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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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2answers
657 views

Was it not possible to exploit the gaps between each pre-modern melee formation?

Soldiers seem to be split into their respective companies or battalions but on the battlefield instead of presenting a complete front line they split up and leave gaps in the line between each ...
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500 views

What was the condition of women in “primitive societies” around the world?

In Book I, Chapter IV of "An Essay on the Principle of Population" (6th edition, 1826), Thomas Malthus states how terrible the condition of women was among "savage societies" (to which he meant ...
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331 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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228 views

What was the first recorded instance of burning a city or village in war?

I'm curious what the first recorded instance of a military putting a city or village to the torch. Certainly, war predates history, as does the tactic of destroying a dwelling, but I'm focused on ...
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261 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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425 views

What's the most ancient known example of a woman challenging feminine gender roles?

One example of that would be the goddess Inanna from Sumerian pantheon. She rejected to live as her culture felt a woman should live, namely, bear and raise children, do the housework, etc. In most ...
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287 views

Did the ancients build elaborate, automated traps?

Quite a few movies with archaeology have as part of the plot ancient traps with elaborate automation that are triggered by pressing or lifting something (e.g. Indiana Jones and "Les rivières pourpres ...
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147 views

Antoninus Pius coins

I have looked all over online and cannot find this specific coin. Can anyone help? We believe they are of Antoninus Pius, but I can’t identify anything on the back, although I believe the winged ...
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629 views

Did Ancient Egyptians in the 2nd millennium BC practice Astrology?

I'm aware that Ancient Egyptians did chart stars and have a relatively robust understanding of astronomy for the time. However, did they (say, in the 2nd millenium BC) practice astrology, such that ...
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1answer
2k views

Construction of the Great Cothon of Carthage

I'm fascinated by the Great Cothon of Carthage, but when I try to learn more about it online, there's surprisingly little information. Everyone has physical descriptions of the size and shape, but ...
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175 views

What is the etymological origin of the Marsi, the ancient Italic people?

The English Wikipedia article does not provide any etymological explanations on the demonym. The Italian article, which is marked as "recommended", points the name's origin to the Italic deity Mamerte,...
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653 views

How accurately could ancient soldiers/commanders maneuver during battles

I am currently working on a small strategy game/interactive simulation of historical battles, whose main goal is to give the player – playing as the general of a ancient army – a more realistic amount ...
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216 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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309 views

Why did Nebuchadnezzar keep King Jeconiah alive?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he appointed Zedekiah as his puppet-king and took King Jeconiah and his sons home with him. For what reasons would the king of a large empire of antiquity, ...
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1answer
588 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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208 views

Copper and Bronze Age Burials in Western Europe

Can anyone estimate the number of high-prestige burials that have been found in France, Spain or Portugal which date from, say, 3000 BC to 1000 BC? For example, supposing that there were 2000 persons ...
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1k views

Who suppressed the Book of Jubilees and why?

Wikipedia says the Book of Jubilees was suppressed in 4th century CE: The Book of Jubilees (Hebrew: ספר היובלים Sepher hayYobelim), sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient ...
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488 views

Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague?

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.
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221 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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540 views

Did Aetius or Attila fight in the Battle of Worms (436)?

I'm looking for information of the Battle of Worms (436). Exactly, did Flavius Aetius and/or Attila command or fight on it? Wikipedia page on Aetius, under the "Battles/wars" column, mentions only a "...
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510 views

On the history of Jewish places of worship

I was recently on holiday in Israel and Jordan on a tour that focussed on biblical and archaeological sites. As part of the tour, we visited Tel Arad which was probably built around 1100 BCE and ...
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250 views

What was the name of the father of Mesha, king of Moab?

In English translations of the Mesha Stele, the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite". However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele (rendered in ...
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305 views

What’s this odd hat/crown and is it related to Baal?

So I was looking at a history book and it was set in ancient Egypt, in the temple of karnak. They were talking about how their were doors only the pharaohs and priests were allowed in, and how they ...
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230 views

Did Marduk-balassu-iqbi help Assur-Danin-Pal?

