which the empire of China got its name. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.802-c.745 BC Amos, Hebrew Prophet, was born near Jerusalem in Judah, worked as a shepherd, and became the first Hebrew prophet to have a book of the Old Testament named for him. His compelling visions of divine destructions of the Hebrews led Amos to travel to the nearby kingdom of Israel, where he castigated corrupt officials and social injustice. Amos preached: * that God's absolute sovereignity over man demanded social justice for all people, rich and poor alike * not even God's chosen people were exempt from judgement * there exists a moral order which transcends nationalism. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory

800 BC to 750 BC

800 BC: Olmecs unite Mesoamerica [David W. Koeller] The Olmecs build pyramids in La Venta (Tabasco, Mexico). [Hellemans p.19] 9th or 8th Century BC Homer is a major poet/dramtist of ancient Greece, has a life that is unknown in biographical detail to modern historians. He was arguably an Ionian. The two epics, the Illiad and the Odyssey are ascribed to him. Many disparate Greek states were united by the Homeric epics. The Iliad tells how Greek tribes besieged and captured Asia Minor city of Troy. The Odyssey is a story about the adventures of the hero, Odysseus, travelling back from Troy to his homeland and beloved wife Penelope and son Telemachus. The heroic ideals of these epics inspired all Greeks to see their particular polis as though it were one of Homer's heroic characters, inducing them to seek collective glory for their cities. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 800-586 BC: The city founded by Phoenicians in north Africa, Carthage, rises to become a rich commercial capital. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.790 BC: Small villages of primitive thatched huts appear on the Palatine and neighboring hills overlooking the Roman countryside. c.784-c.725 BC Hosea, Hebrew Prophet in the kingdom of Israel, when many people worshiped pagan gods such as Baal. Hosea decried such worship as unfaithfulnes to God. He demanded that Israel repent its sins of apostasy; warned of God's judgement to come; yet preached that God was a loving father. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.777-c.692 BC Isaiah, Hebrew Prophet, when the Assyrian empire threatened the very existence of Israel, proficied that Assyria's threat was God's warning to a godless people. Isaiah insisted that the kings of Judah must pursue justice, avoid dangerous political/economic alliances, and instead trust in God's protection. Isaiah proclaimed that if it is God who decides the destiny of nations, then security is for God alone to grant, that men may deserve that peace. He promised that a Messiah would someday appear to offer salvation to the Jewish people. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 776 BC: The first Olympiad celebrated in Greece. [Hellemans p.18] 774-625 BC: Phoenicia under rule by Assyria. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.774-727 BC Tiglath-Pileser III, King of Assyria, an adept warrior and skillful administrator, was the basis for the late Assyrian empire. Prior to his reign, Assyria was threatened by militarily stronger external enemies, yet Tiglath-Pileser managed to subject Syria and Palestine to Assyrian rule, and negotiated the merger of the kingdoms of Babylonia and Assyria, under his unified command. Tiglath-Pileser promulgated the policy of transplanting the populations of conquered lands. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 763 BC: The Babylonians record an eclipse, the oldest eclipse recorded. [Hellemans p.18] 763-705 BC Sargon II, King of Assryia in its last century, extended and consolidated the conquests of his father Tiglath-Pileser III (above). Sargon II's conquests included Babylonia, Armenia, Philistia, and ancient Israel, which he virtually wiped out. Sargon died in battle, weapons in hand, in a mountain district of Persia. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.761-695 BC Sabaka (Shabaka) Pharaoh of Egypt, king from Nubia, subjugated lower Egypt and became the first of Ethiopian pharaohs. Sabaka captured and burned alive the 2nd king of the 24th dynasty, thus founding the 25th dynasty. He promoted religious orthodoxy and a return to the customs of old, reviving the practice of pyramid burials. He himself was laid to rest in a pyramid between the Third and Fourth cataracts of the Nile. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 753 BC: According to tradition, Rome is founded. [Hellemans p.18] (by Romulus and Remus). [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.753-c.680 BC Hesiod, Greek Poet was the first major Greek poet after Homer, and the first of mainland Greece whose works survive today. His serious tone is distinguished from the more glamorous poetics of Homer. Two of Hesiod's complete epics survive: * the Theogony, in which Hesiod tried to resolve conflicting accounts of Greek gods * the Works and Days, which describes peasant life. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory Patients are treated at temples of the god Asklepios in Greece. [Hellemans p.19] Water clocks are used in Assyria. [Hellemans p.19] Glaucos of Chios invents soldering with an alloy that melts easily. [Hellemans p.19]

