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Art > Timeline BCE
On the first page you will find important events of the time before the common era.
8000 B.C. End of ice age. Improved hunting techniques allow the extinction of animals like the mammoth and lead to the building of settlements. As a result of returning to the same place farming is invented. The oldest known trading center protected by a city wall seems to have been the oasis city of Jericho.
1353-1336 B.C. Amenhotep IV ("Amon Is Satisfied") changes his name to Akhenaton ("One Useful to Aton"), and establishes a new monotheistic cult of Aton. More known perhaps due to the portrait bust of his wife Nefertiti or Nofretete and his second son-in-law, Tutankhaton better known as Tutankhamen famous for his intact tomb.
628 B.C.-550 B.C. ? Zarathushtra (Greek Zoroaster) tries to establish a monotheistic religion in Persia as well. It is one of the first religions without a picture of their god and already had the idea of angels. The Persian religion remains known for his Mithras cult that influenced Christianity and the remaining Parsi, or Parsee, whose name means "Persians," who are later forced to emigrate mainly to Bombay.
605-520 B.C. ? Lao-Tzu (the old Master) or Li Erh alleged author of Tao Te Ching (The Way of the Power) encourages to understand the natural order of things and live according to it. Donít waste energy on things you canít change as too much action may be counterproductive. Go with the flow (Wu-Wei). Or as the British philosopher John Lennon said 1969 "Let it be". See also Adam Smith who speaks of the invisible hand and supports the idea of laissez-faire government.
551-479 B.C. ? Confucius (Kíung Fu-Tzu; Master Kung) known for his teachings which are transmitted via the Analects (Sayings). Dedicated to teaching he stands for the moral of the individual and his place in society with expressions like: "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others".
599-527 B.C. ? Vardhamana, later Mahavira (Great Hero) founds Jainism influencing Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).
536-476 B.C. ? Siddharta Gautama who becomes Buddha (The Enlightened ). In
contrast to Hinduism he remains silent about metaphysical questions and chooses
a middle way expressed in his 4 noble truths:
538 B.C. The Persian king Kyros II (Cyrus) ends the Babylonian rule that brought stories like the flood of the Gilgamesh epic and laws from the Hammurabi code from Mesopotamia. So the Judean people adopt ideas of Zarathustra and monotheism starts to gain ground. Although one of the youngest religions by this it influences also two other monotheistic spin offs: Christianity and Islam.
470-399 B.C. Socrates is mainly known through writings about him, showing his way of enquiry. When democracy was reestablished in Athens he was condemned to death for corrupting the youth.
428-354 B.C. Plato founds the academy 387. Not so happy about the effects of democracy on his teacher he falls for a dangerous idealistic world like in his book: The republic (Politea) and misleads philosophy for centuries. The anti-utopian fantasy "Brave New World" (1932) by Aldous Huxley plays in more modern times and turns utopia against itself.
384-321 B.C. Aristotle pupil of Plato founds in 335 his own school the lyceum. (Other not so famous start-up schools in Greece are the cynics, the sceptics or the stoics.) His writings are the basis for the expression of metaphysics and his ideas remain long time a dogma for the church and prevent progress. For three years he teaches Alexander the great 356-323 B.C. who conquers Persia, Egypt and part of India and starts the Hellenistic age 323-27 B.C.. Later the Greek culture is taken over by the Roman Empire.
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Last modified: December 23, 2002