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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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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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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 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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When is the Cumaean Temple to Apollo dated?

Cumae was founded by Ionians from Euboea around 750. Cumae had a Temple to Apollo and Sibyline oracle that channeled Apollo. In Greece, Apollo and its oracle became active in the eighth century. It ...
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Ancient Indian caste system in relation to martial arts

I know that in the area now known as India, there was a rigid caste system as a part of traditional Hindu beliefs. I also know that there are a number of Indian martial arts going back centuries. I ...
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What are the earliest examples in history where one state/people stepped in to rescue another?

I started wondering about this after watching yet another World War II movie where the European people are freed by Mother Russia and Uncle Sam and also helped in their recovery. What are the ...
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What was the early understanding of static electricity shocks?

What was the common understanding of electric shocks caused by static electricity in the ancient world and middle ages? I'm talking about the shock when you touch something on a dry day for example. ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Has the drought also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland?

I was wondering whether the drought has also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland (e.g. like https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44801939). I searched the net but couldn't ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

I thought I had found two examples of honor killing in ancient literature, although people online have disagreed with me. In Livy, the killing of Verginia by her father Verginius in ancient Rome ...
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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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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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Which is the Historical Khorasan

The word Khorasan finds mention in many ancient texts pointing to a place in Middle east to Afghanistan . The question is what were the boundaries of the historical Khorasan which parts of the middle ...
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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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Question about Tauri tribe in Crimea

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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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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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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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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Are there “Sumerian” figurines from the Uruk and Ubaid periods?

There are distinctive Sumerian figurines from the Early Dynastic period. One of the early arguments for indigenous Sumerians was that these figurines were also in the Jemdet Nasr, Uruk, and Ubaid ...
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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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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 ...