Ancient History Encyclopedia

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Ancient History Encyclopedia is a non-profit educational website with a global vision: to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free.

We combine different media, subjects and periods in interactive ways that will help readers understand both the "big picture" and the detail. Editorial review is a key component in our process to ensure highest quality.

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646 definitions
423 articles
2,030 illustrations
206 videos
5,698 references
3,221 tags
66,898 registered users

Latest Content

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published on 01 September 2014
Semiramis is the semi-divine Warrior-Queen of Assyria, whose reign is most clearly documented by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (90-30 BCE) in his great work Bibliotheca Historica ("Historical Library") written over thirty years, most probably between 60-30 BCE. Diodorus drew on the works of earlier authors, such as Ctesias of Cnidus (c... [continue reading]
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published on 30 August 2014
Sargon of Akkad (also known as Sargon of Agade and Sargon the Great, reigned 2334 to 2279 BCE), the founder of the Akkadian Empire, was a man keenly aware of his times and the people he would rule over. While he was clearly a brilliant military leader, it was the story he told of his youth and rise to power that exerted a powerful influence over the Sumerians... [continue reading]
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published on 28 August 2014
The Indus Script is the writing system developed by the Indus Valley Civilization, an ancient civilization located in what today is eastern Pakistan and northwest India, on the fertile flood plain of the Indus River and its vicinity. The earliest use of the Indus Script dates back to 2500 BCE, and it has been found in pottery, amulets, carved stamp seals... [continue reading]
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published on 28 August 2014
Our Ancient Greece content is now available in three prestigious public libraries in the United States: the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Brimmer and May School Library. Through our publishing partnership with BiblioBoard, our eBook Greece, The Archaic and Classical Periods: An Ancient History Encyclopedia Collection is... [continue reading]
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published on 27 August 2014
The fortified ghost town of Vathia, on Greece's Mani Peninsula, was once as wild as our Wild West. (photo: Rick Steves) I was in Athens, on a rooftop restaurant under a floodlit Acropolis, marveling at how a Greek salad never gets boring. It was the last day of a long trip. I was reviewing, as I always do after completing an itinerary, how effectively... [continue reading]
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published on 26 August 2014
Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-356 BCE) was a hedonistic Greek philosopher who taught that the meaning of life was pleasure and that the pursuit of pleasure, therefore, was the most noble path one could pursue. Along with Plato, Xenophon, Antisthenes, and others, he was one of the followers of Socrates. He was also the first of Socrates' students to charge... [continue reading]
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published on 26 August 2014
Antisthenes (c. 445-365 BCE) was a Greek philosopher who founded the Cynic School of Athens. He was a follower of Socrates and appears in Plato’s Phaedo as one of those present at Socrates’ death. He is one of the primary interlocutors in Xenophon’s works Memorabilia and Symposium. Antisthenes, like Crito, was among the older students... [continue reading]
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published on 22 August 2014
The reign of Assyrian king Sennacherib (705-681 BCE) was chiefly characterized by his difficulties with Babylon. Throughout the history of the Assyrian Empire, Babylon had caused problems and had even been destroyed by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I in c. 1225 BCE. Even so, there were direct cultural bonds between Babylon and Ashur, capital of the Assyrian... [continue reading]
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published on 20 August 2014
The Moche civilization (also known as the Mochica) flourished along the northern coast and valleys of ancient Peru, in particular, in the Chicama and Trujillo Valleys, between 1 CE and 800 CE. The Moche state spread to eventually cover an area from the Huarmey Valley in the south to the Piura Valley in the north, and they even extended their influence... [continue reading]
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published on 20 August 2014
There were, no doubt, many notable women in ancient Greece, but history books are usually silent on female accomplishments. According to the historian and novelist Helena P. Schrader, this is because, "Herodotus and other ancient Greek historians are far more likely to mention Persian queens than the wives of Greeks – not because Persian women... [continue reading]
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published on 18 August 2014
Sammu-Ramat, more famously known as Semiramis, was the queen regent of the Assyrian Empire (reigned 811-806 BCE) who held the throne for her young son Adad Nirari III until he reached maturity. She is also known as Shammuramat or Sammuramat. She was the wife of Shamshi-Adad V (reigned 823-811 BCE) and, when he died, she assumed rule until Adad Nirari... [continue reading]
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published on 17 August 2014
The Aeneid, written by the Roman poet Virgil, is a twelve-book-long epic poem that describes the early mythology of the founding of Rome. The eponymous hero Aeneas, a Trojan prince and son of Venus, faces trials and tribulations as he escapes Troy as it burns and sails the Mediterranean searching for a new home... [continue reading]
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published on 16 August 2014
Two over-life-size Archaic kouroi (6.5m) are housed at the Delphi Museum, and date to c. 580 BCE. Their names (Cleobis, and Biton) are actually written on their bases, and the sculptor is given as Polymides of Argos: such inscriptions are unusual for this early date. They are ideal representations of strength and masculinity, in the Peloponnesian style... [continue reading]
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published on 16 August 2014
Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-356 BCE) was a hedonistic Greek philosopher who was one of Socrates' students along with other pupils such as Plato, Xenophon, Antisthenes, and Phaedo. He was the first of Socrates' students to charge a fee for teaching and, since Socrates had charged nothing, this, and the accusation he had betrayed Socrates'... [continue reading]
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published on 15 August 2014
Mesopotamian Naru Literature was a literary genre, first appearing around the 2nd millennium BCE, which featured a famous person (usually a king) from history as the main character in a story that most often concerned humanity's relationship with the gods. These stories became very popular and, in time, seem to have replaced the actual historical... [continue reading]
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published on 14 August 2014
Throughout history - both ancient and modern - those bound in chains have fought to free themselves from their oppressors. As with most civilizations - Assyrian, Greek and even American - slaves in ancient Rome were not considered citizens, but property, providing labor, both skilled and unskilled, to the rest of society. Obviously, slave revolts, whether... [continue reading]
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published on 13 August 2014
Antisthenes of Athens (c. 445-365 BCE) was a Greek philosopher who founded the Cynic School. He was a follower of Socrates and appears in Plato’s Phaedo as one of those present at Socrates’ death. He is one of the primary interlocutors in Xenophon’s works Memorabilia and Symposium. Antisthenes, like Crito, was among the older... [continue reading]
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published on 13 August 2014
In the 19th century CE, archaeologists descended on the region of Mesopotamia seeking physical evidence which would corroborate the biblical narratives of the Old Testament. While this may not have been initially their driving purpose, their need for funding (based on public interest to justify such funding) soon made it so. When the archaeologist Austen... [continue reading]
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published on 12 August 2014
Locmariaquer is a Stone Age site in north-west France distinguished by its two large stone tombs and massive granite standing stone or menhir. The monumental structures, all built within metres of each other, were built in the 5th millennium BCE by the local sedentary farming community and are amongst the most impressive Neolithic monuments anywhere... [continue reading]

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