Questions tagged [ancient-history]

Ancient history was from the beginning of recorded history (c. 4000 B.C.) until the fall of the Roman Empire (c. A.D. 500).

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Is there any conclusive evidence for the historicity of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata?

We've heard of stories of many unbelievable happenings that occur in the epic Mahabharata. The birth of five pandavas is unnatural. The bows & arrows are weapons of prehistoric origin and unfit ...
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What was the first political system that pretended to be another? [closed]

Nowadays it is quite common that even unabashed dictatorships hold elections and generally observe the trappings of democracy, even when the leader always wins 90%+ and nobody is deceived internally ...
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What is the difference between the rank of comes and the job of comes?

I am here to referring to comes in its governmental context, not as a word meaning companion. I have seen the word comes used both as a rank and as a job. For example, Wikipedia mentions that "...
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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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Will we ever be able to understand history with 100% accuracy [closed]

First of all, I am not a historian or anything of the like, but this question was bothering me for quite some time. As far as I understand, the current methodology historians use to explain our ...
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Do historians use Rig Veda as a reliable source of historical event?

Rig veda is the oldest text in Hinduism, it is as old as 1500 BCE. It contains many historical reference so, do historians use the historical accounts mentioned in the Rig Vedas as reliable sources of ...
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When was the ancient Gastraphetes banned from ancient Greek warfare? [duplicate]

Any reliable source like Wikipedia or any other source. Please, I am so desperate to get this done. em vkner vojn rtonv oern bonr tob erout bour tbjo ertoub eorjtn bjnrt b ertiob oiert bio
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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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963 views

Who does Irenaeus call “a certain person among the ancients”?

In his Against Heresies (c. 180 AD), Ireneaus of Lyon writes [God] pronounced no curse against Adam personally, but against the ground, in reference to his works, as a certain person among the ...
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What are the best primary textual sources I could point to regarding the existence of Julius Caesar? [closed]

I recently got in a discussion with a man claiming that there is more reliable historical proof of the existence of Jesus Christ than of Julius Caesar. On face value, this claim seems ridiculous — ...
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Did the Indus Valley Civilization use cotton as a writing material?

Cross-posted from Skeptics SE In his book, Science and Secrets of Early Medicine, Jürgen Thorwald writes about the script of the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilizations: (in rough translation) Seals, ...
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How would the Israelites have girded their loins?

I stumbled upon the Art of Manliness guide to girding their loins earlier. However, their source is a Historyzine article which doesn't have any references. Also, on Youtube, you can also find an ...
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What happened to the Parthians?

I've always been very much interested in the origin of these people and the way they served Iran. However, the origin and fate of these people has always been a mystery for me and despite reading ...
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What made the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb such a significant archeological find? [closed]

The discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt is often regarded as one of the most notable archeological finds of recent history, and is certainly one of the most famous ones. Before its discovery ...
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What is the earliest recorded female name in history?

There is already a question that gives various possibilities for the first name that we have record of in Who is the earliest recorded person?, but most seem to be male figures. What is the first ...
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Can history shed any light on the “secret arts” of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents as claimed by Exodus 7:11-12?

The biblical story of Exodus 7:11-12 talks about the alleged existence of some "secret arts" that the magicians of Egypt made use of to accomplish the feat of turning staffs into serpents: ...
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Were ancient people interested in archaeology?

Before the establishment of the field of archaeology, which is said here to have originated in 15th and 16th century Europe, surely ancient peoples were also curious about those who came before them ...
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What were paper airplanes called before there were real airplanes? (i.e. untethered winged flyers, not kites or balloons)

According to the Google Ngram Viewer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Ngram_Viewer) the English word "airplane" was practically unused before the year 1900. Given that paper is ...
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What media did Irenaeus used to write his letters?

Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260/265 – 339/340) in his work Church History (Book V, Chapter 20 "The Writings of Irenaeus against the Schismatics at Rome") said: Irenaeus wrote several letters ...
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Did the Celts come to England from France and Belgium?

I apologize for this ridiculous question. I have little knowledge of European history. The following is a passage from Charles Dickens' A Child's History of England: "But the Phoenicians, sailing ...
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What is the earliest mention of space travel?

What was the earliest mention in recorded history of travel through space? Admittedly, I am not really a history buff, but I am writing a scientific paper related to space travel, so I wanted to give ...
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Is there evidence that Egyptian culture was originally matriachical? [duplicate]

I am currently reading The Origins and History of Consciousness by Erich Neumann. The book is essentially an application of recapitulation theory to the development of human consciousness, asserting ...
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Can a tablet dated to the reign of king Aha be deciphered?

The following is an outline of the tablet showing the string by which it was attached to goods for shipment or storage. Then comes the main source of information: The first two glyphs are easy to ...
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Does anyone know what day(s) the Dacian calendar year started on? [closed]

The Dacian calendar is supposedly one of the most accurate calendars of ancient times. I've found generalities about the overall composition of the calendar, like it has three seasons, instead of 4. ...
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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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Was there a period in history predating the 15th century where being bald was not looked upon negatively?

