83

The answer is probably Yes, some Greeks had visited the peak around 2900 meters above the sea level. Average people who are fit can easily do it, at least from one side. But it's important to realize that they didn't expect to meet gods there. According to the Greek teaching, the divine and human spheres only overlapped but they were not identical. One ...


75

Xenia is a concept that represented the relationship between guests and hosts in Ancient Greece, and is a recurring theme in the Odyssey, Iliad, and other Greek works. Essentially, Penelope was fulfilling the expected cultural role of a generous host, whereas the suitors were breaking their role as courteous guests. For adhering to that culture's expectation ...


65

The number of legs is correct. It's the number of heads that is wrong. The chariot depicted is an Olympic quadriga which was driven by four horses. The artist probably found it difficult to make a design that included all four horse heads, so he just drew two of them.


62

SHORT ANSWER Most battles were short and thus the shield did not have to be held for long in combat. Also, Spartans who survived the training which began in early childhood were extremely tough both physically and mentally. Lastly, most historians of ancient Greek warfare have estimated that the shield used in classical times weighed between 13.5 lbs / 6.12 ...


56

Presumably no earlier than the ninth century, as there is this: 804 Hellenes of Laconia, Greece, resist the attempt of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, to convert them to Christianity. Further searching yields this, though it seems to be rather thinly sourced: The Maniots began to convert to Christianity in the 9th century AD, but it wasn't ...


51

Lars' answer has addressed the fact that the shields (know as a hoplon) often didn't need to be held for long; I'd like to address the actual mechanics. Image showing the shield held close in to the body, with straps and left shoulder taking most of the weight - photo by Grant Mitchell [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia ...


49

Herodotus' Histories is the primary source for the second Persian invasion of Greece, which started with the famous1 Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Herodotus describes the battle in Book 7 (Polymnia) of the Histories, starting at paragraph 175: The Greeks, on their return to the Isthmus, took counsel together concerning the words of Alexander, and ...


49

The author of that particular claim appears to have been Diogenes the Cynic. This is the same man who was said to carry around a lantern in broad daylight, claiming to be (futilely) looking for an honest man to anyone who asked about it. He was also known to heckle Plato and other philosophers, as well as political leaders, and just generally seems to have ...


47

Quite a bit, actually. Graeco-Roman mythology was a significant part of the education curriculum. Much of the educated elite would have been broadly familiar with ancient Greek mythologies through its Latin form, albeit overlaid with a Christian point of view. In High Medieval England, an anthology of six works known collectively as the Liber Catonianus (...


44

Prior to Phillip's time, the ancient Greek world was fragmented in (often warring) city states and kingdoms, and citizenship was considered far more important than nationality or ancestry. Pericles' reforms (451 BC) exemplify the distinction: From that point on Athenian citizens would lose their citizenship if they married non Athenians, regardless of their ...


43

There is a difference between abstract knowledge and "inventions". In the 17th century it was still widely believed that the ancient Greeks had discovered and formulated pretty much the sum total of abstract knowledge. Fermat put this in question. The authentic quote from Fermat (in French and in English translation) can be found here: Perhaps, posterity ...


39

It is impossible to ascertain for sure. Eleven gods of the Greek major pantheon all lived in various named corners of the mountain. Even Zeus resided on only the second-highest of the many peaks, with the highest, Mytikas, reserved as their meeting pace.) This suggests that the ancient Greeks were familiar with the terrain of the mountain. The summit ...


36

It would be very interesting to see a chart of rate of innovation over time in western civilization. Of course, this begs the question of what is "innovation". Do you count number of inventions? Do you give more weight to inventions that would have long lasting significance through history? Or ones that may have been less influential but providing a huge ...


36

The Macedonian phalanx had limited protection from missiles in the form of their long spears, but it's true that it was vulnerable to missile fire. For example, during the Battle of Ipsus (fought among Alexander's successor states), Seleucus's horse archers devastated the enemy phalanx, causing many to flee. However, the phalanx did not fight alone. A ...


34

Well alcohol does have a strong anti-bacterial effect,and adding water to wine was a way to create more drink as there was very little clean drinking water. During the fermentation process many microbes die, eventually the yeast too dies in the anaerobic environment. I think adding water to wine and letting the two mix for a while would kill a significant ...


