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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1answer
197 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Why didn't Hannibal attack Rome after the Battle of Cannae?

Hannibal Barca defeated 8 Roman legions in the Battle of Cannae. At that time Carthage also had control over Hispania. Why did Hannibal not seize Rome at that time?
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5answers
3k 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 ...
20
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7answers
5k 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 ...
23
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10answers
11k views

Why is Dravidian history ignored?

Whenever I read an article on ancient Indian history, I see people only writing about the Indus valley civilization and the Aryans. But what about Dravidians? Didn't they exist even before the Aryans ...
6
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3answers
216 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 ...
3
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1answer
126 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?
0
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1answer
56 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 ...
3
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1answer
153 views

Athenian tribute lists

Who were the Athenian tributes in the 434/433 and 430/29 periods?
26
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4answers
8k 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 ...
0
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1answer
149 views
7
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2answers
174 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 ...
41
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9answers
2k views

History of scientific regression

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 ...
12
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5answers
2k 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 ...
4
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3answers
310 views

Was Jesus depicted as dark skinned during the beginning of christianity

I have seen depictions of Jesus classified under "early christian art" and in the earliest depictions of Jesus he was of a much darker skin tone and I also seen the early "black madonnas" (the dark ...
2
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0answers
41 views
6
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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 ...
6
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
10
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4answers
5k 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 ...
2
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2answers
279 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 ...
21
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9answers
6k 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?
0
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1answer
211 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. ...
39
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
5
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4answers
923 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 ...
7
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3answers
273 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 ...
17
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3answers
562 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
567 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 ...
3
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1answer
135 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
63 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
votes
2answers
216 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
542 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 ...
2
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2answers
332 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
183 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.
2
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3answers
163 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 ...
3
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2answers
459 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.
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0answers
57 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 ...
5
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3answers
294 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 ...
18
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13answers
15k views

Why didn't Alexander invade India?

Alexander conquered most parts of the Western World, but there is a great deal of controversy over his invasion of India. In BC 327 Alexander came to India, and tried to cross the Jhelum river for the ...
6
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1answer
175 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
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
7
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3answers
792 views

Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites?

From Mi Yodeya The Samaritans themselves claim to be descended from the original Israelite inhabitants of northern Israel. The biblical account (II Kings 17:24ff) states that they are ...
1
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1answer
489 views

What is the race of Iranians? [closed]

What is the race of Iranians? Most Iranians claim to be Aryans, is there any scientific evidence to support this?
-2
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1answer
152 views

Did Aryan race ever existed? [closed]

Did Aryans ever existed? or is this Aryan race thing a myth? People in general think that Aryans should be blonde with blue eyes, to what extent is this true? What is the Y-chromosome and ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Did Antarctica remain entirely unvisited by humans until the early 19th century?

Antarctica today is covered permanently by thick layers of ice, making it extremely inhospitable to humans. And, unlike the Arctic regions, it had no indigenous population of humans when modern man ...
14
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3answers
637 views

If modern human existed for hundreds of thousands years why was writing invented only some 7000-9000 years ago?

Linguistic studies indicate that human languages were not that different from modern languages 6000 and 7000 years ago. They had distinguishable sounds, vowels, consonants, syllables, roots and stems ...
11
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5answers
866 views

In what language did Caractacus deliver his speech to the emperor Claudius?

In The Annals, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the British chieftain Caractacus and how he was captured by the Romans. According to him, Caractacus was taken to Rome along with his ...
12
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3answers
5k 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 ...