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 happened to all the notable Roman families?

What happened to the numerous (patrician) families of Rome? Like the Gens Julia for example. There are no ancestors today leading back to them like for example the famous Medici family from ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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196 views

What do they do with corpses after a battle? [closed]

In the ancient time (maybe Roman era) when a war finishes, when an army killed (yield) another army, generally speaking what do they do with the corpses? My question is specified to a war in a ground ...
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2answers
347 views

What were the thoughts of the Celts, Romans and other ancient European people about the standing stones which survive from prehistoric times?

All over Europe, there are monuments of stone such as stonehenge, although many are not so grand as stonehenge is. Contra Asterix, the Celts didn't carve out menhirs and things like that. The stones ...
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627 views

When was the “New Kingdom” of Egypt first called that?

When was the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550BC to 1077BC) first called "New Kingdom" (or something cognate)?
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2answers
404 views

The monumental/architectural sculptures of Petra - has there been any research on the likely craftsmen who executed them?

The Nabatean people who founded Petra are described as a pre-Islamic Arab people. Centrally located on the spice trade routes, they achieved fabulous wealth and settled in the city of Petra. A recent ...
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3answers
1k 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
56 views

Copper and Bronze Age Burials in Western Europe

Can anyone estimate the number of high-prestige burials that have been found in France, Spain or Portugal which date from, say, 3000 BC to 1000 BC/ For example, supposing that there were 2000 persons ...
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1answer
484 views

Instances of Jauhar around the world

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

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
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1answer
112 views

Is the Budarsinghi Temple really 5000 years old?

There is a small Hanuman temple about 30 kilometers south of Hubli in my home state of Karnataka in India. Below is the image of Lord Hanuman's idol. The idol certainly looks quite old, but the folks ...
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1answer
772 views

How did people cut their nails in the past?

How did people cut their toe and fingernails before we got nail clippers after the industrial revolution? Would they have had a fair amount of ingrown toenails, especially in the colder regions where ...
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3answers
418 views

Army formation: veterans at the first line

I am trying to understand the early roman legion deployment. I can see some advantages to putting the inexperienced warriors at the first line and the veterans at the last. But have there been ...
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1answer
146 views

Historical Examples of Child Exchange between cultures or nations [closed]

Are there historical examples of a noble or other representative of a nation-state exchanging his own child or other children from his nation-state with those of an enemy, in order to solidify a ...
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9answers
10k views

How severe were the casualties in ancient/medieval battles?

I've heard that in most battles prior to the introduction of gunpowder weapons, the casualties were usually very low (around 5% even in long battles) prior to the moment when someone's formation was ...
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5answers
830 views

Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

Did anyone in ancient times (let's say, up to 500 AD) want to abolish slavery, or even acknowledge the possibility that society could somehow work without it? I remember hearing once that Aristotle ...
8
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1answer
366 views

Did a forged seal ever seriously compromise a political or military operation?

Wax and clay seals have always struck me as a rather imperfect security mechanism. Better than nothing, of course, but imperfect. So I was interested to learn that Los Alamos National Laboratory's ...
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1answer
110 views

Oldest Exercising Equipments

What is the oldest exsistence of physical exercising equipments found in world, through literary evidences or archaeological excavations?
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6answers
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Historical use of alcohol as a source of clean water

I've heard that there were two common methods to disinfecting water in the past: boiling water or turning it into alcohol. Presumably, those in the East relied on boiling water, while those in the ...
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2answers
292 views

Searching for a very powerful Indian sword [closed]

This question is about history of India. I have heard that a gentleman of Indian origin living in London did research on Indian history for 16 years and then he wrote a book, in his book he mentions ...
6
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2answers
456 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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0answers
76 views

Is there any information about Soshandukht or her father?

This is mentioned on Wiki's page about the Sassanid dynasty Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. Bahram V's ...
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3answers
361 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 ...
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1answer
225 views

Was Angkor wat built on top of water?

I was watching a National Geographic Documentary. In that, it said that Angkor Wat was built on top of water. It was also told that it used to be an ancient observatory. Is this true? I searched all ...
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4answers
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Is it true that Proto-Ukrainians conquered Europe and India?

