::3rd century BC


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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC
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Eastern hemisphere at the end of the 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.

Hannibal Crosses the Alps during the Second Punic War

In the Mediterranean 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 Republic 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.

Maurya Empire at the age of Ashoka. The empire stretched from Iran to Bangladesh/Assam and from Central Asia (Afghanistan) to Tamil Nadu/South India.

In India, Ashoka the Great ruled the Maurya Empire. The Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties of the classical age flourished in the ancient Tamil country. 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.

3rd century BC sections
Intro  Events  Significant people  Inventions, discoveries, introductions  Evidence  Sovereign States  Decades and years