750 BC to 700 BC

c.750 BC: Settlement in Sudan of the Kushites, who developed a sophisticated civilization, with pyramids and palaces, major ironworks at Meroe, use of elephants, and trade with cultures as far away as Rome and India; until their royalty ended power with the death of the last king in 320 AD. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] Homer (Odyssey; Illiad) and Hesiod (poetry) complete their great literary works. [Hellemans p.18] Music develops. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 750 BC: Romans seize the Sabine Women, making them forcefully into their wives. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 747 BC: Sabines capture Rome, and merge with the Romans into one culture. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 747-728: Assyrian king Tigrath-Pilser III overcomes Aramaean tribes in Babylonia, conquers Urartu (Armenia) and holds power over Syria. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 736-630 BC: Rise of the city-state of Sparta on the mainland of Greece. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.728-c.660 BC Kallinos, Greek Poet of Ephesus in Ionia. His poems contain Homeric imagery, but with fresh treatment. Kallinos is considered the creator of classical Greek song. Ionia (within Asia Minor), was invaded from southern Russia; Kallinos' poems valorize the patriotic heroes who defend Ephesus, his home town. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 721-705 BC: King Sargon II of Assyria finishing conquering Israel, and most Israelites go into exile. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 720 BC: Chinese solar eclipse records start. [Hellemans p.18] c.713-c.669 BC Eshardon, King of Assyria, was governor of Babylon after the Assyrian army sacked it. Upon the murder of his father, King Sennacherib, by Eshardon's brothers, Eshardon promptly marched to Niniveh, the capital, where he suppressed the rebellion and seized the throne. Once king, Eshardon commanded the rebuilding of Babylon, conquered Egypt and attained the Assyrian empire's greatest ever territorial expansion. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.712-c.645 BC Terpander, Greek Poet and musician from the island of Lesbos, was also famous as a singer and was said to have invented a 7-stringed instrument, the kithara, which resembled a lyre. Terpander won a prize for music with that kithara at the 26th Olympiad held in Sparta, where he established a musicians' school. He also created a system of musical notation. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 705-681 BC: Assyrian king Sennacherib destroys Babylon, and builds a vast palace in Ninevah. [Hammond Almanac, p.789]

700 BC to 650 BC

700 BC: Temple of Hera erected at Olympia; Sparta annexes eastern Messenia. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.700 BC: Celts start invasions of France and Spain. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 700 BC Invention of aqueducts Niel Brandt's General Technology c.693-610 BC Psamtik I, King of Egypt, freed Egypt from Ashurbanipal's Assyrian rule, reunited the country, and founded its 26th dynasty. Psamtik had been named governor of a city in the Nile delta by the Assyrian king. Psamtik formed an alliance with the king of Lydia; this enabled him to subjugate other Assyrian vassals in the Nile delta. Once he reformed the new government, he overthrew the rule of the kings of Kush (that African kingdom which had ruled from the South of Upper Egypt). Psamtik then suppressed the power of the priests, while settling Greek mercenaries in the Nile delta. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.692-c.626 BC Ashurbanipal, last of the great kings of Assyria, succeeded his father Esarhadon in 669 BC, and went on to achieve the greatest territorial expansion of the Assyrian empire: including Babylonia, Persia, Syria, and Egypt (although Egypt was soon revolted and left the empire). Ashurbanipal, a fearsome warrior, also patronized the arts and established the famous library at his capital Niniveh, boasting over 20,000 clay tablets. After he died, Assyria fell to the combined forces of Babylonia and Medea; the empire vanished from history. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 681-668 BC: King Esarhaddon of Assyria's reign; the Assyrian Empire, at time of widest power, extended from Egypt to Iran. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] [but see c.692-c.626 BC, which disputes this] 660 BC: Byzantium founded by Megara. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.659-c.601 BC Greek Legislator Dracon established the first written system of laws in Athens. The Draconian punishment outlawed vendetta. Dracon's harsh code punished trivial and serious crimes identically: with death. From this we derive the word "draconian" to describe brutally tough legal measures. Yet his codes had their strengths, including the first distinctions between homicide and murder. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.658-595 BC Necho II, Pharaoh of Egypt, son of Psamtik, a member of the 26th dynasty, supported a weakened Assyria as a buffer state against the threats of Media and Babylonia. Necho was victorious in Syria and Palestine, until 605 BC when the Babylonian forces of Nebuchadnezzar crushed the Egyptian fighters. Necho repelled the enemy, who otherwise would have invaded Egypt, then concentrating on commercial projects. Necho began building a canal from the Red Sea to the Nile, but an oracle persuaded him to shut down the project. He established naval fleets crewed with Phoenician sailors, then sent them to successfully circumnavigate Africa. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory The first standard coinage is in use in Lydia (western Turkey). [Hellemans p.18]

