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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672 definitions
427 articles
2,273 illustrations
217 videos
6,085 references
3,362 tags
67,219 registered users

Latest Content

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published on 28 November 2014
Masks were used for a wide variety of purposes across many ancient cultures. Some of the most common purposes were as funerary masks for important persons, as protection in warfare, worn during theatre performances, or to be worn by impersonators of gods during religious ceremonies. Materials were typically of high value such as gold, jade, and turquoise... [continue reading]
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published on 25 November 2014
The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who are first mentioned in Roman history in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder (77 CE). The Roman historian Tacitus also mentions them in his Germania (c. 98 CE), though he also refers to them as the "Lugi". Their name may mean "the wanderers" and was given by both Pliny and Tacitus as "Vandilii"... [continue reading]
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published on 25 November 2014
The Battle of Philippi in 42 BCE was an all-Roman affair fought between the young Octavian, chosen heir of Julius Caesar, and the mercurial Mark Antony, widely regarded as the greatest living Roman general on the one side against Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Caesar and champions of the Republican cause on the other. The battle, on an inland plain... [continue reading]
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published on 25 November 2014
Greek sculpture from 800 to 300 BCE took early inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art, and over centuries evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form. Greek artists would reach a peak of artistic excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and which was much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned... [continue reading]
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published on 24 November 2014
After visiting Babylon and Borsippa, I planned to visit the ancient city of Kish in modern-day Iraq. I had an obstacle; how to get there? It is not a typical site for tourists or the public. The site was an American military base for a few years after the US-led invasion in 2003. After they withdrew from the site, the Iraqi army prevented people from... [continue reading]
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published on 22 November 2014
The British Museum in London is rim-filled with treasures. Not only does its Mesopotamian section blow your mind, but you can continue and wander through time, enjoying the ancient Greeks and Romans. Almost hidden, at the back of the museum on the first floor, is the Egyptian section. It's filled with the usual mummies and papyri, but my personal favourite... [continue reading]
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published on 22 November 2014
Totila (birth name, Baduila-Badua reigned 541-552 CE) was the last great king of the Ostrogoths in Italy. He was the nephew of the Gothic king Ildibad who was succeeded by Eraric the Rugian. The Goths of Italy felt that Eraric was a poor king who pursued his own interests at their expense, and this is the accepted view of history as exemplified by the historian... [continue reading]
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published on 21 November 2014
This year marks the bimillennial anniversary of the death of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. He died on 19th August AD 14 at the age of 75 after a 41-year reign, the longest in Roman history. Augustus left his mark on Rome and western civilisation like few others. He vastly expanded the Roman Empire, established a period of relative peace known... [continue reading]
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published on 20 November 2014
The temple in the ancient Greek world was perhaps the most recognisable building in the urban landscape. Typically constructed in an eye-catching location using the finest of marble, they were the focus of Greek religious practices and could house magnificent treasures and monumental stautes of the Greek gods on the inside and display some of the greatest... [continue reading]
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published on 19 November 2014
Cover for "Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine." (Photo, courtesy of Nawal Nasrallah.) Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning "between two rivers") was an ancient region in the Near East, which corresponds roughly to present-day Iraq. Widely regarded as the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia should be more properly... [continue reading]
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published on 18 November 2014
Desert kites are constructions that consist of two long walls converging upon an enclosed space that has on its periphery small stone constructions called cells. Seen from the sky, their shape suggests that of a windborne kite; they were thus called kites by pilots who flew over the arid regions of the Near East in the time of the French and British mandates... [continue reading]
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published on 18 November 2014
It gives us great pleasure to announce that Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) is now on Instagram. With over 300K social media followers, AHE has a robust and significant social media presence, and our numbers will only continue to grow. Instagram is good addition to our existing social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest... [continue reading]
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published on 17 November 2014
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens can effortlessly lay claim to being one of the very greatest museums in the world. It can do that because it is literally jam-packed with most of the most famous art objects from ancient Greece, so much so, a first-time visit here is a strangely familiar experience. From the towering bronze Poseidon to the shimmering... [continue reading]
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published on 17 November 2014
We had a 4-day national holiday. Meaning what? No clinic and no hospital! I said to myself, “It’s been a long time since I have visited Babylonia.” I drove my car for about 11 hours, continuously. Finally, I was there. I went to my uncle’s house, which lies about a quarter of hour from the ancient city of Babylon. The ancient city lies within modern-day... [continue reading]
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published on 14 November 2014
Persis (in Greek, derivated from Persian pars) is the ancient name of the approximate area of modern Fars in Central Iran, as well as a state of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods in this same province. Its name is derived from the Persians who settled in the area in the 7th century BCE, the place being called Anšan before. Province of Persis... [continue reading]
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published on 13 November 2014
Grand, centuries-old cathedrals distinguish Great Britain's cities and towns, providing spiritual nourishment to those who visit. These places of worship seem ancient almost beyond imagination. But long before Gothic cathedrals...long before recorded history even, Britain's stone circles were this land's sacred spots. Visitors to the Avebury circle... [continue reading]
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published on 11 November 2014
Borsippa lies about 11 miles southwest of the ancient city of Babylon. It is a Sumero-Akkadian city and was built on either side of river Euphrates. It lies within modern-day Babel Governorate, Iraq. There is a road, which takes you directly near the city. It is not a desert. The modern-day name of the city is Birs-Nimrud (Arabic: ??? ?????). Local people think/thought... [continue reading]
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published on 10 November 2014
Clovis I (or Chlodovech, 466-511 or 513 CE), king of the Franks, is considered the founding father of the Merovingian dynasty, which would continue for over 200 years. Clovis became king at the age of 15, and by the time of his death 30 years later, he had become the first king to rule over all the Frankish tribes, a firm ally of the Byzantine Empire... [continue reading]
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published on 10 November 2014
Winged Isis pectoral 538–519 B.C. Gold. Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Located at the intersection of long distance trade between East Africa, the ancient Near East, and the classical world, ancient Nubia was Egypt's rich and powerful neighbor to the South. Successive Nubian cultures... [continue reading]

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