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210BCE

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§Roman Republic

Following the death of his father, Publius Cornelius Scipio, and his uncle, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, at the hands of the Carthaginians, the young Publius Cornelius Scipio takes over command of the Roman troops in Spain. His appointment reflects the Roman Senate's dissatisfaction with the cautious strategy of the propraetor, Gaius Claudius Nero, then commander in Spain north of the Ebro.

The famine and inflation facing Rome is eased with the pacification by the Romans of Sicily.

The Carthaginian general, Hannibal, proves his superiority in tactics by inflicting a severe defeat at Herdonia in Apulia upon a proconsular army and slaying the consul Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus.

The Roman general, Marcus Claudius Marcellus is elected consul for the fourth time and takes Salapia in Apulia, which has revolted and joined forces with Hannibal.

Hannibal again proved his superiority in tactics by inflicting a severe defeat at Herdoniac (modern Ordona) in Apulia, Southern Italy, upon a proconsular army.

§Egypt

Arsinoe III, wife and sister of King Ptolemy IV gives birth to the future Ptolemy V Epiphanes. Thereafter, she is sequestered in the palace, while Ptolemy's depraved male and female favourites ruin both the king and his government of Egypt. Although Arsinoe III disapproves of the sordid state of the court, she is unable to exert any influence.

§Greece

After allying with Hannibal, Philip V of Macedon attacks the Roman positions in Illyria, but fails to take Corcyra or Apollonia, which are protected by the Roman fleet. Rome's command of the sea prevents his lending any effective aid to his Carthaginian ally in Italy. The Aetolians, Sparta and King Attalus of Pergamum join the Romans in the war against Philip V. This coalition is so strong that Philip V has to stop attacking Roman territory.

§China

September 10 - Death of the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di who left a legacy that would make him a towering figure in Chinese history. By the time he died, he had united warring kingdoms into one country, put an end to feudalism, and built the Great Wall. He died during one of his tours of Eastern China, at the palace in Shaqiu prefecture (沙丘平台). The announcement of his death was withheld until the entourage, which was accompanied by Premier Li Si and the imperial court, returned to the capital Xianyang two months later.

The eldest son Fusu was supposed to be elected as the next emperor. However, Premier Li Si and the Chief Eunuch Zhao Gao conspired to kill Fusu in order to get rid of Fusu's favorite General Meng Tian, who was their court rival. They were afraid that if Fusu was enthroned, they would lose their power. Li Si and Zhao Gao forged a fake edict by Qin Shi Huang ordering both Fusu and General Meng to commit suicide. Their plan worked, and the younger son Huhai acceded the throne to become the Second Emperor later known as Qin Er Shi (秦二世).

Qin Er Shi depended on eunuch Zhao Gao so much so that he acted as a puppet emperor, with the eunuch as puppeteer. After one of the tours, Zhao Gao suggested he examine the governors and military commandants and punish those who are guilty of some crime. By doing so he can do away with those who disapprove of the emperor's actions. Six imperial princes were killed at Tu (杜). The emperor then went on further to punish people for petty crimes. The emperor's brother Jianglu (將閭) and two other brothers were imprisoned. A messenger was then sent to read them a death sentence. Jianglu looked to the heavens, and cried out loud three times that he did not commit any crime (天乎!吾無罪!). All three brothers cried and drew their own swords to commit suicide. Zhao Gao said that the Second Emperor was young, and as the Son of Heaven, his own voice must never be heard and his face must never be shown. Accordingly, the emperor remained in the inner palaces, and consulted only with Zhao Gao. Because of this, the high ministers rarely had the opportunity to see the emperor in court.

§Births

  • Hui, the second emperor of the Han Dynasty of China (d. 188 BC)

§Deaths

  • September 10 — Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China (b. 260 BC)
  • Fusu, first son and heir apparent of Qin Shi Huang
  • Meng Tian, general of the Qin Dynasty of China

§Sources

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