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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Do Sicilians carry genes of Africans? [on hold]

Yesterday I saw True Romance movie, In this movie, father of lead actor says this words to main villain: Sicilians carry genes of Africans because of Sicilians married them always in history. So How ...
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6answers
6k views

Why did Sun Tzu believe you shouldn't wait besides a river when eager to fight?

In Sun Tzu's Art of War, Chapter 9 (The Army on the March), Verse 5, Tzu says If you are anxious to fight, you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross. My thinking ...
4
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2answers
319 views

How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually had with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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57 views

What are some factors that led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire [on hold]

In both the short and long term, what are the trends, forces, decisions and events that led to the decline and fall of the western Roman Empire?
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2answers
2k views

Has history mistreated Nero?

Nero is (wrongly) "known" as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned." But he did kill a number of prominent people, including his own mother. He is treated by much of history as a psychopath, and ...
11
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1answer
152 views

Pre-Christian use of the Greek Septuagint

I'm interested in the pre-Christian use of the Septuagint, as well as the Greek language, within Jewish everyday life in Israel and in the synagogues of Israel. Is there evidence that the LXX or ...
2
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1answer
233 views

Origin of “The grass did not grow where Attila had passed” [closed]

Legend says that where Attila's horse passed grass did not grow again. For example, a variant of this quote can be found on Biographay.com's entry on the man. What was the first use of this phrase or ...
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6answers
2k views

Is chain mail expensive?

I've read many textbooks and talked to plenty of people who explained to me that making thousands of rings, then interlocking them is terribly expensive. This confuses me because history had Vikings ...
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2answers
356 views

Was prostitution legal in the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Solomon?

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 ...
7
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3answers
551 views

When did Greek historians stop believing Greek mythology to be historical fact?

In Greek mythology, there are all kinds of historical stories. Fire from Mount Olympus, founding of Thebes, not to mention actions of the gods. First, is it safe to assume that there was a time in ...
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2answers
83 views

Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization? [Reliable sources only] [closed]

I've searched a lot to find any reliable and trustworthy source of information about this and found this on this very site. My questions is, can we essentially agree that the oldest countries by ...
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0answers
42 views

How did physical exercise originate in the Western world?

This is a list of mentions I found with my short googling: The yoga exercise technics were well-known in Asia as a both physical and mental health cure for a long time. According to Wikipedia, ...
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2answers
132 views

Who or what is Glohithia

I listen again and again in Rotting Christ's song The sign of evil existence the chorus "Summon Glohithia, appears in snake shape". I know these guys talks about old folklore, like sumerians or so. ...
4
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1answer
119 views

On the history of Jewish places of worship

I was recently on holiday in Israel and Jordan on a tour that focussed on biblical and archaeological sites. As part of the tour, we visited Tel Arad which was probably built around 1100 BCE and ...
11
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7answers
6k 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 ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Why did the Phoenicians let the Hebrews (Jews) settle in Canaan?

I know the Hebrews (Jews) started traveling from shumor and Mesopotamia before entering Canaan (Today it is Israel). The Phoenicians were located at the time in Lebanon and Israel area. The ...
28
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9answers
21k 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?
3
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1answer
218 views

What is the oldest ruler whose remains can be positively identified?

I realize this question can be quite controversial since "positive identification" is rather subjective especially with regards to ancient history. Regardless, I am curious to know which ancient ...
2
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2answers
107 views

Did temples in ancient Greece contain treasure? [closed]

Was it common for temples in ancient Greece to contain treasure like gold and silver? Did any famous temples contain treasure rooms?
3
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4answers
284 views

What were the origins of democracy?

I realize that many people say that Athens is where democracy started, but is there any solid proof that it was the first? On Wikipedia, it is stated that: there is evidence to suggest that ...
3
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1answer
79 views

What was the name of the father of Mesha, king of Moab?

In English translations of the Mesha Stele, the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite". However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele (rendered in ...
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1answer
112 views

Is there any historical evidence to support the existence of the Patriarchs outside of the Old Testament? [duplicate]

What evidence can be provided to support the existence of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) outside of the Old Testament?
2
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2answers
230 views

Why is Matgenus, king of Tyre, sometimes called Mattan?

