The ancient Near East, and the Fertile Crescent in particular, is generally seen as the birthplace of agriculture. In the fourth millennium BC this area was more temperate than it is today, and it was blessed with fertile soil, two great rivers (the Euphrates and the Tigris), as well as hills and mountains to the north. The region was highly diverse... [continue reading]
In ancient Mesopotamia the family was the basic unit of society that was governed by specific patriarchal rules. Monogamy was the rule, even though the nobility could have concubines. The purchase of wives from their fathers was common, but the practice became less common after 3000 BC. The woman was allowed to do anything and go anywhere, including conducting... [continue reading]
Writing is undeniably one of humanity's most important inventions. The earliest forms of storing information on objects were numerical inscriptions on clay tablets, used for administration, accounting and trade. The first writing system dates back to around 3000 BC, when the Sumerians developed the first type script: hundreds of abbreviated pictograms that... [continue reading]
Shortly after his retirement from a distinguished career in the Department of Archaeology at Edinburgh, the author gave the Rhind Lectures for 2009, bringing together his thoughts about the Neolithic revolution, and comparing Childe’s ideas with today’s. These lectures, summarised here, announced the modern vision to a wide audience. It... [continue reading]
Modern scholarly tradition has established that two fundamental rules regulated the use of torture in ancient Rome: torture must not be applied to Roman citizens or to slaves against their owners. It is commonly thought that during the Republic these principles were breached but exceptionally, whereas under the Empire their violation became ever more frequent... [continue reading]
Augustus, the first Roman emperor, has what modern media analysts call a high “Q” quotient – that is, most people recognize his name even is they do not really know very much about him. Indeed, the achievement of Augustus in rescuing the Roman empire from political chaos and re-establishing it upon a firm political, economic and social... [continue reading]
I:93. Of marvels to be recorded the land of Lydia has no great store as compared with other lands, excepting the gold-dust which is carried down from Tmolos; but one work it has to show which is larger far than any other except only those in Egypt and Babylon: for there is there the sepulchral monument of Alyattes the father of Croesus, of which the base... [continue reading]
I:192. As to the resources of the Babylonians how great they are, I shall show by many other proofs and among them also by this: For the support of the great king and his army, apart from the regular tribute the whole land of which he is ruler has been distributed into portions. Now whereas twelve months go to make up the year, for four of these he has... [continue reading]
II:66. Of the animals that live with men there are great numbers, and would be many more but for the accidents which befall the cats. For when the females have produced young they are no longer in the habit of going to the males, and these seeking to be united with them are not able. To this end then they contrive as follows, they either take away by force... [continue reading]
II:85. Their fashions of mourning and of burial are these: Whenever any household has lost a man who is of any regard amongst them, the whole number of women of that house forthwith plaster over their heads or even their faces with mud. Then leaving the corpse within the house they go themselves to and fro about the city and beat themselves, with their garments... [continue reading]
The foundation of the Assyrian dynasty can be traced to Zulilu, who is said to have lived after Bel-kap-kapu (c. 1900 BCE), the ancestor of Shalmaneser I. The city-state of Ashur rose to prominence in northern Mesopotamia, founding trade colonies in Cappadocia. King Shamshi-Adad I (1813-1791 BCE) expanded the domains of Ashur by defeating the kingdom... [continue reading]
The story of Sargon's birth and childhood is given in the "Sargon legend", a Sumerian text purporting to be Sargon's biography. The extant versions are incomplete, but the surviving fragments name Sargon's father as La'ibum. After a lacuna, the text skips to Ur-Zababa, king of Kish, who awakens after a dream, the contents of which... [continue reading]
Phoenician names are generally composite words with a specific meaning. The naming of children had a significance in the Ancient Near East that is difficult to understand nowadays. By choosing a name for their child, the parents could not only celebrate their joy of having created life, but they believed that the naming of the child would greatly influence... [continue reading]
Agriculture was the foundation of the Ancient Greek economy. Nearly 80% of the population was involved in this activity. Agriculture permeated the Greek world to such an extent that it gave birth to a way of life which persisted throughout Antiquity. During the early part of Greek history, as shown in the Odyssey, Greek agriculture - and diet - was based... [continue reading]
