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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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Are there any instances of ancient kings or chiefs dueling or engaging in other physical contests to assert their authority?

In popular fiction chiefs/kings or heirs to the throne often duel or engage in physical contests for kingship e.g the archery contest in the Odyssey. Did any such duels or physical contests occur?
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Is there ancient Egyptian literature surviving today? [closed]

In short: is there anything like the Gilgamesh epic surviving from Ancient Egypt? Similarly old and similarly secular? The Wikipedia article talks at length about who would write and what they were ...
Mikhail T.'s user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the likelihood that significant unearthed prehistoric settlements exist beneath cities with continuous habitation? [closed]

Considering the comparatively rapid accumulation of soil layers over time, which has led to the burial of structures such as the Easter Island statues and Harappan sites, what is the likelihood(based ...
A. Random's user avatar
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What do the inscriptions in Pomposa abbey say?

I've recently visited Pomposa Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in northern Italy near Ferrara, and while visiting I've stumbled upon these inscriptions below a fresco depicting an Hydra. I have ...
gond 's user avatar
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9 votes
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Alexandria by Islam Issa--Did Artistotle know Latin or Hebrew?

I started reading the book Alexandria by Islam Issa, which is a history of the City of Alexandria, Egypt. However, early on, there was one detail that seemed really off, and I wanted to get feedback ...
Paul's user avatar
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Is this stone natural or is it an ancient tool? (pictures from both sides)

So those are the two pictures I took. It kinda looks like a tiny axe but it could be natural. Can someone help me identify if this is an ancient artifact or just a natural rock with a special shape?
user65389's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
122 views

What caused the fall of the Zhou dynasty? [closed]

The Zhou dynasty was the longest dynasty, yet in the end they created the Warring States Period why? I have read Wikipedia:Zhou, but I don't understand it well.
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1 answer
145 views

What was the original title of Jewish kings? [closed]

Thinking about King Solomon, and other Jewish leaders who bear the title "king" in English sources (for example King David). Seems a bit strange, because the word king is of Germanic origin. ...
eugenekr's user avatar
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In Ancient Greece or Rome, could a slave (not an ex-slave) themselves own slaves, apart from the fictional Eumaeus (Odyssey Book 14 lines 450-453)? [duplicate]

In Homer's Odyssey the swineherd Eumaeus is a trusted slave of Odysseus' family, having been bought by Odysseus' father Laertes. Yet we are told in Book 14, lines 450 - 453, that Eumaeus himself owns ...
Timothy's user avatar
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What major figures don't have contemporary historiographers? [closed]

Are there many, or even any, major figures whose life and achievements have only been described by historians posthumously, or at least the only surviving primary sources about which are dated later ...
vicky_molokh's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the first election where we have the specific numbers of votes and the names of candidates?

What is the earliest political vote where we have the exact details of the specific numbers of votes and the names of the candidates? The "candidates" could be persons, teams, policies, ...
dodo's user avatar
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In ancient Sumer, what would happen if a child inherited an estate?

Let us suppose that in ancient Sumer, a wealthy man who is the head of his household has two living children, a daughter and a son. The daughter is older, but both offspring are considered to be ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
212 views

Did census in Ancient History gathered any other information than number of people?

According to different articles, Babylonians and ancient Greeks, Chineses, Romans and Egyptians made census (and perhaps several other civilizations I'm not aware of) Did census in Ancient History ...
Pablo's user avatar
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How did the builders of Derinkuyu light it?

I understand that the air shafts and deep streams incorporated into the underground city of Derinkuyu covered the essentials, and they doubtless harvested and stored food from surface farms, but there ...
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What are "stripes" in relation to ancient Roman slaves?

I'm reading the Cambridge medieval history collection, specifically the chapter on Roman law (Justinian and earlier, vol2, ch3), and there is this sentence pertaining to serfs: And for some offences, ...
Matt's user avatar
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Is there an example from Classical antiquity of mixing up cities based on their names?

Is there an example from Classical antiquity of mixing up cities based on their names? Say, an army landed at the wrong town, or a traveler gave wrong directions, based on the names. That last part is ...
cmw's user avatar
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Which text asserts that "An assembly with no minority/opposition should be dissolved"?

This 19th century Jewish work, section 20 of Benjamin Aryeh Hakohen Weiss's "Even Yekarah”, refers to an ancient gentile text (this usually means Ancient Greece, but not necessarily) which ...
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What is the first documented mention of female period loss (amenorrhea)?

