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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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1answer
229 views

Is there any historic record of using a wooden bow as a club?

Every time I see someone hit a person with the limb of a wooden bow in a movie I cringe. I mean first of all, it's way too light, thin and bendy to have any reasonable impact, but hollywood is as ...
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1answer
347 views

Was the grooming ritual of clipping one's toe/fingernails common practice in the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean/Mesopotamia?

In most societies today, keeping one's nails trimmed within a few mms of the top of the nail plate is the grooming standard. Do we have evidence that clipping nails when they reached a certain length ...
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1answer
221 views

Dating of Hammurabi discrepancy

I have multiple sources regarding the code of Hammurabi/Hammurapi and they have two conflicting dates of origin. Some give a date of compilation at near 1795-1750 B.C and some date it at 2250 B.C. ...
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1answer
394 views

How was the Roman Princeps Senatus appointed?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) was supposed to have been nominated by the censors, who were elected every 5 years for 1 and a half years. What happened when the ...
4
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1answer
270 views

Did the Roman senate immediately send new governors after the death of proconsuls/propraetors?

I would like to know whether the Roman senate sent replacements for deceased governors (due to illness, accident, war, ...) immediately after hearing of their death or was content to entrust the ...
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1answer
4k views

When did waving become a part of human interaction? [closed]

When did waving to others to say hello or goodbye first enter the historical record as part of a culturally accepted form of human interaction?
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1answer
631 views

Are there any texts/translations of the 4 main Egyptian creation myths?

According to wikipedia there are 4 main Egyptian Creation Myths. These appear to be: Ogdoad creaton myth of Hermopolis Creation myth of Atum from Heliopolis Creation myth of Ptah from Memphis ...
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6answers
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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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Use of war elephants in Egypt

In a discussion with a friend, we came up with this topic. We know that Indians, Carthaginians and Persians were famous for their use of war elephants in ancient warfare. But the games like Age of ...
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0answers
165 views

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 ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
253 views

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? [closed]

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? If Alexander would have decided to go westwards, would it be as successful and rewarding in comparison to his ...
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7answers
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Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost? [closed]

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
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4answers
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Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

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
638 views

Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
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1answer
656 views

Instances of Jauhar around the world

Is there any evidence that the practice similar to Jauhar existed in places other than India? It seems like a pretty effective way, however brutal it may be, to escape slavery, rapes and imprisonment ...
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1answer
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When and where, exactly, did the concept of a male god eating grapes orginate?

I am sure you have seen, somewhere, of a male god eating grapes or in some classical romantic settings, a half-naked woman putting grapes in the mouth of a half-naked man. I am very curious, where and ...
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1answer
224 views

Marcellus and his work “Aethiopica”

According to the philosopher Proclus, a man named Marcellus was an author of a book called "Aethiopica". This i presume, is a historical work about Africa. According to Proclus, Marcellus gives a ...
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2answers
587 views

What's the relationship between Solomon's Temple and Christians? [closed]

An Evangelical-Pentecostal church has built a huge replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil. But why Solomon's Temple? What does it have to do with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? It's very odd to ...
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1answer
327 views

Was the wall of the Second Temple part of the fortification of Jerusalem?

In the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, there is a 1:50 model of Jerusalem from the Roman period (Holyland Model of Jerusalem). There it shows that the Temple was at the edge of the city and seemingly one ...
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1answer
128 views

First reference to the city of Kish

I wanted to ask when exactly in the cuneiform record was the name Kish first mentioned. I realize as a Sumerian nation Kish has existed as early as 3000/2900 BC, but when was the city given an ...
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1answer
263 views

Name of the ancient law that forbade naming/publicising the name of a criminal?

I think it was a Roman law, and it said that when a horrific crime was committed, the criminal could not be named, and anyone who disobeyed would suffer capital punishment. I can't remember the name, ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the story of war that started with “if”?

I was told about a story, of how one army sent terms to another army threatening 'if' they did not obey them, they would be punished. The receiving army replied to the threat with one word "if". I ...
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2answers
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How did the ancient Chinese coordinate armies of tens and hundreds of thousands?

According to what I've read, during the Warring States period and also later during the Three Kingdoms period there were armies of the magnitude of (a few) hundred thousands. How could they ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there any examples of soldiers faking their death a combat before the modern era? [closed]

Let me give you a simple scenario, let's say two huge armies are attacking each other, thousands of soldiers are attacking, one of the armies starts to have a lot of casualties and begins to retreat (...
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2answers
559 views

Wanderwort origins and the Indus Valley Civilization? [closed]

I have noticed that there seem to be many words that have travelled the globe due to trade, such as the word orange or rice, which have plausible origins in proto-Dravidian. Meanwhile, it is ...
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1answer
611 views

How is it known that Phidias used the golden ratio in the Parthenon?