34

There was no publishers, no royalties, and no copyright. All these things were invented after the spread of the printer press. If you are a scientist/philosopher, you would write your book yourself, or hire a scribe if you are rich enough. Then you will send it to a friend, and/or read to your students. Almost all books in mathematics and astronomy begin ...


33

In regards to the battle between Alexander and Porus, both accounts are correct, in their own way. Alexander won the battle, and received an acknowledgement of such from Porus; Porus won the war, by convincing the Greek army (if perhaps not Alexander himself) that continuing was pointlessly expensive. Both sides saved face through the reappointment of ...


32

What is germaphobia? It's an obsession, it "is a pathological fear of contamination and germs. " If we look for something similar in antiquity we just need to turn that onto its feet: this is about purity or impurity. Purity rules! As well for Greeks as for Romans also. The classical contribution to concepts of contagion and infection thus related ...


32

On the Immortals specifically, we do not have enough information from ancient sources to get a clear picture of what the Greeks thought of this elite Persian infantry unit. Further, I would argue that the Greeks would have been far more concerned about the size and wealth of the Persian empire to be overly concerned about one particular component of their ...


30

The Nun's Priest's Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: Lo heere Andromacha, Ectores wyf, That day that Ector sholde lese his lyf, She dremed on the same nyght biforn […] He wente for to fighte natheles, But he was slayn anon of Achilles. It would seem that Chaucer doesn't feel the need to give a lot of background on who ...


27

Until the day comes that we have DNA technology (and theory) advanced to the point where we can look at the genetic lineage of large groups of people, really the best indicator we have for cultural descent is language. Now language isn't perfect in this regard. For instance, there are a lot of people indigenous to the Americas whose language has been lost (...


27

I'm not quite sure why you think this would be a problem. A Prytaneum was a building, with a roof, and presumably doors that could be closed and windows that could be shuttered. While modern westerners tend not to have open fires indoors, the methods of keeping a fire alight indoors during rain without suffocating had been established for thousands of years.


26

Wikipedia tells us that Alexander did indeed set out to conquer the whole world. His empire consisted of most of the world known to the ancient Greeks of his time, so for his compatriots, yes, he conquered "the world" as they knew it. As far as empires are concerned, the Macedonian empire is certainly among the greatest empires of all time. With the ...


25

Alexander, for the most part, left things unchanged in the lands he conquered. He didn't impose Greek customs, respected (or perhaps ignored) local religions and cultures and allowed a certain degree of self government that, for several of the territories of the former Achaemenid empire, was quite a refreshing change. Not everyone under his rule accepted him,...


25

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


25

If you read "Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion", by John Cuthbert Lawson, you will see that, as late as 1910, there were are least significant vestiges of original Greek religion. Other useful material can by found in the works of Jane Ellen Harrison. I hesitate to try to summarize >300 pages here. Much of it is what you might call '...


25

I don't think that it is possible to generalise. I don't doubt that ancient pirates did re-purpose civilian ships in most cases. Indeed, it is said that even sailors on merchant ships which had been attacked by pirates would turn to piracy themselves when they were otherwise out of work. In fact, the number of vessels reportedly used for piracy by the ...


24

According to this well sourced article, wine was diluted to reduce its strength, in order to avoid over-inebriation. Those who did not drink it diluted were seen as barbaric, uncultured, or besotted. There are claims on wikipedia and other online sources that the ancients drank diluted wine or small-beer to avoid water-borne illness, but I can't seem to ...


24

Ancient Mediterranean sailcloth was made of a fine linen, which was written "linon" in Greek and "lintea" in Latin. Many ancient literary sources mention this, for example, Aeschylus, Virgil, Homer, etc. There is a book, "Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World" (1995) by Lionel Casson that goes into detail about ancient ship technology.


23

I'll answer just the part about the Roman Republic, if that's alight for now. The Roman Republic is probably best described as a pseudo-democracy of sorts. Its creation and initial set-up actually pre-dated Athenian democracy by a single year, though even until its dying days it was more of a "democracy for the privileged" than anything. Hence, Classical-...


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