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Weather History and Climate (300 B.C. to 250 B.C.)

350 B.C. to 300 B.C. | 300 B.C. to 250 B.C. | 250 B.C. to 200 B.C.

CLIMATE (300-250 B.C.):

The year 300 B.C. marked the end of another l00-year cycle and fell in the center of a 40-year cold period. About 280 B.C. there occurred the expected rise 1n both temperature and rainfall (at the end of the cold phase), and the formation of the warm-wet phase. Rainfall was apparently very high for about ten years after which there followed a five-year hot drought. Rainfall was apparently very high for about ten years after which there followed a five-year hot drought. Rainfall then recovered to a moderate degree as temperatures rose again after a drop between 265 and 260. At the end of the 50-year period it was getting dry.

HISTORY (300-250 B.C.):

A glance at the blue items will show that during the 40-year cold period the important historical events belonged to the pattern of cold periods. Out of the confusion of civil war, several strong independent States emerged where once Alexander had held sway.

During this period, civilizations all Over the world received their first major shake-up in almost 300 years for this is the first long cold period since 575 B.C. The climatic reaction from the cold phase was apparently a very vigorous one. So was the cultural revival, for there now occurred another one of the greatest Golden Age eras in all.

Prominent among these civilizations was Egypt under the Ptolemies. Under Ptolemy Philadelphus, who reigned from 285 to 259 B.C., occurred a brilliant outburst of learning, a period of prosperity and good government. A group of famous scientists and philosophers, known as the First Alexandrian School, congregated at the Museum in Alexandria. Among them was the famous geometrician Euclid. Another was Manetho, an Egyptian historian whose chronologies of the ancient Egyptian civilizations were remarkable for their accuracy and thoroughness. Another was Arisistratos, credited with founding the science of physiology. There were many others.

Helped by the foundation laid down during the previous cold period by the patriot Chandragupta, Asoka was able to build one of the great empires of all time in India. He gave to that country one of the most brilliant periods in its entire history. He is known to history as the "Constantine of Buddhism."

Another important State was the Syrian or Seleucid Empire. Its capital at first was at Seleucid on the Tigris River, later at Antioch on the Orontes. Many of its kings went by the name of Antiochus; hence, the name of the city. The Seleucid Empire was the largest of the: remnants of Alexander's Kingdom, which extended into India from the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Soon, however, the large eastern part (Parthia, Bactria) gained its independence.

It was on this same climatic revival that Rome greatly extended her authority over the neighboring tribes and territory of the Italian peninsular. She completed the subjugation of Italy, and branched out to Epirus which was across the Adriatic Sea to the East. In 264 Rome began her distant conquests by defeating Carthage across the Mediterranean Sea to the South. Trouble had been brewing between these two City States for some time over commercial rivalry. This was the First Punic War. a typical nation-building war.

During the cold period previous to the great cultural awakening some of the most famous materialistic movements in the history of philosophy occurred. One of them was led by Epicurus; who advocated a philosophy based upon the pain-pleasure principle, i.e.~ the basic causes of behavior are man's "instinctive" avoidance of pain and attraction to pleasure. The word, "epicurean" today signifies a person dominated by pleasure and the principle: "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die." Epicurus actually led a very dignified life and insisted that it was intellectual pleasure that man should seek. Another school of philosophers was the Stoics who advocated taking the world as you find it, bearing pain nobly, and doing good for its practical results.

 Information from Weather Science Foundation.