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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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88
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5answers
23k views

Did the ancient Greeks ever climb Mt. Olympus?

We all know that the ancient Greeks believed that their gods lived on top of the mountain Olympus (and some of them in other places like the Underworld). But Olympus - they knew where it was (between ...
74
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4answers
7k views

Cultural understanding of Penelope's suitors

In the Odyssey, Penelope is courted by 108 suitors, who camp out in her house/royal court indefinitely, behaving badly, while she delays them. I'm having trouble understanding the historical and ...
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2answers
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How would a Spartan have held his shield?

I am astonished at the weight of a Spartan shield, which I have read would have weighed 30 lbs (13.5 kg). This is, of course, extremely heavy for most people. Ergo, it raised the question for me: ...
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6answers
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When did worshipping of ancient Greek gods come to an end?

The ancient Greeks had their pantheon of gods whose significance vanished with the civilization. Some individual gods entered the belief systems of later cultures, but such mutations are not what I am ...
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7answers
37k views

Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
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3answers
7k views

What did people in 13th century England know about Greek mythology?

I understand this may depend on various factors, but I am interested to find out whether many/some/any people in 13th century England would have knowledge of the stories out of Greek mythology. ...
36
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3answers
4k views

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. ...
34
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6answers
7k views

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 ...
34
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10answers
52k views

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 ...
31
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2answers
6k views

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?
29
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5answers
42k views

Was Alexander the Great Greek or Macedonian?

This question has been confusing me for a while. Was Alexander the Great Greek or Macedonian? He was born in Pella, Macedonia, but is he considered Greek? Did nationality and ethnicity mean different ...
28
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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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4answers
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How would slaves have addressed their masters in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Rome, slaves addressed their masters as Dominus or Domina (male or female, respectively). Would the slaves (or servants) of Ancient Greece have used a similar title, or would they have ...
26
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4answers
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How were books published in Ancient Greece?

Suppose I'm a contemporary of Aristotle, living in Athens, and I want to write a book on, say, philosophy or mathematics. I suppose I would start by writing out a complete manuscript on some form of ...
26
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1answer
3k views

Was there an assassination attempt against Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae?

I watched Frank Miller's 300 last night with my girlfriend, and after the movie ended she mentioned the assassination attempt against Xerxes would have been a great plot element for the movie and that ...
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13answers
165k views

Why didn't Alexander invade India?

Alexander conquered most parts of the Western World, but there is a great deal of controversy over his invasion of India. In BC 327 Alexander came to India, and tried to cross the Jhelum river for the ...
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3answers
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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 ...
24
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
23
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8answers
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Is there any evidence that the Catholic Church slowed innovation during the Middle Ages?

I often hear that the rate of innovation was very high during ancient times in Greece and the Roman empire. I've also heard that the rate of innovation was reduced once the Catholic Church gained ...
23
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2answers
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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 ...
22
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4answers
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How did Alexander III of Macedon get the title “the Great”?

Alexander III of Macedon is referred to as Alexander "the great", but who gave him this title? At what point in history was he acknowledged as such and why is he considered so great?
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1answer
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Why haven't Etruscan texts survived?

In Wikipedia it's claimed that Etruscan Civilization had a rich literature, but only one Etruscan text has survived. And AFAIK at the same moment we have many Ancient Greeks texts roughly from the ...
19
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3answers
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Couldn't an army of archers easily defeat Macedonian style phalanxes?

At that time of military history, it seems the phalanx was the accepted supreme military style that won battles. So countries tried to outdo each to see who could do the phalanx best. Since archers ...
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2answers
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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?
19
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1answer
403 views

What was the Mantineian form of government and what praise did it receive?

In his comparison of the Roman form of government with those of other states, Polybius mentions Mantineia as having one which had been praised by almost all historians. However, he does not go into ...
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2answers
2k views

How could Eratosthenes measure the circumference of the Earth?

Some 2,200 years ago, Eratosthenes calculated the radius of the Earth. A brief recap Plant a stick in the ground vertically, and wait until the sun is directly above the stick, that is until ...
17
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1answer
2k views

What were Greek and Roman sails made from?

I have found that Vikings used sails made from wool; can anyone tell me what the sails of ancient Greece and Rome would have been made from?
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4answers
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What is the historical reason for 18 years being the most commonly accepted age of adulthood?