650 BC to 600 BC

c.649-c.570 BC Jeremiah, Hebrew Prophet in Judah, was author of the Old Testament book that bears his name. Jeremiah's message was of impending doom (we use the word "jeremiad" today for such dystopian propecies), but he made the original promise of a God of universal righteousness. Jeremiah warned the Judeans of Babylonian invasion, and prophesied that the Temple of Solomon would be destroyed in that invasion. When Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked Israel, the Temple was indeed burned. Leading citizens were taken into captivity, but Jeremiah was allowed to stay. Once the Babylonian governor was assassinated, Jeremiah was brought to Egypt by the rebels. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.640-c.559 BC Greek Statesman Solon, one of the "Seven Wise Men of Greece," was a statesman and lawgiver of Athens, and also a noted poet. Solon's reforms prepared for Athenian democracy. Greek maritime trade brought propserity, and the growth of the middle class in Attica, leading to unrest and political pressure on the ruling aristocracy. In response, by 594 BC, the concerned aristocrats appointed Solon as sole Archon, with unique power to reform the state. Solon: * ended slavery for debt * replaced the harsh Draconian law code with a more humane one * ended exclusive control of the government by aristocrats * made wealth rather than birth the criterion for political participation * granted citizenship to foreign craftsmen who settled in Athens. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.637-c.572 BC Greek Poetess Sappho of Lesbos was the greatest poetess of antiquity. Her emotionally vivid style influenced poets forver after. Her themes were very personal, critically judging her pains and ecstasies and pains with no loss of emotional force. On the island of Lesbos, she taught a coterie of young women disciples. Legend holds that Sappho was a Lesbian (the term coming from the name of her island and her female associations), but in the surviving poems there is no direct evidence connecting her or her students with homosexuality, though she was clearly aware of its existence. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 631 BC: Founding of Cyrene in northern Africa, by Greeks, later to grow into a commercial nexus. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 630-553 BC: life of Zarathustra, also known as Zoroaster c.630-c.550 BC Persian Prophet Zoroaster. Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra) founded the first world religion: Zoroastrianism. According to its sacred book, the Zend Avesta, he was born in Azerbaijan (northern Persia) and had a vision from Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), who appointed him to preach the truth. Zoroaster began telling his message of cosmic conflict between Ahura Mazda (God of Light) and Ahriman (principle of evil). According to the Zoroastrian prophecy, man has the power to choose between these personified forces of good and evil. The end of the world will come when the forces of light triumph, and saved souls rejoice in victory. This dualism evolved religion from polytheism (many gods) towards monotheism (one god) in the Middle East. Zoroaster's preaching became the guiding light of Persian civilization. Once Alexander the Great conquered Persia Zoroastrianism faded in its home country, but survived in India as the basis of the Parsi religion, which is active today. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 625-539 BC: Mesopotamia ruled by Chaldean Empire. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 624-562 BC Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon, captured Jerusalem in 586 BC, destroyed the city, ended the Judean kingdom, and began the Babylonian Captivity of many Jews. During his reign, the Neo-Babylonian empire reached its peak, making the city of Babylon its crowning glory. He built, among many other projects, the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.624-c.546 BC Thales of Miletus, considered one of the Seven Wise Men of ancient Greece, was the first of the Greek natural. philosophers. He was a founder of the Ionian school of ancient Greek thinkers, and was said to have measured the Egyptian pyramids and calculated the distance from shore of ships at sea using his techniques of Geometry. He also successfully predicted a solar eclipse. In geometry, Thales is credited with discovering five theorems, including that any triangle inscribed in a semicircle has a right angle. He attempted to discover the substance from which everything in nature is made, suggesting water. Thales bridged the worlds of myth and reason, and thereby Aristotle called him the founder of Philosophy. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 621 BC: Harsh laws of Athens codified by Draco. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 612 BC: Medes, Chaldeans, and Scythians cooperate to capture the Assyrian capital of Ninevah. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.610-c.546 BC Anaximander, Greek Philosopher. Anaximander is sometimes designated the "father of astronomy," because he was the first to develop a cosmology by using mathematical proportions to map and interpret the heavens. Anaximander was born in Miletus and could have been a pupil of the philosopher Thales [see c.624]. Anaximander analyzed the origin of the cosmos with the theory of apeiron: * the universe is boundless * the universe consists of a primary substance. Anaximander wrote influential works of astronomy, biology, cosmology, and geography, He wrote that human infants were at first produced as a fishlike creature -- an early form of evolutionary theory, as human embryos do have gills and a tail. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 606 BC: Assyrian Empire falls at the Battle of Charchemish. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 605-562 BC: Babylon under the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar II becomes the largest city on Earth, with an area of 10,000 hectares [25,000 acres]. [Hellemans p.18] It had the Hanging Gardens (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world), the "Tower of Babel", and a temple to the god Marduk. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 604 BC: Lao Tse born in China (also written "Lao-tze") c.604-c.521 BC Lao-tze, Chinese Philosopher Lao-tze is attributed as author of the Tao Te Ching and founder of the Chinese religion Taoism. Lao-tze means "Old Master", and "Tao" means "the Way" The Tao Te Ching describes a nonagressive style of living, with stoic indifference to the conventional powers of the world. It calmly preached a return to a (historically fictitious) simple life of the past, and for human life in harmony with the cosmos. Man must, it says, imitate nature, which endures because it does not live for itself. Lao-tze was originally a librarian at the court of Chou. When that kingdom showed aspects of corruption, Lao-tze left for parts unknown. Legend tells of Lao-tze, grieving over the evil of men, setting off into the desert on a water buffalo to forever leave civilization behind. He arrived at the final gate of the Great Wall protecting the kingdom, where the gatekeeper encouraged him to record the principles of his philosophy. The result, legend has it, was the 81 epigraphs of the Tao Te Ching. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 602-527 BC Peisistratos, Greek Politician. When Greek commerce expanded, newly wealthy families started taking political power from the aristocracy ("aristoi" means "noble lords"). Countering this power shift, usurpers from the original aristocracy organized, in cooperation with impovershed lower-class citizens, and became tyrannical autocrats. Peisistratos, in 560 BC, promulgated the first of a series of Tyrannies in Athens. Supported by peasants, he ruled for 14 years, promoted the cult of Athena (as Athens's main god or goddess), and increased economic prosperity through trade, thus preparing for Athenian dominance of Greece. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory

