Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Centuries: 3rd century BC · 2nd century BC · 1st century BC
Decades: 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC
140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC
Categories: BirthsDeaths

The 2nd century BC started the first day of 200 BC and ended the last day of 101 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, although depending on the region being studied, other terms may be more proper (for instance, if regarding only the Eastern Mediterranean, it would best be called part of the Hellenistic period).

Fresh from its victories in the Second Punic War, the Roman Republic continued it's expansion into neighbouring territories, eventually annexing Greece, and the North African coast after completely destroying the city of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. Rome's influence was also felt in the near east, as crumbling Hellenistic states like the Seleucid Empire were forced to make treaties on Roman terms in order to avoid confrontation with the new masters of the western Mediterranean. The period is noted for the emergence of a new arrogance on the part of the Romans, which manifested itself in provincial corruption, and a shameless lust for wealth and status among the privileged classes. The end of the century witnessed the reforming of the Roman Army from a citizen army to a voluntary professional force, under the guidance of the great general and statesman Gaius Marius - (Marian Reforms).

In East Asia, the Sinitic world reached its first high point with Qin's successor, the Han dynasty. The Han empire extended it's boundaries from Korea in the east to Vietnam in the South to the borders of modern day Kazakhstan in the west. Also in the 2nd century BC, the Han defeated the Mongol-Turkic tribes of the steppes, driving the Xiong Nu/(Huns) west.


Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. The Greek inscription reads ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ (Antiochus, image of God, bearer of victory). He was the last ruler of the Seleucid Empire to rule unopposed

Significant persons[]

Gaius Marius, instigator of the Marian reforms which allowed the recruitment of landless citizens as professional soldiers

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[]

Hipparchus' equatorial ring.


  1. ^ Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.
  2. ^ Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.

Decades and years[]

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