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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120 views

Did ancient armies suffer illness from bad food/water? [closed]

Ancient armies conquests, such as Alexander the Great's, spanned multiple continents. As anyone who has had a bout of Montezuma's Revenge, traveling thru distant lands may introduce pathogens that one'...
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Was the Achaemenid Empire richer than the Sasanian Empire?

A while ago I read a passage regarding the economy of different Persian empires. The passage was implying that the Achaemenid Persian empire (a.k.a first Iranian empire) was in total ``far richer"...
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What are the earliest surviving examples of rhetorical speeches?

In the form of instructional wisdom literature, the ancient Mesopotamian writings are the the earliest known. Are any of them, or any other examples from pre-Grecian civilisation, known to have been ...
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From where did Aryans originate?

When one reads the Ancient Indian History and Ancient History as a whole, the much-discussed theory of Indo-European migration to India often comes up. Ancient Indian History in introductory books is ...
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What made Seleucid monarchy so unstable?

I would not claim that the Seleucid monarchy was more unstable than other Hellenistic monarchies (though contemporary Antigonid Macedonia appears to be more politically robust) but throughout the 3rd ...
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How did ancient people handle lightning in practical life?

..and any culture before the ubiquitous recognition of lightning in our current everyday understanding. In particular those who were especially exposed in everyday life: For instance Scandinavia had ...
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Where did the idea of weeks originate and why do they have seven days?

Years, months and days are based on obvious astronomic cycles, which makes them largely standardized and ubiquitous across all societies. Weeks, on the other hand, have no relationship to astronomical ...
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How safe were ancient boats on the sea? [closed]

On Wiki, it is said that even in the Bronze Age, sea people looted with boat. But is it safe to cross the sea by boat in the Bronze Age? If not, since when has it been stable to cross the sea by boat? ...
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Any evidence of woman named Claudia being a Welsh princess?

There is a passage in the Bible (II Timothy 4:21) about a woman named Claudia, whom presumably was married to a man mentioned in the same passage named Pudens. I've read various blogs that suggest ...
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Are the sources in Flora Unveiled correct?

According to the book, Flora Unveiled: The Discovery and Denial of Sex in Plants by Lee Taiz and Lincoln Taiz published by Oxford, Chapter 8: Plant sex from Empedocles to Theophrastus (pg 213), the ...
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How did gladiators/assyrians kill large predators in single combat?

Bears & lions & other megafauna are super powerful and dangerous animals, even many smaller caliber guns can't pierce their skin. They're also too fast and too strong to easily subdue with ...
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131 views

When State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) start to be practiced widely in ancient times?

I was wondering if our current archaeology reveals whether ancient governments did business (trading for profit, raising cattle for profit, farm for profit, investing in their people's or other ...
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Greek/Roman play in which a woman encourages a pregnant slave to marry a slave owner and pass off the baby as his?

I can’t for the life of me remember which play this is, or indeed whether it’s Greek or Roman? There’s presumably a lot more to the plot than this, but all I remember is that a young woman is sold ...
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From 1200 B.C. until 100 A.D. did people in the Middle East sit on mats or mainly on chairs? [closed]

Did people sit on mats in the Middle East from 1200 B.C. until 100 A.D. (like some Arabic cultures nowadays) or did they sit mainly on chairs? But maybe the term 'Middle East' is too broad and can ...
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86 views

What historic documents do we have supporting women wearing veils as historically continuous since Assyrian law?

The documentation of Assyrian law is given in the answer to this question. What is the earliest history of Middle Eastern women wearing veils for modesty while in public? What historic documents do we ...
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Is there evidence that the culture of graffiti and tags and their motifs is not accepted in some ancient culture?

I have found some cases in google but I am interested in knowing what was the intention of it in the past times, since there were no mass media or materials to represent these expressions, currently ...
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183 views

Why wasn't Persepolis on Darius' royal road?

I am curious about the routing of the Royal Road. It bypasses Ecbatana by some distance, which seems odd, and ends in Susa, even odder. It would seem that at least some of the empire's business was ...
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Why do Qing Dynasty coins frequently have cinnabar rubbed into them?

I collect Chinese coins. I would really like to know, why do Qing Dynasty coins frequently have cinnabar rubbed into them? I know the mystical properties of cinnabar or “dragon blood”, but if it was ...
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Do we know why the Scythians and Sarmatians were overpowered by the Goths, Huns, and Slavs so quickly?

I'm doing a project on the Scythians and Sarmatians and so I've been reading up on ancient wars involving them and I've noticed the following: So, from around 500 BCE to 1 CE the Scytho-Sarmatians ...
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What is the earliest history of Middle Eastern women wearing veils for modesty while in public?

The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, Christian Old Testament) recorded women wearing veils as early as Rebekah in Genesis (Breshith). See Judaism stack exchange However, there is debate over whether women wore ...
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How did Majapahit 14th century timepieces tell the time?

The Majapahit Kingdom existed from 1293-1527. In that period, international trade was already being done. I'm looking at the cultural history and customs from Majapahit Kingdom, and I was wondering if ...
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263 views

What key technologies allowed construction of the Gutenberg printing press?

First, what are the key technologies required in the construction of the Gutenberg printing press? According to Wikipedia, the key technology necessary is the screw press Given the answer to the above,...
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172 views

How did the Ptolemaics inherit the tradition of royal incest?

Cleopatra (VII), the last queen of Egypt, was forced to marry her younger brother to keep the royal blood in the family. This, of course was a form of royal incest. From what I understand, the ...
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How were warriors wielding axes deployed in combat?

IIRC ancient & medieval soldiers have been wielding axes in battles since Sumerian times. My question is essentially, how were these warriors deployed in an Army? Most soldiers were in tight ...
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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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273 views

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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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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969 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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232 views

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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258 views

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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859 views

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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