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55 votes
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Did ancient Germans take pride in leaving the land untouched?

It's probably nonsense, but it's nonsense with an interesting history. The actual ancient Germanics were herders and farmers, with cattle, barley, and wheat as their staples. Given the natural ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
39 votes

Earliest evidence of objects intended for future archaeologists?

Coins, dedications, and other 'ritual' objects have been buried in the foundations of buildings since prehistory. The function of these artefacts is unclear, but they do not appear to have been ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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38 votes
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Did germophobia exist in classical antiquity?

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 ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
34 votes
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Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol?

Yes. Residue analysis has found chemical signatures consistent with the presence of honey, and organic compounds associated with fermentation suggesting that mead was being drunk by the late ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
30 votes

What is the oldest known work of fiction?

I remember being taught that the oldest known work of fiction was the Ancient Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers. The story was one of those found on the Papyrus D'Orbiney, which has been dated to the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
28 votes
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In Antiquity, were Persian arrows considered superior to their Greek counterparts?

A slightly different translation reads as follows: The Persian bows were also large, so that such of their arrows as were taken were useful to the Cretans, and they continued using their enemies’...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
28 votes

Were Roman males ever named after their mothers?

Yes, they were, but not until the Imperial period. A specific example is this one: The practice of Constantinius Aequalis and Pacatia Servanda is typical of the later first or second century. The ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
26 votes

Do historians support the existence of brothers to Jesus?

Historians quite widely agree that there very probably was a historical person called Jesus. They do agree that this person provided the blueprint or projection space for the belief that centered on ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
26 votes
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What is the oldest known work of fiction?

If folktales count, then The Poor Man of Nippur (c. 1500 BCE) probably beats the Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers by at least a few centuries. It's certainly not mythological in any modern sense, being ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
25 votes

How did early Judaism and Zoroastrianism influence each other, if they were so far apart?

They weren't in fact far apart at all. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the Achaemenid Empire, which encompassed Israel. Its actually even closer than this map implies though. In the period ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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24 votes
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Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

Since I have a good memory, I remembered and/or looked up a few names of Roman citizens who lived in Gaul or Britain or came from Gaul or Britain to other parts of the empire, and who wrote. These ...
MAGolding's user avatar
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24 votes
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Does anyone know what type of structure this is?

This is a roman fountain at Djemila, Algeria (Latin: Cuicul or Curculum). There's a vast amount of literature and web material on Djemila in general (and some on the fountain), for example: The ...
tohuwawohu's user avatar
  • 3,336
21 votes
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Where does Herodotus discuss judging the wisdom of decisions by the evidence at hand vs. the consequences?

Macaulay, 1890 the counsel which has been taken is no less good, though it has been defeated by fortune; while he who took counsel badly at first, if good fortune should go with him has lighted on a ...
20 votes
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Where are the ancient books now?

I suppose you are talking about Plato's books. No major classical work from ancient Greece survived in the original. (Exception is some recently found papyri originating from the Roman Egypt, which ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
20 votes

How much did a ship cost in Ancient Greece?

Two talents may confidently be assumed, [...] as a moderate estimate of the cost of both hull and rigging of a trireme. (p. 364) Source: Frank Egleston Robbins, The Cost to Athens of Her Second ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
19 votes

Earliest evidence of objects intended for future archaeologists?

The ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, from about 3000 BC on, used to bury clay tablets in the foundations of their temples and other major buildings giving the name of the king who founded the temple ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 9,780
18 votes

Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

There is a certain Rutilius Namatianus who lived in the early 5th century Gaul. I do not know how much Celtic ancestry he had. He admired Rome and considered his family part of its "sacred Genius", ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 4,354
18 votes
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Were there "Taxes Paid" slave tattoos in the Roman Empire?

Apparently yes, that is one possible way of reading one surviving inscription. But it is not so clear cut easy. This is evidenced by one find, a rather isolated appearance from Ephesos: often ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
14 votes

Did the Romans see Africa as a black continent? Was there a perception of a divide between Africa and Europe?

You can't really compare the two, because the Romans lived in such a different world than we do. The Romans didn't really have the concept of a "continent", as they didn't know for a fact that land ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
14 votes

How much did a ship cost in Ancient Greece?

Wikipedia, after Hanson (2006), claims that a typical trireme took 6,000 man days to complete. If you take a 25 man crew as around the optimal size, balancing the ease of performing certain tasks ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
14 votes

Did germophobia exist in classical antiquity?

Obsessive compulsive disorders do not exist in a vacuum - you have to put them in their context. Mysophobia is stereotyped as excessively washing hands today, but it is not intrinsically about hand ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
13 votes

Did ancient Germans take pride in leaving the land untouched?

Unless specified further it seems quite contestable that Caesar wrote much to this effect. If any ancient Roman author comes to mind, with sufficient detail, then it is primarily Publius Cornelius ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
12 votes

Is there any evidence that Celts produced chain mail?

There is extensive documentary and archeological evidence for Celtic chain mail; one Classical writer (Varro) even specifically named the Celts as the inventors of chain mail. You can take a look at ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 2,203
12 votes

Where are the ancient books now?

In Roman-Greek times (before 300 AD) there were no books in the Roman Empire, just papyrus scrolls, each chapter being one scroll. So a work like the Republic would be divided into many scrolls. ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 37.8k
12 votes
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Was bronze ever used for chainmail?

"Was it ever?" Certainly. The style of armour evolved with swings of a pendulum as can be seen from the earliest bronze age up until now, with conspicuous heights found in the trench warfare ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
12 votes
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What is the chair depicted in Cesare Maccari's 1889 painting "Cicerone denuncia Catilina"?

Roman senators sat on benches while the consuls had the privilege of sitting on curule chairs (which are not shown in the fresco). In addition to the arrangement of the seating, Cesare Maccari's ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Was there a tax on being fat in Gaul?

I think you're remembering a comment in Strabo's Geography, Book 4, Chapter 4, where he quotes Ephorus saying: Ephorus, in his account, makes Celtica so excessive in its size that he assigns to ...
Charlie Tizzard Ó Kevlahan's user avatar
10 votes
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Can Alexander III of Macedon's success be attributed to good logistics management?

The Macedonian army was indeed relying on a well-established logistics organization. The following book, as already mentioned in the comments, is probably the most well-known one about the subject ...
The Sardaukar Knight's user avatar
10 votes

Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol?

Mead was the alcoholic drink of northern Europe, particularly "Celtic" northern Europe, e.g. the British Isles and northern France. It also figures prominently in the literature of the Scandinavians. ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
10 votes
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Why wasn't there more use of wind power in antiquity?

I believe windmills have to wait until the late Middle Ages because, due to the inequities of the cube-square law, making life size operational windmills is very difficult. The cube-square-law is a ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar

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