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39

Presumably no earlier than the ninth century, as there is this: 804 Hellenes of Laconia, Greece, resist the attempt of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, to convert them to Christianity. Further searching yields this, though it seems to be rather thinly sourced: The Maniots began to convert to Christianity in the 9th century AD, but it ...


30

Herodotus' Histories is the primary source for the second Persian invasion of Greece, which started with the famous1 Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Herodotus describes the battle in Book 7 (Polymnia) of the Histories, starting at paragraph 175: The Greeks, on their return to the Isthmus, took counsel together concerning the words of Alexander, and ...


22

In regards to the battle between Alexander and Porus, both accounts are correct, in their own way. Alexander won the battle, and received an acknowledgement of such from Porus; Porus won the war, by convincing the Greek army (if perhaps not Alexander himself) that continuing was pointlessly expensive. Both sides saved face through the reappointment of ...


20

Prior to Phillip's time, the ancient Greek world was fragmented in (often warring) city states and kingdoms, and citizenship was considered far more important than nationality or ancestry. Pericles' reforms (451 BC) exemplify the distinction: From that point on Athenian citizens would lose their citizenship if they married non Athenians, regardless of their ...


19

I'll answer just the part about the Roman Republic, if that's alight for now. The Roman Republic is probably best described as a pseudo-democracy of sorts. Its creation and initial set-up actually pre-dated Athenian democracy by a single year, though even until its dying days it was more of a "democracy for the privileged" than anything. Hence, ...


18

See also my answer to the homosexuality question and the Wikipedia articles on Pederasty and Age of Consent. [Disclaimer: I hate to sound unprofessional, but I do not wish to appear to be condoning paedophilia: I find the idea revolting. Nevertheless we must be able to talk about history in a scientific, distanced manner.] [Edited:] The answer to your ...


18

It would be very interesting to see a chart of rate of innovation over time in western civilization. Of course, this begs the question of what is "innovation". Do you count number of inventions? Do you give more weight to inventions that would have long lasting significance through history? Or ones that may have been less influential but providing a huge ...


15

Well alcohol does have a strong anti-bacterial effect,and adding water to wine was a way to create more drink as there was very little clean drinking water. During the fermentation process many microbes die, eventually the yeast too dies in the anaerobic environment. I think adding water to wine and letting the two mix for a while would kill a significant ...


15

If you read "Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion", by John Cuthbert Lawson, you will see that, as late as 1910, there were are least significant vestiges of original Greek religion. Other useful material can by found in the works of Jane Ellen Harrison. I hesitate to try to summarize >300 pages here. Much of it is what you might call ...


14

Quite the contrary as Rodney Stark pointed out in The Victory of Reason - the Catholic church itself promoted most of the societal conditions that allowed the Middle Class to take hold, and in so doing also promote the nurture of science and industry. Chief among these were personal property rights (stemming from the idea that we were God's stewards) and ...


14

The Ancient Spartan society was based around the laws of Lycurgus, the rhetrae1, that were passed down through oral tradition. A possible explanation of why the laws were not written, and why Spartans didn't keep records in general, comes from Plutarch's The Life of Lycurgus: [Plut. Lyc. 13.1] None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, ...


13

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


12

ἀνάξε (pronounced ah-NAHX-eh) is the vocative, if I've handled the accent right. I vaguely suspect it might be ἄναξε (AH-nax-eh) - my greek is rusty. Example (Odyssey 24.251): οὐ μὲν ἀεργίης γε ἄναξ ἕνεκ᾽ οὔ σε κομίζει, "It is not on account of your idleness your master does not take care of you"


12

"A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language" By Egbert J. Bakker The only context in which titles can have been at all common in Greek society is addresses from slaves to their masters and mistresses. In literary representations of such addresses δέσποτα “master” and δέσποινα "mistress" frequently occur, but they are by no means the rule, and in ...


12

In ancient Greece blonde hair was associated with beauty. For example in Homer's Iliad we learn of the unmatched beauty of Helen of Troy, who was depicted as having blonde hair. Likewise the beautiful Aphrodite was known for her golden hair, which is confirmed in Hesiod's writings, as well as many ancient artworks. There are numerous other cases of light ...


12

I have dealt with this question in my article, "Nudity as a Costume in Classical Art," in American Journal of Archaeology 1989, which can be accessed either through JSTOR or through Academia.com, under my name. I am also editing a multi-author book, Nudity as a Costume in the Ancient Mediterranean, where I take up the subject of Greek nudity again. The ...


