From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In India, the Kushan Empire is replaced by the Gupta Empire. China is in the Three Kingdoms period. The Xiongnu form the Tiefu state under Liu Qubei. Korea is ruled by the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Japan enters the Kofun period.
After the death of Commodus in the previous century the Roman Empire was plunged into a civil war. When the dust settled, Septimius Severus emerged as emperor, establishing the Severan dynasty. Unlike previous emperors, he openly used the army to back his authority, and paid them well to do so. The regime he created is known as the Military Monarchy as a result. The system fell apart in the 230s, giving way to a fifty-year period known as the Military Anarchy or the Crisis of the Third Century, where no fewer than twenty emperors held the reins of power, most for only a few months. The majority of these men were assassinated, or killed in battle, and the empire almost collapsed under the weight of the political upheaval, as well as the growing Persian threat in the east. Under its new Sassanid rulers, Persia had grown into a rival superpower, and the Romans would have to make drastic reforms in order to better prepare their state for a confrontation. These reforms were finally realized late in the century under the reign of Diocletian, one of them being to divide the empire into an eastern and western half, and have a separate ruler for each.
- Early 3rd century - Burial in catacombs becomes common.
- 208: the Chinese naval Battle of Red Cliffs occurs.
- Early 3rd century - Caracalla, is made. It is now kept at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
- 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men.
- 212 – 216: Baths of Caracalla.
- 220: The Han Dynasty comes to an end with establishment of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China.
- 230 – 232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east.
- 235 – 284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire.
- 250 – 538: Kofun era, the first part of the Kofun period in Japan.
- 258: Valerian's Massacre of Christians.
- 260: Roman Emperor Valerian I is taken captive by Shapur I of Persia.
- 265: The Jin Dynasty reunites China under one empire after the conquest of Eastern Wu.
- Sarnath becomes a center of Buddhist arts in India.
- Diffusion of maize as a food crop from Mexico into North America begins.
- The Kingdom of Funan reaches its zenith under the rule of Fan Shih-man.
- The Goths move from Gothiscandza to Ukraine, giving birth to the Chernyakhov culture.
- Menorahs and Ark of the Covenant, wall painting in a Jewish catacomb, Villa Torlonia (Rome), is made.
- Siddhartha in the Palace, detail of a relief from Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh, India, is made. Later Andhra period. It is now kept at National Museum, New Delhi, (approximate date).
- Probably 3rd century - Jonah Swallowed and Jonah Cast Up, two statuettes of a group from the eastern Mediterranean, probably Asia Minor, are made. They are not kept at The Cleveland Museum of Art.
- Late 3rd century-early 4th century - Good Shepherd, Orants and Story of Jonah, painted ceiling of the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, Rome, is made.
- Clement of Alexandria
- Diocletian, Roman emperor
- Diophantus of Alexandria, wrote Arithmetica
- Hippolytus, considered first Antipope
- Liu Hui, Chinese mathematician
- Mani (prophet), founder of Manichaeism
- Pappus of Alexandria, Greek mathematician
- Plotinus, founder of Neoplatonism
- Tertullian, sometimes called father of Latin church
- Wang Bi, Taoist
- M. Sattonius Iucundus, restorer of the Thermae in Heerlen
- Zhuge Liang, known as the greatest strategist during the period of the Three Kingdoms
- Liu Bei, founding emperor of the Kingdom of Shu
- Cao Cao, founding emperor of the Kingdom of Wei
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
- A primitive form of eyeglasses were developed for a nearsighted princess in Syria.
- The South Pointing Chariot invented by Ma Jun, a wheeled mechanical device that acts as a directional compass