I know that ancient Egyptians shaved their heads, but they usually wore wigs. Was there any culture where head shaving was seen in a positive light and hair loss was looked upon in a positive light? I ...
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What was the Chola kings ancestry?

Chola King Rajendra Chola's copper plates indicate that the Cholas were descendants of the Solar Dynasty Kings of India. Are there any other evidences available and is there a dynasty tree available?
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Why are pre-Harappan strata grouped together with Early Harappan strata? Does this not obfuscate the development of the civilization?

(1) I don't understand why some sites are called early Harappan because these sites are pre-Harappan so why we use wrong name with that. Can any one explain? From 'India's Ancient Past' by RS Sharma, ...
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Why did marriage and multiple children make Hurrem Sultan special?

As far as I have learnt there was a princess named Ayesa (Hatun), daughter of Meñli I Giray of Crimean, who was first married off to Shehzade Mehmed, brother of Sultan Selim 1. After the death of the ...
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What is the oldest quote or poem in known history?

What is the oldest quote, poem, words of wisdom ever written in known history? I'm guessing it's Kemetian or Babylonian. I've read some on the internet that I know from memory but cannot verify them, ...
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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 “Via Regia” the original name of the “Via Nova Traiana”?

This is a quote from Wikipedia: The Via Traiana Nova or Via Nova Traiana (Latin for 'Trajan's New Road'), previously known as the Via Regia or King's Highway, was an ancient Roman road built by ...
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Who were Alexander's historians that wrote about Indian social conditions?

I'm reading Ancient India, and in Chapter 12, it is written that Alexander's historians also give us important information about social and economic conditions. They tell us about sati system, fine ...
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What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? [closed]

What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? Even if they are ancient roads, why there are no traces from the horses or other animals that should be in the middle? Turkey: ...
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How were elders addressed in Ancient Egypt?

I’m writing a book and want to know how a child would respectfully address an older male and female person—like Sir or Lord or Madam—in Ancient Egypt?
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Is there evidence this weapon existed? [closed]

Recently, I came across different medias depicting the same weapon: what looks like a lance blade with a staff of an approximately equivalent length. The most known example would be the spear of ...
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What did the Gauls look like during the 1st century BC? [closed]

Right around the time of the Roman conquest of Gaul, contemporaneous accounts describe the Gauls as having looked like beasts or savages, with thick knotted cloaks and unkempt long hair and beards. ...
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What kind of missile flew with such speed in 1st century BCE?

Lucretius in De rerum natura, book 6 verses 310 tries to explain the nature of lightning. Apparently he says that a body moving quickly through the air acquires some heat. The Latin verse is: non ...
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Are there visualisations of the Kerma state along with other Nile Valley civilizations?

Wikipedia describes the Kerma state as existing contemporaneously with Middle Kingdom Egypt, from approx 2500 BC to 1500 BC. Yet, the article on the Kerma doesn't illustrate the Kermanese (?) sphere ...
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Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
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As Rome began to decline is there any contemporary accounts from time as to the cause? [duplicate]

I guess fall of Rome seems amazing to me in that they had things we recognise in modern states Militia, ability to buy property with paper rather than gold and manufacturing. As decline began as there ...
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Did the deity “Horus” pre-date “Horus-Aha”?

Hor-Aha (or Aha or Horus Aha) is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the ...
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What's known about Tullia's son?

Tullia was the daughter of the great Roman politician Cicero. She had a few marriages and according to English Wikipedia she had two sons, the first one of which died the same year it was born. Tullia ...
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Where can I find illustrations online depicting Idrisi's coffer in the Queen's chamber in the “Khufu” pyramid

I believe I have found sufficient evidence that points to a block of stone, not necessarily a coffer as stated by Idrisi, being inside the niche in the Queen's Chamber blocking the entrance to the ...
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Are there historical texts in England querying where Roman structures came from?

I watched a film recently called King Arthur, showing London post Rome (guessing set in Middle Ages with modern-ish buildings but still with some Roman buildings / walls showing. It got me thinking: ...
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When did Cicero Minor die?

Cicero Minor (full name: Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor) was the only son of the great Roman politician Cicero. They both served as consuls, Cicero in 63 BC and Cicero Minor in 30 BC. The years that ...
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Is Josephus' account for the length of the Jewish War generally accepted as correct?

In Josephus' famous work on the subject, the First Jewish-Roman War is depicted as lasting a full number of years,1 inasmuch as it is presented as starting in the month of Artemisius (II Wars 14:4), ...
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What were the political and military constraints on Vercingetorix at Alesia?

I don't fully understand why Vercingetorix accepted a siege at Alesia (a fortified area), where he would be short of food instead of pursuing one or more of the alternatives below. The reason I'm ...
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Did pagan tribes in the Arab peninsula use bells for superstitious or religious reasons before and with the introduction of Islam?

This is what I have found so far: "In conclusion, we may note that a leather neck band, also called kilada, on the camel to avert the evil eye, especially if a bell hang from it, is suggested in ...
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What was the meaning of Samnite swastika?

I was recently reading about the Samnite Wars and since I wanted to have better image of how soldiers on both sides during the period looked I googled images of Roman and Samnite warriors and one of ...

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