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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3answers
7k views

Did the Persian Immortals instill fear in their Greek adversaries?

The Persian Immortals were an elite combat unit during the First Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire. They were known for being at ten thousand strong at all times for which they ...
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Did germophobia exist in classical antiquity?

I know nothing of the cleaning habits of the Greeks, but about Rome Mary Beard (2015) says that doctors knew that going to the public baths with an open wound would likely result in gangrene, so it ...
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Were the ancient Greeks very poor compared to the ancient Persians?

Today, one way modern scholars determine civilization is by it's material prosperity and consumption levels. To be prosperous is for the man of today a good thing and we consider poverty in a nation ...
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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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Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

Honor killing, most often, the murder of a woman or girl by male family members. The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige. ...
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Is there any evidence of STD's in ancient times?

Are there any ancient texts that show or imply that their authors knew that certain diseases were spread through sexual activity? It seems like sexual contagion was recognized in the 16th century ...
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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I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference.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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10answers
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Are modern Greeks related to the ancient Greeks?

Greece has been subject to many many invasions since the 7th century and there must have been a serious mixing of peoples. In a similar situation, we do not usually consider the French or the Germans ...
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408 views

Did ancient Greeks harden steel weapons?

Let's limit this question to the Classical period (c. 5th-4th centuries BC) Did Greeks harden their iron swords, spearheads, arrowheads etc. before putting them into use? Was hardening technology ...
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3answers
552 views

Was the Persian army dependent on cornel wood?

In the following book I found the passing statement that cornel wood was used by the Persian cavalry for their javelins: Nelson, Richard. Armies of the Greek and Persian Wars 500 to 350 BC, 2015. p30. ...
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Was there a continuity in architecture from the Minoan civilisation to classical Greece?

The Minoans used columns in their palaces and the Mycenaeans used columns in their megarons which were inspired by the Minoan column, but were the columns of classical Greek temples and buildings a ...
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How accurate is Nietzsche's account of the birth of tragedy?

In his first book, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, Nietzsche claims that tragic drama, as a practice, emerged from an originally solely-musical chorus. First people sang story-songs, ...
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In what sense is Socrates considered as the father of Western philosophy?

Socrates is known as the father of western philosophy. But in what sense? Is it because there wasn't any other philosopher who preceded him? Or perhaps that their philosophies were completely ...
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In Classical Athens, what did the portico of the archon basileus look like?

In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates and his titular interlocutor meet at the portico of the archon basileus - or chief archon. I've been looking for an image of the portico but had no luck so far, and am ...
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Fermat's statement about the ancients: How serious was he?

I am extremely interested in the idea that there was a period in time when, at least in the west, people looked upon the ancients (Romans/Greeks) as possessors of wisdom that had been lost. Fermat ...
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Did the Greeks and Romans use reputational incentives to induce people to pay more tax?

I read the following tidbit in a monologue here. It sounds interesting and plausible but I couldn't verify it: Let me tell you a little bit about providing people with the opportunity to ...
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142 views

How long before someone was declared dead in ancient Greece?

In The Odyssey, everyone in Ithaca - except Penelope - assumes that since most surviving Greeks returned home shortly after the end of the Trojan War, Odysseus is dead. This legitimises a group of men,...
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Was Lampsacus a Phocaean or Milesian colony?

Lampsacus was an ancient Greek polis situated on the eastern side of the Hellespont (modern Dardanelles) . The English Wikipedia page describes the city as of Milesian AND Phocaean foundation, hinting ...
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Were Alexander the Great and Hephaestion lovers?

Were Alexander the Great and Hephaestion lovers? Since there are no historical shreds of evidence that Alexander regarded Hephaestion as someone more than a friend, are the modern claims only based ...
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What did Flaminius bring to the Greeks?

In Montaigne's essay "Of Cannibals", Montaigne writes: "I know not," said he, "what kind of barbarians" (for so the Greeks called all other nations) "these may be; but the disposition of this ...
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1answer
256 views

When is the Cumaean Temple to Apollo dated?

Cumae was founded by Ionians from Euboea around 750. Cumae had a Temple to Apollo and Sibyline oracle that channeled Apollo. In Greece, Apollo and its oracle became active in the eighth century. It ...
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What was the primary motivation for a historical figure like Xenophon to create an extensive collection of written material?

Xenophon of Athens created a large amount of written material even by today's standards. Did he create this work knowing it would be read by future generations, or was it for his own satisfaction? I ...
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Preventing slaves from running off in Classical Greece

I was once again reading the Old Oligach’s rant on slaves and how good they supposedly had it. if it were customary for a slave (or metic or freedman) to be struck by one who is free, you would ...
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344 views

Did the Babylonians know the Pythagorean Theorem before Pythagoras formulated it?

Came across a clip on TV from an (unidentified) BBC documentary showcasing the Plimpton 322 tablet, written in cuneiform c.1800 BC (1200 years before Pythagoras). The narrator says the tablet was ...
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Troy: How could a city be built on top of an older one?

As far as I know, archaeological excavation discovered several layers of the city of Troy, each one built on top of the ruins of the older ones. I just can imagine how that might have happened. One ...
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What did the ancient Eastern world think of the ancient Greeks?

