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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Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
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110 views

Where can I find detailed accounts of cash-less payment in medevial and ancient times?

In his book "Debt: The first 5000 Years" David Graeber writes that during most of the middle ages and antiquity coins were seldom used in day-to-day dealings, at least of the more rural population. He ...
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152 views

Was there public resistance to Queen Hatshepsut's reign in ancient Egypt?

Queen Hatshepsut ruled as pharaoh over ancient Egypt from 1479-1458 BC. From what I can tell, she was a highly successful pharaoh, both in wartime activities early on in her reign and later in ...
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139 views

Legendary visits by Alexander the Great

There is a story about Alexander the Great visiting Jerusalem. This story is not supported by other sources, as far as I know, and so is probably not literally true (it may well reflect some ...
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75 views

What are the earliest examples in history where one state/people stepped in to rescue another?

I started wondering about this after watching yet another World War II movie where the European people are freed by Mother Russia and Uncle Sam and also helped in their recovery. What are the ...
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67 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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411 views

How did ancient mystery religions impact Christianity?

I recently learned about the existence of mystery religions while listening to lectures by Robert Garland about Daily Life in the Ancient World. Wikipedia seems to imply that the mystery religions ...
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247 views

Monotheism/Atheism in Polytheistic societies

I would like to know if there are any documents telling us how common (or if it even existed) among people in polytheistic societies (like ancient Greece, Rome, etc.) it was to believe that there is ...
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166 views

Were early accounts of ancient child prostitution accurate?

Well I'm doing a research about the history and background of Child Sexual Abuse and due to the few sources related to the topic, I've been stucked ,but recently a I found this book "The Encyclopedia ...
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217 views

Cannabis in ancient Vedic Soma, are there any sound historical proofs?

Michael Wood says in his documentary The Story of India first episode: Soma is still used as a medicine in Central Asia. The active element in the plant is ephedrine, and the effect that it has, ...
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106 views

How much food value is a horse to a cavalryman?

Suppose you have a group of say, 1,000 cavalry, that were besieged on a fortress awaiting relief. As such, they are dismounted and fight like infantry. Suppose they are short on food, but they can ...
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215 views

Is there a majority viewpoint for the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization?

This article on the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization posits four different points at which the civilization ended: Is it the definitive end of native Egyptian rule (at least until the 20th ...
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163 views

Are there any independent historical records of ancient Persia allowing freedom of worship for the Jews?

Starting from this claim that the king of Persia respected the Jewish' God. http://niv.scripturetext.com/daniel/6.htm The only surviving text is the Jewish text. Are there independent sources of ...
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125 views

Are there any existing foreign language teaching texts from the Ancient Near East?

The various cultures of the Ancient Near East spoke a wide array of languages and we know that there was plenty of communication between cultures. We even have a language like Akkadian that served as ...
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234 views

Who is the most ancient Indo-European who is known by name?

Who is the most ancient historical Indo-European who is known by name? In other words, is it Pythonos, king of Kussara (17th century BC) or are there more ancient figures?
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261 views

What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?

Inspired by a previous question on the historical treatment of the disabled, I wonder if there are any written sources from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian and civilizations from before 1400BCE ...
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345 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 ...
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471 views

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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160 views

Chart of total gold in possession of humans

Where can I find an approximate chart of total mass of metallic gold in possession of humans by centuries starting with Neolithic? I also would like to see this detailed by civilization/culture.
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240 views

What was the origin of the Classical Antiquity culture?

I many times heard a version that the advances of the Ancient Greek culture were in fact borrowed from Egypt or the Middle East. I will not buy this. Classical Antiquity civilization had a lot of ...
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43 views

To what extent the Jewish theatre of the late Antiquity resembled the Greek one?

Sometime ago I had watched the film Agora by Alejandro Amenábar Although the film's idea is impressing, it stroke me with some suspicious historical details. For example, the Christian monks are ...
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243 views

Literacy in the classical world

How literate was the ancient world? I'm particularly interested in the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians in, say, the first few centuries BC. It's hard to find authors willing to give an explicit number, ...
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177 views

When were the lictors abolished?

I wonder when the institute of lictors was abolished in the Ancient Rome? Who was the last emperor to have lictors as companions?
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181 views

What religions (other than Judaism) worshiped only one god? [closed]

I am thinking of before Christ kind of ancient. Also it's difficult to differentiate Judaism with other religions. Other religions have lesser gods below the supreme gods. Jews' god have angels ...
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114 views

How early did restrictions on hunting start?

Today in the US you can only hunt certain game during certain seasons. In medieval England, only certain people were allowed to hunt deer and boars. Legal restrictions on who could hunt what, where, ...
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When did ancient kings, tribes etc. started to think about becoming an own part of history and act accordingly?

