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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What was the largest ancient theatre?

If I was to be more specific, can anyone name the largest ancient Greco-Roman theater-(excluding the Roman amphitheaters, such as the Coliseum in Rome and Verona, as well as the amphitheater in ...
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Did Archimedes spend time in Alexandria, Egypt?

We know that Archimedes was a native of Syracuse , Sicily and that much of his scientific and inventive works were conducted in this particular Eastern Sicilian city during the 200'S BC/BCE. However, ...
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What is the likely ethnic origin of the Minoans?

Ever since the discovering and unearthing of the Knossos Palace in Northern Crete over 100 years ago, Archaeology and History have learned a great deal about "The Minoans"-(or Ancient Cretans). ...
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Did Saint Paul preach at the Theater in Philippi?

We know that Saint Paul traveled to and spent much time in Philippi-(in the North of Greece). In fact, Saint Paul began his European mainland mission in Ancient Neapolis-(present-day Kavala) and then ...
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When was the last name introduced in World History?

If you notice one major thing about Ancient-(or Pre-Modern) History, the most well known and studied figures only have one name-(i.e. Homer, Aristotle, Virgil, Ovid, etc.). When was the last name ...
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Intuitive misconceptions [closed]

Are there any ideas that one would have in History intuitively that would be disproven by analysis? On the other hand, are there any intuitive historical ideas that have been verified by historians? ...
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Evidence of Iron Age migrations into India (1000-600)

I was reading a History of India by Michael Edwardes. It says that by 600 B.C., the northwest had been closed off to invaders. It made me wonder about migrations up to this period. I only know about ...
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How did the Graeco-Bactrian empire come to accept Buddhism?

I am trying to find something along the lines of acceptance of Buddhism by Graeco-Bactrians. I would like to learn more about western India and Graeco-Bactrian empire especially from a political, ...
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Why did some ancient societies make human sacrifices but others did not?

Why did some ancient societies like the Mayans and Aztecs make human sacrifices whereas others such as the Romans did not? Was this just chance or was there some environmental difference that made ...
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What was the strategic importance of Judea?

I'm interested in ancient Judea, from the dissolution of the monarchy to the beginning of John Hyrcanus. It was a small wedge to the west of the Dead Sea. What was the strategic significance of this ...
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How would Zenobia's associates and servants address her?

After Zenobia's army annexed some of the neighbors' lands, and especially after her conquest of Egypt, how would they address her? Would they use some sort of honorific? If so, what would it be?
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How, if at all, is published pseudohistory publicly addressed by scholars and academia?

To start of I would like to make it clear that I am not a historian or academian of any kind. I'm only interested in history as a hobby. I was just browsing to buy an audiobook in area of Ancient ...
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Were there any Ancient Greek theatres not built on a hill/slope?

I was wondering the other day whether there were any Ancient Greek theatres that weren't built on the side of a hill. Normally we associate them with having a curved, raised seating area. The purposes ...
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Did a ritual of pushing 60-year-olds off a bridge really exist in Archaic Rome?

I've read about the archaic Roman practice of killing 60-year-olds by pushing them off a bridge, in a book by historian Eva Cantarella, namely Perfino Catone scriveva ricette - I greci, i romani e noi ...
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Does there exist a comprehensive list of every ancient document and artifact ever recovered?

If I wanted to become an expert on Mesopotamia, for instance, and I wanted to read every text written in that region from the dawn of recorded history to the 5th century CE, could I find a complete ...
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Was Greece the only thing stopping a Persian invasion of Europe?

During the Greco-Persian war, it is of course well documented that the Greeks managed to hold off the Persians in numerous conflicts including the Battle of Thermopylae (not strictly a victory, I know,...
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Which fortress east of Ancient Megiddo did Thutmose III go to during the siege?

After the ancient Battle of Megiddo, the rebels fell back to the city of Megiddo and the Egyptian army was victorious. The Egyptian army besieged the city of Megiddo by building a moat and a wooden ...
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Why weren't the Egyptians attacked on sight in the ancient Battle of Megiddo?

In 1457 BC, Thutmose III and his army had to pass the mountains to reach Megiddo. He had three passes he could go through, one in the North, called Jokneam Pass, and another pass in the South, called ...
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Why are some Pharaohs depicted wearing the red or the white crowns even after the unification of Egypt?

We know that the red "Deshret" crown was used by the Pharaohs of Lower Egypt (Or in occasions related only to Lower Egypt), and the white "Hedjet" crown was used by Pharaohs of Upper Egypt (Or in ...
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Has there been an occasion where ranged weapons were available but not used?

