Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 1st century BC
Eastern Hemisphere at the end of the 1st century BC
The 1st century BC, also known as the last century BC, started on the first day of 100 BC and ended on the last day of 1 BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero; however, astronomical year numbering does use a zero, as well as a minus sign, so "2 BC" is equal to "year -1". This is the 100th century in the Holocene calendar; it spans the years 9,901 to 10,000. 1st century AD (Anno Domini) follows.
In the course of the century all the remaining independent lands surrounding the Mediterranean were steadily brought under Roman control, being ruled either directly under governors or through puppet kings appointed by Rome. The Roman state itself was plunged into civil war several times, finally resulting in the marginalization of its 500-year-old republic, and the embodiment of total state power in a single man--the emperor.
The internal turbulence that plagued Rome at this time can be seen as the death throes of the Roman Republic, as it finally gave way to the autocratic ambitions of powerful men like Sulla, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian's ascension to total power as the emperor Augustus is considered to mark the point in history where the Roman Republic ends and the Roman Empire begins. Some scholars refer to this event as the Roman Revolution. It is believed that the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity took place at the close of this century.
In the eastern mainland, the Han Dynasty began to decline and the court of China was in chaos in the latter half of this century. Trapped in a difficult situation, the Xiongnu had to begin emigration to the west or attach themselves to the Han.
- Ambiorix, Gallic military leader
- Ariovistus, Germanic military leader
- Burebista, king of Dacia
- Cassivellaunus, Celtic Briton military leader
- Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Ruler of Egypt
- Crixus, Gallic rebel leader
- Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, Roman politician and famous philanthropist
- Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman
- Gaius Marius, Roman general and statesman
- Gaius Octavius, first Roman emperor
- Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Roman general and politician
- Herod the Great, king of Judea
- Hillel the Elder, Jewish rabbi
- Huo Guang, Chinese politician
- Jesus of Nazareth, The Son of God in various beliefs
- Joseph, according to the New Testament the foster father of Jesus.
- Jin Midi, Chinese official
- Juba II, last king of Numidia
- Julia Caesaris filia, Roman noblewoman, wife of Agrippa and Tiberius
- John the Baptist, Jewish prophet in Christianity and Islam
- Livia Drusilla, Empress of Rome, mother of Tiberius
- Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Roman general and statesman
- Lucius Licinius Lucullus, Roman general and politician
- Lucius Sergius Catilin, attempted to overthrow Roman Republic
- Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Roman politician
- Marcus Antonius, Roman general and politician
- Marcus Junius Brutus, Roman politician
- Marcus Licinius Crassus, Roman general and politician
- Marcus Porcius Cato, Roman politician
- Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Roman statesman and general
- Mary, according to the New Testament and the Quran the mother of Jesus.
- Octavia the Younger, Roman noblewoman, sister of Augustus and wife of Mark Antony.
- Ptolemy XIII of Egypt, pharaoh of Egypt
- Publius Clodius Pulcher, Roman politician, demagogue
- Quintus Sertorius, Roman statesman and general
- Sextus Pompeius, Roman general and son of Pompey
- Spartacus, gladiator and insurgent leader of the Third Servile War
- Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia
- Vercingetorix, Gallic military leader
- Xuan of Han, Chinese emperor
- Nalankilli, king of the early Chola dynasty in South india
- Gaius Valerius Catullus, Roman poet
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman writer, philosopher and politician
- Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Roman poet
- Titus Lucretius Carus, Roman poet and philosopher
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Roman poet
- Sextus Propertius, Roman poet
- Albius Tibullus, Roman poet
- Publius Vergilius Maro, Roman poet
- Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, Roman writer, architect and engineer
- Sangam literature, ancient Tamil literary works.
Science and Philosophy
- Cornelius Nepos, Roman biographer
- Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Roman historian, politician
- Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus, Roman historian
- Diodorus Siculus Greek historian
- Jing Fang, Chinese mathematician and music theorist
- Marcus Annaeus Seneca, Roman rhetorician and writer
- Marcus Antistius Labeo, Roman jurist
- Marcus Terentius Varro, Roman scholar
- Marcus Verrius Flaccus, Roman grammarian
- Titus Livius Patavinus, Roman historian
- Sima Qian, Chinese historian, father of Chinese historiography
- Strabo, Greek historian and geometer
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
See: List of sovereign states in the 1st century BC.