Ancient Greece was a civilization centred around the Greek peninsula, that lasted from the 8th century BC to the end of the classical antiquity era (ca. 600 AD).

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Why didn't Hercules bring his family back from the underworld [on hold]

My question is, "is there any story or body of work that explains why Hercules does not bring his own family (i.e. his wife Megara and kids) back from the dead, considering he is capable of doing so? ...
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Individual mobility in Greco-Roman world

As we know, the Greeks and later also the Romans built street networks to connect their settlements to each other. For me, this fact raised an issue: How did the Greeks and Romans move between their ...
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Date of the death of Socrates

Question 1: The death of Socrates is usually said to have happened in 399 BC, but I've sometimes seen a question mark after the date. Is there actually a possible uncertainty about the exact year? ...
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Was Alexander the Great Greek or Macedonian?

This questions has been confusing me for a while. Was Alexander the Great Greek or Macedonian? He was born in Pella, Macedonia, but is he considered Greek? Do nationality and ethnicity mean different ...
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Why haven't Etruscan texts survived?

In Wikipedia it's claimed that Etruscan Civilization had a rich literature, but only one Etruscan text has survived. And AFAIK at the same moment we have many Ancient Greeks texts roughly from the ...
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Are modern Greeks related to the ancient Greeks?

Greece has been subject to many many invasions since the 7th century and there must have been a serious mixing of peoples. In a similar situation, we do not usually consider the French or the Germans ...
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Is it true that Plato travelled till Ganges river?

Plato was the great philosopher and traveler. In "The Story of Philosophy" William Durant has written that: He found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of ...
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Macedonian phalanx vs. hoplites

Was Macedonian phalanx with their long spears and small shields are really more effective then hoplites? What was the incentive for Philip II to radically change the way infantry fought back in those ...
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Is there any myth in Thucydides?

Title says it all really? Any help would be much appreciated. I just need a few examples as I am struggling to find any...
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Pedophilia in ancient Greek and Roman culture

This question is inspired by an answer to: When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe? I have heard from many people that pedophilia was widely practiced in ancient Greek or Roman cultures. ...
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255 views

Is there any evidence of STD's in ancient times?

Are there any ancient texts that show or imply that their authors knew that certain diseases were spread through sexual activity? It seems like sexual contagion was recognized in the 16th century ...
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366 views

Prominent examples of scientific racism in ancient Greece

Benjamin Isaac in his book The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity provides a prime example of scientific racism in ancient Greece: The idea that dark people are cowards, and light people ...
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260 views

How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

Alexander the Great conquered so much territory so quickly that I'm always surprised he was able to maintain control of it as his army pushed further east. What kept territories from reverting to ...
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Did the chariot drop in importance between bronze age Greece and the iron age Greece? Why, why not?

In what I've read about classical Greece - about Persian wars, Pelaponesian wars, Battle of Leuctra, Macedonia conquest...etc. - military discussion seems to be mostly about the Phalanx with a bit ...
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Athenian Democracy - How were the citizens motivated to be so politically active?

Considering the city-state of Athens and its interesting idea of a direct democracy (550 B.C.), I am comparing and contrasting the political activity of ancient Athenians and modern Americans. ...
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150 views

Legendary visits by Alexander the Great

There is a story about Alexander the Great visiting Jerusalem. This story is not supported by other sources, as far as I know, and so is probably not literally true (it may well reflect some ...
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Why was not Greek alphabet adopted by other languages given the Greek influence?

Most of western languages adopt the Latin alphabet with minor variations. Arabic letters are adopted by quite a few other languages. The same is true for Eastern Europe with Cyrillic letters. Why was ...
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389 views

What evidence support the theory that the killing of unwanted children was practiced in ancient Athens?

While researching the Who first wrote about deafness? question, I came across this bold claim on Wikipedia: Sparta is often portrayed as being unique in this matter, however there is considerable ...
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267 views

Power and substance use/abuse - Hitler and others? [closed]

Hitler's substance use/abuse (Frank Sanello): Three to four time per day, Hitler received injections of dangerous drugs and bizarre substances from his personal physician, Dr. Theodor ...
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Who came up with the name “Peloponnesian War”?

If I understand correctly, Thucydides actually called his book just History. If that is correct, then at what point did it become known as History of the Peloponnesian War? EDIT: Here is how he ...
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Is it true that Spartan soldiers fought naked?

I was watching a trailer for a movie called 300: Rise of an Empire. I noticed in this movie the Spartan soldiers from the chest and legs are naked. But recently I read in several posts here in the ...
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318 views

Did the Greeks win the battle of Salamis because their rowers were “free”?

While I was at university in the late 1970s, I was told by a faculty advisor that the Greek rowers at the Battle of Salamis were given cushions that greatly increased their comfort and efficiency (and ...
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499 views

Why did the Romans incorporate and rename the Greek pantheon? [closed]

I have read on occasion that they kept the pantheon out of admiration and/or to keep the peace with the newly conquered Greeks, but I have never seen any hard evidence or writings that say this in in ...
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638 views

What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae?

