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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107 views

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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1answer
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Who first wrote about deafness?

Aristotle referred to the sense of hearing in his work "The Problems". He correlated hearing with the capacity of learning, he believed that the sense of hearing was the most important in order to ...
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Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

Did anyone in ancient times (let's say, up to 500 AD) want to abolish slavery, or even acknowledge the possibility that society could somehow work without it? I remember hearing once that Aristotle ...
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Have Penal Colonies become independent? [closed]

Have there ever been any Penal Colonies that became independent nations/empires/what have you?
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Is there a link between the Crimean Tauri tribe and “Taurus” [closed]

The old name for Crimea is Tuarica and the tribe that for some time lived there is Tauri. The info I have is that they are Schyto Sarmatian tribe and etc., but the point of my question is; Does anyone ...
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Does anyone remember this lecture or at least the person? [closed]

I hope this is the right place to ask this: A few years ago I have watched a very interesting lecture on youtube. I tried finding it again, and I am not able to. What I remember: The topic was... ...
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Did any significant changes occur in Zoroastrianism/Mazdayasna around the 1st century AD? [closed]

Has any significant changes occurred in history of Zoroastrianism/Mazdayasna circa 1st century AD in relation to its doctrines, practices and/or schools (movements) within it? What radical event(s) ...
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1answer
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Are there any hypotheses on how the Dorset people disappeared?

I read an article about how anthropologists have discovered artifacts from an ancient Arctic culture known as the Dorset that disappeared centuries ago and were the precursors to the Inuit in the ...
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How could a chariot work against a phalanx?

During Battle of Gaugamela Darius now launched his chariots at those troops under Alexander's personal command... Those chariots who made it through the barrage of javelins charged the ...
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How many times did the the sacred fire of Vesta die?

The sacred fire of Vesta was a sacred eternal flame in Ancient Rome, tended to by the Vestal Virgins. Except once a year for the kalendae (first day of March), extinguishing the sacred fire resulted ...
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Are there any examples of recurring payments in ancient times?

I'm interested in the history of recurring payments. The farthest I could get to is the feudal system, where peasants paid rent to knights once every so often. Obviously the banking system in the late ...
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Were women allowed to study at the Library of Alexandria?

The closest thing I've been able to find on the topic was in relation to Hypatia, the mathematician, who was born centuries after the library was burned. Is there a list of known people who studied at ...
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Are the historical sources from the ancient history trustable?

Are the historical books of Herodot or Polybius or any other historian from ancient history usually correct? Did they add some 'drama' in their books or did they desire to gain favor of those of high ...
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Is there any data that supports or refutes the claim made in this paper about the Harappan/Indus Valley civilization?

I came across an old article recently, about the collapse of the Harappan civilization. Here's the paper it is based on- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387054/ I found this to be the ...
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What are the historical equivalents of cooperative storytelling like modern role-playing games?

I understand the direct history of RPGs mostly coming from Dungeons and Dragons, which had grown out of the combat game Chainmail, but I am wondering if there were any close equivalents in older ...
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What Roman legions in Hispania revolted against Caesar before the battle at Munda?

I was debating an interesting topic recently about Pompey's legions in Hispania and why they hadn't fought alongside him against Caesar at Pharsalus. Now Caesar forcefully convinced most of them to ...
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How much food value is a horse to a cavalryman?

Suppose you have a group of say, 1,000 cavalry, that were besieged on a fortress awaiting relief. As such, they are dismounted and fight like infantry. Suppose they are short on food, but they can ...
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239 views

Which emperor tried to command the tides?

I remember somewhere a story about an emperor who was so convinced of his awesome powers that he attempted to command the tides to recede. All I can find on the web is the story of King Canute ...
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Did ancient or medieval people know about underground rivers/lakes?

If they did, did they utilize them for farming? If so, how would they?
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What is the meaning of the quadruple symbols combination on a possibly Roman monumental piece?

During my visit to a village central western part of the Asia Minor I saw monumental pieces. Which were emplaced on some part of the buildings by villagers. I see a sword, sickle (hook), pickaxe, and ...
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Why were the Huns so successful at siege warfare but the Goths were not?

I am listening to Mike Duncan's podcast titled "The History of Rome" and in it he mentioned that it is kind of a mystery that the Huns were so successful at siege warfare but the Goths were not. Both ...
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Is there any research on the (possible) ancient origins of populations in different regions in Cyprus and their movements on the island?

I was looking at a map of the kingdoms of ancient Cyprus where each kingdom was presented to have had either Greek majority , Phoenician majority or was mixed Greek/Eteocypriot so I was wondering if I ...
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What is the earliest-known list of the Roman Principate?

I’m wondering what the earliest-known surviving list of the Principate (27BC-284AD) is. I’m also interested in what the earliest-known record that uses the term Principate to refer to that group of ...
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Why did many Hellenic or Hellenized names in antiquity end in -bazos or -dates?

Ancient names ending with bazos (or bazus), eg megabazos(great-x), Artabazos (again great-x), Pharnabazos. And Dates (Mithradates, Tiridates). I know Mithra was a deity, what does the second half of ...
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When did Herod the Great die?

