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).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Name of a small state west of the Xiongnu and south of Wusun c. 50 A.D [closed]

There was a very small state in Western Mongolia which played a part in the politics of ancient Mongolia, circa 50 A.D. It sounded something like Wu-Shan-Mu or Wu-Shi-Mu. During a war between the ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

Oldest manuscript of Arthashastra

Wikipedia page for Arthashastra states that three manuscripts have been recovered in the modern era for Kautilya's Arthashastra. One in 1905 which was identified by R. Shamasastry, and the other two ...
10
votes
1answer
489 views

What was the first example of a foreign mercenary unit?

Employing foreign mercenaries as royal guards is an ancient trend. The Pope employed Swiss guards starting with the Renaissance. The Basileus had his Varangian Guard. Even the Roman emperors briefly ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

I imagine they did not have the funds to buy or build heavy military ships, so I wonder what did they use. Did they re-purpose civilian ships?
9
votes
1answer
585 views

How old is the Egyptian winged disk? Is it Assyrian?

I assumed that the Winged disk was brought to Egypt by the Assyrians, and used prolifically during the Amarna period. However, I read on Wikipedia and elsewhere that it's known since the Old Kingdom, ...
9
votes
2answers
488 views

What jobs were available for migrants from the country to Rome?

I've read that the during the late Roman republic and early empire there was a great migration from country to urban living. Historians estimate in peninsular Italy 15%-20% of the population lived in ...
29
votes
5answers
10k views

How prevalent were recreational drugs in the ancient world?

A recent discussion about the Queen Mab Speech in Romeo and Juliet, prompted us to wonder whether Mercutio was on drugs. Which then led to the question of how prevalent recreational drugs where ...
2
votes
0answers
181 views

A comparison between the reforms of Athens and Rome

Question: What made it possible that, during the times of Solon, Athens underwent reforms characterized by isonomia, — that is, equality among citizens, — whereas their approximately contemporary ...
7
votes
2answers
849 views

Was Marc Antony with Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon?

Question I had always been told that he was, and Plutarch's Life of Antony certainly seems to imply as much. But I just read a passage in Adrian Goldsworthy's book, Caesar's Civil War 49-44 BC, ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there examples of pre-industrial cruise ship?

A writing site I frequent is running a month-long contest in which the prompt involves a maiden voyage of any sort. The idea I've generated in response to this is one about an ancient-era (e.g. ...
2
votes
3answers
612 views

Was Carausius the grandfather of Magnus Maximus?

According to Wikipedia, and Geni.com, the British usurper Carausius c. 286 is the grandfather of Magnus Maximus c. 383. This would chronologically make sense, but is a little bizarre. From what I ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

When is the first time any variation of the name Misraim is used to refer to Egypt?

I asked a question here previously related to this, and I would like to be more specific in this question. There are numerous ancient records such as the Ugaritic tablets, the Assyrian & ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do people say, “Alexander the Great conquered the world?”

In many books, articles, or even in folktales, whenever Alexander III of Macedon (referred to as Alexander the Great) is mentioned, it is said that he conquered the world. Even some historian say that ...
1
vote
1answer
360 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
560 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
950 views

Did ancient or medieval warriors “substitute” in and out of combat?

This question arose in the role-playing games SE Some claim that in archery, horse archery, or hand-to-hand combat, a warrior could function effectively for at most 2-3 minutes. Therefore, frontline ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

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 ?
1
vote
2answers
223 views

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
429 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
185 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
323 views

Did Nabataean traders use linen, or cotton, for their sails?

While studying the Arab and African sea trade along the Red Sea and points south, I read an article on Nabataea.net that reads It is thought that originally sails were woven from coconut of palm ...
1
vote
1answer
474 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?
6
votes
1answer
770 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
162 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What did the ancient Egyptians think of Khufu?

What did the ancient Egyptians think of Khufu? Did they feel he was cruel, strict, kind, greedy, ect? I need this information for a school project I'm working on about Khufu.
3
votes
3answers
824 views

Where can I find reliable primary sources written by Ancient Egyptian laborers?

I am working on a Year 12 New Kingdom Pharaoh assignment. I have chosen Ramesses II and must determine if he was an effective king. I have decided that he was, but now I just have to provide the ...
4
votes
1answer
510 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.
2
votes
0answers
361 views

Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

I thought I had found two examples of honor killing in ancient literature, although people online have disagreed with me. In Livy, the killing of Verginia by her father Verginius in ancient Rome ...
0
votes
2answers
245 views

Ancient Isis Origin

I am writing an essay on how ancient Isis was originated in Egypt. I have 2 out of 3 points. Her temple in egypt and the ancient texts from egypt. I need 1 more point. Can anyone help?
21
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
195 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the largest battle fought by ancient Rome?

What was the largest battle, by number of participants, in which ancient Rome took part? Not counting sieges. A quick Google search reveals nothing authoritative, but some discussion threads mention ...
0
votes
1answer
721 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

Number of artisanal working hours spent on making Terracota Army

Basing on Wikipedia: Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses around 8780 ...
5
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
381 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
476 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
348 views

Birth by Caesarean Section in Ancient Times

[I have asked a variation of this question already on the Judaism Stack Exchange, but am offering a broader version of it here.] According to US National Library of Medicine, the first recorded ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

What are the dimensions of this pomerium marker?

The pomerium of Vespasian from 75AD (pictured below) was moved to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome in the 20th century. What are its dimensions, and what is its height, measuring from street level to ...
0
votes
1answer
547 views

Why were the Maya's cities abandoned? [duplicate]

I actually have done research on the Maya, the Inca, and the Aztecs, but I'm wondering about a specific question that we had to study on flashcards for a test on a few days ago, which stated, " What ...
2
votes
2answers
237 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
669 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 ?
2
votes
3answers
725 views

When did Herod the Great die?

I have read the article Did Herod the "Great" Really Die In 4 B.C.? which argues that Herod the Great might have died in 4 BC instead of 1 BC. What is the evidence of this claim? Is this new date ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the median price for a slave child in the Augustan Rome?

Just for example, 8 years old boy or 9 years old girl. So, not a newborn baby or toddler (no need for extended expenses for dedicated child-rearing nannies, wet nurses, etc.), but still too small to ...
12
votes
1answer
468 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 ...