This question is probably tricky to answer accurately. One possibility is probably to look when ancient people and societies started to be seriously interested in history of earlier tribes or started ...
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Is there any corroborating evidence for the story of Sadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

Is there any historical evidence from the Babylonian or Persian side corroborating the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found in Daniel chapters 1-3? What is the general state of records of ...
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144 views

Did Ancient Egyptians in the 2nd millennium BC practice Astrology?

I'm aware that Ancient Egyptians did chart stars and have a relatively robust understanding of astronomy for the time. However, did they (say, in the 2nd millenium BC) practice astrology, such that ...
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534 views

What was the ancient Jewish pantheon?

I have read that before the invention of monotheism, the Jews worshipped multiple gods of which traces remain in various texts. So I wonder whether it is possible to reconstruct it and what the gods ...
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173 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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377 views

Who suppressed the Book of Jubilees and why?

Wikipedia says the Book of Jubilees was suppressed in 4th century CE: The Book of Jubilees (Hebrew: ספר היובלים Sepher hayYobelim), sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient ...
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143 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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79 views

Was Marcus Marcellus faced with Viridomarus or Britomartus?

I seem to have come to a discrepancy, as I'm sure a lot have, concerning the event in which Marcus Claudius Marcellus is supposedly meant to have slain the King of the Insubres in 222 B.C.E. Plutarch ...
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151 views

Tarim Mummies origins and theories separating fact from fiction

Is there any conclusive evidence of where the Tarim Mummies originate from? What were these "westerners" doing in China? The theories I have heard are that they are the fore bearers of the Kazaks or ...
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79 views

Earliest Recorded Name in History? [duplicate]

Is there an agreed upon earliest recorded name in history? I'm guessing it would be a king, pharaoh, or other important person. By recorded I mean a name that is written somewhere like on a grave ...
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90 views

Was prostitution legal in Israel during the reign of Solomon? [closed]

The wikipedia article is not clear: Prostitution was common in ancient Israel, despite being tacitly forbidden by Jewish Law. What was the law forbidding prostitution? Given that prostitutes ...
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56 views

What were the relative contributions of oral & literary education in 5th century BCE Athens?

I've read an article about Plato's Academy and how knowledge was spread in Athens in the middle of 5th century BCE. It was thought that knowledge was spread through speaking (orally). But some ...
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145 views

What's the name of the (false) assumption that people in past ages were less able to reason? [closed]

In arguments involving past decisions or tradition, people frequently blow off the claims of tradition by using the (false) assumption that people in days gone by, or even in ancient civilizations, ...
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210 views

How much faster/better are European printing press compared to Chinese block printing?

Some says China invented the printing press. However, another says that Gutenberg invented the printing press. Nevertheless, western printing press is superior for 2 reasons We know Gutenberg ...
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227 views

Oldest Code of Law? [closed]

King Hammurabi of Babylon was known for his "Code of Laws." Is his the oldest Code of written law that still exists today? If there is an even older code of laws, perhaps one not still in use, who ...
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106 views

How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?

I've heard the claim that the current Chinese calendar was introduced some times around 2637 BCE by Emperor Huang Di. Apparently, written records date back to about 4,000 years ago and before that the ...
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How widespread was the practice of chaining slave rowers to the ships?

In many historical paintings one can see slave rowers chained to the ships. I wonder whether this practice was indeed widespread? Were the chains permanent or allowed quick disconnection? Were the ...
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134 views

What is the history of Cartography?

Today's maps rely on overhead surveillance. Wikipedia's history of Cartography lists some key technologies that improved cartography (e.g. telescopes, magnetic compasses, etc.), but doesn't explain ...
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95 views

Construction of the Great Cothon of Carthage

I'm fascinated by the Great Cothon of Carthage, but when I try to learn more about it online, there's surprisingly little information. Everyone has physical descriptions of the size and shape, but ...
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2k views

Which is the oldest language in the World? [closed]

I want to know which are the oldest languages in the world? And within those, which is still in use?
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129 views

Roman aristocrat with slave assassins named after him?

I remember reading a few years back that there was a particular Roman strongman who had a very intense way of dealing with enemies. He had dozens of either slaves or former slaves (freedmen), but I ...
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112 views

Wanderwort origins and the Indus Valley Civilization?

I have noticed that there seem to be many words that have travelled the globe due to trade, such as the word orange or rice, which have plausible origins in proto-Dravidian. Meanwhile, it is ...
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148 views

What is the origin of Jataka tales?

Some of the Jataka Tales are supposed to be about the Buddha in prior lives so the entire collection is touted as Buddhist by many. However, other sources will say they are tales handed down through ...
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Is there any history magazine like “Foreign Policy” for politics? [closed]

I'm a college student. I'd like to read a history magazine (online preferred) that relates to History in the same way that "Foreign Policy" relates to Politics or "The Economist" relates to Economics. ...
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183 views

Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague?

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.