Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

29

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 ...


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

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 ...


17

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

"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 ...


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

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

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"


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

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 ...


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 ...


9

I believe Benjamin Isaac's interpretation of the quote as racism is horse manure. The quote itself, as presented in your OP, is clearly an argument that the climate and laws prevalent in Asia at the time make for a cowardly and torpid culture, not the race of those individuals. This is bolstered by this point made with vigour by the author (my emphasis): ...


9

You are taking the quote out of context. Here is the complete text from the Story of Civilization: Twelve years he wandered, imbibing wisdom from every source, sitting at every shrine, tasting every creed. Some would have it that he went to Judea and was moulded for a while by the tradition of the almost socialistic prophets; and even that he found ...


9

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 ...


8

Let me wikipedia that for you. There are some reference at the end of the article that I would check instead of relying on wikipedia. The Battle of Gaugamela maybe a better reference with lots of references given. Xenophon, in Cyropaedia (VI.2.17) states "[...] that scythes of steel have been fitted to the axles, and that it is the intention to drive ...


8

Premise: I do not have Buxton's book, so my objections are based on other sources. The origin of this claim are to be traced in a series of references. These include: Children of inferior parents, and of the better, when they chance to be deformed, will be put away in some mysterious, unknown place, as they should be. Plato, The Republic, 461 C As ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

War Elephants in the west were a military fad that started with Alexander the Great's encounter with them at the battle of Gaugamella. They became popular for a while, but their ineffectiveness for Hannibal at Zama 113 years later spelled the beginning of the end for the fad. The extinction of the Syran and North African species iced it. By the beginning of ...


8

Because the territories where those languages originated were ruled by Rome, not Athens or Byzantium, for a semi-millennium. In areas where contact with Byzantium/Constantinople dominated contact with Rome, such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, the Cyrillic alphabet is primary. Here is a map showing those countries where the Cyrillic alphabet is primary.


8

Thucydides sometimes does not always make a proper distinction between facts and myths. Here is an example of him extending the Illiad into his historical work seamlessly. The best proof of this is furnished by Homer. Born long after the Trojan War, he nowhere calls all of them by that name, nor indeed any of them except the followers of Achilles from ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible