Ancient history was from the beginning of recorded history (c. 4000 B.C.) until the fall of the Roman Empire (c. A.D. 500).

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On the history of Jewish places of worship

I was recently on holiday in Israel and Jordan on a tour that focussed on biblical and archaeological sites. As part of the tour, we visited Tel Arad which was probably built around 1100 BCE and ...
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94 views

Did temples in ancient Greece contain treasure? [closed]

Was it common for temples in ancient Greece to contain treasure like gold and silver? Did any famous temples contain treasure rooms?
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71 views

What was the name of the father of Mesha, king of Moab?

In English translations of the Mesha Stele, the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite". However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele (rendered in ...
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Is there any historical evidence to support the existence of the Patriarchs outside of the Old Testament? [duplicate]

What evidence can be provided to support the existence of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) outside of the Old Testament?
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2answers
226 views

Why is Matgenus, king of Tyre, sometimes called Mattan?

In Josephus' Against Apion (1:18) he writes in the name of Menander the Ephesian that Matgenus was one of the Tyrian kings, but I have seen other sources (like Wikipedia, et al.) refer to this king as ...
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78 views

What is the origin of language? [closed]

The use of language is one of the most conspicuous and diagnostic traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other species. Unlike writing, spoken language leaves no trace.Can we get a direct method in ...
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170 views

Death by candle [closed]

Many sources state that candles have been heavily used for light and timekeeping starting as early as 3000 BCE. Until electric lighting took over starting in the 19th century, candles and oil lamps ...
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53 views

When was the Passover Seder ritual formalized?

When were the Passover Seder customs in their present form formalized? As a terminus post quem I think we can surely take 70 CE when the Second Temple was destroyed since parts of the Seder ...
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99 views

Pre-Christian use of the Greek Septuagint

I'm interested in the pre-Christian use of the Septuagint, as well as the Greek language, within Jewish everyday life in Israel and in the synagogues of Israel. Is there evidence that the LXX or ...
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2answers
174 views

Is it possible to find out on what Roman day of the week Jesus resurrected? [closed]

According to the bible Jesus resurrected at the first day of the week. Nowadays we would call that day Sunday. But the first day of the week is based on the Hebrew calendar. In those days the Jews ...
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31 views

When did they start counting the days from 1 to 31 in Europe? [duplicate]

In history the Romans didn't count their days of a month not by adding each day extra. But instead of that they used three moments in a month, Kalendae, nonae and Idus. And from those days they ...
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68 views

What was “Taurica”? [closed]

I tend to see the area around Crimea referred to as "Taurica" when did this start and why did it stop? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Taurica
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Prior to Christianity, did some or all Greeks commonly believe in Greek mythology as historical fact? [duplicate]

Prior to the spread of Christianity, religion in Greece centered around worship of the Greek pantheon, and Greek mythology included many stories to explain historical fact, such as the founding of ...
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161 views

Did ancient Egypt gain any significant cultural influence from other states/regions?

Western cultures, to the best of my understanding, can trace their roots back to Ancient Egypt. Many modern day Western cultures took influence from Rome, which in turn took influence from Greece, ...
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327 views

When did Greek historians stop believing Greek mythology to be historical fact?

In Greek mythology, there are all kinds of historical stories. Fire from Mount Olympus, founding of Thebes, not to mention actions of the gods. First, is it safe to assume that there was a time in ...
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3answers
204 views

What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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202 views

Are there any known instances of sub-Saharan African democracy before European colonialism?

I've been reading up on pre-Athenian democracy (sometimes referred to as primitive or tribal democracy) where leaders were selected by some or most members of a group and were subject to established ...
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94 views

Were there established “denominations” for coins of different metals in ancient times? [closed]

Nowadays, the value of a coin doesn't really have any relation to the value of its metal content. However, the earliest metal coins were presumably used because of their inherent value, being made of ...
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207 views

What is the oldest ruler whose remains can be positively identified?

I realize this question can be quite controversial since "positive identification" is rather subjective especially with regards to ancient history. Regardless, I am curious to know which ancient ...
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87 views

Capital Punishment in the Ancient World [closed]

Are there any examples of ancient cultures that did not practice capital punishment? (Prior to the fall of the Roman Empire ~500 AD)
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76 views

Any sources on day to day governance in the ancient world? [closed]

EDIT: I've been asked to make this question simpler so here is my best attempt: I'm looking for sources, either primary, secondary, or even good pieces of historical fiction, that deal with the daily ...
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73 views

Where were Racka sheep brought to Europe from and when?

These are Racka sheep. The Racka is a unique breed with both ewes and rams possessing long spiral shaped horns. This sheep is a bit of a mystery, a mystery whose solving will shed new light on the ...
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3answers
759 views

Why did Xerxes need a canal across Mount Athos peninsula?

As a preparation to his invasion of Greece, Xerxes ordered to dig a canal across Mount Athos peninsula. Digging this canal took 3 years. When I look at the map I see that this peninsula is a part of ...
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237 views

Were there more than 4 River Valley Civilizations? [closed]

If you graduated U.S. Public School education system(k-12), you might have learned about the 4 great River Valley Civilizations: Indus, HuangHe, Nile, Euphrates. They were basically the birthing ...
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56 views

Regulations on women in Vedic India [closed]

I have came across lot of more-religious-less-historic books pertaining to history, which claim that the position of women from the beginning of Vedic civilisation, was ascribed by the scriptures, or ...
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1answer
195 views

Name of Kingdom that was formed after marriage refusal?

