500 Rebellionagainst Hinduism and its animal sacrifices gives rise to Jainism. In the gatheringsthat are entertainment in towns across the Ganges Valley, cult leaders havebeen debating and picking up followers. Siddartha Gautama is a successful debaterand movement leader. He also rejects animal sacrifices and metaphysics. He producesa guide for living and (according to claims passed down by followers) hesays people must be their own light rather than follow the dogmaof a priesthood.
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499 In Asia Minor, Greeks begin a rebellionagainst Persian rule.
490 To punish mainland Greeks for theirsupport of the rebellion in Asia Minor, Darius the Great of Persia sends a fleetacross the Aegean Sea and lands soldiers near Marathon,twenty-six miles north of Athens. A runner covers the distance to announce thearrival of the Persians. A coalition of city-states defeats the Persians atMarathon, and the Persians withdraw. In Athens, the god Pan is said to havegiven the Greeks their victory, to win back from the Athenians their devotion,which he had seen as diminishing.
486 Darius the Great dies at aroundthe age of seventy-two.
485 The Athenian poet Aeshylus isturning forty. Before he dies he will have written around ninety plays. Athensis developing a literature that goes beyond simple divisions of good versusevil people, a human-centered approach that would be called humanistic. Theseare writers about which the Yahwist Isaiah would have complained that "...theydo not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord." (Isaiah 5:12)
480 Xerxes, son of Darius, marchesan army through Thrace and into mainland Greece.The Persians are trying to extend their empire too far.
431 The Great Peloponnesian War begins,with Sparta and its allies on one side and Athens and its allies on the other.Athenians have built an empire among the island states and believe that it isrule or be ruled. Sparta and its allies fear domination by Athens and invadeAttica, announcing that they are fighting against Athenian imperialism for theirindependence and for the liberty of Greeks.
430 A Chinese scholar, Mo-zi, nearsforty. Unlike Confucius and his followers, Mo-zi believes that all men are equalbefore the lord of the heavens. He believes that the powers of heaven exerciselove for all humankind. Mo-zi speaks of the value of the labor of common folks,and he advocates promoting people to positions of power solely on the strengthof their abilities and virtues. Mo-zi witnesses local rulers sending their armiesagainst neighboring states, devastating crops, slaughtering cattle, burningtowns and temples, killing civilians and dragging people away to be made slaves.He tries to mediate between rulers at war with each other. He creates an armyof well-trained and highly disciplined warriors which he offers to rulers defendingthemselves against aggression.
404 Athens has counted too much onmilitary force and too little on hearts and minds. The Great Peloponnesian Warends with defeat for Athens and victory for Sparta and its allies. Sparta isnow the undisputed leader and policing power among the Greek city-states.
401? Radiocarbon dating indicates that the Haraldskær Woman lived in this century – in what is today Denmark. Her body was discovered in Denmark in 1835. Scientists estimate that she would have stood at 150 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches), that she died at about 50 years old, in good health and without signs of degenerative disease. Her stomach contents were of unhusked millet and blackberries. Writes Wikipedia, "Her neck had a faint groove as if a rope may have been applied for torture or strangulation." Cremation was the prevailing mode of interment during this period in this place, and the Haraldskær Woman is believed by those who have examined her remains to have been a victim of ritual sacrifice.
timeline 1000-501 | 4th Century BCE (400 to 301)
479 Near Athens, the Athenian navyand its allies destroy the Persian fleet. With much of the Persian army dependenton ships for supplies, it is forced to march back to Asia Minor.
460 The navy of Athens is still takingwar to the Persians, and, asserting leadership, Athens is turning its alliancewith other Greek cities into an empire.
458 The Persians are allowing Yahwistpriests to return from Babylon to Judah and urging the priests to maintain orderin accordance with their teachings – a common practice by the Persians regardingsubject peoples. The Persians do not allow the Jews a king, which is okay withthe high-priests. In Jerusalem, the high-priest Ezra arrives with 1,800 othersand finds assimilations. He begins to organize Judaic law along lines of identitywith Yahweh worship. Men are soon to be asked to expel from their homes theirforeign wives. Judaic law is to be based on an assembled five books purportedlywritten by Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.Intolerance toward other faiths is encouraged.
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450 The philosopher Anaxagoras is teachingin Athens. He gives laboratory demonstrations, conducts simple experiments andtests hypotheses. He speculates that matter too small to see is infinitely numerousand distributed in all things. He speculates that mind is a substance disconnectedfrom all other substances, that mind was the first cause of all motion. He equatesmind (collective rather than individual) with soul, which he calls nous,and for Anaxagoras, nous is God, giving rise to a monotheism alongsidewhat has arisen in the Upanishads.
445 Protagoras is around forty andmoves from Thrace to Athens. He is a democrat and, contrary to popular opinion,speaks of people from different areas around the world as sharing a common humanity.He claims that by criticizing tradition and eliminating customs derived from“barbarian times” people can create better societies. He is opposed to the traditionof laws made by kings, favoring the privileged and described as having beenmade by the gods. He claims that laws should be made by and for commonpeople. He claims that humanity must learn for itself what is just and right- a view that "man is the measure of all things."
445 The Hebrew priest Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the people of Jerusalem.
442 In Rome, legislation is introducedagainst a law prohibiting marriage between aristocrats and commoners. Aristocrats(patricians) are concerned about the purity of their blood and describe thelegislation as a rebellion against the laws of heaven. Commoner (plebeian) familiesheaded by vigorous entrepreneurs have accumulated much wealth, and patriciansfrom poorer families have an interest in marrying into these more wealthy families.The law against prohibiting marriage between aristocrats and commoners is repealed.
440 Herodotus is in his early forties.He has or will soon write about the Persian war and about his travels to Babylon,Egypt, the Crimea, Italy and elsewhere. His open-mindedness about the peoplehe visits results in fellow Greeks calling him a "barbarian-lover."Unlike priestly writers, he does not write to praise his gods and he admitsthat his work is subjective.