31 Facts About Incidents That Happened Before Common Era (B.C.)

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1Menephta

In the year 1300 B.C., the Egyptian king Menephta defeated the Libyans. As proof of his triumph, he brought back 6000 penises of the soldiers chopped off of their opposition.


2. Ancient Greek explorer, Pytheas, was the first person to write about the mythical isle of Thule during his travels between 330-320 B.C. He described Thule as a land of fire and ice in which the sun never sets, which was located about six days of sailing north from Britain. This description by him closely resembles the island of Iceland in summer, which has Glaciers, volcanoes and is north of Britain.


3. The theory of an infinite universe was first proposed by a Greek philosopher named Archytas of Tarentum approximately around 400 B.C., reasoning that even if he did reach the end of the universe he would still be able to extend his staff beyond the boundary.


4. Ancient Greek astronomer Eratosthenes of Cyrene proved that the earth was round in 240 B.C. He also came up with latitudes/longitudes. He was also able to calculate earth’s circumference that was accurate to within 2%.


5. Scurvy was documented as a disease by Greek physician Hippocrates, and the Egyptians have recorded its symptoms from as early as 1550 B.C. The knowledge that consuming foods containing vitamin C is a cure for scurvy has been repeatedly rediscovered and forgotten by humanity throughout our history right into the early 20th century.


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6Battle of Cannae

According to moderate estimates, the Romans possibly lost over 40,000 men in a single day at the Battle of Cannae (216 B.C.), which may have accounted for somewhere between 5 to 10% of the total Roman male population during the late 3rd century B.C. period.


7. There was a mysterious culture in Eastern Europe between 5,500 to 2,700 B.C. which constructed sophisticated, organized, densely-populated settlements - only to burn them to the ground every 60-80 years to rebuild the same settlement as before.


8. Cambyses II of Persia used cats to fight a battle. Against the Egyptians, in the battle of Pelusium in 525 B.C., he ordered his men to paint cats on their shields and brought 100's of cats to his front lines. The Egyptian archers refused to fire on the cats as injuring one was punishable by death.


9. The first documented cases of cancer were found on papyrus manuscripts in Egypt dating back to 3000 BC. In these manuscripts, 8 cases of breast tumors are mentioned that were removed by cauterization with a tool called the fire drill. The writing says about the disease, “there is no treatment.”


10. The earliest flush toilets were used by the people of the Indus Valley Civilization (present day Northwest India), which existed from approximately 3300 B.C. - 1700 B.C. Almost every home in the ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa had a flush toilet connected to a common sewage system.


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11Sacred Band of Thebes

The Sacred Band of Thebes was a troop of select soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male couples which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century B.C. They were responsible for the defeat of the Spartans at the decisive Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C.


12. Back in Persia around 450 B.C., drunk debates were once a key aspect of any important decision-making process. The Persians would make sure that particularly important arguments were debated both while sober and drunk, as according to them only ideas that made sense in both states were truly worthwhile.


13. In the 14th century B.C., Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten’s name was so thoroughly erased from history, for installing a new state religion, that researchers didn’t rediscover his name until they found his tomb in 1907, over 3200 years later.


14. A 6 century B.C. Indian Physician named Sushruta Samhita wrote a book describing modern surgical techniques of incisions, cauterization, urethral stricture dilatation, hernia, caesarian, fistulae, and many others.


15. The oldest drinking straw in existence was found in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C. It was a gold tube inlaid with precious stones.


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16Shen Nong

Tea is said to have been discovered in 2737 B.C. by a Chinese emperor named Shen Nong when some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water.


17. Alphabetical order was introduced in the 3rd century B.C. by Zenodotus, who also happened to be the first librarian at the Great Library of Alexandria.


18. During a battle in 603 B.C., a Chinese warrior named Xiong Yi Liao stepped out between the armies and started juggling 9 balls. The opposing troops were so amazed that all 500 of them turned and fled.


19. In 570 B.C., during a rebellion against Pharaoh Apries, one of his generals, Amasis, joined the rebels. Apries sent a messenger to try and convince Amasis to return. After listening to the messenger, Amasis raised his leg, farted, and told him to take that back to the Pharaoh.


20. In 559 B.C., a Chinese prisoner named Yuan Huangtou was sentenced to death by being flown off the top of a large tower attached to a kite. He survived the flight and claimed the record of the highest jump survived by a person in the process. He was later starved to death in prison.


21Herostratus

Herostratus was a 4th century B.C. Greek arsonist who burned down the Temple of Artemis, considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. He said he had done it to immortalize his name. He was executed and a law was passed forbidding anyone from saying his name, under penalty of death.


22. In 3rd century B.C., a Chinese Emperor’s son named Modu Chanyu tested his guards’ loyalty by ordering them to kill his favorite horse and then his favorite wife. Those who refused, he executed them, and those who didn't, he later ordered to shoot his father. None failed to do so, and he became the Emperor.


23. Carmen 16 is a poem written by Gaius Valerius Catullus (84 B.C. – 54 B.C.) is considered so sexually explicit it wasn't published in English until the late 20th century. It is considered to be one of the filthiest expressions ever written in Latin, or any language, for that matter.


24. In Egypt 1503 B.C., Hatshepsut became the second woman to rule and chose to take the title of king. She donned male clothing and wore a false beard.


25. One of the earliest known serial killers was Liu Pengli, a Chinese prince from mid-100 B.C. He would go on expeditions with others, murdering people for sheer sport. He had over 100 confirmed victims. When he was uncovered, his uncle the emperor banished him instead of executing him.

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