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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Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
7
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3answers
594 views

Before the use of Anno Domini dating (BCE/CE), how were years numbered?

Currently we use Anno Domini (A.D.) year numbering, sometimes secularized as "BCE" (Before Common Era) or "CE" (Common Era). What was the prevailing method of dating years in Western culture before ...
22
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5answers
2k views

Who were the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Western Europe?

I've heard it said that the Basque are conjectured to be the last remnant of Pre-Celtic Western Europe. When would have these people existed? What evidence do we have for their culture and habitation ...
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0answers
74 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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2answers
245 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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3answers
766 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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0answers
58 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 '...
58
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5answers
3k views

How accurate or supported is Jared Diamond's “Guns, Germs, and Steel”?

Jared Diamond wrote a fascinating book that purports to explain, in a very broad way, the development of civilization. It has several explanations for the development of Eurasian civilization rather ...
6
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4answers
329 views

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, ...
7
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4answers
2k views

When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?

When reading literature about the Babylonian the destruction of Jerusalem I always wonder which year it took place. Some books says 586 B.CE. and some says 587 B.CE. Is this because one don't know? Or ...
2
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1answer
199 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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2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
163 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 ...
2
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1answer
277 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 ...
13
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4answers
5k views

Did the Celts really go into battle naked?

Yes, this of-repeated tale was reported by the Romans all the time, but it sounds a lot like rumor. Stuff the victors write about their former enemies, "they were so stupid, they went into battle ...
3
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2answers
77 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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0answers
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 ...
17
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2answers
3k views

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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0answers
203 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 ...
2
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1answer
154 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?
2
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1answer
164 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 ...
9
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3answers
734 views

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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0answers
105 views

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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3answers
10k views

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?
2
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0answers
46 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
250 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 ...
7
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2answers
376 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 ...
6
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0answers
150 views

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 ...
16
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10answers
5k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
2k views

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
262 views

How many Spartan boys survived army training?

Spartan combat training was very rough and dangerous. What percentage of boys survived their training?
11
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1answer
256 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: ...
22
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1answer
3k views

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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830 views

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
482 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
143 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 ...
-1
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1answer
172 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 ...
3
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1answer
183 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 ...
1
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1answer
129 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. ...
7
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1answer
240 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 ...
4
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1answer
183 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

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?
3
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1answer
141 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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6answers
7k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
314 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 ...
4
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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 ...
0
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0answers
107 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 ...
12
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2answers
2k views

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
901 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
174 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 ...