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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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 ...
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Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
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Is there any support within the scholarly community for Cyrus Gordon's “Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations”?

In "The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations" (1965), scholar Cyrus Gordon argued for a common cultural origin for the Greek and Hebrew peoples. Specifically, he argued that both pre-...
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When and where, exactly, did the concept of a male god eating grapes orginate?

I am sure you have seen, somewhere, of a male god eating grapes or in some classical romantic settings, a half-naked woman putting grapes in the mouth of a half-naked man. I am very curious, where and ...
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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 ...
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How was the Spartan “300” battle recorded?

The famous battle of Thermopylae, when the 300 strong Spartan army lead by King Leonidas and his Athenian allies fought King Xerxes and his massive Persian army, was all recorded by a Greek scribe. ...
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1answer
186 views

Can there be hidden ancient archives in Saudi Arabia? [closed]

Muslims once translated many ancient Greek texts. Could it be that much more is preserved, but not available to the international historical community? Could they be kept in mosques in Saudi Arabia, ...
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Name of the ancient law that forbade naming/publicising the name of a criminal?

I think it was a Roman law, and it said that when a horrific crime was committed, the criminal could not be named, and anyone who disobeyed would suffer capital punishment. I can't remember the name, ...
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659 views

How is it known that Phidias used the golden ratio in the Parthenon?

I can see it is widely accepted he did, so there must be some source backing this up, since no work of his has survived (except for a vase in Olympia with the inscription "I belong to Phidias"). What ...
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Are there any images from ancient times in which Heracles is shown with a cornucopia?

I have read in Wikipedia the cornucopia was created when Heracles wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns. Are there any images from ancient times in which Heracles is ...
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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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What happened to sacrificed animals in ancient Greece?

I was wondering, what happened to animals that were sacrificed in the ancient Greece. For instance, when Pythagoras created his theorem he made a 100 oxen sacrifice. Was the sacrifice considered a ...
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Did Socrates earn money (get paid) for philosophy? [closed]

I have only read Platos Apology, so I was rather surprised when a recent comment said he "was paid". A quick look at Wikipedia find this In The Clouds Aristophanes portrays Socrates as ...
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Did the Delphic oracle speak gibberish?

Wikipedia's article on the Delphic oracle says: The usual theory has been that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke ...
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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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Were early accounts of ancient child prostitution accurate?

Well I'm doing a research about the history and background of Child Sexual Abuse and due to the few sources related to the topic, I've been stucked ,but recently a I found this book "The Encyclopedia ...
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Did the Greeks win the battle of Salamis because their rowers were “free”?

While I was at university in the late 1970s, I was told by a faculty advisor that the Greek rowers at the Battle of Salamis were given cushions that greatly increased their comfort and efficiency (and ...
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How did Greeks make greek fire? [closed]

How did Greeks make Greek fire? Did they put oil in the bottle because it could burn on water due to its ability of floating on it? This is an interesting topic, although how do we put the fire out? ...
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1answer
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When did Phintys say “A woman's particular virtue is modesty . . .”? [closed]

I recently came across an interesting quote in a book I was reading. Here's the excerpt from the book: "A woman's particular virtue is modesty (σωφοσυνη), for by it she is enabled to honor and ...
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Did the more experienced hoplites fight in the front or the back of the phalanx?

I have heard two conflicting ideas with regard to phalanx fighting formations, both from respectable history shows. One source indicates that the more mature/experienced men fought at the front ...
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What broad changes to “world thought” happened in the 6th and 5th centuries BC? [closed]

The 6th and 5th centuries BC saw the appearance of a remarkable number of philosophers and thinkers all over Eurasia whose influence continues to this day: Socrates (470 - 399 BC), "father of Western ...
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Did the chariot drop in importance between bronze age Greece and the iron age Greece? Why, why not?

In what I've read about classical Greece - about Persian wars, Pelaponesian wars, Battle of Leuctra, Macedonia conquest...etc. - military discussion seems to be mostly about the Phalanx with a bit ...
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State of temporary recklessness of ancient Greeks

It was once explained to me that in ancient Greece when a person was reflecting on their own action that they later recognised as reckless or shameful, they would say that the gods have "blinded" them ...
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What was the average height in Classical Greece?

This is a follow-up for Average height of Ancient Roman Men and Women? : I'm curious what was the average height and build of men & women citizens of Greek states (Athens, Sparta, etc) in 7th-...
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Athenian tribute lists

Who were the Athenian tributes in the 434/433 and 430/29 periods?
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Are there any records of ancient people looking for the misdirect in a prophecy?

