Ancient History Encyclopedia


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published on 27 November 2015
Cynane (c. 357- 323 BCE, pronounced `Keenahnay') was the daughter of the Illyrian Princess Audata and King Philip II of Macedon, making her the half-sister of Alexander the Great. Following the Illyrian tradition of women as warriors, her mother raised her in the martial arts and the belief that she was the equal of any man. Cynane lived this belief and instilled... [continue reading]
published on 25 November 2015
Sarasvati (also Saraswati) is the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and aesthetics. She is also known as Bharati (eloquence), Shatarupa (existence), Vedamata ('mother of the Vedas'), Brahmi, Sarada, Vagisvari, and Putkari. As Vac, she is the goddess of speech. Sarasvati first appears in the Rigveda and, in later religious texts, she is identified... [continue reading]
published on 23 November 2015
Aztec society was hierarchical and divided into clearly defined classes. The nobility dominated the key positions in the military, state administration, judiciary, and priesthood. While traders could become extremely wealthy and powerful, even their prosperity was based on their class, and most citizens remained simple farmers. There was a limited opportunity... [continue reading]
published on 19 November 2015
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, constructed 532-537 CE, continues to be revered as one of the most important structures in the world. Hagia Sophia (Greek Ἁγία Σοφία, for ‘Holy Wisdom') was designed to be the major basilica of the Byzantine Empire and held the record for the largest dome in the world until... [continue reading]
published on 18 November 2015
The original and traditional source of historical knowledge is the written text. However, the concept of what a historical source is has undergone transformation and redefinition over the centuries. This has happened as new mediums of communication, record keeping, and non-textual data in the form of material remains have emerged. New disciplines... [continue reading]
published on 16 November 2015
The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus is regarded one of the most famous monuments of the ancient city of Ephesus. It lies on the south side of Curates Street, one of Ephesus’ main arteries connecting the Gate of Hercules with the Library of Celsus. The remains of the Temple were unearthed in 1956 during excavations carried out by the Austrian Archaeological... [continue reading]
published on 14 November 2015
The Pentecontaetia (Pentekontætia, πεντηκονταετία) or “the account of the fifty years” is a term first used by Thucydides to describe, in Book 1, Sections 89 to 117 (1.89-117) of his History of the Peloponnesian War, the period between the Battle of Plataea in... [continue reading]
published on 14 November 2015
Tel Kabri is an archaeological site in northwestern Israel that is best known as the location of one of the largest palaces in Canaan in the Middle Bronze Age or "MB" (ca. 2,000–1,500 BCE). Although Tel Kabri reached the height of its power in the MB, it was inhabited during various periods both before and after the MB, from the Pottery... [continue reading]
published on 13 November 2015
The Ancient Greek symposium is often considered an important part of Greek culture, a place where the elite drank, feasted and indulged in sometimes decadent activities.  Although such practices were present in symposia, the writing and performance of poetry is perhaps the most interesting and thought-provoking element of the ancient sympotic tradition... [continue reading]


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