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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712 definitions
439 articles
2,780 illustrations
275 videos
6,519 references
3,559 tags
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Latest Content

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We're a non-profit organisation and we need your help: Producing free content and running this website costs money. Join our membership programme and support us with only $5 per month, and in return you'll have an advertising-free version of this website, print versions of articles, and additional benefits. Thank you for your support!

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published on 24 April 2015
For the Maya, reliable food production was so important to their well-being that they closely linked the agricultural cycle to astronomy and religion. Important rituals and ceremonies were held in honour of specialised workers; from beekeepers to fishermen, and maize, the all-important Mesoamerican staple, even had its own god. An agricultural... [continue reading]
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published on 22 April 2015
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (c. 90 - c. 20 BCE), better known simply as Vitruvius, was a Roman military engineer and architect who wrote De Architectura (On Architecture), a treatise which combines the history of ancient architecture and engineering with the author's personal experience and advice on the subject. As no similar work has survived complete... [continue reading]
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published on 21 April 2015
Easter Island or "Rapa Nui" is among the most remote islands in the world, located some 3541 kilometers (2,200 miles) off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean. Famous for its mysterious yet iconic statues (moai), Easter Island is currently the subject of a new exhibition at Manchester Museum in Manchester, UK: Making Monuments on Rapa Nui: The Statues... [continue reading]
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published on 19 April 2015
The Lambayeque civilization (aka Sicán) flourished between c. 750 and c. 1375 CE on the northern coast of Peru, straddling the Middle Horizon and Late Intermediate Period of the ancient Central Andes. Prodigious producers of art objects, masks, and goldwork, the Lambayeque made a significant contribution to the progression of Andean... [continue reading]
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published on 19 April 2015
The New Acropolis Museum in Athens opened its doors to the public on June 20th 2009. Since then, millions of visitors have flocked to its airy halls. It was decided that a new museum was needed to replace the old nineteenth-century museum building (situated on the Acropolis) in order to house the ever increasing amount of archaeological material and... [continue reading]
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published on 17 April 2015
Euripides (c. 484-407 BCE) was one of the greatest authors of Greek tragedy. In 5th century BCE Athens his classic works such as Medeia cemented his reputation for clever dialogues, fine choral lyrics and a gritty realism in both his text and stage presentations. The writer of some 90 plays, Euripides was also famous for posing awkward questions, unsettling... [continue reading]
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published on 16 April 2015
Sirens were creatures from Greek mythology which enticed sailors to their destruction with their irresistibly beautiful singing. Their most famous appearance in literature is in Homer's Odyssey where the hero Odysseus, on his long voyage home following the Trojan War, successfully escapes their enchanting call.  Origins & Attributes The Sirens... [continue reading]
by Armen Ayvazyan
published on 15 April 2015
In 301 CE, the ruling circles of the Kingdom of Great Armenia decided to convert their entire nation to Christianity. This revolutionary break with the centuries-old pagan tradition was led by King Tiridates III (Trdat the Great, 287-330 CE), his sister Khosrovidukht, his wife Queen Ashkhen, and his closest associate Gregory the Illuminator, the Father... [continue reading]
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published on 14 April 2015
I visited one of my relatives who resides at Lake Darbandikhan. It was a holiday. I was chatting with him about the relief of “Horen Shekhan” (Kurdish: ????? ? ?????; Arabic ?????- ?????) at Darband-i-Belula (Belula Pass). I told him that at the main hall of the Sulaymaniyah Museum, there is a large wall poster of a rock relief; the poster’s caption... [continue reading]
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published on 14 April 2015
The Chimú civilization, otherwise called the kingdom of Chimor, flourished on the northern coast of Peru between the 12th and 15th centuries CE. With their capital at Chan Chan the Chimu were the largest and most prosperous culture in the Late Intermediate Period and forged the second largest empire in the history of the ancient Andes. Their architecture... [continue reading]
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published on 10 April 2015
Life is Short, Art Long: The Art of Healing in Byzantium, at the Pera Museum (Pera Müzesi) in Istanbul Turkey, offers visitors a glimpse of Byzantine culture and society through the three traditional methods of healing practiced side-by-side: faith, magic, and medicine. Health has always been a chief concern of humanity, and this landmark show examines Byzantine... [continue reading]
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published on 08 April 2015
Juno was the Roman goddess who protected the nation as a whole but also kept special watch over all aspects of women's lives. She is often thought of as the Roman version of the Greek goddess of love and marriage, Hera. Juno was the wife and sister of Jupiter, the chief Roman god, and the two of them were worshipped along with the goddess Minerva on the Quirinal... [continue reading]
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published on 07 April 2015
The Chavin civilization flourished between 900 and 200 BCE in the northern and central Andes and was one the earliest pre-Inca cultures. The Chavin religious centre Chavin de Huantar became an important Andean pilgrimage site, and Chavin art was equally influential both with contemporary and later cultures from the Paracas to the Incas, helping... [continue reading]
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published on 03 April 2015
By ignoring the wisdom of old adages and judging by its cover alone one might be forgiven for thinking this book was aimed at younger readers but, in fact, it is a wonderful and in-depth examination of every aspect of the Inca civilization of ancient Peru. It may not have the gravitas of more academic treatments of the subject but it certainly presents... [continue reading]
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published on 27 March 2015
The Lydian Stater was the official coin of the Lydian Empire, introduced before the kingdom fell to the Persian Empire. The earliest staters are believed to date to around the second half of the 7th century BCE, during the reign of King Alyattes (r. 619-560 BCE). According to a consensus of numismatic historians, the Lydian stater was the first coin officially... [continue reading]
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published on 25 March 2015
The Tartessian culture existed from the 9th to the 6th centuries BCE in the south-westernmost part of Spain. The landscape between the modern cities Huelva and Cádiz is defined nowadays by the lower course of the Guadalquivir, but in antiquity this area was covered by a huge gulf that bordered the Mediterranean Sea. Tartessos extended around the coasts... [continue reading]
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published on 23 March 2015
When I was planning my archaeological trip to Sardinia I discovered, thanks to vici.org (an Archaeological Atlas of Antiquity I have mentioned here before), that there were many Roman bridges still standing all across the country. Some are left abandoned and almost completely covered with vegetation but others are perfectly preserved. Ancient Roman bridges... [continue reading]
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published on 20 March 2015
Maya architecture has three regional styles. Jim O’Kon, a specialist in Maya engineering, and technology encounters a range of exotic animals in deepest rainforest while finding the style of the Ruta Rio Bec. Driving across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and traversing the Maya cities on the Ruta Rio Bec is a voyage brimming with ancient history blended... [continue reading]
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published on 19 March 2015
There is a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of launching a new ancient history magazine! We find that a worthy cause, so we'll let the publishers speak for themselves: Ancient History Magazine is a new magazine from Karwansaray Publishers. Karwansaray is an independent publishing house in the Netherlands. We specialize in the publication of historical... [continue reading]

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