235CE An inscription in Greek in the Calixtian Complex of Rome was dedicated to the pope St. Pontian, who died in the Sardinian mines.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)
235CE An inscription in Greek in the Calixtian Complex of Rome was dedicated to pope St. Anterus, who reigned for only 43 days and died in prison.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)
236-250 In the third century Denis was sent from Italy to convert Gaul, forging a link with the “apostles to the Gauls” reputed to have been sent out with six other missionary bishops under the direction of Pope Fabian (236-250). He was Bishop of Paris. He was martyred, with his companions Rusticus and Eleutherius, in connection with the Decian persecution of Christians, shortly after 250 AD.
238 May 10, Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus (“The Thracian”), Roman Emperor, was murdered.
238CE Solinus wrote that the Hibernian mother places the first morsel of food in her childs mouth with the point of her sword.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.11)
239 In Japan Queen Himiko (Pimiko, Queen of Wa) of the Kingdom of Yamataikoku sent an envoy to China.
243 The text “De Pascha Computus” calculated the spring equinox, March 25, under the Julian calendar from the first day of creation. The author used this to derive March 28 as the birthday of Jesus.
(WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)
248 Dec 28, Saint Dionysius (d.264) of Alexandria, named “the Great,” 14th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, began serving as Pope.
249 Apollonia of Alexandria died. She was among group of virgin martyrs who suffered in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians prior to the persecution of Decius. According to legend her torture included having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. She thus became popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistry.
(Econ, 2/16/13, p.83)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Apollonia)
250 In Colombia Lord of Sipan, a pre-Columbian ruler died around this time. His remains were discovered in 1987 and hailed as one of the country’s most stunning archaeological finds. In 2017 Peruvian authorities revealed the reconstructed face of the Lord of Sipan.
250CE An inscription in Greek in the Calixtian Complex of Rome was dedicated to pope St. Fabian, who re-organized the Church in a period of peace and was then martyred during the Decian persecutions.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)
250-300CE The smaller Buddha at Bamiyan, 114 feet high, dated to about this time. It was a gigantic magnification of a Gandhara image. It was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
(WSJ, 3/5/00, p.A22)(SFC, 2/12/02, p.A16)
250-600CE Early classic period of the Maya.
(AM, May/Jun 97 suppl. p.B)
250-710CE The Japanese Kofun period. Mongoloid people from Korea continued to enter Japan and mixed with the older Jomon populations.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.38)
250-800 This period was covered in the 2000 book “Late Antiquity” edited by G.W. Bowersock, Peter Brown and Oleg Grabar.
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.A24)
c250-900 During this time about a hundred thousand Mayans lived in the area of Tikal (meaning “the place where spirit voices are heard”). It was abandoned after some 15 hundred years of continuous habitation.
(SFEM, 6/13/99, p.8)
250-900 The classic period of Maya culture.
(SFC, 6/23/96, p.A10)
253 Valerian became emperor of Rome and ruled until 260 when he was captured and executed by Persian King Shapur I.
254CE May 12, St. Stephen I began his reign as the 23rd Catholic Pope. According to the “Liber Pontificalis” he instituted the rule that clerics should wear special clothes at their ministrations.
(SC, Internet, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/98)
254CE Pope St. Lucius I, who spent part of his pontificate in exile, was buried in the Calixtian Complex of Rome and has an inscription in Greek.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)
256 The Anatolian city of Zeugma on the Euphrates was sacked by Persian King Shapur I. This was soon followed by a devastating fire and an earthquake and Zeugma was abandoned. In 2000 the area was submerged as part of the Southeast Anatolia Project of dams for power.
(SFEC, 5/7/00, p.A23)(Arch, 9/00, p.41)
257 Aug 2, Pope Stefanus I (St. Stephen), bishop of Rome (254-57), heretic fighter, died.
258 Aug 6, Pope Sixtus II, bishop of Rome (257-58), was beheaded upon orders of Emperor Valerian.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)(MC, 8/6/02)
258 Sep 14, Thascius Caecilius Cyprian (b.~200), Christian writer and Bishop of Carthage (248), died as a martyr in Carthage.
258 A red agate cup with gold handles, the Santo Caliz, was sent to Spain by Pope Sixtus II and St. Laurence as Rome went under siege by the Persians. In 1437 the church moved it to the Cathedral of Valencia.
(SSFC, 5/27/06, p.G3)
258-260 Persia and Rome engaged in a 2-year war.
