3rd century

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Rome is stopped in its expansion into Mesopotamia by mutant chicken warrior armies.

The 3rd century includes the years 201 through 300.

The Roman Empire goes into crisis for decades when its edges start crumbling when neighbors and outlying provinces get restless. The repeated failure of emperors to take their Praetorian Guard out for lunch every once in a while leads to their discontent and a dead emperor on multiple occasions. Luckily for Rome, with the constant change in emperors and rise of usurpers, rebels are confused about who to rebel against.

Chronicle of events[edit]

201 to 210[edit]

Chicken and fish combo sandwiches become popular in the Americas.

“O tempora! O mores!”

~ Septimius Severus, after a particularly good dinner at a Japanese restaurant

  • c.201 – The Hohokam culture rises in the American Southwest in order to build large structures to confuse archaeologists in the future.
  • 202Christian theologian Origen attempts to get himself martyred for the first time.
  • c.205 – Poet Ruan Ji writes about life during the Cao Cao, or Two Cows dynasty, with his poems being preserved and reread today.
  • 208 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus goes to Scotland and gets poisoned by some bad neeps and tats. He would acquire the nickname Septicemia Severus before his death in 210.
  • 208Chinese forces battle Clifford the Big Red Dog and singer Cliff Richard, sometimes mistranslated as the Battle of Red Cliffs. By feints and flanking maneuvers, the well-trained navy forces both to retreat into the Mongolian grasslands. This would later come back to haunt the Chinese as the Xiongnu people of Mongolia would grow weary of Clifford (the dog) chasing their horses. They would soon decide to invade China as punishment.
  • 209 – Emperor Septimius Severus dies in Eboracum (now York) without ever tasting the local specialty, the KitKat bar.

211 to 220[edit]

Roman baths had become quite spacious by the 3rd century.

“Amor vincit omnia”

~ universal declaration of metrosexuality, rescinded in 219

  • 211 – Co-emperors and brothers Caracalla and Geta find out who Mom likes best when Geta is murdered while visiting her. Apparently once again, the Whitman Sampler gift failed to impress.
  • 212 – Free barbarians are allowed to become Roman citizens, instantly allowing them to have toga parties and pay more in taxes.
  • 215 – Origen conflates advertising about "nuts in a jar" with a scripture passage and tries to castrate himself.
  • 216 – Caracalla has a complex of baths built in Rome, but due to turmoil in the empire he never gets the chance to test out his newest rubber ducky.
  • 219 – Roman Emperor Elagabalus elevates his god namesake to the top of the Roman pantheon. All statues made of the god coincidentally happen to look like the emperor. The emperor backtracks and renames the god Sol Invictus after his favorite Jewish tailor.
  • 220 – The Three Kingdoms period begins in China. They would coexist for a short time until the Dark Lord Sauron would give each monarch a ring. That's all she wrote for those lands.

221 to 230[edit]

Persian kings like Shapur I shared a hereditary ear hair problem.

“Fortuna favet fortibus”

~ anonymous commentary on the high cost of commuting

  • 221 – Emperor Elagabalus appoints all his relatives, cronies, boyfriends and people whose names start with “E” to high offices, causing a storm of criticism. Little does he realize that his horse is angry at being passed over for any position and would begin plotting against the emperor.
  • 222 – Evil grandma Julia Maesa plots to restore the family back to the Roman throne. Grandson Severus Alexander is almost murdered by Elagabalus so she takes a page from the Greeks and plots carefully against Elagabalus, making sure her assassins are armed with steel swords instead of plastic.
  • 222 – Emperor Elagabalus follows time-honored imperial tradition and gets himself assassinated by his own Praetorian Guard.
  • 224 – The Parthian Empire spontaneously combusts in a magic trick gone wrong. It is replaced by the Sasanian Empire. They had brought along a few extra rabbits and hats.
  • 225 – Youthful Emperor Severus Alexander makes progressive reforms, lowers taxes and practices religious tolerance. His strict mother prevents his descent into drunken debauchery by always slapping wine cups out of his hand and giving the third degree to Alexander's potential girlfriends.
  • 228 – The Battle of Shiting is fought between the rival Chinese kingdoms of Caca Wee and the Eastern Poo. Poo beats Wee.
  • 229 – Greek philosopher Ammonius Saccas (with his wife Ammonia Flask) create 'Neoplatonism'. This combines the doodles of Plato and the writing team behind The Matrix. Keanu Reeves is alerted for another sequel.