This is a question about Assur-Danin-Pal and his relationship to the Babylonian kings. First I need to introduce the characters: Shalmaneser III: King of Assyria (859-824) Assur-Danin-Pal: His son, ...
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1answer
350 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 ...
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221 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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346 views

Was Marcus Marcellus faced with Viridomarus or Britomartus?

I seem to have come to a discrepancy, as I'm sure a lot have, concerning the event in which Marcus Claudius Marcellus is supposedly meant to have slain the King of the Insubres in 222 B.C.E. Plutarch ...
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579 views

How to make a proper chiton and himation?

I have been searching for instructions on how to make a proper chiton and himation, but can't find anything with a good level of detail and historical accuracy. Could someone point me to such a ...
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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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1k views

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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448 views

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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681 views

What is known about early history of Judaism?

What do we know about early history of Judaism? Do we know the timeline when these modern traits of modern Judaism developed: 1 Lifestyle restriction that we now find in Torah, such as the ...
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1k views

What religions (other than Judaism) worshiped only one god? [closed]

I am thinking of before Christ kind of ancient. Also it's difficult to differentiate Judaism with other religions. Other religions have lesser gods below the supreme gods. Jews' god have angels ...
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2answers
507 views

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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777 views

Are the Sabean people of Cushitic or Ethiopian origin?

The Sabeans are widely acknowledged to be of Semitic or south Arabian origin. Historical sources like Josephus Flavius and sections of the Bible seem to create conflicts about their origin. There is ...
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511 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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365 views

On the Ezana Stone, who are the black and red people that the Ethiopian king was referring to?

On the Ezana stone, the Axumite (modern day Ethiopia) king wrote in Ge'ez, Sabaean and Greek to describe his victory over the Kasu (Kushites) and Nuba (Nubians). He mentions the black and red peoples,...
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500 views

How were documents written in Plato's time?

I'm writing an essay at the moment and I rather thoughtlessly wrote down that they used books. But it seems to me that this might not be the case and that books might be a relatively new invention. ...
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3k views

From how far away could an experienced and skilled archer hit a man?

So I'm not asking about shooting into the enemy formation without specific target but targeting a single individual with a reasonable chance of success.
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207 views

Where is it recorded that Spartan common meals were followed by a recounting of noble deeds?

I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference. In On Manly Courage: A Study of Plato's Laches, on page 57, the author implies that Spartan common meals were followed by the recounting ...
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485 views

Could the warriors of the Tollense battlefield be considered the world's first standing army?

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle - from Science Mag (2016) Apparently an amateur archaeologist discovered this site in 1996 and there were thousands of warriors ...
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439 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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2k views

Which nation on Earth has been under foreign rule the longest? [closed]

The Philippines was under Spanish rule for over 333 years. After the Battle of Manila Bay and the Treaty of Paris (1898), rule of the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the USA. From a brief ...
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261 views

Are there any records of javelin throwing techniques from antiquity? For example, ancient Greece, such as peltasts?

I can find plenty of information of contemporary javelin throwing techniques, but I am interested to know if there are surviving records of javelin throwing, particularly from ancient Greece, and ...
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859 views

Was the use of imperial nicknames in ancient Rome meant as an insult?

A few Roman emperors are commonly known by nicknames. I'm thinking specifically of the Emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Antoninus (Caracalla.) These nicknames were never in official use, at least while ...
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Alexander the Great and Religion

Did Alexander impose his Greek polytheism on the Persians he conquered or did the Hellenization happen naturally over the course of time and Greek soldiers and traders living among them? Or was it ...
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173 views

What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II?

What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II who was named Hyrodes Anaridus on coins? The son of Orodes II, Pacorus invaded Judea, however I could not find ...
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707 views

Why didn't Caesar hire free men to do slave work?

So one of Caesar's significant policies in Roman politics was helping the peasants have land and work to make a living. Wonder why didn't he push laws that restricted the use of slaves and made those ...
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299 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 ...
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242 views

Micromanagement before the modern era?

We read a lot about the problem of micromanagement today, particularly in examples of failed leadership. And Google Ngram Viewer shows the first occurrences of the word in the 1970s. Did ancient (...