Most countries define the age of adulthood at 18 years. Why is this? Was there some historical precedent set in ancient Rome/Greece or something like that? Why 18 years and not some "nicer" number ...
17
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2answers
589 views

Who came up with the name “Peloponnesian War”?

If I understand correctly, Thucydides actually called his book just History. If that is correct, then at what point did it become known as History of the Peloponnesian War? EDIT: Here is how he ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there any archaeological evidence for the Dorian Invasion of Greece?

My books on ancient Greece are pretty old. And they have have the same explanation for Doric vs. Ionic ethnicity/history. Is there any archaeological evidence for a Dorian invasion?
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7answers
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Why was not Greek alphabet adopted by other languages given the Greek influence?

Most of western languages adopt the Latin alphabet with minor variations. Arabic letters are adopted by quite a few other languages. The same is true for Eastern Europe with Cyrillic letters. Why was ...
16
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3answers
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Why do we find a large number of nude male characters in ancient Greek paintings and sculptures?

Why do we find a large number of nude male characters in ancient Greek paintings and sculptures? What was the social status of nudity in ancient Greece?
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1answer
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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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1answer
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What does “setting up a trophy” mean in ancient Greece 5th century B.C.?

I'm reading Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War and time and a gain armies are said to "set up a trophy" on a site. What does that mean? What was concretely done at the site where a trophy was set up? ...
15
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1answer
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Were myopic slaves more valuable in ancient Greece?

When reading on nearsightedness I came across the following passage: We only have to remember how valuable a myopic slave was in ancient Greece, as a rare person who preserved his ability to read ...
15
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1answer
938 views

Mass distribution of the Macedonian Sarissa pike

As a physics student, I am currently writing an independent assignment about applications of continuum mechanics (the study of waves, deformation, and stress in objects), in this assignment, I have ...
14
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3answers
81k views

Pedophilia in ancient Greek and Roman culture

This question is inspired by an answer to: When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe? I have heard from many people that pedophilia was widely practiced in ancient Greek or Roman cultures. ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
14
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4answers
7k views

Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
14
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2answers
5k views

Were there any wars in ancient Greece where religion played a major part?

I know that the Greeks had a god of war and many other deities associated with warfare in some respect. I also know that the Greeks would consult the oracles for advice prior to their military ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Comparison of Ancient Greecian and Egyptian schools and methods of studying to modern day

I've been watching some documentary that stated that our modern schools are used to make people submit to authority and think in a linear way. Just to make us good workers. And I wonder - What was ...
13
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6answers
3k views

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 ...
13
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4answers
1k views

What was the northernmost region/city in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek as the native language?

My understanding is that prior to the migrations/invasions of the Goths, Huns and Sklavenoi into the Balkan peninsula, Greek and Latin where the most common native languages, alongside other steadily ...
13
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2answers
397 views

Who titled the works of Aristotle?

I had always assumed that Aristotle titled his own works. But under the Wikipedia article on Metaphysics, it gives an alternative explanation for the origin of the work's title: Subsequent to the ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What did the letter theta symbolize in ancient Greece?

In a Hubbard Communications Office bulletin, L. Ron Hubbard claims: A THETAN is, of course, a Scientology word using the Greek “Theta” which was the Greek symbol for thought or life. Source:...
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2answers
1k views

Are there any scientific estimates for the population of Mycenaean Greece?

There are a lot of population estimates for Greece of antiquity (from Archaic period circa VIII century B.C. to the late Roman times of Theodosius 395 A.D.) in academic press. Also I found few ...
13
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1answer
3k views

Why did the Romans incorporate and rename the Greek pantheon? [closed]

I have read on occasion that they kept the pantheon out of admiration and/or to keep the peace with the newly conquered Greeks, but I have never seen any hard evidence or writings that say this in in ...
13
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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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2answers
1k views

When did Socrates die?

Question 1: The death of Socrates is usually said to have happened in 399 BC, but I've sometimes seen a question mark after the date. Is there actually a possible uncertainty about the exact year? ...
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3answers
4k views

What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

I imagine they did not have the funds to buy or build heavy military ships, so I wonder what did they use. Did they re-purpose civilian ships?