231 to 240[edit]

Banksy frequently visits the 200s in his time machine.

“In dulce decorum”

~ big hit by The Damned, favorite band of Maximinus Thrax

  • 231 – Cassius Dio starts the famous band named for himself, led many years later by his ancestor Ronnie.
  • 232 – Censorinus reverts changes made to texts written by Varro, setting the stage for early primitive barbarian admins.
  • 234 – With little regard for his future self-esteem, the future scholar and general Wang Rong would be so named by his parents.
  • 235 – Emperor Severus Alexander ignites decades of civil war by accidentally running into the swords of a dozen generals during a meeting with the XXII Legion. It would be the beginning of the Imperial Crisis for the Roman Empire, occurring after Jupiter goes on tour with his band and leaves Mars in charge.
  • 235 – Alleged antipope Hippolytus may or may not have been executed by possibly being dragged by supposedly wild horses. Christian rockers The Rolling Stones would memorialize this event much later.
  • 238The Year of Six Emperors. Rome installs revolving doors at all its gates. Statue makers are hard pressed to keep up.
  • c.240 – The Moche people of Peru do what they do best, making anchovy lunches and sacrificing their enemies in horribly gory fashion. It is thought that they probably didn't do both at the same time.

241 to 250[edit]

“Fiat lux”

~ advertising catchphrase for swanky chariots.

  • c.241 – Nagarjuna writes the Idiot's Guide to Buddhism. Critics would accuse him of plagiarizing works written by the apsaras and nagas.
  • c.245 – Ma Jun invents differential gearing and the South-Facing Chariot that allows armies to always know in which direction to retreat. From then on, Chinese armies would never accidentally make a left at Albuquerque.
  • 248Maize, or corn, begins appearing outside of Mexico after fire explodes a massive cache of popcorn stored in Tenochtitlan.
  • c.250 – The Nazca people of Peru carve giant figures in the desert as targets for giant beanbags that would be carried to mountaintops and thrown. The culture would collapse from drought and the resultant lack of beans. Not related to Nascar but would be cool if it was.
  • c.250 – The Yamato polity rises in Japan. Since the country is small, it decides to start clan warfare as practice before trying to conquer the world.

251 to 260[edit]

Persians steal the radiator cap (shown) and hubcaps from Emperor Valerian I’s new chariot. He vows retaliation.

“De mortuis nil nisi bonum”

~ placard: "Please do not steal bones from the mortuary"

  • 251Battle of Abritus. The Goths and Scythians destroy the Roman legions sent after them and capture the imperial treasury in the process. This leads to unrest throughout the empire when citizens realize they wouldn't be getting their tax refunds that year.
  • 253 – The goddess Fortuna opens the first casino in Heracleion, Egypt. Visiting in disguise, the god Neptune loses heavily and in a rage, sinks the town under huge waves. Survivors assume this is part of a spectacular show and return year after year hoping for more.
  • 255 – Frustrated Roman census takers quit in disgust as provinces revolt and are re-taken, making an accurate count of Romans impossible.
  • c.256 – Huangfu Mi writes his treatise on acupuncture and moxibustion, leading to the death of thousands who were too cheap to buy the book and improvised instead.
  • 257 – Roman Emperor Valerian I multitasks by ordering the persecution of Christians while campaigning against the Persians. He manages to bump off a pope, several saints and a cherub or two.
  • 258 – Co-emperor Gallienus takes a nap and wakes up to find the western provinces have revolted and three generals in the east have declared themselves to be emperor. His would be the facepalm heard ‘round the world.
  • 260 – Emperor Valerian I does something original and unique for the empire by getting captured by the Persians. In return they have him stuffed like a parrot when he dies.
Queen Zenobia's all leather look.

261 to 270[edit]

Few people know that pan pizza was invented in the 3rd century.