Umami is the taste of foods that are rich in glutamic acid and 2 ribonucleotides, 5#-inosinate and 5#-guanylate. This distinctive taste of modern Eastern cuisine, which is ﬁnding a receptive audience in the Western hemisphere, characterized many dishes that ancient Romans consumed 2000 y ago. Romans enjoyed numerous foods that are identiﬁed today... [continue reading]
The Cyclopean fortifications surrounding the Bronze Age sites of Mycenae, Tiryns, Athens, and Gla were constructed for two reasons: as a military defense system and as a tangible and persuasive articulation of wealth, power, and authority. The architecture of these walls, therefore, is significant both for the study of Bronze Age politics on mainland Greece... [continue reading]
We know the names of some potters and painters of Greek vases because they signed their work. Generally a painter signed his name followed by some form of the verb 'painted', while a potter (or perhaps the painter writing for him) signed his name with 'made'. Sometimes the same person might both pot and paint: Exekias and Epiktetos... [continue reading]
The system of names used today for Greek vases has quite rightly been described by one leading scholar as 'chaotic'. Many of the names were first applied in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by scholars who tried to fit the names of pots that they knew from Greek and Latin literature or inscriptions to the pieces then surfacing from excavations... [continue reading]
Ancient northern Mesopotamia reveals the presence of southern Uruk-style material cultural elements along with indigenous styles in fourth millennium B.C.E. In this study, I argue that we need to focus on the ways northern Mesopotamian societies constructed ‘cultural difference’ through an analysis of the meanings of southern-style elements... [continue reading]
Hittite is the conventional English-language term for an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language and established a kingdom centered in Hattusa (Hittite URUḪattuša) in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BCE. In the 14th century BCE, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, south-western Syria as far as Ugarit... [continue reading]
The standard version was discovered by Austen Henry Layard in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh in 1849. It was written in standard Babylonian, a dialect of Akkadian that was only used for literary purposes. This version was compiled by Sin-liqe-unninni sometime between 1300 and 1000 BC out of older legends. The standard version and earlier old Babylonian... [continue reading]
The Carthaginians are also considered to have an excellent form of government, which differs from that of any other state in several respects, though it is in some very like the Spartan. Indeed, all three states---the Spartan, the Cretan, and the Carthaginian---nearly resemble one another, and are very different from any others. Many of the Carthaginian institutions... [continue reading]
A distinctive red and black colour scheme characterises most of the painted pottery of sixth- and fifth-century Athens. The colours result from the skilful exploitation of the high iron content of Athenian clay by an ingenious process of differential firing. The black areas of a black or red-figured pot were coated in a fine solution of the same clay... [continue reading]
The first stage in making a pot is to dig the clay out of the ground. Pieces of grit or plant matter must be removed before the clay can be used. This was done in ancient times, as it is today, by mixing the clay with water and letting the heavier impurities sink to the bottom. This process could be carried out as many times as necessary. When judged... [continue reading]
The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): one of the first battles of the Gallic War, in which Caesar defeated an army led by the Germanic leader Ariovistus. In 58, Julius Caesar had invaded Central Gaul. The pretext had been the plan of the Helvetians to migrate to Aquitania, something that the Roman general considered unacceptable. After he had defeated... [continue reading]
Mostly dating from the period 880-612 BC, these carved scenes are found on free-standing stelae and as panels cut on cliffs and rocks at distant places reached by the Assyrian kings during their campaigns. The most spectacular use of stone reliefs, however, was as panels which decorated the mud-brick walls in palaces and temples up to a height of 2.6 metres... [continue reading]
It is likely that many people in Iron Age Britain would have died from diseases as babies or children. Many of those people who survived to be adults rarely lived beyond the ages of 35-45. Only about a third of all adults lived longer. Studies of the bones of Iron Age people suggest that at least a quarter suffered from arthritis in their backs from... [continue reading]
The people of Iron Age Britain were physically very similar to many modern Europeans and there is no reason to suppose that all Iron Age Britons had the same hair colour, eye colour or skin complexion. Iron Age Britons spoke one or more Celtic language, which probably spread to Britain through trade and contacts between people rather than by the invasion... [continue reading]
Literacy was not widespread in Mesopotamia. Scribes, nearly always men, had to undergo training, and having successfully completed a curriculum became entitled to call themselves dubsar, which means 'scribe'. They became members of a privileged élite who, like scribes in ancient Egypt, might look with contempt upon their fellow citizens... [continue reading]
