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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

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

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


6

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.


5

At its heyday the phalanx was the most advanced heavy infantry formation of its time. The Romans were able to beat it (at the battle of Pidna, for example) because their manipular legion was more flexible while enjoying a strong cohesion just as the phalanx did. So you can say perhaps that the legion out-phalanxed the phalanx. Mind also that the victory ...


5

It was adopted widely. But later was replaced with Latin or the peoples were assimiliated. Balkan peoples: Macedonians, Thracians, Illirians, Liburgians, Messapians, Phrygians, Central European people: Helvetii (mentioned by Caesar as writing with Greek alphabet) and other varieties of Celts and Germanic peoples. In Spain: Iberians (Ibero-Ionian script) ...


5

Michael's answer is a very good one but I'd like to add a couple of details. First, Athenian citizens were not always as enthusiastic about voting as you'd think: voting required a whole day which meant they'd be missing out on one day of revenue from labor. To compensate for this, Athenians were paid (type f3 and search for paid) about as much as the daily ...


5

First of all, less than 20% of Athenians were citizens, so comparing to the total population voter turnout in the USA may actually be higher. Second, because of the smaller size of Attica as compared to USA the decisions the citizens would vote for had direct consequences to each of them. Third, the voting class was also the class with most citizenship ...


4

I am unsure if this is the first mention of Thucydides' 'history of the Peloponnesian war' but this is Thomas Hobbes' first sentence, thirteenth paragraph of the section titled 'On the life and history of Thucydides' from "History of the Peloponnesian War, Thomas Hobbes, Ed." It comes from the 1843 translation of his 1628 version. To this I say, that ...


4

Your contention that "Romans seemed to outfight Macedonian phalanx pretty easily" is not really true. The critical source for you to read here is Plutarch's life of Paulus Aemilius, the Roman general who conquered Macedonia and was the victor at the key battle of Pydna (168 BC). You may also want to read the Wikipedia article on the battle. If you read ...


4

There is no mention in any Greek source of Plato travelling to India, or to any place in Asia. He did however sail to Sicily.


3

This question is problematic because people during this time simply did not view history the same way that we do today. The Homeric tales, for instance, were treated as actual history, even the bits where Odysseus meets the sirens and the land of the lotus eaters. It's not that these events were viewed as "symbolically" true or something; people really and ...


3

I don't know yet, but there is some indirect evidence that an Indian Yogi met Socrates. Travelling far and wide was not uncommon. Shankaracharya travelled all over India on foot. So did Ramanuja. Fa hien and Hiuen Tsang travelled to India, crossing the Himalayas.


3

First off the Greco-Roman world extends over a long time period. Depending on how you measure it that could span a millennium. So the answer to your question changes depending on when you are travelling, (and the season of the year; some seasons you travel by sea, and some you must travel by land) and where you are travelling. Beyond that, the answer ...


3

Ancient Greece's energies were generally oriented towards their older civilized neighbors to the east. As such, nearly all the people they traded with or conquered already had an established writing system. The colonies and trade ties they established in the uncivilized west were almost entirely usurped by Rome in the runup and aftermath of the Second Punic ...


2

I would speculate that chariots weren't used as much on Greek turf due to their lack of maneuverability on hilly terrain. On the plains of Egypt they would have a deadly impact, but try to drag them though hills and orchards, let alone the mountains… Persians did try to use cavalry, but even that proved to be ineffective, and possibly had cost them defeat ...


2

It's tempting to think of war elephants as some kind of super cavalry, but in reality they were far from that. War elephants were unpredictable and hard to control. At times they were as dangerous to your own troops as they were to the enemy. They were primarily a psychological weapon and used as such. You line them up and send them running at the enemy ...


2

I believe this question puts the cart before the horse. It is not that (aspects of) Athenian democracy somehow motivated its citizens to great political activity; but that the highly motivated political activity of Athenian citizens created and sustained Athens' democracy. A people always get the government they deserve, and the citizens of ancient ...


2

This question fits my definition of trivial. If you copy the question and paste it into google, three of the top five responses answer the question. One mentions the Hoplites I'll grant you that Yahoo answers answer is as sparse as the movie's armor. Roman Army Talk cites (unreliably) an interesting counterexample The best answer is the first, from ...


2

In earlier greek texts we find the river Ganges being described as Phison. So it is natural that they knew about this river. If they knew about this river then it is sure that the river was then also famous for some reasons. May be because of mystic and Sanatana Dharma religion " Hinduism". So if Alexander can travel to India in B.C 326 . Plato may have too ...


1

The assumption that Philip of Macedon made radical changes seems questionable. The Macedonian sarissa was longer than the hoplite version, which would give it an advantage over a phalanx with shorter weapons. Certainly with these, and the Macedonian Cavalry, Philip managed to subdue all of Greece aside from Sparta, who also gave him little trouble. Of ...


1

Humans are story tellers. We understand the world through stories, and spread the stories we like and make sense to us. As such, religion tends to be about stories. We have creation stories, thunder gods, gods intriguing amongst themselves, falling in love with humans, testing human devotion, etc. All stories designed to help humans to build a picture of ...


1

Check out Victor Davis Hanson's excellent book "Carnage and Culture - Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power" for some interesting insight on the value of slaves vs non-slaves as they relate to the Salamis battle


1

I don't believe this is by any means conclusive, and my evidence is a touch indirect, but I think genetic analysis gives us some interesting hints. There seems to be a body of work that suggests comparisons can be made of historical events around the time of the ancient greeks by making comparisons between modern population. Y-chromosomal evidence for a ...


1

Jerusalem being the capital of a province of his empire, that he passed by at least twice going to and returning from Egypt, it seems most unlikely that Alexander didn't visit Jerusalem. He apparently went out of his way to visit the Siwa Oasis (where his god-hood was confirmed) after founding Alexandria. Chapter Eight of Volume XI of Josephus describes the ...



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