Questions tagged [ancient-greece]

Ancient Greece was a civilization centred around the Greek peninsula, that lasted from the 8th century BC to the end of the classical antiquity era (ca. 600 AD).

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Have any cultures had a four-element system different from fire, earth, air (or wind), and water?

Ancient Greek culture (Empedocles, Aristotle) had fire, earth, air, and water. Such a system is also known in Buddhism and alchemy. Sometimes the third of these elements is conceived as wind. Hinduism ...
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In terms of citizens living standards, how did Athenian democracy compare to other ancient Greek city-states using different political systems?

Athenian democracy Athenian democracy is described as having been a direct democracy whereby the citizens directly controlled all parts of the political process. World History Encycopedia In Athenian ...
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Ancient Greek term rendered incorrectly as numbers and Latin letters, "01KCDÇ". What is it?

In a book I am reading, I've spotted an error and would like to know how to correct it: In the Athenian 01KCDÇ, for example, the family was based on a system of individual members which moved out, ...
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Did Rome annex Byzantium, the Greek city state, around 47AD?

This well-received YouTube video claims that Rome annexed Thrace in 45AD and then the Greek City State of Byzantium in 47 AD. Byzantium is also the last surviving Greek City State after the Rome ...
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How did Greeks view tall people, and was there a social premium placed on height?

Today, being more tall as a man is viewed as a positive attribute, but I wonder how it was viewed by the ancient Greeks. Was it better for a man to be short or tall. The only instance I have is that ...
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Why do the bases of these pillars have grooves in them?

While exploring the ruins of the city of Perga we saw many things that looked like this: It looks like the base of a column (though maybe it is a capital?). I am curious why there is a radial groove ...
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What is the correct publication date for Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War?

At Archive.org: Thucydides - The Peloponnesian War I found a digital edition of the subject work as translated by Rex Warner (9 March 1905 – 24 June 1986) with a purported publication date of 1916. ...
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As far as Themistocles's journey after his exile is concerned why do modern historians conclude that Plutarch meant Thasos instead of Naxos?

I am referring to the flight of Themistocles after his ostracism. When he finally reached Macedon and to Pydna he tried to reach Asia via a merchant ship. Thucydides says that a storm forced him to ...
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Where does Herodotus discuss judging the wisdom of decisions by the evidence at hand vs. the consequences?

Physicist/statistician Edwin T. Jaynes, in a broad overview of the history of ideas about reasoning amidst uncertainty (precursors to Bayesian inference), attributes an early articulation of an ...
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Would an Athenian citizen, reduced elsewhere into slavery, remain a slave if brought back to Athens?

I understand that it was common at one time for debt defaulters in Athens to be driven into a form of slavery, or bonded servitude, and that Solon abolished this practice and freed all such bondsmen. ...
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Did Plato practice pankration?

At what level, if at all did Plato practice the martial art of pankration and what direct evidence do we have for believing so? Pankration is a Greek martial art; a sort of bare knuckles MMA in that ...
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Did Empedocles think that plants have sex?

I was reading the book Flora Unveiled: The Discovery and Denial of Sex in Plants by Lee Taiz and Lincoln Taiz published by Oxford. In Chapter 8, "Plant sex from Empedocles to Theophrastus", ...
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Where were there fractal structures in ancient Rome?

I am looking for some examples of fractal or fractal-like structures and patterns in ancient Rome. I did some research but did not find much. On this topic I only found this article Scipedia.com where ...
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How did the Ptolemaics inherit the tradition of royal incest?

Cleopatra (VII), the last queen of Egypt, was forced to marry her younger brother to keep the royal blood in the family. This, of course was a form of royal incest. From what I understand, the ...
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What were the demographics of the ancient Crete (any population estimates from 500BCE to 1BCE will do)?

I am looking for any estimates on the population of ancient Crete in the time period 500BCE to 1BCE. I have searched for such estimates on google but I haven't found anything relevant. (Note: The ...
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What were the demographics of the ancient Greek colonies of Cyprus (any population estimates from 500BCE to 1BCE will do)?