(WUD, 1994 ed., p.1667)
259 Jul 22, Dionysius was raised to the office of Bishop of Rome.
260 Persias King Shapur I captured Roman Emp. Valerian.
(Arch, 9/00, p.41)
260-268 Emp. Gallienus, son of Valerian, ruled Rome until he was assassinated.
(AM, 5/01, p.40)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Valerian_I)
260-339 Eusebios (Eusebius of Caesarea, c263-340), Christian theologian and historian. He served as Bishop of Caesarea from 315-340.
(WUD, 1994 p.492)(AM, 7/01, p.33)
266CE King Odenathus of Palmyra, ruler of the Roman province of Syria, was murdered. Zenobia Septimia, his wife, took control in the name of her teenage son, Vaballathus.
(ON, 7/00, p.1)
267 In Egypt the fathers of two teenage wrestlers struck a deal to fix a match for the price of a donkey in the first surviving record of a sporting competition being stitched up for financial gain.
(Econ, 9/23/17, p.14)
268 Dec 26, Dionysius, bishop of Rome and saint, died. He served as Pope from 259 until his death.
268 Roman Emp. Gallienus, son of Valerian, was assassinated.
268 Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus, a Roman emperor of Batavian origin, died about this time. He usurped power from Gallienus in 260 and formed the so called Gallic Empire. He was recognized in Gaul, Germania, Britannia and Iberia until his murder in 268.
269 Nov 20, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor of Numerian in Asia Minor by his soldiers. He had been the commander of the emperor’s bodyguard.
269 Palmyras Queen Zenobia, taking advantage of Roman weakness, invaded Egypt to the southwest and occupied Anatolia to the north.
(Econ, 5/30/15, p.81)
270 Feb 14, The early Christian martyr, St. Valentine, was beheaded about this time by Emperor Claudius II, who executed another St. Valentine around the same time. The Catholic Bishop Valentine was clubbed, stoned and beheaded by Emperor Claudius II for refusing to acknowledge the monarchs outlawing of marriage. The Catholics then made Valentine a symbol to oppose the Roman mid-February custom in honor of the God Lupercus, where Roman teenage girls names were put in a box and selected by young Roman men for “sex toy” use until the next lottery. The two Valentines merged into a single legendary patron of young lovers. St. Valentines Day evolved from Lupercalia, a Roman festival of fertility.
(SFEM, 2/9/97, p.11)(SFC, 2/14/97, p.A26)(SFC, 2/4/04, p.D7)
270 Feb 15, Valentine’s Day probably has its origins in the Roman feast of Lupercalia, which was held on February 15. One of the traditions associated with this feast was young men drawing the names of young women whom they would court during the following year–a custom that may have grown into the giving of valentine’s cards. Another legend associated with Valentine’s Day was the martyrdom of the Christian priest St. Valentine on February 14. The Roman emperor believed that men would remain soldiers longer if they were not married, but Valentine earned the wrath of the emperor by secretly marrying young couples. The first American publisher of valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland, who sold elaborate handmade cards for as much as $35 at the end of the 19th century. Complex and beautiful machine-made cards brought the custom of valentine exchanging within the reach of many Americans.
270 Zenobia of Syria proclaimed herself “Queen of the East” and attacked Roman colonies adjoining her and conquered Egypt.
(ON, 7/00, p.1)
272 Roman emperor Aurelian sent an army to attack Zenobias troops in Egypt and was repulsed.
(ON, 7/00, p.1)
272 Queen Zenobia led a failed uprising against the Romans, which left the city of Palmyra partly destroyed. Forces of Emperor Aurelian laid siege on Palmyra, from which Zenobia and a few retainers escaped. They were soon captured by Roman scouts. In 1967 Agnes Carr Vaughn authored “Zenobia of Palmyra.” In 1994 Richard Stoneman authored “Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobias Revolt Against Rome.”
(AMNHDT, 11/99)(ON, 7/00, p.3)
273 The Gallic Empire of the Batavian Postumus ended.
274 Feb 27, Constantine I was born. He became the great Roman emperor (324-337) who adopted Christianity. [see c288]
274 Dec 25, Emperor Aurelian imported into Rome the cult of Sol Invictus and made its Dec 25 festival a national holiday.
(WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)
275 The Goths launched a last major assault on Asia Minor, where piracy by Black Sea Goths was causing great trouble in Colchis, Pontus, Cappadocia, Galatia and even Cilicia. They were defeated sometime in 276 by Emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus.