600 BC to 550 BC

c.600 BC: "relatively wet/cold event of unknown duration in many areas" "A quick background to the last ice age" 600-300 BC: Teutonic tribes' invasions of western Europe: * Alemanni on the upper Rhine * Franks and Saxons between the Elbe and Weser * Thuringians south of the Saxons [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 594 BC: Solon promulgates a limited Democracy in Athens with social and constitutional reforms. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.590-529 BC King of Persia, Cyrus the Great, founded the Achaemenid Persian empire. Cyrus, at first a Persian vassal-king, conquered Media and consolidated his rule over Iran. He subjugated Lydia by defeating Croesus in battle, in 456 BC. With allies among the city priesthood of Babylon, Cyrus entered that city without a fight. Once he'd conquered the Babylonian Empire, he brought Palestine into the Persian Empire, at which time Cyrus allowed the Jews to come home from their Babylonian Captivity. Cyrus then wrested much of Central Asia to his rule. He borrowed customs from the peoples he subjugated, thereby shaping Achaemenid arts and civilization. Cyrus was killed during an campaign against the Scythians. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 586 BC: Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, smashed the Temple of Solomon, and carried Hebrews back to slavery in Babylonia. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.585-c.525 BC Greek Philosopher Anaximenes, born in Miletus, is one of the first three major philosophers of Western culture. Thales [see c.624 BC, above] held that water is the basic substance of all matter, and Anaximander [see c.610 BC, above] taught of unlimited essential substances, Anaximenes maintained that the basic substance in the cosmos is air. He wrote: "The soul is air, fire is rarified air, when condensed air becomes water and finally earth and stone." His discussion of condensation influenced in later scientific thought (today called "phase transition"), but his cosmology of a flat Earth supported by air seems, in retrospect, less advanced than Anaximander, who held (correctly) that the Earth floats free in space. In a sense, he was right if we take "air" to be "plasma" -- the ionized material that makes up most of the universe. paraphrased and expanded from the visually strong HyperHistory 580 BC: Thales, first great Western philosopher.... [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.580-c.527 BC Jina Mahavira Vardhamana, Prophet in India, founded the Jain religion, which preaches salvation through asceticism. "Mahavira" (Great Hero) is the honorific title of Vardhamana. "Jina" is the term for saviours in the Jain religion. Mahavira was an ascetic monk who reformed the religious order of Jaina. He advocated vegetarianism and acceptance of the "Five Great Vows": * abstinence from violence * abstinence from falsehood * abstinence from stealing * contentment with one's own wife [life?] * lack of possessions. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.575-c.500 BC Pythagoras, Greek Philosopher/Mathematician, is best known today for the Pythagorean Theorem: the square of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Born on the island of Samos, he moved to southern Italy, and founded a school at Croton where he taught that the structure of the universe was to be discovered with the aid of mathematics, which he held as the basis of physics, acoustics and astronomy. He famously said "all is number" -- meaning that all existing things can ultimately be reduced to numerical relationships. His mystical preaching was on transmigration of souls (reincarnation). paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.575-c.478 BC Xenophanes, Greek Philosopher/Poet from Ionia, in Asia Minor, traveled to Italy and lived at Elea. Only fragments of his work survives; it seems that Xenophanes opposed to the mysticism of Pythagoras. He anticipated the philosophy of Parmenides in teaching "all is one and the one is God." He was an extreme free thinker, writing that "if oxen, lions, and horses had hands wherewith they could paint images, they would fashion gods after their own shapes ... the Ethiopians make their gods black; the Thracians say theirs have blue eyes and red hair." paraphrased and expanded from the visually strong HyperHistory c.572-c.485 BC Cleisthenes, Greek Statesman, was the founder of democracy in Athens. Cleisthenes served as Athens's chief Archon in 525 BC. After the fall of the tyrant Hippias, Cleisthenes instituted a democratic regime, and prepared Athens to face the threatening Persian armies. He introduced the practice of "ostracism," or temporary banishment. His major innovation was to base individual political responsibility on city's citizenship, rather than on clan membership. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 566 BC: First Census of Romans. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 563-483 BC: Siddhartha Gautama Buddha preaches in India. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.560-c.477 BC Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of Buddhism, the fourth largest of the world's religions. He is seen as either a human spiritual teacher or an omniscient active deity. Gautama was the son of a Nepalese aristocratic family who lived a life of comfort and luxury. When he was 29 years old, he realized that humans are subject to old age, disease, and death -- that life is suffering. He left his palace to search for truth, as a wandering ascetic. He travelled south to the Magadha kingdom in search of teachers, experimented with fasting, yoga, and living as a hermit in the forest. Six years of austerity later, he quit asceticism to seek his own road to Enlightenment. While he sat under a banyan tree, clear vision came to him and he became a supreme Buddha (in Sanskrit: "wise" or "enlightened" one). paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 560-510 BC: Pisistratus seizes power, Tyrants rule Athens. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] see: 602 BC, above. 560 BC: Lydia's King Croesus conquers Ionian cities. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.558-491 BC Bimbisara, King of Magadha (an Indian kingdom) expanded the kingdom, as a precursor to later expansion of the Maurya Empire. Bimbisara was a friend of Jina (Founder of Jainism in India; see: c.580 BC, above) and a protector of Buddha. The King Bimbisara's support helped Buddhism becomea popular movement in India. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 551-579: Teachings by Confucius in China. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.551-479 BC Confucius (Kung Fu-tse), Chinese Philosopher, became famous as a sage of China during its "Age of Philosophers." His "Five Classics", which recount his teachings, have influenced all of eastern Asian civilization. Confucius was born in the state of Lu during an era when local rulers failed to pay homage to the emperor of a Chou dynasty in decline. Confucius deplored the disrespect and chaos, and yearned nostalgically for the decent past. He studied the teachings of the Chinese sages (wise men) whose thoughts had united China. Confucius intended to restore the faith, and renew the practices of sages and emperors of history. Without an official position from which to launch his reforms, he dedicated his life to inspiring and instructing his disciples. He rectified language and music. Confucius tried to lay out sound rules for every event in life. Compassionately perturbed by the world's miseries, he desired to make men noble, and thus bring back an age of nobility. His style of ritual, benevolence, and propriety became the ideology of Han China. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 550-486 BC Darius I, King of Persia (Darius the Great) was the most successful ruler of the Achaemenid dynasty and the most effective administrator of the Persian Empire. Darius became king after murdering the previous king's son, an usurper of the throne. Once king, he organized the Persian Empire into satrapies (administrative units). He built great royal arterial roads to bind together the empire. Darius conquered the Indus valley; campaigned against frontier tribes; and suppressed the revolt in Asia Minor of the Greek city-states. However, his punitive expedition against Greece failed at the battle of Marathon. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory

550 BC to 500 BC

c.550 BC: The Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, ruled huge swaths of Near East and Middle East; art flourished, architecture elaborated, and the religion of Zoroastrianism spread widely. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 550 BC: Ephesus has Temple of Diana (Artemis) completed. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 546 BC: Lydia's King Croesus conquered by Cyrus the Great. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.544-c.480 BC Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher was born in Ephesus, a Greek colony in Asia Minor. Heraclitus was deemed the "obscure philosopher" because of his sometimes cryptic utterances. For him the essential substance that unites all things was fire (as opposed to the "air" of Anaximenes, or the "water" of Thales). He wrote that the cosmos was an "ever-living fire kindling in measures and being extinguished by measures." He taught that everything was in eternal flux, because of contending opposites, and that "reality" transforms to "harmony." He summarized this doctrine of eternal change with the epigram that "one cannot step twice into the same river." For Heraclitus, the first principle of the world was not static "being" but dynamic "becoming." That makes him, in modern terms, the first "process philosopher." paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 538 BC: The Hebrews were returned to Jerusalem when Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 534-510 BC: Reign of Etruscan ruler Tarquinius Superbus; when he dies the Etruscan culture declines into obscurity. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] c.530-c.472 BC Aristides, Athenian Statesman was a talented military general who founded the Delian League, which turned Athens into Greece's leading power in Greece. In 482 he was ostracized for opposing the plan of Themistocles to build a large fleet to attack, or defend against, the Persians. Restored to prominence in 480, he led the victory over the Persians at Salamis, and commanded the Greek army successfully at the Battle of Plataea. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 525-c.449 BC Themistocles, Statesman of Athens. Themistocles began his political career following the Battle of Marathon and the Persians' retreat. He insisted that the Persians would return, so proposed to build a strong fleet to meet them at sea. This was opposed by Athens' leader Aristides. Themistocles prevailed with the naval strategy and banishment of Aristides. The Persians did return, defeated Sparta at Thermopylae and occupied Athens. Themistocles retreated the Athenians to the island of Salamis, where he engaged and destroyed the fleet of Persia. He'd made Athens a great power, but the citizens were persuaded that he had taken bribes, so in 471 BC, he was banished from the city he loved. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 525-405 BC: Egypt beaten and ruled by Persia. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 525-456 BC Aeschylus, Greek Playwright, was the earliest of the great Greek tragedians, and the key to the establishment of Greek drama. He is deemed the "Father of Tragedy." Aeschylus fought for Athens at Marathon [490 BC], helping to defeat the invading Persians. His first prize in a dramatic contest was in 484 BC, followed eight years later by his earliest extant play, "The Persians." Before Aeschylus, tragedies had a single actor, who could only respond to suggestions of the chorus. By adding a second actor, Aeschylus invented the way to dramatize intrigue and conflict. He shrank the chorus, diminishing its importance, and emphasizing dramatic dialogue instead. The chorus had a secondary role, commenting, warning, or setting the mood for the play's action of the play, now advanced by actors. Of the 90+ or plays Aeschylus wrote, only 7 have survived in complete form, including the "Oresteia" trilogy, "The Seven against Thebes," and "Prometheus Bound." paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 521-486 BC: Darius the Great (Darius I), King of Persia, fought Greece, and unified Persian power in the East. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 520-465 BC Xerxes I, King of Persia was the son of Darius I and grandson of Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire. He was a great builder, but less tolerant and cautious than his father and grandfather. Xerxes thus had to crush revolutions in Babylon and Egypt. Desiring to avenge his father's defeat at Marathon, he invaded Greece and won the Batttle of Thermopylae, but later suffered a decisive naval defeat at Salamis, near Athens. Persia's defeat loomed large in Greek eyes, but Xerxes considered his recovery of Egypt to be more significant. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory c.518-c.438 BC Pindar, Greek Poet, was born in Boetia, central Greece, and is considered the greatest of the Greek choral lyricists. His masterpieces are the "epinicia" (44 are known), which celebrate victories achieved in the Pythian, Olympic, and Isthmian games. His poetry includes lyrics of unrivaled splendor, but the choral lyric itself dwindled as tragedy devoured all that was vital in the tradition, so Pindar had no significant successors. paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 509 BC: Traditional date for the founding of the Roman Republic. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 509 BC: On the Roman Capitol, the Temple of Jupiter is dedicated. [Hammond Almanac, p.789]

500 BC to 450 BC

500 B.C. The Sahara turns to desert, pyramids are built at Oaxaca c. 500 BC to AD 400: Adena and Hopewell Cultures in the Americas [David W. Koeller] 500-449BC: Greek-Persian Wars, due to economic rivalry, leads to Greek domination by Athens. [Hammond Almanac, p.789] 6th/5th century BC Parmenides, Greek Philosopher from Elea in southern Italy, who founded the Eleatic School of Philosophy. He taught that the changing world, perceived by human the senses, is too unstable and perishable to be the ultimate reality. In his principle work, a lengthy two-part philosophical poem, he said that the apparent multiplicity of existing things are merely an appearance of a single eternal reality. His doctrine "all is one" contradicts his contemporary Heraclitus [see c.544 BC, above] who taught that "all is change." paraphrased from the visually strong HyperHistory 451 BC "In Rome the laws were inscribed on tablets. These were the foundation of Roman jurisprudence. (The science of law). The Ten Commandments of the Jews, another source of jurisprudence, were also originally inscribed on tables of stone." Time line for the history of science and social science

450-400 BC

c.440 BC "Democritus proposed the concept of atom to describe the ultimate indivisible, indestructible particles that composed the substance of all things. Lucretius (95-55 BC) wrote De rerum natura inspired in the ideas of Democritus and Epicurus." Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas {to be done} [Hellemans p.9] Much more to be done on the 5th Century BC: Pericles, Peloponnesian War, the golden age of Athens, and all that... 430 B.C. Herodotus writes Histories 429 BC "Pericles (leader of the democracy in Athens) died of fever during a long war between Athens and Sparta. Political turmoil followed his death." Time line for the history of science and social science 427 BC Plato (philosopher) born Time line for the history of science and social science 404 BC Athens surrendered to Sparta. Government of the thirty tyrants came to power in Athens. Time line for the history of science and social science 403 BC Restoration of democracy in Athens. Time line for the history of science and social science 400 BC Catapults are invented in Syracuse Niel Brandt's General Technology

400-350 BC

399 BC "Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, destroyed the arguments of many powerful and respected authorities, with a simple question and answer dialectic. Thus he became subversive to the established political order and was accused of impiety and innovation, he was condemned to death, to drink an infusion of hemlock." Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas c.390 BC "Plato develops his philosophy and theory of knowledge" 386 BC "Plato, a pupil of Socrates, established the Academy - the first university - where he taught for the rest of his life. Plato argued that: * truth and reason are external. * we must govern our personal and social lives using reason. * humans can reason to external truth." Time line for the history of science and social science 384 BC Aristotle born. Time line for the history of science and social science 363 BC Aristotle studied under Plato. Time line for the history of science and social science

350 BC to 300 BC

347 BC Plato died. Following Plato's death, Aristotle left Athens. Time line for the history of science and social science 342 BC Aristotle tutor to Alexander, who became the Emperor Alexander. Time line for the history of science and social science 335 BC "Aristotle returned to Athens, where he opened a school called the Lyceum. Aristotle argued that: * truth and reason are within things * the truth of something is its essence or nature * the essence of something is what it could become. An acorn, for example, is a seed that could become an oak." Time line for the history of science and social science c.340 BC "Aristotle proposed that Earth is a sphere, that space is continuous and always filled with matter. He also laid the basis of physics, metaphysics and geocentric cosmology." Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas 335 B.C. Alexander succeeds Philip of Macedonia 331 BC onwards Alexander destroyed the power of Persia, and established an empire which stretched from Macedonia to Egypt, and to the Indus. Time line for the history of science and social science 322 BC Aristotle died Time line for the history of science and social science 300 B.C. Parisi tribe founds Paris as Lutece, fishing village on small island in the Seine