Are there any estimates on the ancient populations of Cyprus from 500BCE to 1BCE. What were the demographics of the ancient Greek colonies of Cyprus (any population estimates from 500BCE to 1BCE will ...
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Did most major ancient cultures (e.g. the Mesopotamians) consider the heart as the main cognitive organ?

The Egyptians, Greeks (e.g. Aristotle), and Chinese certain did so. They believed that thinking was done by the heart. Was this true about all major ancient civilizations? Were there exceptions? ...
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How many deaths resulted from the Wars of the Diadochi? [closed]

Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Empire in 334 BC, successfully conquering it and dying in 323 BC. After his death, his Empire fell apart starting a series of wars called the Wars of the ...
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What is the Thalassic Age?

What is the Thalassic Age? What exactly happened during that time? This came from reading that Greeks during Hellenistic period conquered some areas in Phoenicia, Mesopotamia and Egypt and developed a ...
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How true is this observation concerning battle?

I came across a quote: “One who risks his life in battle has the best chance of saving it; one who flees to save it is most likely to lose it” (Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, ed. E. Diehl2 1936-42.) The ...
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Is there any verifiable ancient source for the etymology of βάρβαρος?

In The Shaping of Western Civilization: From Antiquity to the Present, ed. Michael Burger (U of Toronto Press, 2014), we are given the following colorful detail (§2.3, p47): What, according to the ...
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How do we know this bust is Aristotle?

The Wikipedia page of Aristotle has the following image of him: How do we know that the bust represents Aristotle? For example, some ancient writers describe him as having small eyes, which is ...
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How did the lighthouse at Pharos work?

Was the ancient Greek pharos light house of ancient Alexandria, Egypt capable of creating light beams like a modern flash light? Lots of websites which also includes ones from schools, colleges, ...
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Why did Pausanias travel to Greece?

Pausanias wrote his Description of Greece in the first century AD, which remains a priceless resource for classicists and archaeologists to this day. I've made a quick perusal of the text itself, as ...
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How were the Greek city-states unified while city states are actually independent sovereign cities? [closed]

There was a sentence that said: "Though the Greek city-states were unified to some extent in the face of an external threat, as that threat waned, conflicts between the city-states made a ...
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4 votes
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Could a Hellenistic era smith discover the composition of an alloy? [closed]

Assuming a smith from the Hellenistic era of ancient Greece was given a lump of metal (specifically a gold alloy) and asked to produce more of the same kind of alloy, what methods would they have ...
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What did the Greeks call their gods while under Roman rule? [closed]

I read this question and it made me think. The Romans "inherited" the Greek gods, they just gave them new names, but what happened in actual Greece after the Roman conquest of Greece? Did ...
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Was there a temple dedicated to Old Age ("Geras") in ancient Athens?

Camus, in The myth of Sisyphus, mentions that "There was in Athens a temple dedicated to old age. Children were taken there." ("Il y avait à Athènes un temple consacré à la vieillesse. ...
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Were Draco’s laws particularly “draconian” at the time they were enacted?

There is a lot of talk about “draconian” laws at the moment, which got me thinking about Draco. As I understand it, Draco produced the first written constitution of Athens, which stood for about 30 ...
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10 votes
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What were the requirements for Ancient Greek colonist groups?

Disclaimers Given that the colonies were not created in empty space, it may not have been necessary to equip each and every group of colonists with the skills needed to be self sufficient. Assuming, ...
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When was the first time Rome was mentioned in outside records (and specifically, in Greek ones)?

Most information that we have on the history of ancient Rome came from Roman records themselves. However, I'm curious about the first extant document where the city was unequivocally mentioned by ...
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Did Hellenic-Romans have Ancient Greek heritage?

I had the results of my "true ancestry" back. You upload DNA data and they compare it to DNA obtained from ancient burial sites. Interestingly, I had a strong match to "Hellenic-Roman", but nothing ...
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What does a "wage" mean in the time of 'The Odyssey'?

