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.


"To provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free"
Our mission

Ancient History Encyclopedia is a non-profit educational website with the mission to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free. We exist as a reference to ancient history educators, students, and enthusiasts. All contributions to this website are submitted and reviewed by expert volunteers who wish to share their knowledge.

Everything we publish is easy to read and understand, but also well-researched and referenced. All content material on Ancient History Encyclopedia is reviewed before publication by a group of volunteer peer-reviewers. Our information is balanced and neutral, as we want to present history from every angle.

We are committed to open education: All our original content is available under a Creative Commons license that enables teachers to freely distribute it in class, as it allows anyone to re-use our content in a non-commercial context. We're an open education resource listed in the OER Commons and we also share our data through the academic Pelagios network, side by side with institutions such as The British Museum and King's College.

Our content is aligned with the school history curriculum, so that teachers can easily find material for class, and we plan on producing tailored classroom material, too. In fact, many schools and universities worldwide are already using our content in class or as reading material. We also believe that history education should be exciting: "Story" is a key component in the word "history", and we aim to convey in all our published content our belief that history is the greatest story ever written. We regularly publish interviews with historians and archaeologists, in which they share their passion for ancient history with our readers.

We combine different media, subjects of study and historical periods in ways never seen before that will help the understanding of both the "big picture" and the detail. Examples are our map of the ancient world, or our searchable interlinked timeline of ancient history -- both of which show historical events, connections and developments in an interactive and extremely accessible way. Digital media are far better-suited to representing the relationships between historical events than textbooks are, especially in education.

We generate revenue mainly through donations, from advertisements on the website, and through book sale commissions from Amazon. All income is invested in improving our service as a free digital humanities website. Expenses include running costs of the site (servers & traffic), historical source books for our authors, and various subscriptions. With more funding we hope to have full-time content writing staff in the future.

Our Story

Ancient History Encyclopedia was founded in 2009 by Jan van der Crabben. As a designer of historical computer games, Jan realized that the internet was missing a reliable and comprehensive resource for ancient history information. Most information was either scattered across various websites, was nearly illegible due to bad presentation, or had a distinct nationalistic agenda.

At the same time he had the idea that history is not linear (as it is taught in most school coursebooks), but rather a very parallel type of story, where everything is interlinked. He envisioned a website where pieces of information were shared across different but relevant subjects, and where each page is built automatically, taking precisely the information that is relevant for that subject from a vast database of historical data.

After much programming on a netbook during daily train rides from London to Horsham and several months later, the first working version of Ancient History Encyclopedia was born. Again a few months later, in August 2009, it was launched to the public. Since then, it has grown from a small history website to perhaps the largest and most popular website on ancient history on the internet.


March 2014: Over 6 million people have visited our site since launch.

October 2013: Over 3 million people have visited our site since launch.

September 2013: Google changed its search algorithm to the "Hummingbird" engine with the goal of giving more priority to websites that have meaningful content, instead of just looking at keywords. With this update, Ancient History Encyclopedia has seen a sharp increase in visitors coming from Google. To us this is a great compliment, as it only shows us that we are publishing meaningful information, and we're happy to be "rewarded" by Google for the work we're doing.

May 2013: Over 2 million people have visited our site since launch.

September 2012: Over 1 million people have visited our site since launch.

June 2012: Ancient History Encyclopedia becomes a not-for-profit company registered in the UK.

March 2012: Google selected us to be a featured app on the Google Chrome Webstore.

May 2011: Over 100,000 people have visited our site since launch.

Feb 2010: Over 10,000 people have visited our site since launch.


comments powered by Disqus
  • sreejith edassery wrote on 09 March 2013 at 03:56:

    qt wonderful..

  • Jan van der Crabben wrote on 05 March 2013 at 09:10:

    Dear Aftab, we are indeed aware that many entries are still missing. This is a work in progress that will probably never be done. There will always be more to add. We feel that after only 3 years we've come a long way, but of course we would wish to progress even further. In regards to your specific suggestions on India: We would love to have more content on India. Sadly, it is very hard to find experts on these subjects. If you know of anyone who would be interested in contributing, please do point them into our direction. Applicants can email to editor (AT) ancient.eu.com.

  • Aftab Kazi wrote on 02 March 2013 at 11:13:

    Sir, your encyclopedia is very well appreciated. However, I find that either you have none of the correct information (mentioning this because of the British Raj (BR) ethno-linguistic and religion history matters, besides their policies of fragmentation, which still continue to haunt entire South and Central Asia. I was shocked to see that your entries do not include the words Sindh, Sindhu (Indus as Greeks called it). BR carried through with the Greek terminology as a part of some European tradition, which did not really belong to the Britain, indeed. My point is that you need to add many new entries about the ancient history. Weather you do or not, actual ancient realities are already being expressed in various forms by scholars interested in history. Remember that even scholars of modern history carry at least some knowledge about recent medieval history, or some with at least some knowledge of ancient history. My point is that your portal needs updating with the knowledge of at least somewhat full descricptions of historical events. I do not se the contact link with your organization on the site, otherwise, instead of this message would have advised directly to you office with humane suggestions. With kind regards. Aftab Kazi [email protected]

  • Marcos Cantharino wrote on 28 January 2013 at 17:18:

    Guys, great job on this site, really appreciate all the personal time and effort to make this one the best sites on ancient history to follow. Keep it up!

