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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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Who invented the first flag?

An answer on this site claims that the first flags were heraldic flags used in battles. But when was this, and for which nations?
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1answer
98 views

What are some of ancient maps created from a single perspective?

Years ago I read that other civilizations had maps like that of the Herodotus, naming lands or peoples according to cardinal directions but without referring to them as continent or ethnicity. But ...
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2answers
139 views

On the Ezana Stone, who are the black and red people that the Ethiopian king was referring to?

On the Ezana stone, the Axumite (modern day Ethiopia) king wrote in Ge'ez, Sabaean and Greek to describe his victory over the Kasu (Kushites) and Nuba (Nubians). He mentions the black and red peoples,...
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What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria?

Of course we'll never know for sure, but do historians have some reasonable ideas about what knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Serapeum of Alexandria, when it was destroyed by the Decree ...
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1answer
401 views

What was the image of Jhwh before it was almost erased from history?

Clay tablets found in Mesopotamia tell us that Adam was an earth god. In Genesis Adam was demoted to human status probably to make a monotheistic text possible. Did Jhwh have an image (idol) before ...
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Is there any evidence that the book of Isaiah was written before Cyrus?

The OT Prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th-century BC. Cyrus, the Emperor of Persia, lived well over one hundred years later: Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. Yet The Book of Isaiah in ...
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2answers
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What was the function of the walls of Jericho?

The walls of old Jericho have been dated to around 8000bc. This is thousands of years before the nascent civilisations of Babylon and Egypt built similar fortifications and thousands of years before ...
3
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2answers
352 views

What's the most ancient known example of a woman challenging feminine gender roles?

One example of that would be the goddess Inanna from Sumerian pantheon. She rejected to live as her culture felt a woman should live, namely, bear and raise children, do the housework, etc. In most ...
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1answer
135 views

Hyrcanian Burial Practices

In Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (book I, section XLV), he remarks: It is customary with the Magi, to bury none of their order, unless they have been first torn by dogs. In Hyrcania, the people ...
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3answers
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How was body temperature checked before thermometers?

Medicine always advances, and it's obvious that many decades or centuries ago, some medical procedures were done differently. I'd like to find out about how body temperature was checked in the past ...
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1answer
565 views

Is a wheel older than a wall?

I caught a snippet from the president’s remarks. He was talking about the wheel and how it is older than the wall. Is there historical fact to back such a statement? Or the other way around?
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1answer
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What was the condition of women in “primitive societies” around the world?

In Book I, Chapter IV of "An Essay on the Principle of Population" (6th edition, 1826), Thomas Malthus states how terrible the condition of women was among "savage societies" (to which he meant ...
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When did the Hebrews stop speaking Hebrew and start speaking Aramaic?

The Torah was written Hebrew, and most of the old testament was written in Hebrew, although parts of Daniel were written in Aramaic. By the time of the 1st century, Aramaic was the common language for ...
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0answers
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Is the Prologue to Eunuchus the earliest recorded defense of literary fair use?

In Eunuchus by the Roman playwright Terence, there is a prologue penned for the explicit purpose of justifying the author's reuse of existing characters. In a section, the author identifies some ...
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1answer
859 views

Which ancient text claims that everything has been said before?

Someone commented to me that there is an ancient text talking about how everything has been said before. There are of course more recents thoughts along this line, but to me it was very impressive to ...
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1answer
314 views

Which groups of people were awake at night in antiquity?

I've come across claims that prehistoric people didn't get much sleep, which seems to be extrapolated from observations of existing primitive cultures. I'm wondering whether there's something more ...
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5answers
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What was the first known war in history?

Not the first instance of warfare, which surely predates recorded history, but of an organized war between civilizations. For the purposes of this question I'll define a war as: Defined scope: the ...
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1answer
2k views

What do historians infer about the world view of the ancient Egyptians based on the prophecy of Neferty?

Here are some excerpts of Neferty's prophecy Papyrus Hermitage 1116B, lines 17- to 21 Utterly destroyed are those times of happiness at those basin lakes, with men set to slitting fish, ...
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2answers
546 views

Is there any historicity to the concept of Ghost Fences / Walls?

A Ghost Wall or Fence is a concept I keep coming across in historical fiction set around the Iron Age or Sub-Roman Britain. Generally, it appears as a boundary made of deceased peoples bones to either ...
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1answer
114 views

Are there any famous people who died from cancer before 1800? [closed]

Cancer was described by the ancient Egyptians by 1600 BC and, much later, by Hippocrates and then Celsus during the early empire. Cases were diagnosed but there is no mention of people who were famous....
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What’s this odd hat/crown and is it related to Baal?

So I was looking at a history book and it was set in ancient Egypt, in the temple of karnak. They were talking about how their were doors only the pharaohs and priests were allowed in, and how they ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Where did Cimon spend his time while in exile?

The Athenian statesman Cimon was ostracised from Athens for ten years (461-451 BC), after the Athenian expedition led by him and sent to help Sparta during the helot uprisings was dismissed by the ...
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0answers
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What is the latest case of employment of Cretan archers in Antiquity?

It is known that Cretan archers were widely used (presumably as mercenaries) across Mediterranean by Greek armies and were occasionally included in Roman armies of Republic and of Imperial period. I ...
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2answers
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What is the oldest road tunnel in the world?