The Old Babylonian Period describes south Mesopotamia in the period about 2000-1600 BC. The early years saw a number of important states dominating the region: Isin, Larsa, Eshnunna and, from 1894 BC, Babylon. Babylon was ruled by a dynasty of Amorite kings. The sixth ruler was Hammurapi. who defeated the other southern states and expanded his control... [continue reading]
Although medical science was still in its infancy during Roman times, knowledge of medicinal plants was widespread and sick people may have been treated with herbal remedies by relatives and friends. Environment, diet, exercise and hygiene all had a part to play in a positive approach to health. Most towns had latrines, a sewage disposal system and baths... [continue reading]
When the Numidian king Massinissa (c.241-148) died, the people of Dougga (or: Thugga) decided to build a monument in his honour. A bilingual inscription (RIL 2, KAI 101) says the building was erected in the tenth reign year of his successor Micipsa (139/8 BC). One part of the inscription was written in Punic. The other part looks like a series of geometrical... [continue reading]
This paper surveys textual and physical evidence of disease and mortality in the city of Rome in the late republican and imperial periods. It emphasizes the significance of seasonal mortality data and the weaknesses of age at death records and paleodemographic analysis, considers the complex role of environmental features and public infrastructure... [continue reading]
A spa is defined as a bathing establishment which used thermal-mineral spring water for therapeutic purposes. Although the topics of bathing and medicine in the Roman world have received considerable attention, thermal-mineral spas have remained inadequately studied. Recent research acknowledges the importance of spas, but generally excludes any detailed... [continue reading]
This thesis examines the development of Roman Illyrian policy, from the late Republican hegemony over the region to the establishment of permanent imperial frontiers on the Danube and the beginning of the process that would integrate Illyricum ( the area between the Adriatic Sea and the River Danube ) into the Roman Empire. This thesis has two principal... [continue reading]
In this paper I argue that statist (or “despotic”) assumptions of royal power does not adequately describe the nature of political power in the Ptolemaic development of Egypt. I examine the process of Ptolemaic state formation from the point of view of the expansion and the settlement of the Fayyum, the foundation of Ptolemais in the Thebaid... [continue reading]
For its time, the study and practice of medicine in Ancient Egypt was revolutionary. Primitive by today’s standards, physicians in Egypt nonetheless showed great initiative and impressive knowledge of the human body and its inner workings, as well as the treatment of illness and disease. Surgical intervention was never recommended, and the main treatment... [continue reading]
My title does not intend to suggest that the Alexandrian Library did not exist, but it does point to what I regard as the unreal character of much that has been said about it. The disparity between, on the one hand, the grandeur and importance of this library, both in its reality in antiquity and in its image both ancient and modern, and, on the other... [continue reading]
A primary motive for certain Athenian rule changes in the direction of increased legal access and impartiality in the fourth century B.C. was Athenian awareness of the increased instrumental value of foreigners. New Athenian rules were aimed at persuading foreigners to do business in Athens. Foreigners gained greater access to some Athenian institutions... [continue reading]
Analysis of democracy in Athens as an “epistemic” (knowledge-based) form of political and social organization. Adapted from Ober, Democracy and Knowledge, chapters 1-4. Jon Elster (ed.), volume on “Collective Wisdom” (to be published in English and French).
That the original meaning of democracy is “capacity to do things” not “majority rule” emerges from a study of the fifth and fourth century B.C. Greek vocabulary for regime-types. Special attention is given to –kratos root and –arche root terms. Paper delivered at the American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, 2006.
Socrates was both a loyal citizen (by his own lights) and a critic of the democratic community’s way of doing things. This led to a crisis in 339 B.C. In order to understand Socrates’ and the Athenian community’s actions (as reported by Plato and Xenophon) it is necessary to understand the historical and legal contexts, the democratic state’s... [continue reading]
This is a contribution to be published in a volume entitled Mediterranean Studies, edited by Roberto Dainotto and Eric Zakim for the Modern Language Association (MLA), as part of a new MLA series on Transnational Literatures. The editors had asked their contributors to respond to their introduction in which they encourage new ways of conceptualizing cultural... [continue reading]
This is a second attempt at a synthesis of the main problems for the forthcoming Cambridge History of Ancient Religions. The problems are complex and still threaten to overwhelm. This version remains a cri de coeur: any helpful comments and criticisms are encouraged.
