28

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.


28

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,...


18

You asked if anyone could explain the joke that killed Chrysippus. I doubt that anyone can; humor is very difficult to translate across cultures. (My second language was German, and I spent far too long trying to understand German humor until I relaxed and accepted that it was just different). I believe the joke relies on the incongruity raised by an ...


16

Figs were extremely expensive and a status symbol at the time in Athens, the equivalent of good caviar now. To give someone the "sign of the fig" is still an obscene or rude gesture, as "fig" is slang for the female genital organs, and figs were the apples in some versions of the story of Adam and Eve, so again, it could be translated in several ways. ...


14

Was the ancient Greek pharos light house of ancient Alexandria, Egypt capable of creating light beams like a modern flash light? No. Historical descriptions No one really knows any detail of the construction of the lighthouse or whether it originally had any lamp or fire at all For example, the Ancient History Encyclopedia notes The exact design of the ...


14

In hindsight, the Ancient Greek heavy infantry were vastly superior to the Persian armies. It was precisely their battles - Marathon, Thermopylae, Plataea - that demonstrated this. Before those battles, no one knew that the Greeks had a superweapon in the form of the Hoplite Phalanx in their hands. The Greeks were busy fighting each other. As great as the ...


12

Here's a picture of the fallen columns at Olympia: Here's one from Ephesus: Those puppies look pretty solid to me.


11

Alexander apparently received that epithet from the Romans, who admired him. The oldest surviving reference of the title is found in the Mostellaria ("The Haunted House"), a play written by Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254 – 184 BC). This roughly a century or so after Alexander's death in 323 BC. Tranio: Alexandrum magnum, atque Agathoclem, aiunt maxumas Duo ...


8

Today I stumbled across Machiavelli's answer to this question (at least with reference to the Persian Empire) in chapter 4 of The Prince, where he writes, Considering the difficulties which men have had to hold to a newly acquired state, some might wonder how, seeing that Alexander the Great became the master of Asia in a few years, and died whilst it ...


6

According to the main authoritiy on ancient astronomy and astrology, Otto Neugebauer, astrology was introduced to Hellenistic world from Babylon. (If you not know who he is, look at this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Neugebauer). Here is what he writes on Egypt in general: Egypt provides us with the exceptional case of a highly ...


6

Ptolemy Egypt was ultimately Hellenistic in origin and fell into the wars of succession after Alexander the great died. Ptolemy III was the height of their reign, after that the Ptolemies faced several issues...infighting and succession being the largest. Their challenges: 1) War with Seleucid. There were several conflicts (6 in total https://en.wikipedia....


5

To go into more details re. the mirror: Some of your links say that there are reports that the lighthouse had a curved mirror, which could even be used to set ships on fire or to spy on Constantinople (e.g. unmuseum). That these are always "reports" and no actual source is provided makes me suspect the evidence is rather slim. This paper by Duggan ...


5

In terms of surviving records, it seems there are almost none. In the paper, Recreating the Ancient Greek Javelin Throw: How Far Was the Javelin Thrown?. The authors observe: We have no direct records of how far the ancient Greeks could have thrown the javelin in their athletic festivals. To our knowledge ... the only reference to the distance that the ...


5

Depictions of bow hunting were prevalent in Minoan art, even prior to 2000 BCE when the Minoan culture was thought to have started flourishing (until 1500 BCE). While the bow is an effective hunting tool, it's also a good defense weapon for sea-faring cultures. The Minoans traded extensively with Egypt and mainland Greece, among other Mediterranean cultures ...


4

The three Greek philosophers were: Carneades ex Academia (Cyrene 214/3–129/8 BC), Critolaus Peripateticus (Phaselis c.200-c.118 BC) and Diogenes Stoicus (Seleucia c.230 – c. 150/140 BC). Some sources are listed in Wiki: Plutarch, Cato Maj. 22; Aulus Gellius, VII. 14; Macrobius Saturnalia i. 5; Cicero, de Orat. ii. 37, 38.