I am Ukrainian high school student. And recently we have been told by a teacher that Proto-Ukrainians, the people who lived in the modern territory of Ukraine and ancestors of modern Ukrainians once ...
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3answers
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How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

I've tried to find some information about it, but failed. Somehow it doesn't seem to be important enough to write about it. Let's say there is an educated slave living in a relatively rich household ...
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4answers
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Does the forearm grip/handshake have a historical basis?

I was wondering where the forearm handshake came from. I found absolutely nothing in wikipedia, so I have no idea if this is really historically based or just a recent popular greeting. I was led to ...
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5answers
4k views

How well can cavalry fight infantry?

In the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar's infantry won by throwing their spears at the horsemen's faces. So how come in Battle of Zama and many other battles, including the battle where Khalid ibn ...
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3answers
239 views

Oldest appearance of “brand names” in history?

I was watching a documentary about the Ulfberht swords from Scandinavia, and one thing caught my attention: it mentioned that these swords were made over a range of time and location that was broad ...
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1answer
480 views

When did waving become a part of human interaction?

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
77 views

When was the term “Dravida” first used and what is the context with which it was presented? [closed]

The term Dravida has been found in many contexts across language, people, architecture, politics, culture etc. While I find various material in various contexts, I am not able to find out the answer ...
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1answer
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Do Real Roman and Greek warriors have big muscles and six-pack abs like in the movie?

When watching movies like Spartacus (2004), Gladiator (2000), etc, I often see Roman or Greek warriors have a lot of big muscles and six-pack abs. What about real Roman and Greek warriors in real ...
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2answers
255 views

Did King Porus's men use snake poison against Alexander's troops?

This claim comes from about.com. It references this source which doesn't claim that Porus specifically did it, merely that such a practice was common. It also cites Adrienne Mayor who claims that ...
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9answers
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History of scientific regression [closed]

Throughout history, humans have made many subtle and many substantial scientific advancements. Humans have explored, examined, learned, applied and at times seemingly "forgotten" and/or were unable ...
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5answers
4k views

Is there a civilization that never believed in God in the ancient times?

I'm not obviously talking about small groups or individuals but about an actual civilization that never believed about the existence of a supreme essence. Is atheism just a modern concept?
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3answers
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How were fortification doors protected against fire?

Ancient and medieval fortifications are often shown to have wooden gate doors in the midst of their stone walls. Now granted, these doors are often massive and incredibly thick, but it still seems ...
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Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and the Science [closed]

For someone who is born in India, some of the few mythological stories we watch on tv/hear from our grandparents are Ramayana, excerpts from Mahabharata or other Vedic stories of gods, the vedic way ...
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5answers
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What is the oldest road in the world that has been in continuous use?

My suspicions are that a road in Rome, Italy, likely has a strong claim, or perhaps a road in Egypt. It just needs to be a road that has been in continuous use for traffic, whether it was some form of ...
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1answer
484 views

Did Hannibal start the Second Punic War prematurely?

IN 221 BC, Hamilcar, Hannibal's father, made a peace with Rome that divided Spain north and south between Rome and Carthage. The latter got the larger "piece," the area shaded in green on the map ...
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4answers
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Was Alexander the Great Greek or Macedonian?

This question 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? Did nationality and ethnicity mean different ...
3
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2answers
367 views

How could a chariot work against a phalanx?

During Battle of Gaugamela Darius now launched his chariots at those troops under Alexander's personal command... Those chariots who made it through the barrage of javelins charged the ...
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9answers
11k views

Which religion was the first monotheistic one?

Which religion was the first monotheistic one? Was it judaism or a religion which disappeared from practice?
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1answer
2k views

Were the ancient Israelites of a darker skin tone? [closed]

I have seen ancient depictions of the ancient Israelites and their features were different than I expected. Linguistic experts have stated that Hebrew is one of the early Asiatic-African languages. ...
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3answers
382 views

When did hanging emerge as a form of capital punishment?

As the title has it: when did hanging emerge as a form of legal execution? The Wikipedia article (linked) has nothing to say about this. I've done the best I can with a search in Google Scholar, but ...
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3answers
678 views

Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?

In 1980 E.P.Thompson published an interesting paper called *Barbarian Invaders and Roman Collaborators *. Among other subjects he consdiers there the leakage from Rome to its enemies of technical ...
7
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2answers
686 views

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 that suggests that ...