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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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published on 23 October 2014
Fritigern (died c. 380 CE) was a Visigothic king best known as the victor of the decisive Battle of Adrianople in 378 CE, which decimated the Roman army and haunted Roman military commanders for decades afterwards. He was a Thervingi Goth who converted to Arian Christianity and challenged the authority of the Visigothic king Athanaric (d. 381 CE), who persecuted... [continue reading]
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published on 21 October 2014
Xibalba (Shee-bal-ba) was the name the K'iche Maya gave to the underworld. For the Yucatec Maya the underworld was known as Metnal. The name Xibalba translates as 'Place of Fright', which indicates the terror the place had in the Maya imagination. There was, unfortunately, not much chance of escaping the place, either. Ideas such as leading a good... [continue reading]
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published on 20 October 2014
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2014 Ancient History Encyclopedia Announces Partnership with Chickasaw.tv New collaboration expands online educational resources about the ancient world LONDON — Ancient History Encyclopedia, a nonprofit, digital humanities website focused on ancient history, today announced that they have begun a strategic content... [continue reading]
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published on 18 October 2014
The Terminal Classic period in Mesoamerica between c. 800 and 925 CE saw one of the most dramatic civilization collapses in history. Within a century or so the flourishing Classic Maya civilization fell into a permanent decline, so that once great cities were abandoned and left to ruin, in many cases, to be reclaimed by the jungle and so disappear from human... [continue reading]
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published on 15 October 2014
Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine, by Dr. Nawal Nasrallah -- a former professor of English at the Universitiy of Baghdad and the University of Mosul -- is a fine introduction to the history and diversity of Iraqi cuisine. Lavishly illustrated, supremely informative, and deeply personal, Narallah’s... [continue reading]
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published on 13 October 2014
Athens in the 4th to 5th century BCE had an extraordinary system of government, whereby all male citizens had equal political rights, freedom of speech, and the opportunity to participate directly in the political arena. This system was democracy. Further, not only did citizens participate in a direct democracy whereby they themselves made the decisions... [continue reading]
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published on 13 October 2014
August 11, 2014. It was a partly cloudy day. I arrived at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin around 10 AM. I found a long queue . . . Average waiting time: two hours! I asked a guard about this. He said, ”This line is for holders of priority pass tickets and pre-booked tickets.” I said, “OK, where I can buy this priority pass ticket?” The answer was, “You... [continue reading]
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published on 12 October 2014
The Goths were a Germanic tribe who are frequently referenced for their part in the fall of the Roman Empire and their subsequent rise to power in the region of northern Europe, initially in Italy. They are first referenced by Herodotus as Scythians, but it should be noted that Herodotus was inclined to sweeping definitions of people whom he considered "barbarians"... [continue reading]
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published on 10 October 2014
Uxmal, in north-west Yucatán, Mexico, was an important Maya city which flourished between the 6th and 10th centuries CE. The city, following an extensive restoration programme, is the best preserved of all Maya sites, and it possesses some of the most outstanding examples of Terminal Classic architecture anywhere.  First settled in the 6th century... [continue reading]
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published on 09 October 2014
Theodoric (known as Theodoric the Great and Flavius Theodoricus, 451 or 454 - 526 CE) was the king of the Ostrogoths who, at the encouragement and direction of the Roman emperor Zeno, invaded Italy, deposed King Odoacer, and ruled over a kingdom of Romans and Goths from 493-526 CE. He was originally named Dietrich (or Diederich) and passed into German... [continue reading]
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published on 09 October 2014
Tikal, located in the north of the Petén region of Guatemala, was a major Maya city which flourished between 300 and 850 CE. The city, known to the Maya themselves as Mutul, is one of the grandest in Mesoamerica. Amongst the first Maya cities to gain prominence in the Early Classic period (250-600 CE), Tikal built its wealth by exploiting its natural resources... [continue reading]
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published on 07 October 2014
Located in the foothills of the Chiapas altiplano of modern Mexico, Palenque was an important Maya city which flourished between c. 600 and 750 CE. The name Palenque derives from the Spanish, meaning 'fortified place', but the original Maya name, we now know, was Lakamha. Situated where the highland and coastal plains join, the site prospered as... [continue reading]
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published on 27 September 2014
Originality in literary compositions in the ancient world did not carry the same weight and value as it does in the present day. In recent centuries, authors have been applauded for the creation of original works, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have been derided for plagiarism or for passing off a work as a true account - especially an eyewitness, first-person... [continue reading]
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published on 26 September 2014
In this special guest post, Ms. Susan Abernethy of The Freelance History Writer introduces Ancient History et cetera readers to the compelling life and achievements of St. Hilda of Whitby. Renown for her piety and learning, Hilda is one of the most appealing and yet elusive figures from the Early Middle Ages (or Late Antiquity). Thanks to her vigorous activities... [continue reading]
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published on 26 September 2014
Chichen Itza, located in the centre of the Yucatán Peninsula of modern Mexico, was a Maya city which was later significantly influenced by the Toltec civilization. Flourishing between c. 750 and 1200 CE, the site is rich in monumental architecture and sculpture which promote themes of militarism and displays imagery of jaguars, eagles, and feathered-serpents... [continue reading]
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published on 25 September 2014
Attila the Hun (reigned 434-453 CE) was the leader of the nomadic people known as the Huns and ruler of the Hunnic Empire, which he established. His name means "Little Father" and, according to some historians, may not have been his birth name but "a term of affection and respect conferred on his accession" (Man, 159). This name... [continue reading]
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published on 25 September 2014
In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Janos Gaspar, Lead Designer of Total War: Attila, about Creative Assembly's newest historical video game. JW: What provided the impetus for Creative Assembly to make Total War: Attila? Why create a computer game about the Hunnic invasions of Europe (c. 370-469... [continue reading]
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published on 23 September 2014
Chrocus (also known as Crocus) was a king of the Alemanni who invaded Roman Gaul in c. 256 CE and wreaked massive destruction, until he was defeated by the Roman legions at Arles and then executed.  Or he was a king of the Alemanni who served Rome and supported Constantine the Great (reigned 306-337 CE) in his struggle to become sole emperor the Roman Empire... [continue reading]
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published on 22 September 2014
EAGLE 2014 International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World September 29-30 and October 1, 2014  École Normale Supérieure and Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique Paris, France EAGLE 2014 International Conference on Information Technologies... [continue reading]

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