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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2answers
339 views

Are there any records of javelin throwing techniques from antiquity? For example, ancient Greece, such as peltasts?

I can find plenty of information of contemporary javelin throwing techniques, but I am interested to know if there are surviving records of javelin throwing, particularly from ancient Greece, and ...
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1answer
439 views

Is my comparison on the significance of black and red pottery plausible?

I am writing a paper on 8th-3rd century Greece. I am trying the distinguish the differences between black and red figure pottery. Black figure pottery very commonly illustrated the mingling of ...
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How were knee injuries treated in Ancient Greece?

Today knee injuries, for example ACL tears*, are a pretty common injury, especially with fighters (Judo, Wrestling, BJJ, MMA, …). Since the Greeks practiced a lot of wrestling and pankration, knee ...
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591 views

Why can't people on the back of the phalanx “reorient” their shield?

What do men in the middle of a phalanx contribute? says that phalanx are vulnerable from behind So what does people in phalanx formation when they get smacked from behind? They just keep pointing ...
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What do men in the middle of a phalanx contribute?

I understand how the Phalanx can have an almost impenetrable front, and I understand the rear and sides may have to defend against an attack like the front - but what purpose do men in the middle ...
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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 ...
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2answers
409 views

What do historians mean when they say “divinity” in the context of Ancient Greece?

I was going to find sources for the Wikipedia article on Thales of Miletus, since the section on divinity has almost none, I was wondering what "divinity" even means in the context of Ancient Greece. ...
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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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1answer
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How did the Greeks keep a prytaneum alight in storms?

In ancient Greece, prytaneums were present in every city, village and state. They were lit with fire from the place in which the people settling came from. It was tended to by a leader of the ...
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1answer
277 views

What is the difference between “diallektes” and “aesymnetes”?

The terms "diallektes" and "aesymnetes" were there in Ancient Greece as tyrant-like positions. An aesymnetes or diallektes was chosen by a group of people or somehow by entire population in order to ...
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225 views

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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1answer
610 views

Fat jokes in ancient Greek comedies

I'm looking for examples of jokes poking fun at fat people in ancient Greek comedies. So far from my research I have been unable to find anything. Were there any such jokes or was being overweight ...
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1answer
417 views

How would ancient Greeks have exercised?

I am very aware that they boxed and wrestled, but neither of these will pack on the necessary muscle to look like the statues or paintings they made. I understand that they probably exaggerated on ...
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1answer
84 views

Where did Cicero talk about Plato's Menexenus Funeral Oration?

I'm writing a paper on Aspasia--ancient Greek woman rhetorician--and in Plato's Menexenus he attributes a funeral oration to her. I found references in a couple of places to Cicero saying that the ...
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195 views

How did ancient Greek musicians tune their instruments?

I am not a musical person, in fact I am trying to learn the guitar now which sort of made me think of this question. How did the Greeks, or any ancient peoples, tune their musical instruments? From ...
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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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3answers
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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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Why did Ancient Greek religious monument (herms) have genitalia?

Around the Acropolis in Athens, there are lots of marble monuments like the one below. I don't recall whether I read on a plaque, or whether it was my own inference, that these were installed by ...
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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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1answer
457 views

Pythagoras: sinfulness of eating beans

I have read some of Pythagoras' commandments; they are strange. Any idea why he considered that eating beans was a sin? The book from which I took the data is 'history of western philosophy' by ...
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3answers
659 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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1answer
514 views

What do we know about Archimedes text “On Sphere-Making”?

I originally put this question on Mythology SE, but was suggested I move it here. I was doing some mindless research and came across a Wikipedia page on lost works and went down to the classical ...
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1answer
568 views

Why did Cretan archers flourish?

This question concerns why Cretan archers were so prolific and well regarded during Antiquity. As seen in Xenophon's Anabasis Cretan archers often were hired to serve as mercenaries in Greece and ...
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Why did Cleon say this in the Mytilenian Debate?

