Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC
Decades: 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC - 210s BC - 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC
Years: 221 BC 220 BC 219 BC 218 BC 217 BC - 216 BC - 215 BC 214 BC 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC
- Second Punic War:
- August 2 - Hannibal crushes the Romans in the Battle of Cannae. As a result, a number of Italian cities allied to Rome desert to the Carthaginian side.
- The historian Quintus Fabius Pictor is sent to Delphi to consult the oracle there for advice about what to do after Cannae.
- The Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus holds off an attack by Hannibal in the First Battle of Nola.
- The consul Marcus Terentius Varro appoints Marcus Fabius Buteo as dictator alongside Fabius Maximus, an unprecedented move, but Buteo resigned after choosing new members for the Senate (which had been depleted by battle casualties).
- The First Macedonian War begins, will last until 205.