Definitions

182 BC

3rd century BC

The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.

The first few decades of this century were characterized by a balance of power between the Greek Hellenistic kingdoms in the east, and the great mercantile power of Carthage in the west. This balance was shattered when conflict arose between Carthage and the Roman Republic. In the following decades, the Carthaginian Empire was first humbled and then destroyed by the Romans in the first and second Punic wars. Following the Second Punic War, Rome became the most important power in the western Mediterranean.

In the 3rd century BC the Xiong Nu were at the height of their power in Mongolia. The Warring States period in China drew to a close, with Qin Shihuang conquering other nation-states and establishing the short-lived Qin dynasty, the first empire of China, which was followed in the same century by the long-lasting Han dynasty. The Protohistoric Period began in the Korean peninsula. In India, Ashoka the Great ruled the Maurya Empire. The Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties of the classical age rule and flourish in the ancient Tamil country.

Events

290s BC

280s BC

270s BC

260s BC

240s BC

230s BC

220s BC

210s BC

200s BC

Significant persons

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Evidence

Much of what we know of this century comes down to us from the works of the Roman historian Polybius, whose main concern is the story of how Rome comes to dominate the known world.

Decades and years

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