256 BC

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Events

By place

Roman Republic

* Rome aims for a quick end to hostilities in the First Punic War and decides to invade the Carthaginian colonies in Northern Africa to force the enemy to accept terms. A major fleet is built, including transports for the army and its equipment, and warships for their protection. Carthage under Hamilcar tries to intervene but a force under the Roman general and consul Marcus Atilius Regulus and his colleague Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus defeat the Carthaginian fleet in the Battle of Cape Ecnomus off the southern coast of Sicily.
* Following the Battle of Cape Ecnomus, the Romans land an army near Carthage and begin ravaging the Carthaginian countryside. The Roman army soon forces the capitulation of Clupea, a town 40 miles (64 kilometres) east of Carthage. After setting up Roman defences for the city, the two consuls receive instructions from Rome that Vulso is to set sail for Rome, taking most of the fleet with him. Regulus, on the other hand, is to stay with the infantry and cavalry to finish the war.

China

* Luoyang falls without much resistance to the armies of the Qin, ending the reign of the emperor Zhou Nan Wang. Although a successor was appointed as Dong Zhou Hui Wang, traditionally in Chinese history this is considered the end of the Zhou Dynasty.
* The Du Jiang Yan Irrigation System is constructed, ending flooding and irrigating thousands of square miles of land through an ingeniously designed system.

Births

* Liu Bang, founder of the Han Dynasty of China (d. 195 BC)

Deaths

* Zhou Nan Wang, King of the Zhou Dynasty of China


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