50 Fascinating Events That Happened in Before Common Era (B.C.E.)

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26Flush toilets

Flush toilets

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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

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31Oldest straw

Oldest straw

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.

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

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36Yuan Huangtou

Yuan Huangtou

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.

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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.

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41Liu Pengli

Liu Pengli

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.

42. After the battle of Carrhae in 53 B.C., the Parthians took the Roman commander Marcus Licinius Crassus and allegedly poured molten gold down his throat because of his renowned greed.

43. Around 1800 B.C., a king named Erra-imittī in Mesopotamia appointed a palace worker king named Enlil-bâni for a short period of time to avoid a disaster that he was told was coming by an oracle. Near the end of the time, Erra-imittī died while eating soup and Enlil-bâni ruled for 24 years.

44. Draco, an Athenian law-maker in 620 B.C., was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks and hats showered upon him by appreciative citizens.

45. The earliest recorded epidemic dates back to the Peloponnesian War of 430 B.C. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides described the symptoms of a disease believed to be typhoid fever. It was known as the Great Athenian Plague and it killed about 100,000 people or two-thirds of the population there.



In 89 B.C., Roman soldiers had reportedly captured a satyr while at war in Greece. When they brought it to their general Sulla for interrogation, it is said to have only spoke in something like a cross between the neighing of a horse and the bleating of a goat.

47. The world’s oldest recorded joke which has been traced back to 1900 B.C. was “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.”

48. The year 46 B.C. had 445 days in it due to the change from the 10-month calendar to the 12-month calendar by Julius Caesar. It became known as "The Year of Confusion."

49. In the 23rd century B.C., the Assyrians had the first large organized army. They pioneered modern-day psychological terrorism, skinned people alive, and mutilated them if they didn't believe their kings were one with God.

50. Up to 150,000 Roman/Italian citizens were murdered on one day in 88 B.C. The carefully planned massacre, now known as the “Asiatic Vespers”, occurred simultaneously in many cities across Asia Minor (western Turkey) because of hatred of Roman rule and taxes.

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