6th century BC

Millennium: 1st millennium BC
Decades: 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC 560s BC 550s BC
540s BC 530s BC 520s BC 510s BC 500s BC
Categories: Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments

The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC.

This century represents the peak of a period in human history popularly known as Axial Age. This period saw the emergence of five major thought streams springing from five great thinkers in different parts of the world: Buddha and Mahavira in India, Zoroaster in Persia, Pythagoras in Greece and Confucius in China. Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or slightly later.[1] This is the oldest still known grammar of any language.

In Western Asia, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after successfully rebelling against Assyrian rule. The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was ended in the 540s by Cyrus, who founded the Persian Empire in its place. The Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.

In Iron Age Europe, the Celtic expansion was in progress. China was in the Spring and Autumn period.


590s BC

Monument 1, an Olmec colossal head at La Venta

580s BC

An engraving on an eye stone of onyx with an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II
Medieval image of Thales

570s BC

560s BC

Croesus on the pyre, Attic red-figure amphora

550s BC

540s BC

530s BC

520s BC

510s BC

Image of Laozi

500s BC

Unknown Events

Significant people

Political leaders

Arts and entertainment


Philosophy and religion

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Sovereign States

See: List of sovereign states in the 6th century BC.


  1. Ritual and mantras: rules without meaning Google Books
  2. "History of the SUDAN". www.historyworld.net. 2007. Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  3. Daniel 10:4 Bible Online

Decades and years

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