In Book 10 of The Odyssey, there's the following sentence (English translation): A sleepless man could earn a double wage by herding cows, then pasturing sheep - the paths of day and night are ...
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What were some Greek equivalents of a Roman triumph?

In ancient Rome, it became common to honor successful military leaders with a parade in their honor. The standard form might involve the general getting snazzy clothes and a gilt chariot, his soldiers ...
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Is there any research on the (possible) ancient origins of populations in different regions in Cyprus and their movements on the island?

I was looking at a map of the kingdoms of ancient Cyprus where each kingdom was presented to have had either Greek majority , Phoenician majority or was mixed Greek/Eteocypriot so I was wondering if I ...
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Was Pericles the only famous loss from the plague in Athens?

Reading about the Plague of Athens in The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, I was struck by this question. The plague killed an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people in a city full of famous people, but ...
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How alcoholic were ancient Greek and Roman wines, before and after dilution?

My understanding is that people in ancient Greece and Rome used to dilute their wine before drinking it. Do we know the ABV values for diluted and undiluted wines? EDIT: I realize there is a similar ...
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10 votes
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Why were the Hecatomnid rulers of Caria permitted to marry their siblings?

Hecatomnus of Caria had three sons and two daughters. The elder two sons married a daughter each, and all five children would rule, successively, the state which their father founded. Why was this ...
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What sort of maps did the ancient Greeks make and distribute?

Context: I am going to be starting a D&D campaign in a world based on ancient Greece, rather than your classic Western European medieval fantasy land. This will probably not be the only question ...
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Are there any Ancient Greek texts showing concern for the fate of their slaves?

Augustus famously punished Vedius Pollio for being cruel to a slave. Do we know such stories showing concern for the slave in ancient Greece? (I read, and listen to, several books/conference about ...
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What sort of temples existed in small Greek villages?

Context: I am going to be starting a D&D campaign in a world based on ancient Greece, rather than your classic western european medieval fantasy land. This will probably not be the only question ...
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Which philosopher said that taking notes is good?

He said something like, that this is a good way to learn, because writing it down in the own words helps one to understand it. I think it was Aristotle, but I dont know exactly any more.
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Did the ancient Greeks have "taverns"? [closed]

Context: I am going to be starting a D&D campaign in a world based on ancient Greece, rather than your classic western european medieval fantasy land. This will probably not be the only question ...
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What would an ancient Greek village (small settlement) have looked like?

Context: I am preparing a D&D campaign, and because I find "medieval western europe fantasy land" to be a bit over-used, I'd like to make my setting more of an ancient greek setting. However, ...
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11 votes
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What actually happened in Greek and Roman temples of healing?

Greeks first had temples of healing under Apollo, and when Apollo as the god of healing was displaced by Asclepius, these temples ended up as asclepeion. The Romans adopted this idea of temples for ...
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Why did Sparta turn on its ally Elis during the First Macedonian War?

According to Book 28, Chapter 7 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri, in 207 BC, Machanidas, the Tyrant of Sparta, suddenly moved to attack Elis while its people (the Eleans) were preparing for the Olympic ...
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Are there any exemplars of the 'trope of the exiled poet' prior to CE 8?

For a class of mine I'm writing a paper on Ovid's Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, where I argue that underneath Ovid's lamentation of his exile and praise for Augustus, he immortalizes himself as the ...
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What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion?

What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion? My question is about, not cultural differences, but conceptual differences." Wikipedia doesn't compare them. ...
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6 votes
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Where is it recorded that Spartan common meals were followed by a recounting of noble deeds?

I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference. In On Manly Courage: A Study of Plato's Laches, on page 57, the author implies that Spartan common meals were followed by the recounting ...
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Why were Hoplite shields circular?

why were Hoplite shields circular? Given that humans are much taller than they are wide even taking into account that the shield has to protect the person to their left the horizontal to vertical ...
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