I have read the article Did Herod the "Great" Really Die In 4 B.C.? which argues that Herod the Great might have died in 4 BC instead of 1 BC. What is the evidence of this claim? Is this new date ...
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Why do people say, “Alexander the Great conquered the world?”

In many books, articles, or even in folktales, whenever Alexander III of Macedon (referred to as Alexander the Great) is mentioned, it is said that he conquered the world. Even some historian say that ...
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What was the role of the mountain ranges surrounding India in developing India's civilization?

I am reading 'The Wonder That Was India' by A.L.Basham. In chapter 1, Introduction the author says, India's isolation has never been complete, and the effect of the mountain wall in developing her ...
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Did they use nicknames in ancient Rome?

Praenomens in ancient Rome seemed to have been rather limited, especially by the time of the empire. There must've been cases where close friends or cousins and the like would've had the same ...
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Why were the cities of the Eastern European Plain founded much later than those elsewhere in Europe?

As site on which to found a city, Moscow seems to have a lot going for it. It's surrounded by fertile farmland - Russia produces more grain than the United States - it's located on a watercourse which ...
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559 views

Is there any evidence in history to suggest that there was a Melanchro (dark-skinned) population in Colchis as claimed by Herodotus?

On Quora, I encountered a variety of unsourced claims on this subject which I will list below There are accounts of Black Colchians: In 522-443, a Greek poet named Pindar described the ...
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Was Pericles the only famous loss from the plague in Athens?

Reading about the Plague of Athens in The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, I was struck by this question. The plague killed an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people in a city full of famous people, but ...
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Do (modern) audio recordings exist for the sound of Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Coptic, or other ancient languages?

Here are audio recordings of the Akkadian or other Babylonian languages. They are of modern people reenacting it, but it sounds great. Good intro to the real ancient world. Do any audio recordings ...
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How did archers judge distance before range finders?

Before electronics, was there a method for judging distance in archery? What methods were used historically? How were combat archers trained to judge distances?
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Does modern scholarship accept an Ethiopian or Nubian origin for Egyptian hieroglyphs?

Diodorus Siculus made the claim that the Hieroglyphs were actually an Ethiopian script, which was held sacred by the Egyptians and was learned and transmitted only within the priestly families of ...
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How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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How often did city-destroying floods happen in Mesopotamia?

I keep seeing Mesopotamia described as a floodplain, and I'm finding inklings of evidence that some cities in ancient Mesopotamia were actually destroyed by floods. But how common of an occurrence ...
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643 views

Is there any record of ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
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Is there a reconstruction for whom and when were the peoples of the ancient Levant just before Israel, Judea and Edom?

Primarily from viewing lectures and interviews about the ancient history of the Levant, I understand that before Israel, Judea and perhaps also Edom states were created, their area included groups ...
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Did the Romans know about China?

Could there be a possibility that some Romans knew that there was a country north east of India? Because as far as I know the Romans traded with Indians.
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How many Spartan boys survived army training?

Spartan combat training was very rough and dangerous. What percentage of boys survived their training?
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How did the ancient Chinese coordinate armies of tens and hundreds of thousands?

According to what I've read, during the Warring States period and also later during the Three Kingdoms period there were armies of the magnitude of (a few) hundred thousands. How could they ...
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881 views

Are there any sound historical proofs that soma contained cannabis?

Michael Wood says in his documentary The Story of India first episode: Soma is still used as a medicine in Central Asia. The active element in the plant is ephedrine, and the effect that it has, ...
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Have historians attempted to reconstruct the polytheistic Semitic pantheon, dividing it into sub pantheons?

Historians reconstruct pantheons to better understand their role in society (see below for examples of reconstruction as a historical method). Has there been any attempt to apply this historical ...
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What is the difference between galli and metragyrtai?

I have occasionally heard of the galli, castrated priests of Kybele in Rome. Now, I noticed that Greek Lexika also refer to another type of said Godess’s priest, namely a metragyrtes (ΜΗΤΡΑΓΥΡΤΗΣ). ...
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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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Were Roman males ever named after their mothers?

We know that Roman men often named sons after them, and daughters were usually given the feminine form of their father's name. But are there any records or evidence that a Roman man was ever given the ...
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What evidence is there of the vision aids people used before the invention of eyeglasses in about 1286?

The Wikipedia article on glasses says ‘scattered evidence exists for use of vision aid devices in Greek and Roman times’ but only cites the example of Nero’s emerald. This article on Magnifying ...
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663 views

Is there a database of ancient/current names of cities?

I am working on map of Ancient Etruscan civilization and I can't identify the exact location of Spica city. Based on minimap from Wikipedia page about Etruscan civilization, the city should lie about ...
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Could women make contracts in ancient Rome? [closed]

I'm writing a story and the main character is a wealthy widow who runs the estate for her rather lazy son. Could women in ancient Rome (specifically the 3rd Century Empire) legally make contracts, or ...
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Are the Sabean people of Cushitic or Ethiopian origin?

The Sabeans are widely acknowledged to be of Semitic or south Arabian origin. Historical sources like Josephus Flavius and sections of the Bible seem to create conflicts about their origin. There is ...

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