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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46 views

Democracy and Authoritarianism in The Odyssey [closed]

What are examples of democracy and authoritarianism in The Odyssey? In The Odyssey the characters portray different characteristics that can be classified as authoritarian or democratic. For example, ...
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Why didn't Hannibal attack Rome after the Battle of Cannae?

Hannibal Barca defeated 8 Roman legions in the Battle of Cannae. At that time Carthage also had control over Hispania. Why did Hannibal not seize Rome at that time?
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What was the legal framework in Ancient India?

We all know the immense contribution ancient Roman, medieval Roman (or Byzantine), and pre-modern HRE cannon law has made to the modern world. These empires relied on a written constitution (or code) ...
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Why did Nebuchadnezzar keep King Jeconiah alive?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he appointed Zedekiah as his puppet-king and took King Jeconiah and his sons home with him. For what reasons would the king of a large empire of antiquity, ...
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When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?

When reading literature about the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, I always wonder which year it took place. Some books say 586 B.CE. and some say 587 B.CE. Is this because we don't know? Or is ...
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What indicates that the Romans believed that their empire was “eternal” and “would subjugate the world” [closed]

I've just read a bit of Pharsalia (a poem by Lucan on the civil war), in which he refers often to the struggle over Rome as being one over the world. A paper on the book called "Orbis Romanus: ...
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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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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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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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Who were Alexander's historians that wrote about Indian social conditions?

I'm reading Ancient India, and in Chapter 12, it is written that Alexander's historians also give us important information about social and economic conditions. They tell us about sati system, fine ...
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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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Why so many early temples on Malta?

Why is there such a concentration of early neolithic temples on Malta? Seven world heritage sites, plus several other significant locations (see Megalithic Temples of Malta) adds up to a lot of ...
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What evidence is there of the vision aids people used before the invention of eyeglasses in about 1286?

The Wikipedia article on glasses says ‘scattered evidence exists for use of vision aid devices in Greek and Roman times’ but only cites the example of Nero’s emerald. This article on Magnifying ...
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Were ancient ships named?

Nowadays almost all civilian and military vessel have a name. Was this so in the antiquity, did the ships of Athens, Carthage or Rome have formal individual names?
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What kind of missile flew with such speed in 1st century BCE?

Lucretius in De rerum natura, book 6 verses 310 tries to explain the nature of lightning. Apparently he says that a body moving quickly through the air acquires some heat. The Latin verse is: non ...
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What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? [closed]

What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? Even if they are ancient roads, why there are no traces from the horses or other animals that should be in the middle? Turkey: ...
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13answers
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Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat?

Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat? The classic example of that is the Battle of Cannae, where 80,000 Roman infantry were surrounded by 40,000 Carthaginian infantry. Every ...
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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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Why were there no agricultural, city-state forming civilizations in the Ice Age?

In spite of various fringe historians claiming to have found remains of Ice Age civilizations on lost continents, Atlantis and what not, there is - to the best of my knowledge - no tangible evidence ...
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Is there evidence this weapon existed? [closed]

Recently, I came across different medias depicting the same weapon: what looks like a lance blade with a staff of an approximately equivalent length. The most known example would be the spear of ...
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Did Roman troops suffer from PTSD?

After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq there has been a lot of talking about how many soldiers suffer from PTSD when they return home. I'm interested in knowing more about war trauma and PTSD in ...
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Why were North American indigenous peoples 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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What did the Gauls look like during the 1st century BC? [closed]

Right around the time of the Roman conquest of Gaul, contemporaneous accounts describe the Gauls as having looked like beasts or savages, with thick knotted cloaks and unkempt long hair and beards. ...
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Why didn't the Greeks or Romans have an Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain in the 18th century. The precursor to the Industrial Revolution was the Enlightenment. This occurred when European scholars rediscovered Greek and ...
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Was early Sumerian civilization wiped out by a flood?

Sumerian texts speak of a worldwide flood that wiped out most of mankind's achievements on earth. I had always suspected such a flood -- even if only covering all of Sumer -- was mythical, but then I ...
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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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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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How often did city-destroying floods happen in Mesopotamia?

I keep seeing Mesopotamia described as a floodplain, and I'm finding inklings of evidence that some cities in ancient Mesopotamia were actually destroyed by floods. But how common of an occurrence ...
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Did slaves have slaves?

Was there anywhere in history where the enslaved were able to enslave others? Was there a slave hierarchy? I read the slavery wikipedia entry, it mentions that in various cultures people retained ...
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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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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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565 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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