276 Jul 16, Marcus Annius Florianus, emperor of Rome (276), was murdered.
276 The prophet Mani (b.210), a resident of Babylon, died. His writings led to Manichaeism, one of the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia. Although most of his original writings have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived. Manichaeism is distinguished by its elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.
277-304 King Mahasen ruled Sri Lanka. He built 16 large reservoirs, including the massive Minneriya tank, and two irrigation canals that have continued to be part of the irrigation system in the north-central region. After his demise, people started venerating him as “God of Minneriya.”
280CE By this time descendants of the Nok people were farming near the southeastern coast of Africa on the fertile slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kirinyaga. They called themselves Bantu.
280-473 During some time in this period Sun Zi, also known as Master Sun, authored the famous Chinese mathematical text Sun Tze Suan Ching.” The 3-volume book contained the Chinese remainder problem in volume 3.
(www.math.sfu.ca/histmath/China/3rdCenturyBC/Sunzi.html)(Econ, 3/24/07, p.92)
283CE Pope St. Eutychian escaped persecution but struggled with early heresies. He was buried in the Calixtian Complex of Rome and has an inscription in Greek.
(ITV, 1/96, p.60)
283 Sebastian, a Christian soldier, enlisted in the Roman army about this time. Emp. Diocletian, unaware that he was a Christian, appointed him as a captain of the Praetorian Guard. When he treated Christian prisoners due for martyrdom kindly, Diocletian reproached him for his supposed ingratitude and ordered him executed by arrow. He survived and returned to preach to Diocletian. In 287 Diocletian ordered Sebastian to be beaten to death.
284 Aug 29, Gen Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius (3) became emperor of Rome. Reign of Diocletian (Era of Martyrs), began.
284 Nov 20, Diocletian (245-316) became Emperor of the Roman Empire and continued to 305. Under his rule the last and most terrible persecution of the Christians took place, perhaps some 3,000 martyrs. He divided rule over the empire among four men. He put two rulers to oversee the east and two to oversee the west. He also established four capitals. He moved his own capital from Rome to Nicomedia, south of Byzantium in Asia Minor. He also increased the size of the Roman army from 300,000 to 500,000 men.
(http://bode.diee.unica.it/~giua/SEBASTIAN/Diocletian.html)(V.D.-H.K.p.91)(ITV, 1/96, p.58)
286 Carausius, a Roman naval officer, seized power in Britain and northern Gaul ruled until he was assassinated in 293.
286-336 King Trdat III ruled over Armenia.
287 Maurice (Mauritius), leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion in the 3rd century, was believed executed at Agaunum, Switzerland, after refusing an order by Roman Emperor Maximian to harass local Christians. Because of his name and native land, St. Maurice had been portrayed as black ever since the 12th century.
288 Sebastian (b.256), a Christian and Roman soldier, was beaten to death about this time on the orders of Roman Emp. Diocletian. The exact date when St. Sebastian was canonized by the Catholic Church is unknown. The Saint’s canonization is categorized as pre-congregation, meaning it occurred prior to the formation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1588, according to the Vatican. St. Sebastian is known as the patron saint of athletes.
c288 Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, Roman emperor Constantine I (324-337), was born in Yugoslavia. In a battle against an army led by his brother-in-law, Maxentius, at the Milvian bridge near Rome Constantine was victorious. The night before this battle was when Constantine dreamed of an angel holding a cross and saying “In this sign thou shalt conquer!” [see 274]
(WUD, 1994 p.314)(V.D.-H.K.p.91)
290 Oct 1, [Christian] Bacchus, Roman soldier and martyred saint, was killed.
290 Oct 7, [Christian] Sergius, Roman soldier and martyred saint, was decapitated.
293 Mar 1, Roman emperor Maximianus introduced tetrarchy.
c293 The Roman fort at Qasr Bashir, Castra Praetorii Mobeni, was built under Aurelius Asclepiades, governorship of Arabia.
(AM, 11/00, p.14)
296CE Apr 22, St. Gaius ended his reign as Catholic Pope.
296CE Roman Emp. Diocletian ordered the burning of alchemical manuscripts for fear their discoveries would debase his coinage. This may have set back the science of distillation.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.68)
297 The Roman poet Eumenius first mentioned the Picts. The 2 most important Pictish groups were the Verturiones and the Caledones.
(AM, 7/01, p.46)(AM, 11/04, p.41)
299-311 The period of Christian persecutions begun by Diocletian.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.W11)