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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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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Did Roman troops suffer from PTSD?

After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq there has been a lot of talking about how many soldiers suffer from PTSD when they return home. I'm interested in knowing more about war trauma and PTSD in ...
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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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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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154 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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Was Jesus depicted as dark skinned during the beginning of Christianity

I have seen depictions of Jesus classified under "early Christian art" and in the earliest depictions of Jesus he was of a much darker skin tone and I also seen the early "black madonnas" (the dark ...
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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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Who is the earliest recorded person?

Who is the earliest person recorded in history? Whose fame has survived the greatest amount of time to come down to us today?
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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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1answer
202 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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2answers
366 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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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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10answers
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Why didn't the Greeks or Romans have an Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain in the 18th century. The precursor to the Industrial Revolution was the Enlightenment. This occurred when European scholars rediscovered Greek and ...
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How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so it is effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be a ...
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1answer
253 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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1answer
244 views

What words were obliterated from the Great Colonnade at Palmyra?

One of the columns at the Great Colonnade at Palmyra features a dedicatory inscription to Zenobia and Odaenathus. It is bilingual, recording the same text in Greek and Palmyrenean: (Image credit: ...
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1answer
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When and why did war chariots stopped being used?

Many cultures (Egypt, Celts, etc...) had war chariots either as mobile platforms or as troop transport. What other advance in warfare made them obsolete?
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What did the Phoenician sailor trader eat?

I am not a historian my self, but I like to read history, ancient history. I am reading now about Phoenician civilization. I noticed in Wikipedia : the Phoenicians were the major naval and trading ...
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4answers
442 views

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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1answer
137 views

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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1answer
167 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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1answer
175 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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1answer
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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229 views

How was the Roman Princeps Senatus appointed?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) was supposed to have been nominated by the censors, who were elected every 5 years for 1 and a half years. What happened when the ...
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1answer
178 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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1answer
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When did waving become a part of human interaction? [closed]

When did waving to others to say hello or goodbye first enter the historical record as part of a culturally accepted form of human interaction?
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1answer
134 views

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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Which came first: polytheism or monotheism?

It seems a common position that monotheism tends to evolve out of polytheism. Wikipedia offers a few historical examples of this. However, many polytheistic religions seem to have monotheistic ...
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1answer
298 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Use of war elephants in Egypt

In a discussion with a friend, we came up with this topic. We know that Indians, Carthaginians and Persians were famous for their use of war elephants in ancient warfare. But the games like Age of ...
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105 views

How exactly was the Second Temple destroyed?

What is known regarding the techniques used to destroy the Second Temple? It was quite a large set of buildings made of stone blocks, and Romans didn't know (afaik) explosive techniques good for ...
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2answers
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Did the biblical apostle James visit Ireland?

I remember reading in a magazine that the biblical apostle James the Greater visited Ireland 400 years before Saint Patrick. Is it true that he went on a mission to Northern Ireland? Forgive me if I ...
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3answers
838 views

Was Alexander the Great ever an emperor?

Why is it that in the many biographies of Alexander the Great, the lands where he ruled over is his "empire", but he is only a "king of Macedon"? Was he ever recognized in or after his time as an ...
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2answers
167 views

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? [closed]

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? If Alexander would have decided to go westwards, would it be as successful and rewarding in comparison to his ...
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1k views

Is there any evidence of arachnophobia in ancient history?

Are there any sources that would tell us whether (any) ancient Greeks or Romans were afraid of spiders?
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228 views

At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
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7answers
680 views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
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4answers
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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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Who invented the first flag?

An answer on this site claims that the first flags were heraldic flags used in battles. But when was this, and for which nations?
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4answers
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What was the first known war in history?

Not the first instance of warfare, which surely predates recorded history, but of an organized war between civilizations. For the purposes of this question I'll define a war as: Defined scope: the ...
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1answer
167 views

What was the average weather during the times of the Ancient Greeks?

That's the question. Was it rather warm over the entire country, in the middle, or unbelievably cold?
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Ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
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2answers
305 views

Is there a relationship between the Pelasgians and Sea Peoples?

Wikipedia describes the Pelasgians as follows: all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the advent of the Greek language. And that these people where ...
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1answer
292 views

Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
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358 views

Ancient Christianity

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
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1answer
552 views

Instances of Jauhar around the world

Is there any evidence that the practice similar to Jauhar existed in places other than India? It seems like a pretty effective way, however brutal it may be, to escape slavery, rapes and imprisonment ...
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1answer
627 views

Archers laying on their back, was it real?

I saw a movie called "The Hero" from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In one scene, many of the Chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big ...
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1answer
181 views

When and where, exactly, did the concept of a male god eating grapes orginate?

I am sure you have seen, somewhere, of a male god eating grapes or in some classical romantic settings, a half-naked woman putting grapes in the mouth of a half-naked man. I am very curious, where ...
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Marcellus and his work “Aethiopica”

According to the philosopher Proclus, a man named Marcellus was an author of a book called "Aethiopica". This i presume, is a historical work about Africa. According to Proclus, Marcellus gives a ...
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What's the relationship between Solomon's Temple and Christians? [closed]

An Evangelical-Pentecostal church has built a huge replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil. But why Solomon's Temple? What does it have to do with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? It's very odd to ...