Timeline: 2nd Century BCE (200 to 101)

200  The city of Teotihuacan, in central Mexico, is established – the city's earliest buildings dating from around this time. The founders of the city are unknown, but evidense points to Olmec influence in the city's culture and architecture.

200  Sometime around now, people from an island in the east, in the Tonga or Samoans islands, become the first to inhabit Tahiti. Their journey was across several hundred kilometres of ocean in an outrigger canoe twenty or thirty meters long and able to transport families and domestic animals. Their language is of the family of Austronesian Languages common in the Pacific, including Fiji.

200 to 197  Rome intervenes in a conflict between a reformer, Philip V of  Macedonia, and conservatives ruling Greek city states. The Romans win, and Philip agrees to stop interventions and to pay war damages.

193 to 190  Rome sees expansion by Antiochus III of Syria as a threat to its power and remembers that Antiochus has given refuge to Hannibal. Rome allies with Rhodes, Pergamum and other Greek cities hostile to Antiochus, and together they defeat Antiochus and his allies. Antiochus agrees to surrender to Hannibal and to pay a great sum to Rome as tribute.

185  The Maurya Dynasty ends when the army commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra, murders the last Mauryan king and takes power. Animal sacrifices, prohibited under concise paragraphs and his heirs, return. Musical festivals and dances also return.

183  Word is out about division and weakness in India, and a series of invasions into the Indus Valley begins.

183  Hannibal commits suicide rather than let himself be found by Romans.

171  Greek cities that fear Macedonia's power have told  Rome's senate that Macedonia is plotting against Rome. Rome's Senate decides on war against Macedonia's new ruler, Perseus, son of Philip V.

168   Rome destroys the army of Perseus and takes him away as prisoner. Because Epirus was allied with Perseus, Rome attacks its towns and villages and carries away 150,000 people whom they sell into slavery. Rome divides Macedonia into four republics and forbids contact between the four. Rome takes possession of Macedonia's mines and forests. It is the beginning of Roman annexations east of the Adriatic Sea.

167  Antiochus IV, of the Seleucid dynasty and empire, dedicates the temple in Jerusalem as a shrine to Zeus. He believes that this will be accepted because people readily shift the names of gods and are willing to recognize the one god of the universe by the name of Zeus.

166   In Judah, the Maccabaean rebellion against Seleucid rule begins. It is part civil war and part war of national liberation. Rome, which has no love for the Seleucid dynasty, is friendly toward the rebellion.

155 to 151  In the Iberian Peninsula, the Lusitani nation rebels against Rome. The Romans offer them peace and land, trap them, slaughter 9,000 and enslave 20,000. To give one of its generals a longer season for campaigning, the Senate has moved the date of the New Year from March 15 to January 1.

149  Rome begins a third war against Carthage, a war that Carthaginians do not want.

148  Rome crushes a rebellion in Macedonia.

146  Across Greece, an alliance led by a reformer, Critolaus, rebels against Roman domination.  At Carthage, amid suicides and carnage, the Romans demolish and burn the city and carry off survivors to sell as slaves. The Romans defeat an army of Greeks at Corinth, slaughter all of that city's males, enslave the city's women and children, ship the city's treasures to Italy and burn the city to the ground. Rome now dominates the Hellenized east. Rome's army finds Thebes entirely empty of people, its inhabitants having fled to wander through mountains and wilderness. According to the Greek historian Polybius, people everywhere are throwing themselves down wells and over precipices.

141  After more than twenty-five years of rebellion, Jewish rebels drive the last of the Syrians out of Judea. With the strength of Rome behind the rebellion, Judea wins formal independence: an independent Jewish state for the first time in more than four centuries. Simon Maccabeus is chosen by a popular assembly as High Priest despite his lack of qualifications by birth. He also takes the position of Ruler of the Nation (ethnarch). He creates a festival called Hanukkah to celebrate both Judea's independence and the day that his rule begins.

141  Scythians, from Central Asia, are beginning to push into the lush agricultural land of Bactria.

140  In China, a young man succeeds his father Han Jing-di and becomes Emperor Wu.

138  Emperor Wu sends an explorer to Persia, which helps open the Silk Road.

135  Encouraged by a slave-priest, about four hundred slaves in Sicily revolt. They massacre most of their masters, and the uprising encourages other slaves in Sicily. As many as sixty thousand join the revolt. They seize a number of Sicilian towns, and they defeat the first of the armies that Rome sends against them.

133  A Roman war hero, aristocrat and reformer, Tiberius Gracchus, challenges the power of the senate and is murdered.

132 to 130  The slave revolt in Sicily is crushed, but the slave revolt spreads to western Asia Minor, led by a king denied his throne by the Romans: Aristonicus. Aristonicus is fighting a guerrilla war with support from common people. The Romans poison the water wells that local people and the guerrillas depend on. Aristonicus is captured, taken to Rome and executed by strangulation. Rome extends its rule across much of western Asia Minor.

128  With the rise in China's prosperity, Emperor Wu believes he can support a war against tribes in the northwest, whom previous emperors have been paying not to attack. Emperor Wu stops the bribery and launches a successful series offensives.

124  China's Imperial University is founded.

121  Gauis Gracchus, brother of Tiberius, has renewed efforts at reform. He has an army of bodyguards, but he and his associates are hunted down and killed.

120  A revival of Confucianism has occurred, and Emperor Wu makes Confucianism China's official philosophy.

111  Emperor Wu's armies conquer northern Vietnam and take control of Guangzhou, in southern China – which had been lost during upheavals a century before.

108  To the extreme northeast, Emperor Wu's armies conquer northern Korea.

104  Emperor Wu's expansion and his maintaining large armies of occupation have burdened China's economy. China's population has been growing. Big landowners have been expanding their holdings. Ordinary farmers are most burdened by taxes, forced to borrow at usurious rates and are paying 50 percent of their crops as rent. Homelessness and banditry has increased, and agricultural productivity has declined. The Confucianist, Dong Zhongshu, who has been leading the call for reform, dies.

3rd Century BCE (300 to 201) | 1st Century BCE (100 to 1)

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