Ancient History Encyclopedia

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Our mission is to improve history education worldwide by creating the most complete, freely accessible and reliable history resource in the world.

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1,065 definitions
565 articles
5,233 illustrations
742 videos
95 3D images
10,726 references
4,575 tags
64,275 registered users

Latest Content

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We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers. Each article costs us about $50 in history books as source material, plus editing and server costs. You can help us create even more free articles for as little as $5 per month, and we'll give you an ad-free experience to thank you! Become a Member

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published on 26 March 2017
Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of human that is identified in both Africa and western Eurasia from roughly 700,000 years ago onwards until around 200,000 years ago – fitting snugly within the Middle Pleistocene. Named for a piece of jawbone found near Heidelberg, Germany, these hominins occupy an intriguing and much-discussed... [continue reading]
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published on 24 March 2017
Ehecatl was a Mesoamerican god of air and winds, especially those which brought rains. Regarded as a manifestation of the great feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, he was sometimes known as Quetzalcoatl-Ehecatl, in which guise he helped create humanity in the Aztec creation myth and gave the gift of the maguey plant. He was also associated with the cardinal directions... [continue reading]
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published on 24 March 2017
Marcus Cassianus Latinius Postumus (r. 260-269 CE) was a trusted military commander of Emperor Gallienus (253-268 CE) and governor or Germania Superior and Inferior (Upper and Lower Germany). After the death of his father Valerian in 260 CE, Gallienus left him in charge of military operations in the west. It was a mistake the inexperienced and trustworthy... [continue reading]
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published on 24 March 2017
Ares was the Greek god of war and perhaps the most unpopular of all the Olympian gods because of his quick temper, aggressiveness, and unquenchable thirst for conflict. He famously seduced Aphrodite, unsuccessfully fought with Hercules, and enraged Poseidon by killing his son Halirrhothios. One of the more human Olympian gods, he was a popular subject in Greek... [continue reading]
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published on 24 March 2017
In Greek mythology, the Titan Atlas was responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders, a burden given to him as punishment by Zeus. Father of many stars and a protagonist in one of Hercules’ famous labours, Atlas was also known as a wise man and the founder of astronomy. For Plato, he was the eponymous... [continue reading]
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published on 23 March 2017
In an effort to share more of our favourite ancient objects from around the world, Ancient History Encyclopedia staff have taken a closer look at some really amazing objects or structures. Today's Object in Focus is the Meroe Head of Augustus. The Meroe Head is a sculpture portraying the Emperor Augustus Ceasar who ruled in Rome from 63... [continue reading]
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published on 23 March 2017
The story of Cinderella is one of the most popular in the world. In the west, it has enjoyed a continuous following since its revision and publication by Charles Perrault in 1697 CE but the tale of the young heroine, unjustly forced into servitude, who becomes elevated to royalty was told for centuries before in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907... [continue reading]
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published on 23 March 2017
Tlaltecuhtli, 'Earth Lord/Lady,' was a Mesoamerican earth goddess associated with fertility. Envisioned as a terrible toad monster, her dismembered body gave rise to the world in the Aztec creation myth of the 5th and final cosmos. As a source of life, it was thought necessary to constantly appease her with blood sacrifices, especially human hearts... [continue reading]
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published on 22 March 2017
The ancient Egyptian military is often imagined in modern films and other media as a heavily armed and disciplined fighting force equipped with powerful weapons. This depiction, however, is only true of the Egyptian army of the New Kingdom (c. 1570-1069 BCE) and, to a lesser extent, the army of the Middle Kingdom (2040-1782 BCE), when the first professional... [continue reading]
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published on 22 March 2017
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, 'Dawn Lord,' was a Mesoamerican god who represented a menacing aspect of Venus, the morning star, and was one of the four gods which held up the sky. The people of the ancient Americas believed his rays could damage people, crops, and water sources. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli played a key role in the Aztec creation myth... [continue reading]

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