(Hypothalamic) Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation during the reproductive years of a woman's life. According to physiologists, it's an evolutionary biological mechanism that gets ...
Mila A's user avatar
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3 answers
529 views

Are there any confirmed accounts of ancient Greek or Roman mathematicians owning slaves?

I've stumbled upon this (admittedly, pretty old) question on Math.SE. It was proposed there that that question might have been more appropriate for this forum, but I don't believe anybody followed up ...
zipirovich's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
168 views

How is robustness measured in history and archaeology? [closed]

In physics and medicine there is quite a consensus of various levels of evidence. For example, physics has a scale of fifteen levels of scientific evidence (DOI:Opera Magistris pg 50) and medicine has ...
Vincent ISOZ's user avatar
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3 answers
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Did early imperial China have a "uniform, multilevel administrative bureaucracy" that the Romans did not?

I'm reading Fukuyama's "The Origins of Political Order", and on pages 92-93 he makes the following claim (emphasis my own): But most important, the state that emerged in China was far more ...
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1 answer
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Why were male oracles replaced by female oracles?

Joeseph Fontenrose, a renown classicist, writes on Didyma: It is now certain that after 334 BC, a prophetess spoke the responses of Apollo Didymeus, as at Delphi a woman received Apollo's inspiration ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Was Pythagoras against traditional/contemporary Greek education?

There were, however, among the wise men some who despised the knowledge of the orators, lexicographers and schoolmasters, and cavilled at those who devoted themselves to these professions. To these ...
adadlookingthing's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
526 views

How can I check/get a BCE calendar for a particular year?

Does anybody know a formula, trick, or gods forbid, a friggin' (free) website or program for generating a Gregorian calendar for a BCE year? Like, say I wanted to know what day of the week Caesar was ...
Guest's user avatar
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0 answers
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How Cao Cao belongs to a family of eunuchs, if eunuchs don't have penis?

I am watching Three kingdoms 2010 and in the first episode of that series, it was shown that Cao Cao stating himself belonging to a family of eunuchs but, I have read that Eunuchs don't have penis. So,...
My Essential Learning's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
286 views

What happened to the rowers during boarding actions in ancient Greece?

My research thus far has led me to the following conclusions: The main methods of dispatching enemy ships during naval combat in ancient Greece was by ramming and by boarding, with ramming being the ...
Achi's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
437 views

Did people from the cities of Uruk, Ur and Sumer have knowledge/recollection of how old their cities were (say, recollection after 2000 BCE)?

I am asking this question as I remember reading somewhere that there was knowledge among the people living in one of those cities or the cities in vicinity which accurately traces back 6500 years ago. ...
setszu's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
171 views

Does the Rig Veda specifically mention any Central Asian places beyond modern Afghanistan?

On doing research on the Rig Veda, I found that the Bactria and the associated rivers were mentioned. But does the Rig Veda contain specific details of any Central Asian places beyond modern ...
Amit Sonik's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
378 views

Did the Romans eat fish on Fridays in honor of Venus?

I heard that the ancient Romans ate fish on Fridays in honor of the goddess Venus and that the early Christians co-opted this practice in order for the converted pagans to keep it. And that’s why many ...
Matthew Myss's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
151 views

What happened to the census records kept in the Atrium Libertatis?

According to Wikipedia's article on Atrium Libertatis, the building was demolished and succeeded by another building complex. It doesn't mention explicitly whether or not the census records were moved ...
noname's user avatar
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Why is a piece missing in an English translation of Herodotus Histories?

Original text from Herodotus "Histories" (Book One, chapter 203): ἡ δὲ Κασπίη θάλασσα ἐστὶ ἐπ᾽ ἑωυτῆς, οὐ συμμίσγουσα τῇ ἑτέρῃ θαλάσσῃ. τὴν μὲν γὰρ Ἕλληνὲς ναυτίλλονται πᾶσα καὶ ἡ ἔξω ...
Krishal's user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is there a record of a rabid human attacking another human?

I was just reading the Wikipedia page on rabies, and the following claim is made: Although it is theoretically possible for rabies-infected humans to transmit it to others by biting or otherwise, no ...
Curious Layman's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
587 views

Were the Assyrians and the Akkadians different people or the same people under a different name?