In the battle of Thermopylae between the Persians and the United Greek Forces, what role did the mighty war elephant play? The Persians threw Immortals and archers at the United Greeks on the narrow ...
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Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
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What happened to sacrificed animals in ancient Greece?

I was wondering, what happened to animals that were sacrificed in the ancient Greece. For instance, when Pythagoras created his theorem he made a 100 oxen sacrifice. Was the sacrifice considered a ...
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Were Greek columns hollow?

I remember learning in elementary school that at some point in their history, the Greeks were building hollow columns to support their building, because they thought that hollow columns would provide ...
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198 views

What is the source of this quote about Demosthenes by Philip II of Macedon?

I've read that Philip II of Macedon said that if he had listened to Demosthenes, he would have declared war on himself. Ref. (it's an old book, and in Spanish): Historia de la literatura griega, 2, ...
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Was lighter or darker skin pigment valued higher in ancient Greek civilization?

Did the ancient Greeks higher value lighter skin and hair, as do modern Indians?
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How would slaves have addressed their masters in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Rome, slaves addressed their masters as Dominus or Domina (male or female, respectively). Would the slaves (or servants) of Ancient Greece have used a similar title, or would they have ...
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718 views

Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
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973 views

When did the Greeks start the practice of burying their dead relatives' bodies?

I was told that at the time around 1 B.C. to 2 A.D Greeks were still cremating bodies of their dead relatives. When did the Greeks start burying them?
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Finding reviews of academic books?

I find it quite diffucult to find reviews of academic books on various subjects, especially for books in the english language. In Denmark we have a service where we can search almost any book academic ...
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303 views

Did Pythagoras visit Judaea, Arabia, and/or India?

From Wikipedia's page on Pythagoras: Diogenes Laertius reported that Pythagoras had undertaken extensive travels, and had visited not only Egypt, but Arabia, Phoenicia, Judaea, Babylon, and even ...
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What were the relative contributions of oral & literary education in 5th century BCE Athens?

I've read an article about Plato's Academy and how knowledge was spread in Athens in the middle of 5th century BCE. It was thought that knowledge was spread through speaking (orally). But some ...
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761 views

Why was record keeping forbidden in Ancient Sparta?

in Ancient Sparta, record keeping and any kind of written history was forbidden by law. (src: http://history.stackexchange.com/a/5966/332 ) What was the rationale for such a law?
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Are there any archaeological evidence for the Dorian Invasion in Greece?

My books on ancient Greece are pretty old. And they have have the same explanation for Doric vs. Ionic ethnicity/history. Are there any archaeological evidence for a Dorian invasion?
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Was the Minoan civilization warlike?

Generally, is believed that the Minoan civilization on Crete was peaceful and their culture was more like a culture of peace than a culture of war. But I've read an article lately ...
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Nymphodorus of Syracuse

Is there an online version of his history? I am actually trying to assemble some information about a slave rebellion led by one Drimakos and Nymphodorus is one of the ancient writers who mentioned ...
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127 views

Was Eumenes really a non Greek by birth?

I have been reading a very interesting graphic novel by Hitoshi Iwaaki which is about Eumenes. It starts of by saying that Eumenes was not a Greek by birth, but was born in a tribe called Scythians. ...
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Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
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237 views

Did the British somehow imitate the Greek colonizers in India?

First of all I wonder whether the British headdress in India was somehow designed to resemble the headdress of the Indo-Greeks and Greco-Bactrians? For example, this is the image of Eucratides I, the ...
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266 views

Monotheism/Atheism in Polytheistic societies

I would like to know if there are any documents telling us how common (or if it even existed) among people in polytheistic societies (like ancient Greece, Rome, etc.) it was to believe that there is ...
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Are there ancient Greek historians who wrote about Mycenae?

I´m interested in Mycenae but have no background in archaeology, so my question is: Did the ancient writer like Thucydides, Herodot etc. write about the Minoic and/or Mycenaean time as well? If not, ...
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Homosexuality in ancient Sparta

I have been told that this was ilegal under the law that No man shall submit to another However, this does not sound to me like it is banning homosexuals, perhaps banning one from being a ...
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How much of the *Iliad* was confirmed scientifically?

Obviously, one of the central facts of Homer's Iliad was confirmed when archaeologists found Troy. But were there any other details of Iliad (such as existance of Atreidae dynasty, Agamemnon actually ...
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810 views

Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
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Was there an assassination attempt against Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae?

I watched Frank Miller's 300 last night with my girlfriend, and after the movie ended she mentioned the assassination attempt against Xerxes would have been a great plot element for the movie and that ...
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543 views

Who first wrote about deafness?

Aristotle referred to the sense of hearing in his work "The Problems". He correlated hearing with the capacity of learning, he believed that the sense of hearing was the most important in order to ...
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Was the Athenian generals' trial after Arginusae a political one?

In 406BC, the Athenian fleet reported a great victory against the Spartans', near the Arginusae Islands. After the battle, allegedly because of a storm, the generals failed to rescue their comrades at ...