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 the Indus Valley Civilization use cotton as a writing material?

Cross-posted from Skeptics SE In his book, Science and Secrets of Early Medicine, Jürgen Thorwald writes about the script of the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilizations: (in rough translation) Seals, ...
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What happened to the Parthians?

I've always been very much interested in the origin of these people and the way they served Iran. However, the origin and fate of these people has always been a mystery for me and despite reading ...
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Story of infatuation and lust in history [closed]

Is there any story in history when a person infatuated by the beauty went to the extremes (murder/betrayal/lying) in order to get that person. We can say the love was one-sided and lead to many ...
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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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What is the most widely accepted theory on the ancient “Sea Peoples”?

There are many theories as to who they were. The wiki page has nine hypotheses. What is the most widely accepted theory on who the ancient Sea Peoples were?
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At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
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Before the use of Anno Domini dating (BCE/CE), how were years numbered?

Currently we use Anno Domini (A.D.) year numbering, sometimes secularized as "BCE" (Before Common Era) or "CE" (Common Era). What was the prevailing method of dating years in Western culture before ...
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What made the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb such a significant archeological find? [closed]

The discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt is often regarded as one of the most notable archeological finds of recent history, and is certainly one of the most famous ones. Before its discovery ...
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What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion?

What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion? My question is about, not cultural differences, but conceptual differences." Wikipedia doesn't compare them. ...
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What is the earliest recorded female name in history?

There is already a question that gives various possibilities for the first name that we have record of in Who is the earliest recorded person?, but most seem to be male figures. What is the first ...
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Who was the first woman ruler?

I've found that speaking of the first woman ruler in history, most common materials (like Wikipedia or Britannica) point at the Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut, living in the 16th century BCE. As a source ...
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What were paper airplanes called before there were real airplanes? (i.e. untethered winged flyers, not kites or balloons)

According to the Google Ngram Viewer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Ngram_Viewer) the English word "airplane" was practically unused before the year 1900. Given that paper is ...
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How did the Greeks and Romans move between their destinations?

As we know, the Greeks and later also the Romans built street networks to connect their settlements to each other. For me, this fact raised an issue: How did the Greeks and Romans move between their ...
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Which came first: polytheism or monotheism?

It seems a common position that monotheism tends to evolve out of polytheism. Wikipedia offers a few historical examples of this. However, many polytheistic religions seem to have monotheistic ...
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Did the biblical apostle James visit Ireland?

I remember reading in a magazine that the biblical apostle James the Greater visited Ireland 400 years before Saint Patrick. Is it true that he went on a mission to Northern Ireland? Forgive me if I ...
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What were the origins of democracy?

I realize that many people say that Athens is where democracy started, but is there any solid proof that it was the first? On Wikipedia, it is stated that: there is evidence to suggest that ...
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What did the ancient Eastern world think of the ancient Greeks?

The opinions of the Greeks the Eastern world which notably included the Persians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Indians and Egyptians are known to all. They elaborated at length through their literature ...
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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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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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Were ancient people interested in archaeology?

Before the establishment of the field of archaeology, which is said here to have originated in 15th and 16th century Europe, surely ancient peoples were also curious about those who came before them ...
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What was the ancient Jewish pantheon?

I have read that before the invention of monotheism, the Jews worshipped multiple gods of which traces remain in various texts. So I wonder whether it is possible to reconstruct it and what the gods ...
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Can history shed any light on the “secret arts” of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents as claimed by Exodus 7:11-12?

The biblical story of Exodus 7:11-12 talks about the alleged existence of some "secret arts" that the magicians of Egypt made use of to accomplish the feat of turning staffs into serpents: ...
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What are the origins of organized crime?

Is there any scholarly consensus about the origins of organized crime historically? Do movements such as the Ndrangheta have analogues in the pre-Christian or Medieval world? Or is it a relatively new,...
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Which emperor tried to command the tides?

