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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11
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2answers
1k views

Is there a relationship between the Pelasgians and Sea Peoples?

Wikipedia describes the Pelasgians as follows: all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the advent of the Greek language. And that these people where seen ...
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1answer
368 views

Historical Claims Against Jesus Christ's Existence? [closed]

According to this article, "no one in the ancient world ever flatly denied that Jesus performed miracles – let alone that he existed." Is this historically accurate? Are there any claims in history ...
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What is the true reason for the destruction of the Indus Civilisation? [closed]

I would like to know the views that the historians of this age give about the destruction of the Indus Civilisation. Some views were like foreign invasions, natural disasters and epidemics. But I ...
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Are many Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? [closed]

Are many Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? Some historians say yes, but some do not. There had been archaeological diggings in Saint-Petersburg and the Novgorod region, as seen in one rare ...
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1answer
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The meaning of Pan-India Character? [closed]

What is meant by the Pan-India Character during the Mauryan Empire at the time of Chandagupta Maurya ?
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What was the role of state sacrifices and music in Ming China?

I don't understand what is the role of music in their lives and what is the relevance between sacrifices and music? As a historical ethnomusicologist, I wish I could do fieldwork in the Ming court, ...
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77 views

First Century (or earlier) gesture signifying peace between two parties?

I am working on a painting set in the first century which shows a military group confronting another group in the Middle East. I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make ...
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3answers
445 views

Why and when did countries develop long names that include the form of government?

Every country has different names, for example “China” vs “People's Republic of China”. But when I look back into history I see that countries in the past only had one name. For example the ancient ...
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194 views

Is Livy to much of a romantic to be considered credible? [closed]

If you compare, for example the writings between Titus Livius and his Greek counterpart from a century earlier, Polybius, does Livy prove himself credible with his fantastical writing styles and ...
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1answer
515 views

Did the people of the past consider plants alive? [closed]

Did the people of the past consider plants alive? If so, how did they come to the idea that plants have something in common with animals?
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1answer
861 views

Historicity of Agamemnon

Is there discussion among scholars about whether the Agamemnon of the Iliad was was closely based on a real person, probably with some embellishments and inaccuracies? What books, if any, could I read ...
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98 views

Which were the most entrepreneurial AND prosperous cities in different eras? [closed]

[For what I mean by "an entrepreneurial and prosperous city," see the bulleted points below.] We're looking for a name for a research project. We're trying to be creative with the name and one of the ...
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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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2answers
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Was respiratory rate used as time measurement?

There is a Jewish source that an hour was split into 1080 parts and there seems to be an explanation for that number that it is the amount of breaths taken in an hour (18 breaths per minute (which is ...
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1answer
529 views

What types of jobs did upper class Romans do?

I am working on a book based on the first century, I need to know the types of jobs you'd need to be in the upper class, as well as the poor.
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2answers
240 views

What are some settlements in Greece circa 2000 BCE - 1900 BCE?

While looking at some data for a game I was working on set in 2000 BCE, I had the big problem: what are some ancient Greek settlements from between 2000 BCE and 1900 BCE? The Minoans at the time had ...
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What is the oldest precisely dated event? [duplicate]

I'm wondering what is the oldest date we can precisely place on ancient events. Ideally, I would like to know the oldest human event that we know (at least today) the exact day it happened (with ...
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1answer
290 views

Did Machimoi fight in Phalanx formation?

The 'Machimoi' were low ranking Egyptian foot soldiers, pressed into service by the Ptolemaic Dynasty during a period of manpower shortage. The term Máchimoi... ...commonly refers to a broad ...
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What is the history of standing armies in India?

Specifically, the points I am looking answers to are: 1) What is the first recorded instance of a standing army in the Indian subcontinent. 2) When did it become a general practice to have standing ...
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8answers
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How severe were the casualties in ancient/medieval battles?

I've heard that in most battles prior to the introduction of gunpowder weapons, the casualties were usually very low (around 5% even in long battles) prior to the moment when someone's formation was ...
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1answer
750 views

Why didn't the Romans set up breeding mechanisms as a main source to supplement their population of slaves instead of relying on defeated enemies? [closed]

By the time of the Flavians there were large reductions in the supply of slaves, both those peacefully imported from outside the Empire and those captured in military campaigns. It was a time of ...
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5answers
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In what language did Caractacus deliver his speech to the emperor Claudius?

In The Annals, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the British chieftain Caractacus and how he was captured by the Romans. According to him, Caractacus was taken to Rome along with his ...
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1answer
501 views

Legendary visits by Alexander the Great

There is a story about Alexander the Great visiting Jerusalem. This story is not supported by other sources, as far as I know, and so is probably not literally true (it may well reflect some ...
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2answers
485 views

Internal crisis of the Roman Republic before the Gracchi

The beginning of the Roman Republic is traditionally dated to 509 BC, when the Roman king Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown. Wikipedia article about the Crisis of the Roman Republic states that ...
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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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1answer
225 views

How did Tetricus, the last Gallic Emperor, obtain his agnomen?

