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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
686 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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2answers
1k views

Who was the first Pope?

I know that Peter is the first Pope, but I do believe that he is called a bishop and is one of several including the Bishops of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and others. Who was the first ...
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3k views

How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so they are effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be ...
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1answer
499 views

Are there any known instances of sub-Saharan African democracy before European colonialism?

I've been reading up on pre-Athenian democracy (sometimes referred to as primitive or tribal democracy) where leaders were selected by some or most members of a group and were subject to established ...
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4answers
478 views

What were the origins of democracy?

I realize that many people say that Athens is where democracy started, but is there any solid proof that it was the first? On Wikipedia, it is stated that: there is evidence to suggest that ...
7
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1answer
681 views

A Roman Admiral, a Tribune, a Legatus and a Promagistrate all walk into an arena

If these meet up, who is more senior than who, socially, politically and militarily? The Legatus, Admiral, and Tribune are from legions and fleets in different provinces to the Promagistrate. They ...
7
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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?
7
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1answer
278 views

What is known about the Antiu?

According to the Wikipedia page, the Antiu were desert-dwellers with whom the early Pharaohs waged continuous war. Is this the extent of our knowledge about them? For instance, do we know anything ...
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9answers
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Is there any evidence that the book of Isaiah was written before Cyrus?

The OT Prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th-century BC. Cyrus, the Emperor of Persia, lived well over one hundred years later: Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. Yet The Book of Isaiah in ...
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3answers
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How much faster/better are European printing press compared to Chinese block printing?

Some says China invented the printing press. However, another says that Gutenberg invented the printing press. Nevertheless, western printing press is superior for 2 reasons We know Gutenberg name. ...
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2answers
683 views

What do we currently know about the ethnic origins of Jews? [closed]

Putting aside the Old Testament, which details a story (perhaps true) of the origins of peoples including Jews, what has anthropology and genetics revealed so far about the origins of Jews? When did ...
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5answers
875 views

Monotheism/Atheism in Polytheistic societies

I would like to know if there are any documents telling us how common (or if it even existed) among people in polytheistic societies (like ancient Greece, Rome, etc.) it was to believe that there is ...
6
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1answer
293 views

What is the oldest inscription of Yahweh found?

Is it true that Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch found an inscription of Yahweh around 2500 BC? I've heard of the Stela of Mesha dated around 900 BC but I also came across Friedrich Delitzsch and ...
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4answers
476 views

How do I differentiate ancient ceramic from today's junk?

I've been to London's River Thames, a famous place where it is relatively easy to find ceramics and other relics of the past. I found something but I have no idea how to distinguish ancient stuff ...
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2answers
640 views

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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1k views

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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2answers
1k views

How did melee soldiers in the front rank of a formation fight without getting tired?

The Romans used a system of rotating out the front rank through a shield push. But how did other soldiers, for example the Greek Hoplites, fight in battles which often lasted hours without getting ...
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3answers
487 views

Oldest appearance of “brand names” in history?

I was watching a documentary about the Ulfberht swords from Scandinavia, and one thing caught my attention: it mentioned that these swords were made over a range of time and location that was broad ...
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4answers
506 views

Resources on the History of African Civilization

I was wondering if anyone might be aware of any good resources on the history and development of African civilizations? I will of course be seeking council from the Most Wise and Great God Google, ...
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2answers
504 views

When were the different stories of Hindu gods written?

I'm a Hindu by religion. And I really respect my religion like I respect others. But from my childhood, I'm listening a lot of stories about Hindu Gods and Goddess which are interrelated to each other....
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2answers
648 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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2answers
325 views

Who discovered cancer in Egyptian mummies?

Who was it that was responsible for the discovery that there are mummies found with cancer as the stated cause of death? And which Pharaoh or Pharaohs was it found in?
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2answers
168 views

What was the medium for Marcus Aurelius's Meditations?

I imagine Romans using papyrus and quills on a still table, allowing time for the ink to dry, which may not be possible in a battlefield. I once saw a documentary which depicts him walking off in ...
6
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1answer
396 views

Pythagoras: sinfulness of eating beans

I have read some of Pythagoras' commandments; they are strange. Any idea why he considered that eating beans was a sin? The book from which I took the data is 'history of western philosophy' by ...
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2answers
431 views

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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1answer
804 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 ...
6
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1answer
146 views

Hyrcanian Burial Practices

In Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (book I, section XLV), he remarks: It is customary with the Magi, to bury none of their order, unless they have been first torn by dogs. In Hyrcania, the people ...
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4answers
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Did ancient Egypt gain any significant cultural influence from other states/regions?

Western cultures, to the best of my understanding, can trace their roots back to Ancient Egypt. Many modern day Western cultures took influence from Rome, which in turn took influence from Greece, ...
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2answers
698 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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2answers
480 views

What Roman institutions were obsolete by the end of the Republic?

Background: Recently I've been reading about the Roman Republic, specifically about its last century of civil war and disorder, and I've noticed that some historians say that the Republic fell because ...
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1answer
169 views

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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5answers
3k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
254 views

When was the first recorded example of a race competition in human history?

Individuals in a race compete with another or others to see who is fastest. But when the race competition was invented? It is reported that races were popular in the ancient Olympic games: (see https:/...
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2answers
862 views

What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?

Inspired by a previous question on the historical treatment of the disabled, I wonder if there are any written sources from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian and civilizations from before 1400BCE ...
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1answer
3k views

Who first wrote about deafness?

Aristotle referred to the sense of hearing in his work "The Problems". He correlated hearing with the capacity of learning, he believed that the sense of hearing was the most important in order to ...
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2answers
444 views

When were the lictors abolished?

I wonder when the position of lictor was abolished in the Ancient Rome? Who was the last Emperor to have lictors as companions?
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2answers
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 ...
6
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1answer
704 views

Did Zoroastrianism influence some Ancient Greek Philosophers?

Ancient Greek Philosophy, was never monolithic, that is to say, the diversity of thought represented in the Greek Philosophers is well documented and well chronicled. However, did the Persian ...
6
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1answer
117 views

To what extent the Jewish theatre of the late Antiquity resembled the Greek one?

Sometime ago I had watched the film Agora by Alejandro Amenábar Although the film's idea is impressing, it stroke me with some suspicious historical details. For example, the Christian monks are ...
6
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1answer
507 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
379 views

Are the following 5 tenets of historical record examination considered complete today?

In his lectures recorded in the book Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records, p. 39, (https://archive.org/details/historicaleviden1862rawl), George Rawlinson outlines 4 laws or ...
6
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1answer
236 views

What is the earliest depiction of a crane?

Various sources on the internet - such as Crane (machine), A History Of The Crane and The sky is the limit: human powered cranes and lifting devices - state that the Ancient Greeks were the inventors ...
6
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1answer
135 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 & ...
6
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1answer
497 views

Is there any record of ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
498 views

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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0answers
196 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 ...
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2answers
17k views

How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

Alexander the Great conquered so much territory so quickly that I'm always surprised he was able to maintain control of it as his army pushed further east. What kept territories from reverting to ...
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2answers
455 views

How early did restrictions on hunting start?

Today in the US you can only hunt certain game during certain seasons. In medieval England, only certain people were allowed to hunt deer and boars. Legal restrictions on who could hunt what, where, ...
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2answers
2k views

Did ancient/medieval armies have music/chants to march to?

During battles or marching into battles did armies (like the Spartan or Eastern European armies) have music/chants to march to?