    Hey you all!! Besides following the outstanding articles posted in this site, you can also follow James Wiener's discussions at the LinkedIn " Ancient History" group. Join it as well.

  • john o\' dwyer wrote on 10 January 2013 at 07:54:

    This is a superb site I have just registered

  • Roy Varghese wrote on 03 January 2013 at 10:42:

    Just registered a few minutes ago. Hope to make the best of this wonderful site. Thanks team!

  • James Blake Wiener wrote on 06 August 2012 at 21:26:

    @Saikat Rudra: We have just added Google Translate to AHE this summer. Unfortunately, we are not fluent in any native languages from the Indian subcontinent and thus cannot translate the articles ourselves. While it's not perfect, it will help many of our international readers. We would like to tell you that you can help improve the translation, if you so desired. Simply hold your mouse over a badly-translated sentence for a few seconds and you can correct the translated text.

  • Saikat Rudra wrote on 05 August 2012 at 19:08:

    Very helpful website, indeed. But the Bengali pages shocked me greatly. Translations should be done by people who know the job as well as the target language.

  • Alfred Penny wrote on 30 July 2012 at 00:06:

    This is what I have been looking for in the pursuit of my reading 'hobby' and self directed study of history.

  • Pilar wrote on 26 July 2012 at 18:25:

    Desde EspaƱa, Sevilla: soy una apasionada de la historia y me gusta fotografiar todo lo relacionado con el patrimonio cultural que visito. Un saludo y suerte en el proyecto. Estelara68

  • MUJEEB RAHMAN MK wrote on 25 July 2012 at 17:59:

    Good & I wish all the best

  • neeta wrote on 01 July 2012 at 14:09:

    ancient website is very knowledge.it is nice.

  • Adegboyega Oladiran wrote on 27 June 2012 at 20:44:

    Its nice to know the root.

  • Uma Kumari wrote on 26 June 2012 at 12:10:

    Its wonderful..

  • Jeroen H de Lange wrote on 18 June 2012 at 23:01:

    Okay, to be specific: For the "Google Maps of the Ancient World Project" my contribution would be about
    - The city of Ravenna in nowadays Italy, court of West-Roman Emperors and Ostrogothic Kings, until 750 when the last Byzantine exarchate was killed by the Longobards.
    - And the nearby city of Classe (Classis) where Augustus build a port for his navy and eastern culture and also christianity came to shore which led to a bishops See in Ravenna by Apollinaris in the 2nd CE.

  • Jeroen H de Lange wrote on 18 June 2012 at 22:29:

    I really like to both benefit and contribute.

  • Laura Hjaltason wrote on 17 June 2012 at 01:32:


  • Jan van der Crabben wrote on 08 June 2012 at 09:51:

    @Saro Iacono: We have just added Google Translate to AHE. While it's not perfect, it will help many of our international readers. You can find it at the bottom of every page. Did you know that you can help improve the translation? Simply hold your mouse over a badly-translated sentence for a few seconds and you can correct the translated text.

  • Renata wrote on 30 May 2012 at 00:32:

    Just got knowing you guys today. From Brazil, congratulations!

  • angelo daruni ciaffi wrote on 05 May 2012 at 03:21:

    complimenti per l'impegno!

  • Jan van der Crabben wrote on 02 April 2012 at 14:57:

    We did consider it, but it would probably be far too much work. We could possibly introduce the option to have articles in other languages later. Thanks for the suggestion, if we have multiple languages, we'll come back to you. :-)

  • Saro Iacono wrote on 01 April 2012 at 17:40:

    Very nice!!! Do you consider the idea of translate articles in other languages? If you need I can help for Italian ;-)

  • khaledaref wrote on 31 March 2012 at 23:01:

    amazing idea

  • Marco wrote on 24 March 2012 at 12:48:

    Vendo notas brasileiras antigas...

  • Mike He wrote on 24 March 2012 at 09:56:

    good...wish I will be able to do something for this site someday...

  • yihun mosana wrote on 14 March 2012 at 07:44:


  • Hasan Malay wrote on 20 February 2012 at 18:26:

    Many thanks for this invaluable contribution!
    Hasan Malay (Turkey)

  • Lourdes Buegeler wrote on 19 February 2012 at 03:10:

    Thank you for your hard work.

  • Jan van der Crabben wrote on 03 February 2012 at 08:09:

    Thanks, fixed it!

  • wrote on 02 February 2012 at 20:42:

    On the present title page, 'Monophalthalmus' should be 'Monophthalmos'.

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