At the Furlo Pass in the Apennines, the Via Flaminia passes through a tunnel built in 76 - 77 AD during the time of Emperor Vespasian, replacing an earlier tunnel. The tunnel built during the time of ...
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2answers
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Pre-Christian use of the Greek Septuagint

I'm interested in the pre-Christian use of the Septuagint, as well as the Greek language, within Jewish everyday life in Israel and in the synagogues of Israel. Is there evidence that the LXX or ...
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1answer
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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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0answers
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Codex A for Herodotus' Histories and questions about discovery of the fragments of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

This question is related to this one: Where can I find the primary source for Herodotus' Histories?. Thank you to everyone who provided information there. That really helped! I have some ...
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2answers
314 views

Earliest Traces of Slavery

The earliest example I know is from Sumer. That would be the earliest example of institutionalized slavery, because that's (one of) the earliest forms of urbanized civilization. However, what's the ...
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2answers
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Where can I find the primary source for Herodotus' Histories?

I'm looking for information re: the primary source for Herodotus' Histories. The two primary sources on the Wikipedia page for Herodotus Histories both trace back to Godley’s translation. Godley's ...
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1answer
258 views

What's the most elaborate ancient mechanism?

I'm playing the latest installment of the Tomb Raider, where you uncover secrets of ancient Incas and Maya. The game is full of huge stone doors that open only when you go through an elaborate ...
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2answers
13k views

How did people cut their nails in the past?

How did people cut their toe and fingernails before we got nail clippers after the industrial revolution? Would they have had a fair amount of ingrown toenails, especially in the colder regions where ...
5
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1answer
154 views

What is the earliest depiction of a crane?

Various sources on the internet - such as Crane (machine), A History Of The Crane and The sky is the limit: human powered cranes and lifting devices - state that the Ancient Greeks were the inventors ...
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5answers
5k views

When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?

When reading literature about the Babylonian the destruction of Jerusalem I always wonder which year it took place. Some books says 586 B.CE. and some says 587 B.CE. Is this because one don't know? Or ...
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3answers
1k views

At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
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1answer
110 views

When were the first heating apparatus used for bathing?

If in the Odyssey they already washed themselves with warm water prepared on fire, why didn’t the athletes in the loutrons of the palaestrae do the same? They used cold water, which is ineffective for ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Are there any documented cases from ancient or medieval times of someone escaping captivity by cross-dressing?

In 1642, at the beginning of the English Civil War, the Irish Royalist Daniel O'Neill escaped from the Tower of London where he had been imprisoned by the Parliamentarians by tying bed sheets and a ...
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1answer
136 views

Why is Anubis given a scarf in some representations?

Two links containing images of Anubis with scarf; https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anubis_Shrine https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anubis In some representations Anubis wears what seems to be a scarf. ...
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1answer
235 views

How to make a proper chiton and himation?

I have been searching for instructions on how to make a proper chiton and himation, but can't find anything with a good level of detail and historical accuracy. Could someone point me to such a ...
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4answers
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Cultural understanding of Penelope's suitors

In the Odyssey, Penelope is courted by 108 suitors, who camp out in her house/royal court indefinitely, behaving badly, while she delays them. I'm having trouble understanding the historical and ...
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5answers
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Is it true that Proto-Ukrainians conquered Europe and India?

I am a Ukrainian high school student. Recently we were told by a teacher that Proto-Ukrainians, the people who lived in the modern territory of Ukraine and ancestors of modern Ukrainians, once ...
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2answers
900 views

Who is the oldest ruler whose remains can be positively identified?

I realize this question can be quite controversial since "positive identification" is rather subjective especially with regards to ancient history. Regardless, I am curious to know which ancient ...
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2answers
236 views

Ancient Isis Origin

I am writing an essay on how ancient Isis was originated in Egypt. I have 2 out of 3 points. Her temple in egypt and the ancient texts from egypt. I need 1 more point. Can anyone help?
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4answers
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Did foreign language phrase books exist in the ancient world?

I am finding out about the ancient equivalent to modern foreign language phrase books, used in conversations. Such as a medieval Italian-Latin conversational book, or an ancient English-French ...
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4answers
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Did ancient Egypt gain any significant cultural influence from other states/regions?

Western cultures, to the best of my understanding, can trace their roots back to Ancient Egypt. Many modern day Western cultures took influence from Rome, which in turn took influence from Greece, ...
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2answers
1k views

What did the ancient Egyptians think of Khufu?

What did the ancient Egyptians think of Khufu? Did they feel he was cruel, strict, kind, greedy, ect? I need this information for a school project I'm working on about Khufu.
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1answer
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Where can I find high-resolution images of these Sumerian tablets

I've looked around quite a bit and couldn't find them. Looking for sketches, and a bonus images of the tablets, of the following Sumerian documents: Kesh temple hymn (maybe that is in here, not sure) ...
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4answers
5k views

Did the Tamil People discover that the earth was round 2000 years ago?

I heard "Tamil People found that the earth was round 2000 years ago. They named the planets 2000 years ago." Is this true? The Tamil poet Manikkavachakar wrote about the earth in Tiruvacakam: By ...
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4answers
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Is there any corroborating evidence for the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

Is there any historical evidence from the Babylonian or Persian side corroborating the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found in Daniel chapters 1-3? What is the general state of records of ...
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2answers
617 views

Are there any existing foreign language teaching texts from the Ancient Near East?

The various cultures of the Ancient Near East spoke a wide array of languages and we know that there was plenty of communication between cultures. We even have a language like Akkadian that served as ...
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6answers
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Does the forearm grip/handshake have a historical basis?

I was wondering where the forearm handshake came from. I found absolutely nothing in Wikipedia, so I have no idea if this is really historically based or just a recent popular greeting. I was led to ...