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48

Architecture: Roman Cement Concrete was widely used throughout antiquity by the Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, and Romans. The Romans technique in creating concrete allowed them to build the Pantheon, Colosseum, aqueducts, and spectacular baths (big ones, awesome ones). Amazingly many structures built with this Roman Cement are still standing. The recipe ...


38

A major reason would be logistics. It's not all about population sizes. The strength of an army is constrained not just by its manpower sources, but also by the logistical infrastructure available to pay for, feed, and equip it. The Romans in particular were much better at this than the feudal states of Medieval Europe, which tended to be quite factious and ...


27

Things to consider: First, it is difficult to assess the size of armies in the Middle Ages. Roman troop strength is relatively easy to calculate by knowing the legions involved (the legions usually having the same size), but medieval armies usually had no such regularity. Smaller polities (kingdoms and or counties instead of empires) meant smaller ...


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

PTSD, or stress reactions from battle, were well known during the Greek and Roman era. The Greeks understood it very well. Alexander the Great's men are said to have mutinied after suffering "battle fatigue." These examples of Roman era PTSD are taken from a blog of ancient examples sourced from Max Hastings', An Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes: ...


14

All the mathematical works of Hypatia of Alexandria for example were lost. From the secondary sources we do have, she was an amazing mathematician. Her death could be argued as the end of the classical times and the decent into the Dark Ages...


13

Computer? The Antikythera mechanism device for computing eclipses. Nothing much like it appears in history until Charles Babbage created his machines in the 1800's. The following BBC special further explores the device. Probing the secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism (Preview) The Antikythera Mechanism as it is known, is regarded as the ...


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

This is a complex matter (some authors like Delbruck thought that the classical numbers are very inflated) but one may point out to logistics - classical states were much better able to extract and stockpile resources (human and material) than high medieval polities with their fragmented political authority and erratic currency. As for the Romans' ...


12

There are a lot of great answers here focusing on the material side of things: how many soldiers can a state feed/arm/support/hire? I want to complement these with an ideological factor. While people can be conscripted or paid to fight, mobilization is always easiest when the population is eager to serve. Some ideologies increase the supply of willing ...


10

Latitude can be calculated from observations of stellar objects (typically using something like an astrolabe) and a bit of math. The Greeks could do this as early as 150BC, but only on dry land. The Mariner's Astrolabe wasn't invented until around 1300 CE. Nobody had a good way to determinte longitude in realtime aboard a ship before the invention of the ...


9

Basically, European "states" were all smaller than the Roman Empire, in reach and population for 1000 years or so after the fall of Rome. More to the point, they were mostly subdivided into feudal principalities for most of the period. Rome in 278 BC had better control of "half of Italy" than Paris over all of (or even half of) France in 1346 A.D. At its ...


9

The other answers cover most of what is being asked here but I thought I should add that a major factor in what caused these inabilities was a lack of economies of scale. Whereas the Romans had highly organised production, distribution and retail of both consumables and materials, the Feudal era was highly decentralised. The Feudal era fiefs had only small ...


8

The Roman Forum was initially constructed in the 8th century BC (as a temple to Vesta), started hosting games sometime around the 4th century BC, and was continually rebuilt and upgraded until about 29 BC. So it can be fairly said that it was (somewhat organically) designed to service the entertainment needs of the capital of the Roman empire, home to ...


8

I'm not a linguist so I can't comment on whether 150 years are enough or not to thoroughly Latinize a language. However, I think I can point out that the analogy with Egypt is deeply flawed. When the Romans conquered Egypt from the Ptolemaic dynasty they took over a country that had roughly speaking two distinct populations: a "Greek" elite and semi-elite ...


7

Aristachus of Samos (310 BCE - ca. 230 BCE, and thus many centuries before Copernicus) held the view that the Earth revolved around the Sun. This is also mentioned in footnote 24 (chapter titled Copernican Revolutions) in John D. Barrow's The Book of Universes (2011).


7

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a great page on this exact topic. The key ideas why there is so much male nudity are two-fold: the Greek reverence for athletic competitions, and the athletic male as the pinnacle of those athletic competitions. Because the Greeks felt that sport was such an important part of what was good about humanity, ...


7

@Felix's answer is the key, but there is also the secondary fact that medieval warfare tended to be more highly specialized than the classical. The increased emphasis on heavy cavalry meant a lot more emphasis on a very 'expensive' form of soldiers: ones who needed more training, supplies and support staff than either barbarian tribal levies or big masses of ...


6

Democracies were not necessarily more stable than other forms of government. Polybius describes a cycle of three forms of government - monarchy, then aristocracy, then democracy, then back to monarchy again (of course, this was not always the case in practice). The important point to note is that each first degenerates into an inferior form (tyranny, ...


6

examples of lost knowledge I'm aware of: How to build pyramids and transport such huge heavy stones 4500 years ago in Egypt. Later pyramids were smaller and of lower quality. They didn't manage to build such pyramids again. Decline of Mayan civilization and their writing, astronomical and mathematical knowledge Stonehenge. Later generations had no clue ...


6

Even the legends make no such statement. Aeneas and his followers travel to Latium, the area near the site of Rome and mix with the population. Later, Romulus and Remus, of the line of the Kings of the Latin town of Alba Longa found Rome. According to myth, the Kings of Alba Longa are linked to the Trojans. Julius Caesar's family traced their heritage ...


6

In 1944-45, the late forensic anthropologist John Lawrence Angel studied Ancient Greek skeletal remains. His results were 162 cm for men and 153 cm for women. He only had a rather small sample size at the time, though. Right after his death, excavation began on the cemetery of the Magna Graecia colony-city of Metapontum. The Metaontum necropolis was ...


5

Here's a picture of the fallen columns at Olympia: Here's one from Ephesus: Those puppies look pretty solid to me.


5

Here's a partial answer covering just Alexandria (though also see comment about Carthage below). The most significant event in the history of the Hellenistic Jewish community of Alexandria was not the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135CE, but the suppression of the Rebellion of the Exile (Kitos War) in 117CE. Theodor Mommsen estimates that in the first ...


5

E.g. Parts 1 and 2 of Volume 2 in Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization in China series contain relevant information. Chapter (c) (2) in Volume 2, Part 1 is titled The Mohists, the lever and the balance and mentions the steelyard as e.g. in use in the 11th century CE. This device for measuring weights uses two arms of unequal length, and as such would ...


5

Herodotus and other ancient writers claimed the Etruscans were immigrants from Asia minor, possibly from the area of Lydia. It's sometimes asserted that they came west in search of metal: they were famous in antiquity for their metalworking skills and (the theory goes) they came from a much more technoiogically advanced area to exploit the resources of the ...


5

I believe some of the lists - at least fragmentary ones from epigraphic sources - can be found in Fornara's volume in the "Translated Documents of Greece and Rome" series: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/classical-studies/ancient-history/archaic-times-end-peloponnesian-war-2nd-edition


5

The "Greco-Roman" culture did not depend on Arabs to preserve it. Relatively few Roman works of science and literature are known only from Arab sources/translations. The literature of Greece and Rome was transmitted, as you said by the Byzantines, but also by many other sources including the Irish, the churches of Asia Minor and the Levant, the Romans ...


5

It would be interesting to make a list of principal ancient texts and how each of them reached us. And make a statistics. (Perhaps someone knows such a list?) Many of the texts that I know exist in both Arabic and Greek medieval versions. Before this list is made, I want to express my doubts about Tyler Durden answer. He only gives examples of literary work ...



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