499 BCWork On Grand Canal- The Chinese began work on the Grand Canal under the Eastern Chou dynasty. The goal of the canal was to connect the Yellow and Yangtse River. Work and improvements on the canal continued for 2,000 years.
499 BC Greek City States Revolts- The Greek city states known as the Ionians in Asian Minor revolted against Persian rule. Their leader was Aristagoras of Miletus. The Athenians sent 20 ships to help them.
494 BCDarius Navy Defeats Greeks Off Lade- Darius' naval forces were able to defeat the Greek fleet off the island of Lade. With the sea under his control, Darius had no problems in seizing and sacking Miletus. Darius put down the revolt and took control of Ionia.
490 BC Battle Of Marathon - The Army of Athens and its allies met the Persians on the Plains of Marathon about 22 miles from Athens. The Greeks charged the Persian lines. Both sides fought hard, but it was the Greeks who were able to break the Persian lines. The Persians were forced to withdraw to their boats. The complete Greek victory at Marathon ended the immediate Persian threat.
483 BCConfucius- At the age of 56, the Chinese minister of Lu Long Fuzi resigned. He spent the last 12 years of his life wandering China teaching morality, family values and statecraft. Lu Long became known as Confucius and, to this day, remains the most revered Chinese philosopher.
480 BCSecond Invasion Of Greece- Xerxes who seceded Darius vowed to revenge his father's defeat by renewing the attacks on Greece. He led an invasion force of 150,000 soldiers and 700 naval ships. The Greeks fought a delaying battle at the Thermopylae Pass. Nine thousand Greeks under Spartan command held the pass for two days. The Persians managed to outflank the Greeks, however. Most of the Greek forces withdrew, but 300 Spartans fought to the death. Athenians then abandoned their city which the Persians promptly sacked.The Greek fleet was bottled up, in the Saronic Gulf. The Persians then tried to storm the Gulf, but became tangled as they entered the straits leading to the gulf and were destroyed.
Xerxes then withdrew. The next year at the Battle of Plataea the Greeks decisively defeated the Persians and ended the Persian threat.
470 BCNaxos Tries To Leave Delphian League- According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. Its traditional founder was Romulus, said to be the son of a princess of Alba Longa. In truth, we know little about the actual founding of the city. The first settlement in Rome most likely took place on Palatine Hill near the Tiber River.
464 BCThird Messenian War- One of the first acts of the Eighteenth Dynasty under Ahmose was the subjugation of Nubia. The Egyptians quickly subdued the Nubians and assimilated them into the Empire.
460 BCAge of Pericles- The Age of Pericles, lasted from 461 B.C. (when Pericles as a young aristocrat became the dominant politician in Athens) until 429 B.C. This was a period of expanding democracy at home and increased imperialism abroad. .
431 - 404 BCPeloponnesian War- For Sparta and its allies, the growing Athenian power aroused fear and suspicion. A series of disputes finally led to the outbreak of war between Athens and Sparta. Sparta hoped to defeat the Athenians in open battle. The Athenians, on the other hand, relied on their navy. Their forces withdrew behind the city walls, which Sparta besieged. Despite a plague that killed one-third of Athenians (including Pericles) the Athenians fought on. In 415 B.C., the Athenians attempted to capture Sicily. The attack was repulsed and the Athenians were defeated outside the city of Syracuse. All their soldiers were killed or sold into slavery. In 405 B.C., the Athenian fleet was destroyed at Aegospotami. In 404 B.C., the Spartans finally captured Athens and brought the war to an end.
429 BCHippocrates- Hippocrates was spared death from a plague that killed between 1/3 and 2/3d's of the population of Athens. Hipocrates was the first to say that disease was not miraculous, or a punishiment from the gods. Hippocrates is best known for the Hippocratic Oath that every physician swears to.
401 BCBattle Of Cunaxa- After a three-year siege, Samaria (the capital of Israel) fell to the Assyrians. It is said that the Assyrian took 20,000 Israelites into slavery. Thus ended the Kingdom of Israel.