4

Artillery comprises large, heavy engines throwing large, heavy missiles. Size is important in an artillery crew because a larger man can perform the same tasks of loading and aiming the engine faster, and longer without fatigue, than a smaller man. These are plain physical attributes of the technology being discussed. Artillery propels missiles on a ...


4

He was part of the common Greek collection of tribes and cities. He was from Greek parents Olympias who came from a Molossian royal family that traced its origins to Neoptolemus, the son of the greatest hero of the Trojan War, Achilles. Philip came from a Macedonian family that traced its origins to the Peloponnesian Greek city of Argos and Hercules/Heracles....


4

The Persian army at Marathon was (as at Thermopylae) at a serious disadvantage because of the terrain, which favoured the much smaller defending force tremendously. Their failure to win in both cases is more to blame on the leadership insisting on frontal assaults on a narrow front against a force trained and equipped specifically to deter such an assault ...


3

The atlatl is a Mesoamerican tool for spear throwing that has been used in war, hunting, and fishing alike. The use and effectiveness of thrown spears were attested by the chronicler of Mexico's conquest, Bernal Diaz del Castillo. An article from 1891 which I have not obtained, The Mexican Atlatl or Spear-Thrower, includes "several descriptions of the manner ...


3

In terms of natural history of the human body it tells us that an idealised male body looks now pretty much like it did then, when the ancients produced idealised forms we see and even also prefer today – in cultures imprinted with a hellenistic legacy. An assumed 'level of fitness' or even health is not that well correlated to mere appearances. We still see ...


3

Another question is why did the Greeks develop good heavy infantry. Heavy infantry required a lot of discipline, mutual trust, and nerve--if part of the line broke, everyone's life was at risk (whereas in a cavalry rout individuals could still get away). If you look at other good heavy infantry units in history, such as Flemish or Swiss pikemen, they all ...


3

You have the right idea, but it is a little off base. I can explain. You probably already know about Alexander the Great and his conquests. Throughout the Afro-Eurasian continent, Alexander set up garrisons, or small military towns, to rule over a certain area and claim it for Macedonia. The soldiers in these areas set up their own societies, with Greek ...


2

don't over-analyze the joke! The man was coming back from a feast, he clearly had a good time, he was probably a bit drunk too. He was in an excellent mood, and when you are in a good mood even plain jokes can make you laugh a bit too hard. Chrysippus probably laughed to the point where he couldn't breathe properly, probably even choking. The joke is not ...


2

I have read that they used lead pins to hold the sections together. The lead is no longer there because it was scavenged during modern times. Much of this took place during the Turkish occupation of Greece. The Turks took the lead to make bullets. Not sure if this is 100% accurate, I can't remember where I read this but I do remember reading or hearing ...


2

Check out this material http://legacy.owensboro.kctcs.edu/crunyon/e261c/06-Plato/greek_mystery_cults.htm The following has been taken from Will Durant, The Life of Greece, vol. 2 of The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster, 1966, 188-92. If the verdict was guilty, there would be severe punishment. One form of the doctrine conceived this ...


2

One problem of Persia was that it was not one ethnicity, but a conglomerate of many different small countries. Each of these countries produced their own armies and formations, led by their own officers; there was really no central "Persian" army. So Persian military strength was on paper only; hundreds of thousands of men in "national" militias but with no ...


1

For a hoplite, the spear is the primary weapon and the shield only a secondary weapon, being primarily defensive. Because of the many different ways in which a spear was used by a hoplite in offence, in and out of formation, a lighter round shield was more suitable by providing less interference with the spear use. The greater reach of the spear also keeps ...


1

From Rzepka, Jacek. "The units of Alexander’s army and the district divisions of late Argead Macedonia." Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 48.1 (2008): 39-56 comes a possible answer. On p49 It is the interpretatio difficilior, but (with Curtius’ variant in mind) I suspect that Arrian’s τελευταία δὲ τῶν βασιλικῶν ἰλῶν reflects a onetime dividing of ...


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