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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Did pagan tribes in the Arab peninsula use bells for superstitious or religious reasons before and with the introduction of Islam?

This is what I have found so far: "In conclusion, we may note that a leather neck band, also called kilada, on the camel to avert the evil eye, especially if a bell hang from it, is suggested in ...
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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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597 views

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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252 views

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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149 views

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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83 views

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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304 views

Did Ancient Chinese architecture develop anything analogous to the Greek Orders?

Pretty much every culture in the world has its own tradition of architecture, design principles, etc., reflecting what society considers "ideal." In ancient Greece, these famously became codified into ...
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378 views

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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199 views

Was "Via Regia" the original name of the "Via Nova Traiana"?

This is a quote from Wikipedia: The Via Traiana Nova or Via Nova Traiana (Latin for 'Trajan's New Road'), previously known as the Via Regia or King's Highway, was an ancient Roman road built by ...
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220 views

What actually happened during the elephant duel (Songkram Yutahatti) between King Naresuan of Ayutthaya/Siam and Mingy Swa of Hongsawadee/Burma?

Before we start, I just want to say that I find Thai history and the history of Southeast Asia in general to be extremely fascinating and interesting. I think that it’s just as interesting as Chinese ...
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166 views

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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254 views

The squirrel which could cross an entire realm jumping from branch to branch

The metaphor (or meme) of the squirrel that could cross an entire territory without touching the ground is very old and, as far as the Iberian Peninsula is concerned, is attributed (maybe wrongly) to ...
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146 views

Evidence of Iron Age migrations into India (1000-600)

I was reading a History of India by Michael Edwardes. It says that by 600 B.C., the northwest had been closed off to invaders. It made me wonder about migrations up to this period. I only know about ...
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1k views

How did physical exercise (stretching) originate in the Western world?

This is a list of mentions I found with my short googling: The yoga exercise technics were well-known in Asia as a both physical and mental health cure for a long time. According to Wikipedia, ...
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192 views

Beads in the Ancient Indus Valley

I’m interested in the manufacture, sales and use of beads in the ancient Indus Valley, particularly during the mature Harappan Civilization. Would beads have been manufactured predominantly by men or ...
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217 views

Is there any information about Soshandukht or her father?

This is mentioned on Wiki's page about the Sassanid dynasty Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. Bahram V's ...
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145 views

What were the major objections that Augustine had with Jerome's translation of the Septuagint?

I was having a discussion with someone who insisted that one of the major reasons I thought that Augustine objected to Jerome's translation of the Septuagint was completely not true. He argued that ...
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160 views

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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87 views

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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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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Are there visualisations of the Kerma state along with other Nile Valley civilizations?

Wikipedia describes the Kerma state as existing contemporaneously with Middle Kingdom Egypt, from approx 2500 BC to 1500 BC. Yet, the article on the Kerma doesn't illustrate the Kermanese (?) sphere ...
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Where can I find illustrations online depicting Idrisi's coffer in the Queen's chamber in the "Khufu" pyramid

I believe I have found sufficient evidence that points to a block of stone, not necessarily a coffer as stated by Idrisi, being inside the niche in the Queen's Chamber blocking the entrance to the ...
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150 views

Why was being a school teacher something looked down upon in Ancient Greece?

I'm currently doing research on Epicurus for an article and I came across an passage from Timon (a central student of Pyrrho) where he calls Epicurus "Grammadidascalides", as if an epithet, along with ...
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140 views

Question on names in ancient Rome

I'm writing a novel set in 268 AD and the character is called Marcus Piavonius Victorinus, one of the many upstart military emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century. I've heard that by this ...
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135 views

Roman desks and lacquer

I've been watching the Netflix piece on Ancient Rome and noticed a beautifully lacquered desk which I felt might not be accurate for the time. Does anyone have information about their use of lacquer ...
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531 views

What kind of musical instruments were used in ancient barbarian tribes?

I am a member of a reenactment group in Romania, and we mostly do Roman, Dacian tribes and other barbarian tribes (allies of Dacians). Some other members including myself want to form a band, and be ...
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192 views

A comparison between the reforms of Athens and Rome

Question: What made it possible that, during the times of Solon, Athens underwent reforms characterized by isonomia, — that is, equality among citizens, — whereas their approximately contemporary ...
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79 views

First Century (or earlier) gesture signifying peace between two parties?

I am working on a painting set in the first century which shows a military group confronting another group in the Middle East. I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make ...
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638 views

Relation of Arya and Dravida with Hindu scriptures like Veda and Aagama

I don't know much about the history of Arya and Dravida: I've heard that word Arya is found in Hindu Scripture (Veda) and Arya is related to Indus valley civilization while Dravida is related with ...
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263 views

What is the age of Budarsinghi Temple?

There is a small Hanuman temple about 30 kilometers south of Hubli in my home state of Karnataka in India. Below is the image of Lord Hanuman's idol. The idol certainly looks quite old, but the folks ...
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88 views

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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88 views

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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95 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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141 views

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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81 views

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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177 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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114 views

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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156 views

What would one call a skilled metal worker in Jerusalem, circa 600 BC?

I'm doing research for a book of fiction in which the main character is a skilled metalworker in ancient Jerusalem, circa 600 BC. I want to be authentic and historically accurate. This person is ...
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293 views

Did soldiers and/or athletes of ancient times perform any kind of stretch or warmup exercises?

There are some 'time travel' stories where the protagonist, hailing from a modern age, does stretches and warmup exercises (calisthenics, radio, etc) and the natives have no idea what that is. There'...
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218 views

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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236 views

Have large human bones been used as measuring instruments?

Have any of the six types of large bones from the arms1 or legs2 of human beings ever been used (to a significant or considerable extent), in ancient or prehistoric times, as measuring instruments for ...
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140 views

What were the incentives for war during the Warring States Period?

I've been reading about the Warring States Period in Li Feng's 'Early China', and I don't know if I missed a passage but I can't seem to figure out why the period was so violent. I've been searching ...
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241 views

Did the Designers of Teotihucan have an advanced understanding of Acoustics?

Teotihucan was one of the most impressively built and planned cities in ancient and world history. It is approximately 30 miles South of Mexico City and was founded around 200 BC/BCE-(though its ...
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172 views

How exactly was the Second Temple destroyed?

What is known regarding the techniques used to destroy the Second Temple? It was quite a large set of buildings made of stone blocks, and Romans didn't know (afaik) explosive techniques good for ...
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119 views

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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96 views

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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114 views

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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114 views

How were elders addressed in Ancient Egypt?

I’m writing a book and want to know how a child would respectfully address an older male and female person—like Sir or Lord or Madam—in Ancient Egypt?
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576 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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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 ...