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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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
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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
780 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 ...
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1answer
361 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
105 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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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
257 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
441 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 ...
6
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3answers
342 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 ...
2
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1answer
213 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
2k views

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
5k views

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 ...
13
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4answers
9k views

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 ...
15
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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 ...
6
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3answers
236 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
417 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
76 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
193 views
26
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4answers
11k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
245 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 ...
46
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9answers
2k views

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
1k views

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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0answers
58 views
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2answers
1k views

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
2k views

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
447 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 ...
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2answers
350 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
1k 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. ...
7
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3answers
356 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
666 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 ...
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2answers
680 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 ...
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1answer
180 views

Why did Nebuchadnezzar keep King Jeconiah alive?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he appointed Zedekiah as his puppet-king and took King Jeconiah and his sons home with him. For what reasons would the king of a large empire of antiquity, ...
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0answers
88 views

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

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? ...
6
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2answers
271 views

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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1answer
163 views

How many people did Liu Pengli kill?

He was a 2nd-century B.C. Han prince. He is one of the earliest serial killers attested by historical sources. My questions are: how many people did he kill, why did he kill them, and is he depicted ...
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3answers
803 views

Historical reasons of peaceful co-existence between China and India?

It is quite interesting to observe that for millenia, two neighbouring countries, ethnically, linguistically, racially diverse and for some time religiously as well were able to co-exist for thousands ...
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2answers
716 views

How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
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4answers
227 views

What is the age of the oldest written proof of Christianity? [closed]

I don't mean the approximate time when a certain book in the bible was probably written but the age of the oldest copy of a book in the new testament, or other corroborating literature.
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3answers
238 views

Prisons and prison laws in Old Testament times?

Prisons where evidently known to Israelites quite early (see the story of Joseph). Nevertheless, I could find no legislation in the Torah on imprisonment - it seems that this form of punishment was ...
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2answers
1k views

Did Romans know about China?

Could there be a possibility that some Romans knew that there was a country north east of India? Because as far as I know the Romans traded with Indians.
2
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0answers
128 views

Which is the Historical Khorasan

The word Khorasan finds mention in many ancient texts pointing to a place in Middle east to Afghanistan . The question is what were the boundaries of the historical Khorasan which parts of the middle ...
4
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3answers
333 views

What is known about early history of Judaism?

What do we know about early history of Judaism? Do we know the timeline when these modern traits of modern Judaism developed: 1 Lifestyle restriction that we now find in Torah, such as the ...
6
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1answer
244 views

How did early farmer societies “know” about protein contents of peas and lentils?

According to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel (pp 125-126), the domestication of local grains (e.g. wheat, barley) and pulses (e.g. peas, lentils) lauched food production (farming) societies in ...
8
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1answer
261 views

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 ...