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Books were copied by hand, laboriously. Then they were distributed (lent or sold) to a handful of influential people, most of whom were rich. There were so few books around (and so few people capable of reading) that when a new book came out, the few "readers" would jump on it. But little money was generated because there were so few copies. People wrote ...


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Alex has given a good general answer. Let me add a detail: The ancient Jews had a simple system for mass-producing copies of Scripture: Get a room-full of scribes. One stands in front with the book to be copied. The rest sit at desks with blank paper. The guy at the front reads slowly, while the rest write down what he says. Then they had various schemes to ...


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Sparta could actually be called the birthplace of democracy. Tho Sparta had a small voting population by today's standards (probably around ~3%), it was transformative for the time. Democracy was even suggested by at least some of the population. A story I've read was that a man once argued that Sparta (circa 850BC before they created the Apella) should ...


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Its not in any way a given that the desirability of a government should coincide with the length of time it manages to stick around for. Never-the-less, ancient democracies had pretty good track records as far as governments go. Sparta lasted for 400 years, Athens for 250, the Roman Republic for almost 500 years. If you include states with even more limited ...


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No, the original author did not get royalties. In fact, often times original authors of works would not be known, or people would write works and attribute them to more famous authors in an effort to get them more widely distributed (up to half of Paul's Epistles are thought to have been authored this way). Since there was no printing, and most people were ...


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There was no publishers, no royalties, and no copyright. All these things were invented after the spread of the printer press. If you are a scientist/philosopher, you would write your book yourself, or hire a scribe if you are rich enough. Then you will send it to a friend, and/or read to your students. Almost all books in mathematics and astronomy begin ...


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In an article about the Column of Trajan I read that the Romans temporarily adopted arm armor (like that used by some gladiators) during the Dacian War because some of the allies of the Dacians were known for cutting off arms in battle - "disarming" their enemies.


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I think Tyler is right, but it's also possible that the horses were depicted running as fast as Marvin here.


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The common consensus by both ancient writers and modern is that it took about 1-2 talents of silver to field a ship. However, the operational costs of a ship were generally greatly in excess of the costs just to build it. For example, in the Samian War the Athenians demanded an indemnity of 1300 talents to re-imburse them for the costs of the war and the ...


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Two talents may confidently be assumed, [...] as a moderate estimate of the cost of both hull and rigging of a trireme. (p. 364) Source: Frank Egleston Robbins, The Cost to Athens of Her Second Empire, Classical Philology, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1918), pp. 361-388. Newer authors (relying, as far as I can tell from a very cursory examination, upon ...


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Wikipedia, after Hanson (2006), claims that a typical trireme took 6,000 man days to complete. If you take a 25 man crew as around the optimal size, balancing the ease of performing certain tasks against the non-linear aspects of managing large teams, that would equate to 240 days effort, or perhaps 9 months elapsed time allowing for days off, bad weather, ...


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The Romans "borrowed" the Carthaginian trireme to win the Punic wars, using one that had been "beached" as a model. They added a "corvus" or hook, to allow them to board, since they were better at land fighting.


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This subject is treated in detail in the 1959 book History and the Homeric Iliad by Denys Lionel Page (Sather classical lectures, volume 31). This book, among other things, summarizes the extremely detailed information on the "Catalog of Ships" collated by the German classicist, Viktor Burr: Neon katalogos. Untersuchungen zum homerischen Schiffs-Katalog. ...


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The number of legs is correct. It's the number of heads that is wrong. The chariot depicted is an Olympic quadriga which was driven by four horses. The artist probably found it difficult to make a design that included all four horse heads, so he just drew two of them.


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scythed chariots were expendable charge the opposing formations and the driver dives off the back, one shot weapons the hopefully broke up the enemy formations for other troops. not a good track record. mithridatic Pontic, later achaemenid persian were etc only notable users that spring to mind, late roman empire there was some experiments but I don't think ...


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Today I stumbled across Machiavelli's answer to this question (at least with reference to the Persian Empire) in chapter 4 of The Prince, where he writes, Considering the difficulties which men have had to hold to a newly acquired state, some might wonder how, seeing that Alexander the Great became the master of Asia in a few years, and died whilst ...



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