I remember somewhere a story about an emperor who was so convinced of his awesome powers that he attempted to command the tides to recede. All I can find on the web is the story of King Canute ...
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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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How many Spartan boys survived army training?

Spartan combat training was very rough and dangerous. What percentage of boys survived their training?
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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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How much gold did humans possess by century starting with Neolithic?

Where can I find an approximate chart of total mass of metallic gold in possession of humans by centuries starting with Neolithic? I also would like to see this detailed by civilization/culture.
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How accurate are ancient history busts?

This question links to a blog article of dubious quality about the life of Nero. One sentence however got me thinking (emphasis mine): Though many historical accounts of Nero describe him as weak ...
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When was the first recorded example of a race competition in human history?

Individuals in a race compete with another or others to see who is fastest. But when the race competition was invented? It is reported that races were popular in the ancient Olympic games. Is this the ...
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Was Yahweh a god in a possible Edomite Pantheon?

I understand from the Bible, from the Wikipedia articles Yahweh and Yahwism and from lectures of various scholars that polytheism was practiced by at least some religious leaders, priests, kings and ...
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What media did Irenaeus used to write his letters?

Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260/265 – 339/340) in his work Church History (Book V, Chapter 20 "The Writings of Irenaeus against the Schismatics at Rome") said: Irenaeus wrote several letters ...
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Did the Celts come to England from France and Belgium?

I apologize for this ridiculous question. I have little knowledge of European history. The following is a passage from Charles Dickens' A Child's History of England: "But the Phoenicians, sailing ...
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When were the lictors abolished?

I wonder when the position of lictor was abolished in the Ancient Rome? Who was the last Emperor to have lictors as companions?
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Who is the oldest ruler whose remains can be positively identified?

I realize this question can be quite controversial since "positive identification" is rather subjective especially with regards to ancient history. Regardless, I am curious to know which ancient ...
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What is the earliest mention of space travel?

What was the earliest mention in recorded history of travel through space? Admittedly, I am not really a history buff, but I am writing a scientific paper related to space travel, so I wanted to give ...
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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 ancient American Indians used this triangle shape burial ground?

The historians in my area say that's the ancient American Indian burial ground. Which ancient American Indians used triangular-shaped burial grounds? The area is located in Washington Township, ...
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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 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 is the origin of the Scythians?

I am searching for Iranian languages and I encountered this chart shows Scythian as a Northeastern language. On the other hand, my history course indicated that Scythians are a Proto-Turkic tribe. ...
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Where is it recorded that Spartan common meals were followed by a recounting of noble deeds?

I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference. In On Manly Courage: A Study of Plato's Laches, on page 57, the author implies that Spartan common meals were followed by the recounting ...
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Is there evidence that Egyptian culture was originally matriachical? [duplicate]

I am currently reading The Origins and History of Consciousness by Erich Neumann. The book is essentially an application of recapitulation theory to the development of human consciousness, asserting ...
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How is the accuracy of the Maya Calendar measured?

It is taken as a fact in many books and specialized publications that the Maya calendrical system - the Haab' and the Tzolk'in - was more accurate and closer to the real solar year than the Gregorian ...
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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 ...
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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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Does anyone know what day(s) the Dacian calendar year started on? [closed]

The Dacian calendar is supposedly one of the most accurate calendars of ancient times. I've found generalities about the overall composition of the calendar, like it has three seasons, instead of 4. ...
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How true is this observation concerning battle?

I came across a quote: “One who risks his life in battle has the best chance of saving it; one who flees to save it is most likely to lose it” (Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, ed. E. Diehl2 1936-42.) The ...
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Is there any record of ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
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Was there a period in history predating the 15th century where being bald was not looked upon negatively?

I know that ancient Egyptians shaved their heads, but they usually wore wigs. Was there any culture where head shaving was seen in a positive light and hair loss was looked upon in a positive light? I ...

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