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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645 definitions
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204 videos
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published on 20 August 2014
The Moche civilization (also known as the Mochica) flourished along the northern coast and valleys of ancient Peru, in particular, in the Chicama and Trujillo Valleys, between 1 CE and 800 CE. The Moche state spread to eventually cover an area from the Huarmey Valley in the south to the Piura Valley in the north, and they even extended their influence... [continue reading]
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published on 18 August 2014
Sammu-Ramat, more famously known as Semiramis, was the queen regent of the Assyrian Empire (reigned 811-806 BCE) who held the throne for her young son Adad Nirari III until he reached maturity. She is also known as Shammuramat or Sammuramat. She was the wife of Shamshi-Adad V (reigned 823-811 BCE) and, when he died, she assumed rule until Adad Nirari... [continue reading]
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published on 17 August 2014
The Aeneid, written by the Roman poet Virgil, is a twelve-book-long epic poem that describes the early mythology of the founding of Rome. The eponymous hero Aeneas, a Trojan prince and son of Venus, faces trials and tribulations as he escapes Troy as it burns and sails the Mediterranean searching for a new home... [continue reading]
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published on 16 August 2014
Two over-life-size Archaic kouroi (6.5m) are housed at the Delphi Museum, and date to c. 580 BCE. Their names (Cleobis, and Biton) are actually written on their bases, and the sculptor is given as Polymides of Argos: such inscriptions are unusual for this early date. They are ideal representations of strength and masculinity, in the Peloponnesian style... [continue reading]
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published on 16 August 2014
Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-356 BCE) was a hedonistic Greek philosopher who was one of Socrates' students along with other pupils such as Plato, Xenophon, Antisthenes, and Phaedo. He was the first of Socrates' students to charge a fee for teaching and, since Socrates had charged nothing, this, and the accusation he had betrayed Socrates'... [continue reading]
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published on 15 August 2014
Mesopotamian Naru Literature was a literary genre, first appearing around the 2nd millennium BCE, which featured a famous person (usually a king) from history as the main character in a story that most often concerned humanity's relationship with the gods. These stories became very popular and, in time, seem to have replaced the actual historical... [continue reading]
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published on 14 August 2014
Throughout history - both ancient and modern - those bound in chains have fought to free themselves from their oppressors. As with most civilizations - Assyrian, Greek and even American - slaves in ancient Rome were not considered citizens, but property, providing labor, both skilled and unskilled, to the rest of society. Obviously, slave revolts, whether... [continue reading]
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published on 13 August 2014
Antisthenes of Athens (c. 445-365 BCE) was a Greek philosopher who founded the Cynic School. He was a follower of Socrates and appears in Plato’s Phaedo as one of those present at Socrates’ death. He is one of the primary interlocutors in Xenophon’s works Memorabilia and Symposium. Antisthenes, like Crito, was among the older... [continue reading]
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published on 13 August 2014
In the 19th century CE, archaeologists descended on the region of Mesopotamia seeking physical evidence which would corroborate the biblical narratives of the Old Testament. While this may not have been initially their driving purpose, their need for funding (based on public interest to justify such funding) soon made it so. When the archaeologist Austen... [continue reading]
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published on 12 August 2014
Locmariaquer is a Stone Age site in north-west France distinguished by its two large stone tombs and massive granite standing stone or menhir. The monumental structures, all built within metres of each other, were built in the 5th millennium BCE by the local sedentary farming community and are amongst the most impressive Neolithic monuments anywhere... [continue reading]
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published on 11 August 2014
Assyria began as a small trading community centered at the city of Ashur and grew to become the greatest empire in the ancient world prior to the conquests of Alexander the Great and, after him, the Roman Empire. While the Assyrians' administrative skills were impressive, and they could be adept at diplomacy when necessary, these were not the means... [continue reading]
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published on 11 August 2014
Zeno of Citium (c. 336 – 265 BCE) was the founder of the Stoic School of philosophy in Athens, which taught that the Logos (Universal Reason) was the greatest good in life and living in accordance with reason was the meaning of life. He was born in the Phonecian-Greek city of Citium on Cyprus in the same year that Alexander the Great ascended to... [continue reading]
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published on 11 August 2014
Interactive Map of Ancient Sites Provence has inherited a rich legacy from antiquity, boasting some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Europe. In the second century BCE, the Romans began their conquest of the region and called it "Provincia Romana," giving us the region's present name, "Provence." Thanks to the Pax Romana, which was to last for several... [continue reading]
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published on 08 August 2014
In antiquity, the Greeks and Romans referred to the pre-Islamic kingdoms of ancient Arabia as "Arabia Felix" or "Arabia the Blessed," due to their immense wealth and political power. Flourishing along caravan and maritime trade routes for over a thousand years, these kingdoms achieved impressive feats in technology, engineering, and the conservation of natural... [continue reading]
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published on 08 August 2014
The Curse of Agade is a story dated to the Ur III Period of Mesopotamia (2047-1750 BCE) though thought to be somewhat older in origin. It tells the story of the Akkadian king Naram-Sin (reigned 2261-2224 BCE) and his confrontation with the gods, particularly the god Enlil. Naram-Sin is considered the most important ruler of the Akkadian Empire after its founder... [continue reading]
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published on 08 August 2014
Crates of Thebes (c. 360-280 BCE) was one of the most important Cynic philosophers of ancient Greece. He was born to a wealthy family in Thebes but gave away his inheritance after realizing the futility of material possessions and the shallow values espoused by society. After renouncing his personal wealth, he moved to Athens where he studied philosophy... [continue reading]
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published on 07 August 2014
Gorgo was the queen of the Greek city-state of Sparta, daughter of the king Cleomenes (reigned 520-490 BCE), wife of King Leonidas (reigned 490-480 BCE), and mother of King Pleistarchus (reigned 480-458 BCE). Her birth and death dates are unknown but it is generally believed, based on inferences from Herodotus, that she was born in either 518 or 508... [continue reading]
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published on 07 August 2014
Naram-Sin (reigned 2261-2224 BCE) was the last great king of the Akkadian Empire and grandson of Sargon the Great (reigned 2334-2279 BCE) who founded the empire. He is considered the most important Akkadian king after Sargon (or, according to some, even ahead of him) and, along with his grandfather, became a near-mythical figure in Mesopotamian legend and story... [continue reading]
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published on 06 August 2014
Diogenes of Sinope (c. 404-323 BCE) was a Greek Cynic philosopher best known for holding a lantern to the faces of the citizens of Athens claiming he was searching for an honest man. He was most likely a student of the philosopher Antisthenes (445-365 BCE) and, in the words of Plato (allegedly), was “A Socrates gone mad.” He was driven into exile... [continue reading]

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