This is one of five parerga preparatory to a book to be entitled Tiberius on Capri, which will explore the interrelationship between culture and empire, between Tiberius’ intellectual passions (including astrology, gastronomy, medicine, mythology, and literature) and his role as princeps. These five papers do not so much develop an argument as explore... [continue reading]
The Palaikastro Hymn—better known as the Hymn of the Kouretes—does not celebrate a god of pre-Hellenic pedigree, who is Zeus in name only, as scholars have believed with virtual unanimity. Rather, an understanding of the conventions of Greek hymnic performance in its ritual context goes far to elucidating many of the ostensibly peculiar features... [continue reading]
Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus, Justin, and other ancient historians report that rumors of poisoning arose after the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 B.C. Alexander’s close friends suspected a legendary poison gathered from the River Styx in Arcadia, so corrosive that only the hoof of a horse could contain it. It’s impossible to know the... [continue reading]
Galen’s anatomical demonstrations on living animals constitute a justly famous chapter in the history of scientific method. This essay, however, examines them as a social phenomenon. Galen’s demonstrations were competitive. Their visual, cognitive and emotional impact (often expressed by compounds of ѳαῦμα and ἔκπληξι&sigmaf... [continue reading]
This paper explores processes of cultural appropriation, and specifically Augustan visual receptions of pharaonic Egypt. As a test case, I consider the possibility of Egyptianizing precedents for the Ara Pacis, including the architecture of Middle and New Kingdom jubilee chapels. This requires looking at the Augustan interventions into the traditional... [continue reading]
In this paper I examine the scholarship of Roman Syria and the history of research on this province. The scholarly narrative of Roman Syria revolves around strong Greek influence and little impact of Roman rule, which has resulted in studying Syria as a unique and distinct entity, separated from Rome. In light of new archaeological finds and a re-evaluation... [continue reading]
Greece between 1500 and 500 BC is one of the best known examples of the phenomenon of the regeneration of complex society after a collapse. I review 10 core dimensions of this process (urbanism, tax and rent, monuments, elite power, information- recording systems, trade, crafts, military power, scale, and standards of living), and suggest that punctuated equilibrium... [continue reading]
In this paper I trace the growth of the largest Greek cities from perhaps 1,000- 2,000 people at the beginning of the first millennium BC to 400,000-500,000 at the millennium’s end. I examine two frameworks for understanding this growth: Roland Fletcher’s discussion of the interaction and communication limits to growth and Max Weber’s... [continue reading]
Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products—specifically, herbs and tree resins—were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic... [continue reading]
This thesis argues that Herodotus should be considered in the context of early Greek science, and in the history of the development of Greek speculative thought in general, not only because of the range of his interests which includes questions about the causes and processes underlying natural phenomena but also because of his methodological self-awareness... [continue reading]
Artist's impression of how a harbour scene in ancient Greece may have looked.
This is an artist's impression of how an ancient Greek or Roman agora or forum (market) may have looked like.