I have been trying to prove my thinking wrong. I believe that there can never be an occasion where ranged weapons are available in outdoor battles / skirmishes that they would not be used. I am ...
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963 views

Were ancient (Greek) battles fought like duels between heroes? [closed]

In dramas on TV and film we are often shown a "hero" standing in front of the army, fighting alone against a "villain". Their soldier comrades don't help out much, as we would expect them to do in ...
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When is the Cumaean Temple to Apollo dated?

Cumae was founded by Ionians from Euboea around 750. Cumae had a Temple to Apollo and Sibyline oracle that channeled Apollo. In Greece, Apollo and its oracle became active in the eighth century. It ...
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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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Are there non-Biblical references to collecting foreskins?

The Old Testament is awfully big on foreskins (e.g. Genesis 34 and 1 Samuel 18:27). In particular, the Israelites are fond of collecting the foreskins of their enemies, usually after they have been ...
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How was body temperature checked before thermometers?

Medicine always advances, and it's obvious that many decades or centuries ago, some medical procedures were done differently. I'd like to find out about how body temperature was checked in the past ...
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Did Roman unmarried men have a preferred hand and finger for wearing their seal ring?

I have read that, generally, Roman men during the Empire would wear only one ring at a time. For instance here: http://m.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-clothing/roman-jewelry.htm An unmarried one ...
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131 views

Were Pharaohs still inscribed on walls and written on papyrus after their deaths?

If so, was it done for historical record, or tradition? Any details on this appreciated. Do we have any instances of artifacts depicting past Pharaohs or events that occurred before they were created?...
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180 views

Why did Archelaus move the capitol of Macedon to Pella?

Archelaus transferred the capitol of Macedon from Aegae to Pella in the early 4th century B.C. What could have been the reason for this?
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What is the oldest example of conurbation?

Georges Roux, in his book Ancient Iraq (Third edition, p. 68), says that The city of Uruk was born of the coalescence of two towns 800 metres apart: Kullaba, devoted to the sky-god An (or Anu), ...
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How did they cook on ancient ships?

In ancient times, ships would often be at sea for extended periods of time. During this time, I'm assuming they must have done some form of cooking, otherwise they would have just eaten cold, pre-...
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What is the history of time tracking?

Why did human decide to take track of time? how did human find out about time first? and when and how did they felt some thing called time? there are some guesses but I want to know if there is any ...
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Who titled the works of Aristotle?

I had always assumed that Aristotle titled his own works. But under the Wikipedia article on Metaphysics, it gives an alternative explanation for the origin of the work's title: Subsequent to the ...
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Major power shift in Gaul circa 350 B.C

I realize this is a little before history and therefore interpretive. I recall reading something about a shift that took place in Gaul, some time before the Romans came there. It may have been around ...
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269 views

Who were some Greek Plebeian Gentes, especially from Magna Graecia?

I'm looking for foreign influences on the Plebeians. Who are some Plebeian Gentes that were Greek, perhaps from Magna Graecia or Sicily? I vaguely recall reading about one from Campania, who came in ...
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Are there registers of the scores and participation in ancient Olympic games?

There are sources listing who (i.e. which country) participated in each Modern Olympic Game and the scores achieved by them. Does such data exist for the Ancient Olympic Games? Are there information ...
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601 views

What did ancient countries call themselves? [closed]

Especially non-European nations -- I'm under the impression that the names given to these countries, e.g. "the Maurya Dynasty", "the Qin Dynasty", "the Akkadian Empire", "the Old Kingdom of Egypt", ...
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Is there any evidence that Assyrian or Babylonian kings ate their enemies?

Is there any evidence that Assyrian or Babylonian kings took their captive/conquered enemies and actually ate their bodies (dead or alive)? EDIT I apologize for not explaining where I am coming from ...
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What kind of object is pictured in these two Roman fresco wall paintings?

Both are paintings in the same house near Naples. They were excavated from the ashes of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Apparently, they picture the same kind of object. But what is it?
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Were the Tuatha De Danann really from India? [closed]

There is news claiming that the Irish folk gods, the Tuatha De Danann, were really Indian, and that their followers have similar practices to ancient Indians. Is that why the Celtic people are called ...
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Was Plato present at Socrates' trial?

According to Plato's version of Socrates's Apology, he was present at the trial. However, I could not find any other historical source which says he either was or wasn't at the trial. Are there such ...
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Kurds and their relation to the start of civilization?

Is there a relationship between these folks and the start of civilization? Mehrdad Izady suggests that they started civilization via establishing the agricultural production. How can this be possible, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...

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