300-250 BC

c.300 BC "Euclid taught in Alexandria, Egypt. Building on the practical geometry of the Egyptians, Euclid laid the foundations of theoretical geometry." Time line for the history of science and social science c.295 BC Euclid develops the elements of mathematics Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas 290 B.C. Euclid sets out the principles of geometry 287 B.C. Chinese begin building the Great Wall to protect themselves against barbarian invasion 264 B.C. Romans discover a new spectator sport: gladiators in the ring 260 : Archimedes mathematically works out the principle of the lever and discovers the principle of buoyancy Niel Brandt's Classical Mechanics c.260 BC "Aristarchus of Samos estimated distance and size of the Moon from Earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse. He set the basis of heliocentric cosmology." [over a millennium before Copernicus rediscovered and popularized the notion]. Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas

250-200 BC

c.250 BC "Archimedes studied the equilibrium of planes and the centre of gravity of planes and deduced the laws of the levers. He also studied the sphere and the cylinder to deduce the surface area from which the value of Pi could be established. Archimedes could evaluate the relative density of the bodies by observing the bouyancy force when immersed in water. By all above he may be considered as the precursor of static mechanics." Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas c.240 BC "Eratosthenes of Cyrene, director of Alexandria library, calculated the diameter of Earth by measuring the sun shadow at noon in Siena (Egypt) and Alexandria located at ~800 km north of Siena. Knowing that the Earth is spheric, and the measured angle between both places is 7 degrees, the circumference of the spheric earth is approximately 50 times that distance, that is approximately 40,000 km, surprisingly close to the actually known values. This fact was ignored during centuries when earth was considered flat and the center of the universe." Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas 218 B.C. Hannibal crosses the Alps 201 B.C. Romans win the Punic Wars over Carthage

200-150 BC

150 BC Hipparchus invents the astrolabe Niel Brandt's General Technology

150-100 BC

146 B.C. Romans destroy Carthage, flatten every building, sell populace into slavery c.140 BC Hypparcus estimated size of the Moon from parallax of an eclipse Chemical Engineering, Science & Technology Timeline Compiled by Luis Klemas 134 BC Hipparchus creates the magnitude scale of stellar apparent luminosities Niel Brandt's Stellar Astronomy

100-50 BC

100 BC Glass-blowing is discovered in Syria Niel Brandt's General Technology

50-1 BC

50 B.C. Caesar crosses the Rubicon to fight Pompey 44 B.C. Caesar murdered 4 BC Probable birth date of Jesus Christ
|Introduction: Overview and Summary |Prehistory: Ancient Precursors |Cosmic History: 13,000,000,000 - 3000 BC |3rd Millennium BC: Gilgamesh and Cheops |2nd Millennium BC: [You Are Here] |9th Century BC: {to be done} |8th Century BC: {to be done} |7th Century BC: {to be done} |6th Century BC: {to be done} |5th Century BC: {to be done} |4th Century BC: {to be done} |3rd Century BC: {to be done} |2nd Century BC: {to be done} |1st Century BC: {to be done} |1st Century: {to be done} |2nd Century: {to be done} |3rd Century: {to be done} |4th Century: {to be done} |5th Century: {to be done} |6th Century: {to be done} |7th Century: Rise of Islam |8th Century: Beowulf, Charlemagne, 1001 Nights |9th Century: Gunpowder and the first printed book |10th Century: Arabs, Byzantium, China |11th Century: Kyahham, Gerbert, Alhazen |12th Century: Age of Translations |13th Century: Fibonacci and final flowering of Chivalry |14th Century: Dante, Marco Polo, and Clocks |15th Century: Dawn of Scientific Revolution |16th Century: Ariosto and Cyrano on the Moon |17th Century: Literary Dawn |18th Century: Literary Expansion |19th Century: Victorian Explosion |1890-1910: Into Our Century |1910-1920: The Silver Age |1920-1930: The Golden Age |1930-1940: The Aluminum Age |1940-1950: The Plutonium Age |1950-1960: The Threshold of Space |1960-1970: The New Wave |1970-1980: The Seventies |1980-1990: The Eighties |1990-2000: End of Millennium |2000-2010: Future Prizewinners

Where to Go for More

Useful Reference Books Beyond the World Wide Web... there is the library of old-fashioned books printed on paper. I strongly recommend that you start or follow-up your explorations of this web site by consulting any or all of these outstanding sources: "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988]. Facts were also checked against "The 1979 Hammond Almanac" [ed. Martin A. Bacheller et al., Maplewood, New Jersey, 1978], p.795. Volume I of D.E. Smith's "History of Mathematics" [(c) 1921 by David Eugene Smith; (c) 1951 by May Luse Smith; New York: Dover, 1958]. {more to be done}
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