The opinions of the Greeks the Eastern world which notably included the Persians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Indians and Egyptians are known to all. They elaborated at length through their literature ...
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Where and when has Thucydides been studied?

Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens, of which he was a contemporary and participating general, is studied still today in war academies and by political scientists ...
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Why did Athenian philosophers praise Spartan culture and laws, which would preclude philosophers like themselves?

Laconophilia was near universal among the important Athenian philosophers: Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and his followers - all praised Spartan culture and its laws, even after Sparta fell from glory ...
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1answer
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Were the 35,000 helots freed after Plataea and were they then Spartan citizens?

What happened to the 35,000 helots that fought at Plataea? Were they made Spartan citizens? I just felt this might have been disruptive to Spartan society. I've checked Wikipedia, Google.. ...
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Is there any evidence of arachnophobia in ancient history?

Are there any sources that would tell us whether (any) ancient Greeks or Romans were afraid of spiders?
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1answer
228 views

Who were some Greek Plebeian Gentes, especially from Magna Graecia?

I'm looking for foreign influences on the Plebeians. Who are some Plebeian Gentes that were Greek, perhaps from Magna Graecia or Sicily? I vaguely recall reading about one from Campania, who came in ...
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1answer
382 views

Why did Ancient Greek city-states fight each other and how did they morally justify it? [closed]

I'm curious about why the different city-states in Ancient Greece fought war against each other and how did their leaders motivate their people to take up arms, leave their families and farms and go ...
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Why did the Spartans learn to read and write if they weren't allowed to keep records?

I recently watched a TED-Ed video about Spartan society in Ancient Greece. The video discusses how Spartans were forbidden to keep records. Then it goes on to describe how the Spartans learned to read ...
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1answer
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What was the largest ancient theatre?

If I was to be more specific, can anyone name the largest ancient Greco-Roman theater-(excluding the Roman amphitheaters, such as the Coliseum in Rome and Verona, as well as the amphitheater in ...
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Why do the horses on this vase have too many legs?

Why do the horses have too many legs? They appear to have an extra set, why is this?
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Was the ancient Pontic city of Athenai (Ἀθῆναι) related to Athens?

The city of Athenai (Ἀθῆναι, modern Pazar, Turkey), in some contexts referred to as Pontic Athens, situated on the Pontic shore about halfway between Trapezus (modern Trabzon, Turkey) and Bathys Limen ...
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5answers
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Why didn't the Persians create good infantry units?

The defeat at Marathon, Plataea, march of the 10.000, and the hold up at Thermopylae really suggest the need for some heavy infantry that can fight on par with the Greek Phalanx. Like how much of ...
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2answers
199 views

Are there any Midas portraits from the ancient era?

This is not strictly a history question, but I hope you can help me: I'm looking for original ancient art depicting king Midas (Ideally a mosaic, but anything will work, as long as it is from the "...
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What are canonical sources about fifth century BCE Athens?

I am looking for a history book on fifth century BCE Athens, preferably with emphasis on culture and the daily lives of the Athenians. I found recommendations of books about Ancient Greece in general,...
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1answer
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Where did Cimon spend his time while in exile?

The Athenian statesman Cimon was ostracised from Athens for ten years (461-451 BC), after the Athenian expedition led by him and sent to help Sparta during the helot uprisings was dismissed by the ...
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0answers
125 views

What is the latest case of employment of Cretan archers in Antiquity?

It is known that Cretan archers were widely used (presumably as mercenaries) across Mediterranean by Greek armies and were occasionally included in Roman armies of Republic and of Imperial period. I ...
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Why does Alexander the Great call Greeks free men while Persians slaves?

So there seems to be this theme of Greeks being "free men" with Alexander the Great saying "we are free men, and they are slaves" My understanding was that this mean the Greek lived in democratic/ ...
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Did Celtic druids teach in Greece?

Some time ago I read in a few second hand articles, that Celtic druids went to Greece to teach and study. I don't remember the sources and I couldn't find the sources on a Google search. Are there ...
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1answer
208 views

Why are ancient pottery items so well preserved?

I have a general question which may sound naive: archeologists eg in Ancient Greece take a lot of information from preserved pottery they found. What physical attributes of ceramic items made of clay ...
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2answers
690 views

How was Herodotus able to get accounts of the Battle of Thermopylae?

How was Herodotus able to get accounts of the last stand of Thermopylae if the entire rear guard died alongside Leonidas? It is said he recorded the last words of the Spartans "stranger go tell Sparta ...
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Where are the Dorians from?

I'm studying Greek History and reading about the end of the Bronze Age. And after reading about the Dorians several times now, I'm confused about where the Dorians actually came from, the closest I ...
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1answer
233 views

What is the earliest depiction of a crane?

Various sources on the internet - such as Crane (machine), A History Of The Crane and The sky is the limit: human powered cranes and lifting devices - state that the Ancient Greeks were the inventors ...
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1answer
126 views

When were the first heating apparatus used for bathing?

If in the Odyssey they already washed themselves with warm water prepared on fire, why didn’t the athletes in the loutrons of the palaestrae do the same? They used cold water, which is ineffective for ...
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1answer
573 views

How to make a proper chiton and himation?

I have been searching for instructions on how to make a proper chiton and himation, but can't find anything with a good level of detail and historical accuracy. Could someone point me to such a ...