Roman History 501 B.C. to 1 B.C.

A note about this page and Expired Knowledge.

Complete Roman History – 5th Century B.C.

4th Century BC Samnites/Sabelli expand throughout most of the southern Italian mainland. The southern part of the “heel” of the peninsula and a number of Greek cities manage to resist. The Romans also succeed in blocking the Samnites from invading Latium. Herculaneum again comes under Samnite control. Republics replace the petty monarchies in Apulia. Samnites/Sabelli reach the river Fortore and continue their expansion into Apulia. Canusium replaces Arpi as the principal Daunian settlement. Aristoxenus of Tarentum, peripatetic philosopher, flourishes. A writer on music theory and rhythm, he believed that the notes of the musical scale were judged by ear rather than the Pythagorean theory that they were determined by mathematical ratio.

400 95th Olympiad Dionysius I founds Adranon (mod. Adrano [CT]). The town was founded near a temple to the Sikel god (H)adranos. Often identified with the Phoenician deity Adramelech, Hadranos was originally a fire-god linked in some way to Mt. Etna. His name derives from the Sikel word adar=fire. According to ancient tradition, Hadranos was the father of the Palici, twin chthonic deities to whom the Sikels dedicated sanctuary of the Palica. This was the shrine near which Dionysius founded Adranon. Worshippers would come seeking divine judgment to difficult problems and, at least in the earliest days of the shrine, human sacrifices were offered up here. One of the legends attached to the shrine was that it was guarded by 1,000 sacred dogs. If an honest and honorable person approached, the dogs would greet him with friendship. But should a criminal or drunkard come near, he would be attacked and killed. Hicetas, Pythagorean philosopher and astronomer, born in Syracuse Construction begins on the temple of Asklepios at Akragas. It is completed in 390 BC. Lucanians capture Poseidonia. (c) Sabellian-Italics occupy Herculaneum and neighboring towns in Campania. (c) Tauromenion (Tauromenium; mod. Taormina) is founded by the Greeks of the E Coast of Sicily.

399 (Feb 15) Socrates dies in Athens. Condemned for impiety and corruption of youth at Athens, he is forced to commit suicide by drinking hemlock. Among those present at his death was Philolaus, the exiled Pythagorean philosopher from Magna Graecia.

397 Dionysius I and Carthage begin a new war for control of Sicily. Dionysius II the Younger, is born in Syracuse. Refugee Geloans return and rebuild their ruined city (destroyed in 405 BC). The new city is subject to Syracuse. Dionysius I besieges Segesta.

396 96th Olympiad Dionysius I destroys the Carthaginian city of Motya in western Sicily. (alt. date 398 BC). Himilco founds the new Carthaginian city of Lilybaeum on the W coast of Sicily as a replacement for the abandoned city of Motya. It is largely populated by former residents of Motya. Greeks found Tyndaris in Sicily. Myle (mod. Castelmola [ME]), a Sikel city in NE Sicily, is strengthened with new fortifications in fear of an attack by Dionysius I. Carthaginians destroy Messana (Messene; mod. Messina). It is later rebuilt by Dionysius I. Kephaloidion (mod. Cefalů [PA]) allies itself with the Carthaginians. Dionysius I captures Morgantina. Dionysius I captures Henna (mod. Enna). (alt. date 397 BC). Dionysius I captures Rhegium and sells its population into slavery. Carthaginian army besieging Syracuse is stricken with smallpox and is forced to withdraw. Romans defeat and conquer the Etruscan city of Veii after a 10 year war. (c) (July 15) Mt Etna erupts.

395 Dionysius I defeats the Carthaginians and destroy their fleet. Thucydides, Greek historian, dies.

394 Carthaginians temporarily take control of Lipara.

392 97th Olympiad A treaty is agreed on between Dionysius I and the Carthaginians. Dionysius I launches an attack on Rhegion. Syracuse takes control of Akragas and holds it until 352 BC. Sikel town of Myle (mod. Castelmola [ME]) is destroyed by Dionysius I. Atellan comedy from Campania begins to make its appearance in Rome.