<< 536 BCE | 539-530 BCE | 534 BCE >>

§Europe

§Italy

The first Roman calendar was introduced. It had 10 months, with 304 days in a year that began in March.

According to legend, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus succeeds Servius Tullius, becoming the seventh and final King of Rome.(traditional date 579 BCE) Some early stories tell us that Tarquinius seized power over Latium after the brutal death of Servius Tullius. It has been said that Tarquin was upset that he did not inherit the throne from his father, and also that his predecessor, Servius Tullius, was the son of a slave. Other stories argue that Tarquin's wife was central in the planning and eventual death of her father, the king. It is apparent that both were involved in the shaming and removing of Tullius from his position.

After the removal of Servius Tullius, Tarquin, with his wife's help, summoned the Senate and proclaimed himself to be king of Rome. The new king (or his wife) had assassins complete the coup by murdering Tullius. After which, it is said that Tarquin's wife came across her father's body and continually ran over it with her chariot. To further his grip on power, Tarquin orchestrated the murders of key senators who supported Tullius and proceeded at once to repeal the recent reforms in the constitution, seeking to establish a pure despotism in their place. Wars were waged with the Latins and Etruscans, but the lower classes were deprived of their arms and employed in erecting monuments of regal magnificence (and some important public works, such as the Cloaca Maxima), while the sovereign recruited his armies from his own retainers and from the forces of foreign allies.

Tarquin's authority over the city was confirmed by three initial actions: the leveling of the top of the Tarpeian Rock that overlooked the Forum, and removal its ancient Sabine shrines; the completion of the fortress temple to Jupiter on the nearby Capitoline Hill; the marriage of his son to the daughter of Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, an alliance which secured him powerful assistance in the field.

Tarquin commenced his reign by refusing burial to his predecessor Servius, thereby earning for himself the name "Superbus" ('proud'), and then putting to death a number of the leading senators, whom he suspected of remaining loyal to Servius. By not replacing the slain senators, and not consulting the Senate on all matters of government, he diminished both the size and also the authority of the Senate. In another break with tradition, he also judged capital criminal cases without the advice of counsellors, thereby creating fear amongst those who might think to oppose him

Phocaean Greek colonists clash at sea with Carthaginians and Etruscans in Battle of Alalia (Corsica).

§India

Śuddhodana was determined to see his son, Siddhartha, become a king so he prevented him from leaving the palace grounds. But at age 29, despite his father's efforts, Siddhartha ventured beyond the palace several times. In a series of encounters—known in Buddhist literature as the four sights he learned of the suffering of ordinary people, encountering an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man, apparently content and at peace with the world. These experiences prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest. According to accepted dates he would be 29 years old at this time.

§Judea

Third year of the Second Temple Period.

§Sources

<< 536 BCE | 539-530 BCE | 534 BCE >>