Were the Assyrians and the Akkadians different peoples, or were they one and the same? I've noticed that the Assyrians didn't seem to have their own gods as far as I have read and are just worshiping ...
Orionixe's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
6k views

Did courtiers of antiquity hold in their pee or did they have common commodes available in the king/queen's court?

Self-explanatory. Did any royal court in history from ancient to medieval times (of any culture) have a public restroom that people who attended court can use, or were they sort of left to their own ...
mehaboob's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
185 views

What is the oldest continuously circulating story that survived until 1890’s? [closed]

What is the oldest continuously circulating story (specifically prior 13th century BCE) that survived until 1890’s? (eg myths/histories etc) I am specifically looking for a myth/story/history that ...
Tzvi K's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
103 views

When was The Tale of Sinuhe first REdiscovered?

I have found a website that gives the details of all of the sources of The Tale of Sinuhe, but I can't figure out what the actual date of discovery was for each of those sources (in order to find the ...
Tzvi K's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
489 views

Roman Empire Netflix Map

Netflix's recent series, called "Roman Empire", has this miniature for the Portuguese language: We can recognise this as a map of the Roman Empire, especially during the early Principate ...
Elederete's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
429 views

What is "Distributed Survival Theory"?

I'm just going through "History of the Steppes" on Wondrium/Great Courses. The lecturer mentions "Distributed Survival Theory" for explaining language acquisition with nomadic ...
Bratchley's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
338 views

Is there truth to the Dynastic Race Theory regarding Ancient Egyptians?

According to Dynastic Race Theory, [T]he earliest roots of the ancient Egyptian dynastic civilisation were imported by invaders from Mesopotamia who then founded the First Dynasty and brought culture ...
november's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
784 views

What is the true origin of Capri's "Scala Fenicia" ("Phoenician Steps")?

On the small Italian island of Capri (located about 25 miles south of Naples), there is a 2700-plus year old stone stairway which was literally carved into a small mountain. These "921 steps&...
Alex's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
96 views

Was the Tetrarchy known under a different name by contemporaries?

It made me curious that the Tetrarchy should be known by a Greek name, so I've spent some time searching for a Latin alternative, but I didn't find any mention of it, including in the Latin-language ...
fryeland's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

What is the historical origin of the story of the Temptation of Christ? [closed]

In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, there is a story in which Jesus meets the Christian Devil (Satan), and Satan tempts Jesus to give up his mission through promises of power. I want more ...
Rachel's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
320 views

What was the Gothic language name for Ravenna?

I'm trying to surmise what was/might have been the Gothic name for Ravenna, which served as the Ostrogothic capital for some time. Gothic does have the sounds to emulate the Latin pronunciation (...
user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
473 views

What is the origin of this medallion?

I want to get information on what looks like a medallion that my father found at a construction site (at his home) in 1968 in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. It was found about 10 feet underground. It ...
Dance Party's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
243 views

How do we reconcile hierarchical and violent aspects of Ancient Egypt with its nonviolent principle of Maat, as exemplified in negative confessions?

Maat represents and refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Ma'at was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the ...
november's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
236 views

What is the source for exact years of the Hittite/Egyptian state of war?

The following is an excerpt of a critique on "Reason to Believe": Critic: Under these conditions, were the Ten Plagues and a total crush of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea waters to happen,...
Tzvi K's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
767 views

When did the Babylonian king Amel-Marduk reign?

According to Wikipedia, the reign of the Babylonian king Amel-Marduk (also known as Awil-Marduk and Evil-Merodach) was started in October 562 B.C.E. and was ended in August 560 B.C.E. So, it lasted ...
stkuser's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
105 views

What would a simple Carthaginian bronze coin have bought?

I possess a Carthegian Zeugitania bronze coin which was reportedly minted around 220 BC between the First and Second Punic War. It is 16mm wide and features Tanit on the reverse. My query is what ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
484 views

How was the Baalbek Trilithon dated?

In alternative history circles there's a frequent claim that the massive trilithon at the temple to Jupiter in Baalbek is evidence of a lost civilization or alien interference. A less fantastic claim ...
Mike's user avatar
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0 answers
119 views

Please help me to identify these items?

My toddler, who likes to collect stones, came across these items during a walk around the outskirts of Norwich, England. The item that looks like the head of a spear is definitely man-made. I'm not ...
Pin 8's user avatar
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