Ancient prophecies, especially those of ancient Greece and the Oracle of Delphi, were famously tricky. There are dozens of stories of great leaders being tripped up by double-meanings and ...
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How was Euclid's Elements likely written?

How was Euclid's Elements written? I mean, what type of paper, ink and pen did Euclid likely use? As I guess there is no definite answer on this, you can also answer: How did people in 300 BC write ...
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Individual mobility in Greco-Roman world

As we know, the Greeks and later also the Romans built street networks to connect their settlements to each other. For me, this fact raised an issue: How did the Greeks and Romans move between their ...
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Is it true that Plato travelled till Ganges river?

Plato was the great philosopher and traveler. In "The Story of Philosophy" William Durant has written that: He found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the ...
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Is there any myth in Thucydides?

Title says it all really? Any help would be much appreciated. I just need a few examples as I am struggling to find any...
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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. ...
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Prominent examples of scientific racism in ancient Greece

Benjamin Isaac in his book The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity provides a prime example of scientific racism in ancient Greece: The idea that dark people are cowards, and light people ...
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What evidence support the theory that the killing of unwanted children was practiced in ancient Athens?

While researching the Who first wrote about deafness? question, I came across this bold claim on Wikipedia: Sparta is often portrayed as being unique in this matter, however there is considerable ...
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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 ...
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What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae?

In the battle of Thermopylae between the Persians and the United Greek Forces, what role did the mighty war elephant play? The Persians threw Immortals and archers at the United Greeks on the narrow ...
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1answer
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What is the source of this quote about Demosthenes by Philip II of Macedon?

I've read that Philip II of Macedon said that if he had listened to Demosthenes, he would have declared war on himself. Ref. (it's an old book, and in Spanish): Historia de la literatura griega, 2, ...
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When did the Greeks start the practice of burying their dead relatives' bodies?

I was told that at the time around 1 B.C. to 2 A.D Greeks were still cremating bodies of their dead relatives. When did the Greeks start burying them?
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Finding reviews of academic books?

I find it quite diffucult to find reviews of academic books on various subjects, especially for books in the english language. In Denmark we have a service where we can search almost any book academic ...
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1answer
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Did Pythagoras visit Judaea, Arabia, and/or India?

From Wikipedia's page on Pythagoras: Diogenes Laertius reported that Pythagoras had undertaken extensive travels, and had visited not only Egypt, but Arabia, Phoenicia, Judaea, Babylon, and even ...
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Why was record keeping forbidden in Ancient Sparta?

in Ancient Sparta, record keeping and any kind of written history was forbidden by law. (src: https://history.stackexchange.com/a/5966/332 ) What was the rationale for such a law?
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534 views

Nymphodorus of Syracuse

Is there an online version of his history? I am actually trying to assemble some information about a slave rebellion led by one Drimakos and Nymphodorus is one of the ancient writers who mentioned him....
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1answer
431 views

Was Eumenes really a non Greek by birth?

I have been reading a very interesting graphic novel by Hitoshi Iwaaki which is about Eumenes. It starts of by saying that Eumenes was not a Greek by birth, but was born in a tribe called Scythians. ...
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1answer
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Did the British somehow imitate the Greek colonizers in India?

First of all I wonder whether the British headdress in India was somehow designed to resemble the headdress of the Indo-Greeks and Greco-Bactrians? For example, this is the image of Eucratides I, the ...
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Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
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Was the Athenian generals' trial after Arginusae a political one?

In 406BC, the Athenian fleet reported a great victory against the Spartans', near the Arginusae Islands. After the battle, allegedly because of a storm, the generals failed to rescue their comrades at ...
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Was there an export industry of papyrus from ancient Egypt?

While researching the orphism question I came across a mention of the Derveni Papyrus. While its content is highly interesting, I got curious as to how a papyrus showed up in 4th century BCE Macedonia ...
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Benefits of Athenian citizenship

Besides the right to vote, were there any other advantages or benefits in being a citizen in Pericles' Athens?
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What was the status of specialized workers during Greek times?

In Ancient Greece, what kind of social status would specialized workers have? Did they have any extra privileges when compared to the average person, and did they have less rights than rulers and ...
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Chinese Hundred Schools of Thought and Ancient Greek Philosophy

As a beginning student of Chinese I am also learning a bit more about Chinese history. As such I am more-and-more impressed by the quality of thought that has been left behind by Chinese philosophers ...
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Is there a Greek myth of Poseidon “dating” his daughter in the form of a dolphin? [closed]

On Saturday Night Live, there was a skit in which Greek god Poseidon said that he took the form of a dolphin and raped his daughter. Do we have literary or other evidence for such a myth? It might ...