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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79
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8answers
9k views

How accurate or supported is Jared Diamond's “Guns, Germs, and Steel”?

Jared Diamond wrote a fascinating book that purports to explain, in a very broad way, the development of civilization. It has several explanations for the development of Eurasian civilization rather ...
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6answers
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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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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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532 views

What are the 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
341 views

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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1answer
533 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 ...
5
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1answer
217 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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1answer
90 views

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
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Is there any evidence that Assyrian or Babylonian kings ate their enemies?

Is there any evidence that Assyrian or Babylonian kings took their captive/conquered enemies and actually ate their bodies (dead or alive)? EDIT I apologize for not explaining where I am coming from ...
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1answer
156 views

Who was the high priest that crowned Eannatum as king of Lagash? [closed]

Eannatum Eannatum Eannatum (Sumerian: 𒂍𒀭𒈾𒁺 É.AN.NA-tum2) was a Sumerian Ensi (ruler or king) of Lagash circa 2500–2400 BCE. He established one of the first verifiable empires in history: he ...
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As Rome began to decline is there any contemporary accounts from time as to the cause? [duplicate]

I guess fall of Rome seems amazing to me in that they had things we recognise in modern states Militia, ability to buy property with paper rather than gold and manufacturing. As decline began as there ...
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3answers
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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 ...
16
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4answers
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Did the Minoans practise human sacrifice?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
0
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1answer
757 views

Did the deity “Horus” pre-date “Horus-Aha”?

Hor-Aha (or Aha or Horus Aha) is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the ...
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What's known about Tullia's son?

Tullia was the daughter of the great Roman politician Cicero. She had a few marriages and according to English Wikipedia she had two sons, the first one of which died the same year it was born. Tullia ...
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0answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
580 views

Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague? [closed]

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.
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At what angle to latitude is the row of menhirs at Locmariaquer?

The Grand Menhir Brisé at Locmariaquer is one of a series of menhirs, all aligned in a straight row at the Locmariaquer. Does anyone know at what angle this straight row intersects with the earth’s ...
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3answers
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Did ancient Romans anticipate the fall of Rome?

Background: The Fall of Rome The Roman Empire collapsed as a political entity in several stages during the 5th, 6th, and 7th century CE. Specifically, these are: the crossing of the Rhine by the ...
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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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2answers
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Are there historical texts in England querying where Roman structures came from?

I watched a film recently called King Arthur, showing London post Rome (guessing set in Middle Ages with modern-ish buildings but still with some Roman buildings / walls showing. It got me thinking: ...
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Were there any wars in ancient Greece where religion played a major part?

I know that the Greeks had a god of war and many other deities associated with warfare in some respect. I also know that the Greeks would consult the oracles for advice prior to their military ...
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1answer
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When did Cicero Minor die?

Cicero Minor (full name: Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor) was the only son of the great Roman politician Cicero. They both served as consuls, Cicero in 63 BC and Cicero Minor in 30 BC. The years that ...
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1answer
219 views

Is Josephus' account for the length of the Jewish War generally accepted as correct?

In Josephus' famous work on the subject, the First Jewish-Roman War is depicted as lasting a full number of years,1 inasmuch as it is presented as starting in the month of Artemisius (II Wars 14:4), ...
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1answer
239 views

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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1answer
205 views

What did the Greeks and Romans think of large breasted women? [closed]

From what I know, the Greeks and Romans held men with large penises in contempt as in their eyes; they allegedly couldn't control their sexual urges while men with smaller ones where approved because ...
13
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1answer
377 views

What were the political and military constraints on Vercingetorix at Alesia?

I don't fully understand why Vercingetorix accepted a siege at Alesia (a fortified area), where he would be short of food instead of pursuing one or more of the alternatives below. The reason I'm ...
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2answers
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What is the first horse name recorded in history?

What is the first horse whose name has been recorded in history? I wrote down a long list of famous people and their mounts, and I realized that Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great, was the ...
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4answers
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Why were North American Native Americans underdeveloped?

During the Pre-Columbian period of the New World the Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, and many more civilizations roamed the land of south North America and all of South America. They were far more advanced and ...
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3answers
406 views

Were Moses & Abraham historical figures?

History is not my area of specialization. I am curious to know about the historicity of Moses and Abraham from the viewpoint of modern critical scholarship. It would be great if references are ...
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5answers
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Who were the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Western Europe?

I've heard it said that the Basque are conjectured to be the last remnant of Pre-Celtic Western Europe. When would have these people existed? What evidence do we have for their culture and habitation ...
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When and why did war chariots stop being used?

Many cultures (Egypt, Celts, etc...) had war chariots either as mobile platforms or as troop transport. What other advance in warfare made them obsolete?
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How to identify this coin with a bust on one side and the letters S and C on the other side?

I believe this coin is Roman but I'd like that confirmed. Can anyone give an approximate date and any other information possible (maybe difficult as it is quite worn). It measures between 2.5cm and 2....
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0answers
119 views

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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1answer
325 views

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), ..., ...
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Has an heir ever made the country believe the current ruler died in order to take over the throne?

Before the invention of the semaphore and the telegraph, a message couldn't travel faster than the speed of a horse (or maybe a messenger pigeon or something along those lines - still pretty slow). ...
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3answers
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Why did Xerxes need a canal across Mount Athos peninsula?

As a preparation to his invasion of Greece, Xerxes ordered to dig a canal across Mount Athos peninsula. Digging this canal took 3 years. When I look at the map I see that this peninsula is a part of ...
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6answers
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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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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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1answer
209 views

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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0answers
159 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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10answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
378 views

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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