Gaius Pius Esuvius Tetricus was the last emperor of the short-lived Gallic Empire (260–274 AD). "Tetricus" in Latin means cheerless or dark, which makes me think there may be an anecdote on how he ...
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1answer
856 views

What Roman legions in Spain revolted against Caesar before the battle at Munda?

I was debating an interesting topic recently about Pompey's legions in Spain and why they hadn't fought alongside him against Caesar at Pharsalus. Now Caesar forcefully convinced most of them to join ...
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1answer
284 views

History of eponymous cities

Alexander the Great founded many Alexandrias. Following his example, the Diadochi and the Epigoni did the same: Antigonia, Demetria, Lysimachia, Seleucia, Antiochia, Cassandreia... This trend seems ...
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When, where, why did clean shaving for men become the norm?

Fashions come in and out, and beards alternate between trendy and passe. By the introduction of the safety razor, shaving had obviously become so common that even the poorest farmer could afford to ...
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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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3answers
333 views

When did ancient kings, tribes etc. started to think about becoming an own part of history and act accordingly?

This question is probably tricky to answer accurately. One possibility is probably to look when ancient people and societies started to be seriously interested in history of earlier tribes or started ...
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What were the thoughts of the Celts, Romans and other ancient European people about the standing stones which survive from prehistoric times?

All over Europe, there are monuments of stone such as stonehenge, although many are not so grand as stonehenge is. Contra Asterix, the Celts didn't carve out menhirs and things like that. The stones ...
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0answers
931 views

How did physical exercise (stretching) originate in the Western world?

This is a list of mentions I found with my short googling: The yoga exercise technics were well-known in Asia as a both physical and mental health cure for a long time. According to Wikipedia, ...
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1answer
739 views

What's the oldest monomyth?

What is the oldest example of the Joseph Campbell's monomyth (AKA: Hero's Journey) story structure ? I know about Homer's Odyssey (circa VII BC). Are there any older examples ?
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144 views

When was the Passover Seder ritual formalized?

When were the Passover Seder customs in their present form formalized? As a terminus post quem I think we can surely take 70 CE when the Second Temple was destroyed since parts of the Seder ...
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4answers
3k views

How much is known about the Punic language (of classical Carthage)?

How much is known of the Carthaginian language, which as I understand it is called Punic and descended from Phoenician? Google searches show some sketches of alphabet characters and such, but do we ...
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1answer
477 views

In the biography of Turing by Hodges an ancient Celtic tradition is mentioned of killing the last to arrive

According to Hodges, Turing compared some modern custom to the torture and killing of the last to arrive at Celtic councils. I can find no other mention of this elsewhere; can anyone expand upon or at ...
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1answer
224 views

Where did the names of these Tyrian kings come from?

Wikipedia gives a whole list of the kings of Tyre and basically cites as its source Josephus Against Apion, Book I, §18) in the name of Menander of Ephesus, a historian who wrote about Tyrian history (...
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Why did the Phoenicians let the Hebrews (Jews) settle in Canaan?

I know the Hebrews (Jews) started traveling from shumor and Mesopotamia before entering Canaan (Today it is Israel). The Phoenicians were located at the time in Lebanon and Israel area. The ...
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1answer
220 views

How many civilians of Roman empire (except jews) died in the Bar Kokhba revolt?

The wiki entry about Bar Kokhba revolt has no information or indication about how many Roman civilians died in that conflict. 580,000 Jews killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed; "many ...
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1answer
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How could ancient people determine the winter solstice was occurring?

How could astronomers in the ancient world determine that the winter solstice was occurring? According to whoever edited the Wikipedia article on the winter solstice, it's too hard for modern ...
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3answers
8k views

How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
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4answers
589 views

What is the largest mutiny in human history? [closed]

What is the largest mutiny in terms of people involved (approx.) or the number of days it lasted in the recorded history? - Mutiny - Mutiny is a criminal conspiracy among a group of people (typically ...
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2answers
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When the term “president” was used the first time?

Wikipedia mentions that the term was used in Oxford and Cambridge universities at least in 1464. But I wonder whether the title was used somewhere before. Was is used under Ancient Rome?
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Why was ancient Christianity more successful than the Roman pantheon and Judaism in gaining followers?

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
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1answer
135 views

What were the relative contributions of oral & literary education in 5th century BCE Athens?

I've read an article about Plato's Academy and how knowledge was spread in Athens in the middle of 5th century BCE. It was thought that knowledge was spread through speaking (orally). But some ...
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2answers
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Was the Minoan civilization warlike?

Generally, it is believed that the Minoan civilization on Crete was peaceful and their culture was more like a culture of peace than a culture of war. But I've read an article lately that suggests ...
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1answer
176 views

Did Emperor Pushyamitra Shunga persecute Buddhists?

Did Emperor Pushyamitra Shunga persecute Buddhists?
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653 views

Who is the most ancient Indo-European who is known by name?

Who is the most ancient historical Indo-European who is known by name? In other words, is it Pythonos, king of Kussara (17th century BC) or are there more ancient figures?
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0answers
244 views

What is the age of Budarsinghi Temple?

There is a small Hanuman temple about 30 kilometers south of Hubli in my home state of Karnataka in India. Below is the image of Lord Hanuman's idol. The idol certainly looks quite old, but the folks ...