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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726 definitions
440 articles
2,920 illustrations
286 videos
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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 03 July 2015
Aiholi (Ayyavole) was an ancient walled city in Karnataka, central India. Aiholi was the first regional capital of the Karnakata region under the rule of the Calukyas. The large number of early Hindu temples and shrines at the site mostly date from the 6th to 8th century CE when the city was at its zenith of prosperity and power. Historical Overview... [continue reading]
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published on 02 July 2015
This week’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble statue of a young nude, the so-called ‘Capitoline Antinous‘. It was found in 1723/24 during the time when Giuseppe Fede was undertaking the earliest concerted excavations at the Villa Adriana. However its exact provenance within the Villa is unknown. Considering that this work... [continue reading]
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published on 30 June 2015
  Terence D'Altroy is impressively described on the back cover of this book as 'Professor in Anthropology at Columbia University, Director of the Columbia Centre for Archaeology, and the world's leading Inca specialist.' and he does not disappoint in a comprehensive treatment of one of the New World's most fascinating cultures.  ... [continue reading]
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published on 29 June 2015
The Appian Way -- Rome's gateway to the East -- was Europe's first super highway and the wonder of its day. Built in 312 B.C., it connected Rome with Capua (near Naples), running in a straight line for much of the way. Eventually it stretched 400 miles to Brindisi, from where Roman ships sailed to Greece and Egypt. While our modern roads seem... [continue reading]
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published on 26 June 2015
From ancient times to the present many cultures around the world have considered libraries as storehouses of ideas, creativity and knowledge. Today we will look at five of the most notable libraries in history and explore why they may be considered significant. The Great Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria is the most famous library... [continue reading]
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published on 25 June 2015
Garuda is a bird creature from Hindu mythology that has a mix of eagle and human features. He is the vehicle (vahana) of Vishnu and appears on the god's banner. Garuda represents birth and heaven, and is the enemy of all snakes. In Indian art, Garuda gradually acquired more human form over the centuries and so maintained only his wings. In Cambodia, however... [continue reading]
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published on 24 June 2015
Last March marked the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination over 2,000 years ago, and after two millennia, his legendary achievements still linger in today’s consciousness just as they have for centuries. He was so revered that in Dante’s Inferno, his conspirators shared the lowest circle of hell with Judas Iscariot, labeling them... [continue reading]
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published on 22 June 2015
The White Huns were a race of largely nomadic peoples who were a part of the Hunnic tribes of Central Asia. They ruled over an expansive area stretching from the Central Asian lands all the way to the Western Indian Subcontinent. Although being a mostly nomadic tribe, they nonetheless adopted the lifestyles of the lands they conquered... [continue reading]
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published on 21 June 2015
Caesarea Maritima is perhaps one of Israel’s most famous attractions. Its ruins are located by the sea-shore of Israel about half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is the site of one of the most important cities of the Roman World, the capital of the province of Judaea. The city was founded between 22 and 10 BC by Herod the Great (37-4 BC) as... [continue reading]
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published on 17 June 2015
Chinese philosophy is the intellectual tradition of the Chinese culture from their early recorded history to the present day. The main philosophical topics of Chinese philosophy were heavily influenced by the ideas of important figures like Laozi, Confucius, Mencius and Mozi, who all lived during the second half of the Zhou dynasty (8th to 3rd century... [continue reading]
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published on 14 June 2015
Pergamon was an ancient city located in the Anatolia region, approximately 25 kilometres from the Aegean Sea in present-day Bergama, Izmir Province of Turkey. The city had great strategic value, since it overlooked the Caicus River Valley (modern name Bakırçay) which provided access from Pergamon to the Aegean coast. Pergamon reached the height... [continue reading]
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published on 12 June 2015
Draco was an aristocrat who in 7th century BCE Athens was handed the task of composing a new body of laws. We have no particular clues concerning his life and general biography and the only certainty is that, as an aristocrat and an educated man, he was in the right place at the right time in order to take his opportunity and legislate. During the infancy... [continue reading]
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published on 10 June 2015
The Mithraic Mysteries, also known as Mithraism, were a mystery cult in the Roman world where followers worshipped the Indo-Iranian deity Mithras (Akkadian for "contract") as the god of friendship, contract and order. The cult first appeared in the late 1st century CE and, at an extraordinary pace, spread from the Italian Peninsula and border... [continue reading]
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published on 06 June 2015
The Katas Raj Temples near Chakwal in Punjab province of Pakistan are attributed to the eras of the Hindu Shahis (kings) dating from about 615-950 CE and are dedicated to Lord Shiva. As such they constitute one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in Pakistan and are still in use to this day by members of the Hindu community both in the country... [continue reading]
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published on 05 June 2015
The Indus Script is the writing system developed by the Indus Valley Civilization and it is the earliest form of writing known in the Indian subcontinent. The origin of this script is poorly understood: this writing system remains undeciphered, there is no agreement on the language it represents, no bilingual texts have been found thus far and its connection... [continue reading]
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published on 04 June 2015
It has been over a year since I last blogged about ancient Roman cooking, even though I have tried a few more recipes in the meantime, as people who follow me on Twitter or Facebook have probably noticed. One of my last cooking sessions was on the occasion of HadrianÂ’s birthday on 24th January. Pullum (chicken) dishes from ancient Rome have proven... [continue reading]
by Bill Yates
published on 04 June 2015
In the year 1527 CE, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and 600 hundred Conquistadors set sail from the shores of Cuba. Their mission, known as the Narvaez expedition, was to colonize the Gulf coast area of modern Florida. However, the well-known Spanish lust for gold seized the crew and upon reaching the shores of their believed destination... [continue reading]
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published on 27 May 2015
The River Ganges, also known as the Ganga, flows 2,700 km from the Himalaya mountains to the Bay of Bengal in northern India and Bangladesh. Regarded as sacred by Hindus, the river is personified as the goddess Ganga in ancient texts and art. Ritual bathing in the Ganges was and is an important part of Hindu pilgrimage and the ashes of the cremated are often spread... [continue reading]
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published on 22 May 2015
The Gupta Dynasty, founded by Chandragupta I (accession c. 320 CE), ruled in North Central India between the 4th and 6th centuries CE and the period is considered a golden age of artistic accomplishment. The Guptas were the first architects of purpose-built Hindu (but sometimes also Buddhist) temples which evolved from the earlier tradition of rock-cut... [continue reading]

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