I can see it is widely accepted he did, so there must be some source backing this up, since no work of his has survived (except for a vase in Olympia with the inscription "I belong to Phidias"). What ...
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12answers
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Why is Dravidian history ignored? [closed]

Whenever I read an article on ancient Indian history, I see people only writing about the Indus valley civilization and the Aryans. But what about Dravidians? Didn't they exist even before the Aryans ...
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2answers
4k views

Which is the oldest language in the World? [closed]

I want to know which are the oldest languages in the world? And within those, which is still in use?
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1answer
156 views

Were there rules about the number of retainers for the Achaemenid Empire?

In Rome, magistrates (and later the emperors too) each had a fixed number of lictors, according to the rank of the office they held. Is a similar regulation of the number of retainers according to ...
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1answer
395 views

What was the main role of alcoholic drinks in ancient to medieval times? [closed]

I assume that alcoholic drinks served two main purposes in centuries gone by: To purify water for consumption Drunkenness I'm not clear on number one being the case, and if it is I'm not sure which ...
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1answer
297 views

Are there any images from ancient times in which Heracles is shown with a cornucopia?

I have read in Wikipedia the cornucopia was created when Heracles wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns. Are there any images from ancient times in which Heracles is ...
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2answers
811 views

What's the origin of Crespi plates? [closed]

I've found this article about The Mysterious Crespi Collection & The Metal Library And there is a picture of The enigmatic Crespi plate: And it's said: The age and origin of these items is ...
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2k views

How to validate a historical source

You can learn and understand history various ways such as learning in a university, reading books, being taught by someone with a background in history, watching TV, browsing the internet, or, in my ...
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4answers
1k views

What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture?

Vikings didn't have horned helmets as is often depicted. Where can I find accurate representations how vikings and viking society looked?
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1answer
691 views

Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
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1answer
143 views

Why did Antiochus IV of the Seleucids work so hard to keep Coele-Syra from Ptolemy VI of Eygpt?

In 168 BC when Antiochus IV king of the Seleucid Empire marched on Alexandria to make sure that Ptolemy VI of Egypt would not try to take back the land that Antiochus' ancestors had gained for Egypt, ...
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1answer
166 views

When was the first form of footwear invented? [closed]

I am researching into the reasoning behind humans having toes, and as part of that need to know when footwear was first used. By this I mean when did humans begin to transition from bare-foot to "...
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3answers
3k views

Buddhists in ancient Alexandria and Rome

I came across this quote in an interview with British philosopher Jonardon Ganeri: What I would add is that philosophy did not have a single origin, but many origins around the world, and each of ...
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2answers
10k views

How was iron obtained in ancient times? [closed]

Today we have advanced machines to mine iron, but it was not so a millennium ago. How did our ancestors locate the presence of iron deposits, mine them and make weapons out of them? How did they ...
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1answer
2k views

How did people clean their teeth in the past? (Greco-Roman to medieval age)

How did people clean their teeth in the past? How in these days the tooth decay was faced?
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3answers
2k views

Did the Delphic oracle speak gibberish?

Wikipedia's article on the Delphic oracle says: The usual theory has been that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke ...
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13answers
166k views

Why didn't Alexander invade India?

Alexander conquered most parts of the Western World, but there is a great deal of controversy over his invasion of India. In BC 327 Alexander came to India, and tried to cross the Jhelum river for the ...
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Were early accounts of ancient child prostitution accurate?

Well I'm doing a research about the history and background of Child Sexual Abuse and due to the few sources related to the topic, I've been stucked ,but recently a I found this book "The Encyclopedia ...
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1answer
392 views

How did pre-modern historians explain Qin's unification of China?

The Qin state unified China at the end of the Warring states period. After centuries of incessant warfare, in just under a decade Qin managed to conquer its opponents in quick succession. Modern ...
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1answer
1k views

What do they do with corpses after a battle? [closed]

In the ancient time (maybe Roman era) when a war finishes, when an army killed (yield) another army, generally speaking what do they do with the corpses? My question is specified to a war in a ground ...
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3answers
783 views

When was the “New Kingdom” of Egypt first called that?

When was the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550BC to 1077BC) first called "New Kingdom" (or something cognate)?
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2answers
703 views

The monumental/architectural sculptures of Petra - has there been any research on the likely craftsmen who executed them?

The Nabatean people who founded Petra are described as a pre-Islamic Arab people. Centrally located on the spice trade routes, they achieved fabulous wealth and settled in the city of Petra. A recent ...
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1answer
1k views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
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3answers
928 views

Army formation: veterans at the first line

I am trying to understand the early roman legion deployment. I can see some advantages to putting the inexperienced warriors at the first line and the veterans at the last. But have there been ...