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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Were Romans ever named after their mothers?

We know that Roman men often named sons after them, and daughters were usually given the feminine form of their father's name. But are there any records or evidence that a Roman man was ever given the ...
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What's your preferred source for translations of ancient stories? [closed]

I'm pretty into myths, cultural epics, formative philosophical works. Beowulf, the Eddas, the Tao Te Ching, The Illiad and Odyssey, etc; poetic, prose, and otherwise literary works that form the ...
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What was the first recorded cases of slavery before the Atlantic slave trade? [closed]

What were some of the first recorded or assumed cases of slavery before the Atlantic slave trade? and what word was slavery derived from?
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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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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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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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Is there a database of ancient/current names of cities?

I am working on map of Ancient Etruscan civilization and I can't identify the exact location of Spica city. Based on minimap from Wikipedia page about Etruscan civilization, the city should lie about ...
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Similar names in ancient Rome

Praenomens in ancient Rome seemed to have been rather limited, especially by the time of the empire. There must've been cases where close friends or cousins and the like would've had the same ...
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Are there any hypotheses on how the Dorset 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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Could women make contracts in ancient Rome? [closed]

I'm writing a story and the main character is a wealthy widow who runs the estate for her rather lazy son. Could women in ancient Rome (specifically the 3rd Century Empire) legally make contracts, or ...
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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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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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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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Who were the first leaders of the Yahwistic sect?

From reading the Bible and from studying from various lectures I have tried to synthesize who was or who were the first leader/s of the Yahwistic sect (Yahwism) in ancient Israel (the allegedly ...
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Did the ancients or other pre-industrial civilisations engage in unsustainable practices?

A popular rhetoric we hear regarding sustainability is that modern life after industrialization and arrival of plastics and hydrocarbon fuels have led to environmental degradation on Earth and our ...
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How did Jerusalem function as an ancient city without a major water source? [closed]

Jerusalem seems to be an exception to the rule that all ancient cities must either be on a river or freshwater lake. First settlement is estimated at 3500 BC. The nearest major river as far as I can ...
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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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Did migrating people ever maintain contact across the Bering Strait?

The Inuit ranged from Alaska to Greenland. The Yupik were in Alaska and Russia. Would peoples have kept in contact across islands in the Arctic but not across the Bering Strait? This question could be ...
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Was hitchhiking common in ancient Rome?

I am writing a story about a soldier who survived an ambush and he hid several days. Then he walked to a village. While he was on the way (walking on a road) he saw a caravan ... So my question is: ...
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Why are there so many laws about eye injuries in the Code of Hammurabi?

Why are there so many laws about eye injuries in the Code of Hammurabi? (And so few laws about other body parts injuries.) I want to concentrate on injuries mentioned as the crimes of physical ...
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Examples of ancient maps that gave names based on a cardinal direction

Years ago I read that civilizations had maps like that of the Herodotus, who was an ancient Greek historian. Said maps named lands or peoples according to cardinal directions, but without referring to ...
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Why do very old arts (paintings, sculptures) look pretty inaccurate and abstract? [closed]

I have been looking at arts (drawings, sculptures) from different archeological periods (40000BC up to now). A pattern that I have picked up consistently when looking at arts from these periods is ...
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Did anyone ever win a kingdom through single combat without a backing army or blood tie to the throne?

I've read of instances where historians suggest that single combat of champions has been used to preempt wholesale slaughter on the battlefield; and I think I've read instances where blood relatives ...
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Are there sources that record ancient women in patriarchal societies' thoughts about patriarchy?

Are there any sources describing what women in ancient patriarchal societies (like Greece, Rome, etc.) thought about the patriarchy? I've heard of feminist movements throughout history; this ...
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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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How to you reply to Henry Ford and Otto von Bismarck? [closed]

All history is bunk -- Ford All history is fairy tales rewritten by the winner of the last war -- Bismarck There is a LOT of truth to what they say. And with PhD thesis like the courtmartial of ...
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Who invented the first flag?

An answer on this site claims that the first flags were heraldic flags used in battles. But when was this, and for which nations?
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Has a battering ram been used to breach a gate?

I am looking for a specific example of a battering ram used to breach the gate of a castle or fortification in Europe. I can find lots of indirect references to the use of battering rams on gates (...
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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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Were there any Roman villas in Britain which were used rather than destroyed after the Romans left?

As noted in the post Are there any ideas as to what the English landscape was like before the arrival of the Angles? , the infrastructure and buildings which the Romans left behind gradually fell ...
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Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
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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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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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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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Was the use of imperial nicknames in ancient Rome meant as an insult?

A few Roman emperors are commonly known by nicknames. I'm thinking specifically of the Emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Antoninus (Caracalla.) These nicknames were never in official use, at least while ...
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What are the most recommended non-biased books on Egyptian History

I am new to Egyptology, what are the most recommended non-biased books on Egyptian History, Hieroglyphs, mythology, etc... that are not biased and written by experts in the field? By non biased, I ...
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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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Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

Honor killing, most often, the murder of a woman or girl by male family members. The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige. ...
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Did Greek traders visit the Philippines in the 1st century AD?

According to the article Cebu, a Port City in Prehistoric and in Present Times, The Visayan Islands had earlier encounter [sic] with the Greek traders in 21 A.D. This is repeated in the ...
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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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What was clothing in ancient Palmyra like?

What is known about what people used to wear in the city of Palmyra during the third century AD? Was it more similar to Roman or Persian fashion of the period?
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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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What was the relationship between Indian caste system and martial skills?

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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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 is the origin of the idea to cover genitals with clothes or other materials? [closed]

This question was difficult to word. Please edit if it can be worded better. I've seen many murals and ancient drawing as far back as 3,000BC (Kemetian, Sumerian) of society wearing atleast some ...
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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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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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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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Why did Latin disappear so completely in Britain after the Romans left?

My impression, wholly prone to error, is that despite centuries of Roman occupation, after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, Latin virtually became a dead language in Britain. Other parts of the Roman ...
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Why didn't the Roman Princeps restructure or dismantle the Praetorian Guard?

Why did the princeps/emperors of various dynasties prior to Constantine the Great (d.337 AD) allow the Praetorian Guard to continue to amass such power and repeatedly cause trouble, including palace ...

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