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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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Why did the ancient Romans kill deer so often? [on hold]

I've heard that they killed deer for tools and food,but why always deer? they also killed other animals, but why deer most of the time? was there some sort of benefit? many books say," they do it for ...
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How did societies adapt to using alcohol to make water safer?

I've heard that there were two common methods to disinfecting water in the past: boiling water or turning it into alcohol. Presumably, those in the East relied on boiling water, while those in the ...
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Can you match these Roman people/concepts/events? [closed]

I'm having trouble with some of these...If you can help in any capacity I'd appreciate it!
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In Classical Athens, what did the portico of the archon basileus look like?

In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates and his titular interlocutor meet at the portico of the archon basileus - or chief archon. I've been looking for an image of the portico but had no luck so far, and am ...
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Demonym for someone from the kingdom of D'mt

D'mt is a little-studied kingdom which lasted from the 10th to 5th centuries BC, in Eritrea and Ethiopia. For further information, you can look here and just about nowhere else. The civilization is ...
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Why do very old arts (paintings, sculptures) look pretty inaccurate and abstract? [closed]

I have been looking at arts from different archeological periods (40000BC up to now). One pattern that I noticed consistently when looking at arts from different periods is that the accuracy of such ...
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What sources could Tacitus or Appian have used that have since been lost?

I was fascinated by the announcement of the 'virtual unrolling' of a fire-burned scroll in En-Gedi that has been analysed and found to be part of the book of Leviticus. As the Guardian noted, the ...
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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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Was early Mari Sumerian or multicultural?

Mari was a multicultural Semitic and Sumerian city in central Mesopotamia. Despite its rich history during the historical period, I have found almost no discussion of the earliest period. This was ...
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Were slave rowers ever chained to the ship?

UPDATE I want to know whether there is any evidence that rowers were ever chained to the ships or oars in Ancient Greece and Rome. In my view it could be too expensive to chain people at that time, ...
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Is there any evidence of arachnophobia in ancient history?

Are there any sources that would tell us whether (any) ancient Greeks or Romans were afraid of spiders?
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Micromanagement before the modern era?

We read a lot about the problem of micromanagement today, particularly in examples of failed leadership. And Google Ngram Viewer shows the first occurrences of the word in the 1970s. Did ancient (...
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Who were some Greek Plebeian Gentes, especially from Magna Graecia?

I'm looking for foreign influences on the Plebeians. Who are some Plebeian Gentes that were Greek, perhaps from Magna Graecia or Sicily? I vaguely recall reading about one from Campania, who came in ...
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How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

I've tried to find some information about it, but failed. Let's say there is an educated slave living in a relatively rich household of Rome. What would prevent him from fleeing, going to some smaller ...
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2answers
235 views

How did the Graeco-Bactrian empire come to accept Buddhism?

I am trying to find something along the lines of acceptance of Buddhism by Graeco-Bactrians. I would like to learn more about western India and Graeco-Bactrian empire especially from a political, ...
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European Life Expectancy Comparable? Now or When?

Question: Was their ever a people in European history where life expectancy was similar to Now? 21st century? 70+ years of age? Average or Median? I realize conventional wisdom would inform us ...
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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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Is the entire history, we read, accurate? [closed]

In today's era, having great advanced technologies, we get many rumors. So how can we write the historical facts so firmly. We talk about ancient personalities, their quotes, their lives, etc. so ...
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what ended the Islam golden age [closed]

please answer the question I will check back in a few days and thank you all. I have tried every website I could find and this is the last one on the list and I hope to get a result
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1answer
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What was the largest ancient theatre?

If I was to be more specific, can anyone name the largest ancient Greco-Roman theater-(excluding the Roman amphitheaters, such as the Coliseum in Rome and Verona, as well as the amphitheater in ...
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What evidence do we have to claim the Ancient Romans kept African grey parrots as pets?

The book Birds: Myth, Lore and Legend by Rachel Warren Chadd and Marianne Taylor states: [...] The Ancient Romans, who kept both Rose-ringed Parakeets and African Greys (Psittacus erithacus), right,...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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2answers
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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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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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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
650 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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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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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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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
334 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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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
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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326 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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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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263 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 ...