I was reading Cleon's argument in the Mytilenian debate, and feel that I understand most of his argument. However, I don't understand why Cleon would say the following (emphasis mine): Let them ...
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1answer
503 views

How were documents written in Plato's time?

I'm writing an essay at the moment and I rather thoughtlessly wrote down that they used books. But it seems to me that this might not be the case and that books might be a relatively new invention. ...
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Why were harvest times in Cyrenaica earlier than in Greece in antiquity?

In The Corrupting Sea (2000), the authors state that Cyrenaica's harvest time was "a month earlier than that of most of Greece and well before that of the Black Sea" (p. 72), and because of this the ...
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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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3answers
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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. ...
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What were the ethnic backgrounds of the slaves in Ancient Greece?

When studying Ancient Greek history, one can often come across the historical fact that slavery did exist in the Greek world 2000 plus years ago. There were the Helots in Ancient Sparta and of course ...
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1answer
315 views

What coin/pendant is this and is it worth any money?

This was found a long time ago by my neighbour who has now passed it on to me. It has NAX IOIA on the coin with what I believe to be a kings or gods face on one side and some grapes and vines on the ...
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1answer
75 views

Valid source of Greek historical periods , in a URL [closed]

I am writing a paper and I have to include all the historical eras of Greece as a pre-defined "vocabulary" for a metadata schema. This vocabulary has to be online and be accessible via a URL. So I am ...
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1answer
924 views

Did Zoroastrianism influence some Ancient Greek Philosophers?

Ancient Greek Philosophy, was never monolithic, that is to say, the diversity of thought represented in the Greek Philosophers is well documented and well chronicled. However, did the Persian ...
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0answers
393 views

Did the Ancient Greeks not usually carry money around?

I've heard before that the Ancient Greeks would carry money around in their mouths, due to their lack of pockets. However, I have just come across this passage in Diogenes Laertius Book IV Ch.3: ...
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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
888 views

Could Magna Graeca have expanded beyond the Mediterranean sea region? [closed]

Between the 700's-500's BC/BCE, the Ancient Greeks sailed to and founded many strategically valuable towns and cities in lands across the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions; (the majority of these ...
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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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2answers
745 views

Were there any Ancient Greek theatres not built on a hill/slope?

I was wondering the other day whether there were any Ancient Greek theatres that weren't built on the side of a hill. Normally we associate them with having a curved, raised seating area. The purposes ...
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4answers
869 views

Was Greece the only thing stopping a Persian invasion of Europe?

During the Greco-Persian war, it is of course well documented that the Greeks managed to hold off the Persians in numerous conflicts including the Battle of Thermopylae (not strictly a victory, I know,...
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6answers
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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
932 views

Were ancient (Greek) battles fought like duels between heroes? [closed]

In dramas on TV and film we are often shown a "hero" standing in front of the army, fighting alone against a "villain". Their soldier comrades don't help out much, as we would expect them to do in ...
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1answer
264 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
385 views

Ancient Greek or Roman Teenaged Suicide for Glory

I'm trying to track down an anecdote I remember hearing many years ago about a ancient Roman (or Greek) teenager who attempted to immortalize his name by a particularly flashy act of suicide. The ...
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1answer
179 views

Why did Archelaus move the capitol of Macedon to Pella?

Archelaus transferred the capitol of Macedon from Aegae to Pella in the early 4th century B.C. What could have been the reason for this?
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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 ...
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1answer
262 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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2answers
451 views

Are there registers of the scores and participation in ancient Olympic games?

There are sources listing who (i.e. which country) participated in each Modern Olympic Game and the scores achieved by them. Does such data exist for the Ancient Olympic Games? Are there information ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
265 views

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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2answers
540 views

Did Greeks believe in the tangible existence of their gods? [closed]

After having read one dialogue by Plato, a question occured to me: Did the Greeks really believe in the real existence of their gods? In Plato's dialogue there are many references to gods, but I ...
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1answer
303 views

Why did Gibbon call the Aegean Sea 'Holy'?

While listening to Gibbon's 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' I came across the following in Chapter 53: The spacious provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, were obedient to their ...