In Josephus' Against Apion (1:18) he writes in the name of Menander the Ephesian that Matgenus was one of the Tyrian kings, but I have seen other sources (like Wikipedia, et al.) refer to this king as ...
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1answer
173 views

Death by candle [closed]

Many sources state that candles have been heavily used for light and timekeeping starting as early as 3000 BCE. Until electric lighting took over starting in the 19th century, candles and oil lamps ...
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0answers
80 views

What is the origin of language? [closed]

The use of language is one of the most conspicuous and diagnostic traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other species. Unlike writing, spoken language leaves no trace.Can we get a direct method in ...
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4answers
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Is there any evidence that the book of Isaiah was written before Cyrus?

The OT Prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th-century BC. Cyrus, the Emperor of Persia, lived well over one hundred years later: Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. Yet The Book of Isaiah in ...
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1answer
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When was the Passover Seder ritual formalized?

When were the Passover Seder customs in their present form formalized? As a terminus post quem I think we can surely take 70 CE when the Second Temple was destroyed since parts of the Seder ...
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2answers
3k views

How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

Alexander the Great conquered so much territory so quickly that I'm always surprised he was able to maintain control of it as his army pushed further east. What kept territories from reverting to ...
3
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2answers
256 views

In Europe, why were hereditary dynasties more prevalent in the medieval world than in the ancient world? [closed]

I know that at least in Western Europe, the various dynasties that held the title of Holy Roman Emperor claimed descent from Charlemagne. In France, the Capetians were the first to call themselves ...
2
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2answers
180 views

Is it possible to find out on what Roman day of the week Jesus resurrected? [closed]

According to the bible Jesus resurrected at the first day of the week. Nowadays we would call that day Sunday. But the first day of the week is based on the Hebrew calendar. In those days the Jews ...
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2answers
2k views

Did the Tamil People discover that the earth was round 2000 years ago?

I heard "Tamil People found that the earth was round 2000 years ago. They named the planets 2000 years ago." Is this true? The Tamil poet Manikkavachakar wrote about the earth in Tiruvacakam: By ...
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0answers
31 views

When did they start counting the days from 1 to 31 in Europe? [duplicate]

In history the Romans didn't count their days of a month not by adding each day extra. But instead of that they used three moments in a month, Kalendae, nonae and Idus. And from those days they ...
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1answer
70 views

What was “Taurica”? [closed]

I tend to see the area around Crimea referred to as "Taurica" when did this start and why did it stop? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Taurica
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3answers
172 views

Did ancient Egypt gain any significant cultural influence from other states/regions?

Western cultures, to the best of my understanding, can trace their roots back to Ancient Egypt. Many modern day Western cultures took influence from Rome, which in turn took influence from Greece, ...
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0answers
60 views

Prior to Christianity, did some or all Greeks commonly believe in Greek mythology as historical fact? [duplicate]

Prior to the spread of Christianity, religion in Greece centered around worship of the Greek pantheon, and Greek mythology included many stories to explain historical fact, such as the founding of ...
1
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3answers
221 views

What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
211 views

Are there any known instances of sub-Saharan African democracy before European colonialism?

I've been reading up on pre-Athenian democracy (sometimes referred to as primitive or tribal democracy) where leaders were selected by some or most members of a group and were subject to established ...
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4answers
16k views

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 ...
15
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5answers
2k views

Is it true that Proto-Ukrainians conquered Europe and India?

I am a Ukrainian high school student. Recently we were 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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1answer
94 views

Were there established “denominations” for coins of different metals in ancient times? [closed]

Nowadays, the value of a coin doesn't really have any relation to the value of its metal content. However, the earliest metal coins were presumably used because of their inherent value, being made of ...
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6answers
9k 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?
7
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1answer
395 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 ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Where did Hannibal cross the Pyrenees?

Hannibal's passage through the Alps has been extensively studied, regarding the route chosen and logistics involved in passing a large army through difficult terrain. Before that, Hannibal would have ...
2
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0answers
89 views

Capital Punishment in the Ancient World [closed]

Are there any examples of ancient cultures that did not practice capital punishment? (Prior to the fall of the Roman Empire ~500 AD)
2
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0answers
76 views

Any sources on day to day governance in the ancient world? [closed]

EDIT: I've been asked to make this question simpler so here is my best attempt: I'm looking for sources, either primary, secondary, or even good pieces of historical fiction, that deal with the daily ...
11
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5answers
8k views

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 ...
21
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5answers
761 views

Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive writes Two tablets found at Senkerah on the Euphrates in 1854 date from 2000 BC. They give squares of the numbers up to 59 and cubes of the numbers up ...
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3answers
882 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 ...