A while back, I read that in the middle ages, or even thousands of years ago, in Europe (I think around Netherlands), someone asked for a lady's hand in marriage (I think she was daughter of some King ...
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Were there any wars in ancient Greece where religion played a major part?

I know that the Greeks had a god of war and many other deities associated with warfare in some respect. I also know that the Greeks would consult the oracles for advice prior to their military ...
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160 views

What was the first recorded instance of burning a city or village in war?

I'm curious what the first recorded instance of a military putting a city or village to the torch. Certainly, war predates history, as does the tactic of destroying a dwelling, but I'm focused on ...
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267 views

Was the use of imperial nicknames in ancient Rome meant as an insult?

A few Roman emperors are commonly known by nicknames. I'm thinking specifically of the Emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Antoninus (Caracalla.) These nicknames were never in official use, at least while ...
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26 views

What triggered the movement from the late archaic to the early classical/severe era? [closed]

Most art historians say the movement resulted from the Persian Wars. I've also read that the rejection of Persian ideals and culture triggered the movement into the classical style art. Does anyone ...
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166 views

Ancient Roman garments apart from the toga

I'll bet there were as many fashion-minded people in Ancient Rome as there are today in London, Milan, New York, and Paris. I know what a toga is. I'm also familiar with what tunics, stolas, and ...
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76 views

Request for ancient history video lecture references

I just read a page on the Math Stack Exchange linking pages with videos of Math lectures and would love to have a similar thing for History--hopefully that's an acceptable "question" to ask here. ...
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1answer
159 views

Al Khazneh in Petra: is it fake?

The architecture is Greco-Roman, with all the usual attributes. But was it really built in antiquity? It was discovered in the early 19th Century (supposedly), but became a popular tourist destination ...
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152 views

What is the oldest graphic depiction of Attila?

Wikimedia Commons has two images from the Chronicon Pictum, dated around 1360. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Attila_the_Hun Is there anything (coin, portrait, bust, statue) older than that?
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Did Ancient Chinese architecture develop anything analogous to the Greek Orders?

Pretty much every culture in the world has its own tradition of architecture, design principles, etc., reflecting what society considers "ideal." In ancient Greece, these famously became codified into ...
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Beads in the Ancient Indus Valley

I’m interested in the manufacture, sales and use of beads in the ancient Indus Valley, particularly during the mature Harappan Civilization. Would beads have been manufactured predominantly by men or ...
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227 views

What was the cost of buying Silk in the Roman Empire

Is there any information extant of the cost one would pay for silk in the Roman Empire. Was it difficult for one to find silk to even buy? If that value fluctuated, and if it can be known, I am ...
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Ancient Indian caste system in relation to martial arts

I know that in the area now known as India, there was a rigid caste system as a part of traditional Hindu beliefs. I also know that there are a number of Indian martial arts going back centuries. I ...
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372 views

Who was the first Pope?

I know that Peter is the first Pope, but I do believe that he is called a bishop and is one of several including the Bishops of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and others. Who was the first ...
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259 views

How many Spartan boys survived army training?

Spartan combat training was very rough and dangerous. What percentage of boys survived their training?
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Why did the Phoenicians let the Hebrews (Jews) settle in Canaan?

I know the Hebrews (Jews) started traveling from shumor and Mesopotamia before entering Canaan (Today it is Israel). The Phoenicians were located at the time in Lebanon and Israel area. The ...
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Are there any examples of balistas, scorpions, or other catapult-like weapons being used in field battles

I know balistas, scorpions, and other war machines were used for sieges, but I'm wanting to know if they were ever used as offensive weapons for field battles. I've heard about the Battle of Jaxartes, ...
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Why is a month so different from a year or a day? [closed]

I dont know whether this is the correct place to ask this, but I don't know anywhere else. A minute is 60 seconds, an hour 60 minutes, and a day 24 hours always. Again, a week is 7 days always. And ...
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179 views

Was the grooming ritual of clipping one's toe/fingernails common practice in the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean/Mesopotamia?

In most societies today, keeping one's nails trimmed within a few mms of the top of the nail plate is the grooming standard. Do we have evidence that clipping nails when they reached a certain length ...
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128 views

Dating of Hammurabi discrepancy

I have multiple sources regarding the code of Hammurabi/Hammurapi and they have two conflicting dates of origin. Some give a date of compilation at near 1795-1750 B.C and some date it at 2250 B.C. ...
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171 views

Is there any historic record of using a wooden bow as a club?

Every time I see someone hit a person with the limb of a wooden bow in a movie I cringe. I mean first of all, it's way too light, thin and bendy to have any reasonable impact, but hollywood is as ...
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181 views

Did the Roman senate immediately send new governors after the death of proconsuls/propraetors?

I would like to know whether the Roman senate sent replacements for deceased governors (due to illness, accident, war, ...) immediately after hearing of their death or was content to entrust the ...
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Are there any texts/translations of the 4 main Egyptian creation myths?

According to wikipedia there are 4 main Egyptian Creation Myths. These appear to be: Ogdoad creaton myth of Hermopolis Creation myth of Atum from Heliopolis Creation myth of Ptah from Memphis ...
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From how far away could an experienced and skilled archer hit a man?

So I'm not asking about shooting into the enemy formation without specific target but targeting a single individual with a reasonable chance of success.
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305 views

Alexander the Great and Religion

Did Alexander impose his Greek polytheism on the Persians he conquered or did the Hellenization happen naturally over the course of time and Greek soldiers and traders living among them? Or was it ...