12

Until the day comes that we have DNA technology (and theory) advanced to the point where we can look at the genetic lineage of large groups of people, really the best indicator we have for cultural descent is language. Now language isn't perfect in this regard. For instance, there are a lot of people indigenous to the Americas whose language has been lost ...


12

Probably not. Wikipedia's claim that the Pythia goes into a vapor frenzy and spoke gibberish is not so much a usual theory as it is a common misconception. According to Pierre Amandry, the idea of an ecstatic and unintelligible priestess was sparked by Plato in his Phaedrus, section 244. Amandry argued that early Christian writers adopted this image of ...


11

The bulk of India then was not controlled by Porus, but by the Nanda dynasty, centered at Pataliputra. Porus controlled only a small section of India, close to Punjab (now divided between Pakistan as well as India). The Nandas were quite a powerful force, and the Greek troops had become war-weary (whether they actually refused orders is open to debate). So, ...


11

I think you might be confusing phalanx: Each individual hoplite carried his shield on the left arm, protecting not only himself but the soldier to the left. This meant that the men at the extreme right of the phalanx were only half-protected. In battle, opposing phalanxes would exploit this weakness by attempting to overlap the enemy's right flank. It ...


10

There are no conclusive archaeological evidence for the event, or series of events that's today known as the Dorian invasion. Even the name of the theory itself is problematic, as it suggests a violent and perhaps swift large scale event, an oft used alternative1 is "Dorian migration", while in Greek the event is known as "Κάθοδος των Δωριέων", the descent ...


10

Ancient Greece isn't as cohesive as Ancient Rome, each city-state had its own social structures. I'll concentrate this answer to Athens only, and try to give you at least another answer for Sparta. The earliest known division of the Athenian society is ascribed to Theseus, the city's legendary founder, with three basic classes: Eupatridae The nobility, ...


10

No surviving ancient histories describe Hellenic civilization preceding the Greek Dark Ages except for anecdotes relating to Homeric characters— and scholars are not even sure whether the Achæans can be identified as the Mycenaeans or not. What we know of Mycenaean civilization is almost entirely from the archeological record, and if Homeric stories are ...


10

According to this well sourced article, wine was diluted to reduce its strength, in order to avoid over-inebriation. Those who did not drink it diluted were seen as barbaric, uncultured, or besotted. There are claims on wikipedia and other online sources that the ancients drank diluted wine or small-beer to avoid water-borne illness, but I can't seem to ...


10

Alexander, for the most part, left things unchanged in the lands he conquered. He didn't impose Greek customs, respected (or perhaps ignored) local religions and cultures and allowed a certain degree of self government that, for several of the territories of the former Achaemenid empire, was quite a refreshing change. Not everyone under his rule accepted ...


10

Greek was in wide usage as the lingua franca of the Near East. It also has the benefit of actually surviving Roman rule, in the same capacity, all the way till the Late Antiquity. The Romans themselves read and spoke Greek. Thus, Greek works have had a much greater chance of surviving simply from a great, wider, and more durable distribution. The Etruscan ...


9

Papyrus was known to the Greek world since the 8th century BC, as it's mentioned in the Odyssey: [Hom. Od. 21.390] Now there lay beneath the portico the cable of a curved ship, made of byblus plant, wherewith he made fast the gates, and then himself went within. Thereafter he came and sat down on the seat from which he had risen, and gazed upon ...


9

This is a matter of debate, the Anemospilia findings have been controversial since the site was first excavated in 1979, and the Kydonia findings are quite recent; the sceleton was discovered in 2010. Insofar there has been no conclusive study of the Kydonia findings, the excavations are on going and Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, the archaeologist responsible ...


9

The Graeco-Roman world is a unique example of intertwined cultures, the geographical and historical proximity of the two civilizations is such that's it's often impossible to distinguish where the one ends and the other begins. In extremely broad terms, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that the political system of the Romans were heavily influenced by the ...


9

Hoplite and phalangite at the time of the Persian Wars preferred a linen upper body armour called linothorax. Unfortunately, no examples have survived from ancient times, and we can't be sure for the details of its construction. Bronze cuirasses were also used, but were too expensive for infantryman and probably impractical for regular use in battle. We ...



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