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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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
188 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 ...
5
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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 ...
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2answers
93 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?
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4answers
282 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
71 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
106 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?
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2answers
226 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 ...
19
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5answers
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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
3
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0answers
78 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
4k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
53 views

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 ...
9
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0answers
99 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 ...
3
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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
250 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
174 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 ...
12
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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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
68 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
7
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2answers
326 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 ...
1
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3answers
161 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
49 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
203 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
1k 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
202 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 ...
14
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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 ...
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 ...
13
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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
391 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 ...
19
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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
87 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)
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0answers
75 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 ...
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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 ...
6
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0answers
248 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 ...
21
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5answers
750 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
849 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 ...
37
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3answers
22k views

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
579 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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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
73 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 ...
4
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2answers
237 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 ...
11
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3answers
759 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
56 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 ...
56
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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
312 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, ...
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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
195 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 ...