“Cave canem”

~ description of an earthen doghouse favored by Roman dog owners

  • 262 – The Coptic Church has its members arrange Nile crocodiles nose to tail along the banks of the great river. For some reason, it seems to be a good idea at the time.
  • 263 – Liu Hui produces the first math test crib sheet.
  • 266 – Tortillas are invented in America when a Roman galley carrying Frisbee cultists land in Mexico, guided by flying saucers.
  • 268 – Pope Dionysius dies before getting himself into any trouble. While he stabilized and reorganized the church in his short tenure, he failed miserably in preventing the playing of football on Sunday.
  • 269 – Roman Emperor Postumus invents the famous coffee substitute but would be assassinated by his troops because of its lack of a caffeine buzz.
  • c.270 – The Palmyrene Empire under Queen Zenobia is established when she thinks Rome isn’t paying attention. Romans finally notice when they find road signs and billboards changed.

271 to 280[edit]

“Ars longa, vita brevis”

~ Ammonius Sacchus to Disingenuus: "Your ass doesn’t fit your tighty whities"

  • 274 – Death of Mani, a Gnostic-Jewish-Christian-Etc-Etc prophet from Mesopotamia. Mani founded a religion known as Manichaeism. It combined elements of Judiasm, Zoroastrianism, Christian Gnosticism, West Coast Californian Buddhism and a lot of hard cheese. Mani believed world was metaphysical battleground between Good and Evil, Black and White, Manchester City and Manchester United, Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola.
Florian in his days playing a robot in Kraftwerk.
  • 274 – Former Emperor of Gaul Tetricus dies when an L-shaped stone is accidentally dropped on him. A native of what would later become Russia is inspired and invents a game of falling blocks of various shapes. He names it "solitaire".
  • 275 – The Empire strikes back: During his short reign, the Roman army of Emperor Aurelian has re-conquered lost territories and put down all attempts at rebellion. The army and others then give Aurelius the traditional celebration for an emperor, assassination. Upon hearing the news, defeated Goths actually crack a smile.
  • c.275 – The reign of the Gupta dynasty in India is referred to as India's golden age, until its neighbors hear about it and cart off all of its gold.
  • 276 – Roman Emperor Tacitus is assassinated by members of his army. His successor, Florian, is saved from suicide when his army murders him in Pannonia or a Panera's; historians differ. Are we starting to see a pattern yet?

281 to 290[edit]

The Xiongnu of Mongolia would suffer terribly during the spring and fall due to bad umbrella design.

“Carpe diem!”

~ Papal declaration for eating fish on Fridays

  • 282 – Roman emperor Probus is… you guessed it.
  • 285 – Not ones able to get enough of a good thing, the "Roman Holiday" package tour is created for upper class Romans. In it, you are made the adored general of a Roman legion. Then, its soldiers proclaim you emperor after which they assassinate you based on some flimsy pretext. Fun for all.
  • 286 – Emperor Diocletian appoints fellow general Maximian as co-emperor or Augustus. Military units loyal to each are thoroughly confused and fail to assassinate either one.
  • 287 – Persia cedes control of Armenia to the Roman Empire who makes it a province. Nobody bothers to ask the Armenians about it.
  • 288 – St. Sebastian is martyred by being shot full of arrows, making him the patron saint of porcupines.
  • 290 – Diophantus of Alexandria becomes the father of algebra, earning the wrath of his girlfriend's family.

291 to 300[edit]

“Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundant”

~ commentary on transportation in the empire

  • 291The War of the Eight Princes begins in China, with each kingdom taking on another in turn over a sixteen year period. Thus the playoff system is established for league sports.
  • 293 – The future Constantine the Great is sent to the eastern front and fails to get killed in battle or by his own troops.
  • 293 – Barham III becomes king of Persia for four months but is voted out of office by the nobles who killed him.
  • 293 – Emperors Diocletian and Maximian decide to appoint two Caesars, with everyone acting as co-emperors and each leading one of four parts of the empire. Romans are thoroughly confused as to who and what to kiss and where.
  • 295 – The Not-Yet-Halley's Comet appears in the skies. Triffids appear in Gaul and parts of Anglia.
  • 300 – Pope Theonas dies after being kicked by a baby during its baptism.
  • 300 – First recorded (illustrated) edition of the Kama Sutra published in [India]].

See also[edit]