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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684 definitions
431 articles
2,353 illustrations
219 videos
6,197 references
3,406 tags
67,342 registered users

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published on 20 December 2014
"Pontem perpetui mansurum in saecula mundi" (I have built a bridge which will last forever) – Caius Julius Lacer, builder of the Alcántara Bridge Ancient Roman bridges represent one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. They are an exceptional feat of Roman construction and I hold a certain fascination for these impressive ancient structures. Naturally... [continue reading]
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published on 19 December 2014
The mythology of the ancient Greeks is positively packed with stories involving weird and wonderful creatures. Represented on pottery, in sculpture, and in literary tradition, they typically create havoc with the best laid plans of the Greek heroes but they could also prove helpful in certain situations. Hercules, Odysseus, Theseus, Perseus, Bellerophon... [continue reading]
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published on 19 December 2014
Drust I (also known as Drest I, Drest son of Irb, and Drest son of Erb) was an early king of the Picts known as "The King of One Hundred Battles" that he seems to have been victorious in. His reign is given as 406-451 CE, 413-451 CE, 424-451 CE, 432-451 CE, or 424-453 CE ,and his lifespan as 407-478 CE, depending on which of the primary sources one accepts... [continue reading]
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published on 18 December 2014
The Battle of Dun Nechtain (also known as The Battle of Dunnichen, The Battle of Nechtanemere, Lin Garan, and The Battle of Nechtan) was a pivotal engagement between the Northumbrians under their king Ecgfrith and the Picts under the leadership of their king Brude Mac Bile (also known as King Bridei III). The battle took place at 3:00 pm (15.00... [continue reading]
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published on 18 December 2014
The Picts were a people of northern Scotland who are defined as a "confederation of tribal units whose political motivations derived from a need to ally against common enemies" (McHardy, 176). They were not a single tribe, nor necessarily a single people, although it is thought that they came originally from Scandinavia as a cohesive group. Since they... [continue reading]
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published on 18 December 2014
Cuneiform tablet made by a sixth grader in my class. Sixth graders typically have some background knowledge of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Maya when we begin studying those civilizations. Right now, we are near the end of the Mesopotamia unit, about which they typically know little coming in. It has been nice to spend three weeks with every day being... [continue reading]
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published on 17 December 2014
The Avars were a confederation of heterogeneous (diverse or varied) people consisting of Rouran, Hephthalites, and Turkic-Oghuric races who migrated to the region of the Pontic Grass Steppe (an area corresponding to modern-day Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan) from Central Asia after the fall of the Asiatic Rouran Empire in 552 CE. They are considered by many historians... [continue reading]
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published on 16 December 2014
Bayan I (reigned 562/565-602 CE) was a king of the Avars, a confederation of heterogeneous people who migrated from the region of Mongolia, north of China, in 552 CE and came in contact with the Eastern Roman Empire in c.557 CE. Bayan I is considered the greatest king of the Avars for his military and political skills. He not only protected his people from... [continue reading]
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published on 15 December 2014
Alboin (reigned 560-572 CE) was a king of the Lombards who led his people into Italy and founded the Kingdom of the Lombards which lasted from 568-774 CE. His father was Audoin, King of the Lombards, and his mother the Queen Rodelinda. He was most likely born c. 530 CE in Pannonia, grew up with military training, and fought against the Avar and Gepid tribes before... [continue reading]
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published on 14 December 2014
The Huns were a nomadic tribe whose origin is unknown but, most likely, they came from "somewhere between the eastern edge of the Altai Mountains and the Caspian Sea, roughly modern Kazakhstan" (Kelly, 45). They are first mentioned in Roman sources by the historian Tacitus in 91 CE as living in the region around the Caspian Sea and, at this time, are... [continue reading]
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published on 14 December 2014
The Saxons were a Germanic tribe that originally occupied the region which today is the North Sea coast of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Their name is derived from the seax, a distinct knife popularly used by the tribe. One of the earliest historical records of this group that we know of comes from Roman writers dealing with the many troubles... [continue reading]
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published on 14 December 2014
The extraordinary quality and quantity of the marble sculpture which adorned the 5th century BCE Parthenon in Athens made it the most richly decorated of all Greek temples. The sculpture, now mostly separated into the Parthenon Marbles (Elgin Marbles) and the Acropolis Museum Collection of Athens, once consisted of 92 metopes, a unique frieze running around... [continue reading]
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published on 13 December 2014
Built in 1974 over the remains of a Roman villa, the Romano-Germanic Museum in Cologne houses an extensive collection of Roman artefacts from the Roman settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (named after Agrippina the Younger, born in Cologne), the capital of the Imperial Province of Germania Inferior. The museum houses the largest worldwide collection... [continue reading]
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published on 13 December 2014
Introduction  Harappa is a large village presently in the province of Punjab in Pakistan.  The modern town is a part of, and lies next to, the ancient city. The site of Harappa is important in that it has provided  proof of not just the Indus Valley Civilization as it was in its prime, but also of preceding and succeeding cultures as well... [continue reading]
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published on 13 December 2014
Gaiseric (reigned 428-478 CE, also known as Genseric and Geiseric) was the greatest king of the Vandals who remained undefeated from the time he took the throne until his death. He was probably born in 389 CE near Lake Balaton (present day Hungary), though this is uncertain. Ancient sources report that he was the illegitimate son of the Vandal king Godigisel... [continue reading]
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published on 12 December 2014
Herodotus' Histories with their historical, geographical, ethnographic, and religious aspects, have always been a source of delight and interest, not only for generations of readers, students, and storytellers, but also for artists. A complete list of the painting representing scenes from Herodotus' Histories is a task for a large community... [continue reading]
by Denitsa Dzhigova
published on 12 December 2014
Characteristics of Sicilian Archaic Temples The large dimensions of the components, the presence of a propteron, an adyton, and other specific elements of the plan and elevation speak for an originally very autonomous development of Sicilian architecture. The large quantities of available and easy-to-work-with building materials at the sites of Syracuse... [continue reading]
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published on 12 December 2014
National Geographic maintains a list of what they consider to be the Top 10 Museums of the World. While that list is of course debatable, all of the museums on that list are very impressive heavyweights when it comes to museums. We wondered: How does Ancient History Encyclopedia compare to those museums when it comes to internet traffic to their websites... [continue reading]
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published on 11 December 2014
This week’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a head of a goddess made of Pentelic marble. She is wearing a diadem in her wavy hair that are centrally parted and dressed in a chignon at the nape of her neck. It was found in a cryptoporticus near the circular temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos. Bust of a diademed goddess, found at Hadrian's Villa... [continue reading]

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