In this paper I use a theoretical hierarchy of financial sources to evaluate the effectiveness of financial markets in the early Roman Empire. I first review the theory of financial intermediation to describe the hierarchy of financial sources and survey briefly the history of financial intermediation in pre-industrial Western Europe to provide a standard... [continue reading]
Batavian revolt was a rebellion of the Batavians against the Romans in 69-70. After initial successes by their commander Julius Civilis, the Batavians were ultimately defeated by the Roman general Quintus Petillius Cerialis. The year of the four emperors A century had passed since the emperor Augustus (27 BCE-14 CE) had changed the Roman republic... [continue reading]
This paper proposes an analysis of writing as a system for communication, since its origins, in terms of its uses and socio-cultural context. We shall also look to review and comment on the way in which it has evolved in time and space and its primordial domains for expression. Likewise, we shall look at the current state of affairs with respect to graphic communication... [continue reading]
Besides Aeneas, there were always Romulus and Remus. The existence of this second foundation myth posed two important problems to scholars. How strong were its credentials, and how should it be analysed? On the first point, notably, considerable progress has been made in recent times. Since the late nineteenth century many scholars have repeatedly argued... [continue reading]
The maintenance of a garrison in a city or a region was for many a Hellenistic power a comfortable alternative to conquest and direct administration. Every major power held garrisons in dependent settlements of various legal statuses, usually in dependent poleis. The establishment of garrisons, the duration of their presence, and their removal was... [continue reading]
Phoenician traders arrived on the North African coast around 900 B.C. and established Carthage (in present-day Tunisia) around 800 B.C. By the sixth century B.C., a Phoenician presence existed at Tipasa (east of Cherchell in Algeria). From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established small settlements (called emporia... [continue reading]
The earliest imprints of human activities in India go back to the Paleolithic Age, roughly between 400,000 and 200,000 B.C. Stone implements and cave paintings from this period have been discovered in many parts of the South Asia. Evidence of domestication of animals, the adoption of agriculture, permanent village settlements, and wheel-turned pottery... [continue reading]
A general overview of the study of the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula is offered from a critical perspective. First, we present a brief history of research and the state of research on ancient written sources, linguistics, epigraphy and archaeological data. Second, we present a different hypothesis for the “Celtic” genesis in Iberia by applying... [continue reading]
This article is concerned with the shaping of the annual narrative in historical writers working in the Roman annalistic tradition and contests the view that Livy and his predecessors conformed to a standard pattern from which Tacitus departed. It is true that Livy in Books 21-45 employs a regular internal–external–internal pattern based... [continue reading]
The women of Vergil’s Aeneid are among the poem’s most memorable characters. Readers and scholars alike have given much thought to the doomed, love-struck Dido in particular, and the traditional interpretation of this character has been one that positions her as a pitiable foil to Aeneas, an antagonist who serves to underscore the necessity... [continue reading]
The Ancient Greek sports are remarkable in human history and instructive to those interested in promoting athletics due to their recorded longevity of more than a millennium, their high levels of participation amongst the people of the time, and the great degree of enthusiasm clearly demonstrated for these sports through period artwork and through remunerations... [continue reading]
Hesiod’s Works and Days is undeniably a didactic poem. It is concerned with real problems of mankind. At a first glance it may seem as a practical guide to living and prospering in the Ancient Greek world. The title itself, along with the many parts of the poem that deal with practical issues can lead one to this conclusion. A more careful analysis... [continue reading]
Following the collapse of the Agade empire, the centre of power in southern Mesopotamia shifted to the cities of Uruk and Ur. The governor of Ur, Ur-Nammu, established a dynasty which came to dominate the other cities of the region, and whose territory stretched east into Iran. Under his successor, Shulgi, the empire was consolidated and centralised... [continue reading]
This paper provides lessons learned from ancient Roman attempts to protect the aqueduct, which was considered one of their most critical infrastructures. It also offers an analogy to modern day efforts in securing our own critical infrastructures, particularly the United States’ electric power grid. Contemporary societies owe much to the Romans... [continue reading]
Throughout the centuries the name of Caligula has been synonymous with madness and infamy, sadism and perversion. It has been said that Marshal Gilles de Rais, perhaps the most notorious sadist of all time, modelled his behaviour. on that of the evil Caesars described by Suetonius, among whom is numbered Caligula. Of recent years, however, Caligula... [continue reading]
In this paper we present the story of the most famous ancient female mathematician, Hypatia, and her father Theon of Alexandria. The mathematician and philosopher Hypatia ﬂourished in Alexandria from the second part of the 4th century until her violent death incurred by a mob in 415. She was the daughter of Theon of Alexandria, a mathematician... [continue reading]
The Christian Church has been in an uneasy relationship with sexuality nearly since her inception. In such a context, affirming sexuality is extremely difficult. The Biblical record does not appear to affirm human sexuality either. Yet, there is some evidence to affirm human sexuality in the Biblical text if we examine the ancient Hebrew way of knowing... [continue reading]
Jewish women in the ancient Mediterranean lived side by side with communities in which women carried out religious functions, including ritual functions, for example, as high priestesses of the imperial cult and female functionaries in the Isis religion. Similarly, Christian women at this time acted as apostles, prophets, teachers, stewards, deacons, church... [continue reading]
The region of Gandhara was the part of Achaemenian Empire in the time of Cyrus the great in 6th century B.C. It remained under the Persian domination for more than two centuries until Alexander the Great conquered it in 326 B.C. By 317 B.C. the last of the Greek forces of Alexander had departed from the country and in just 20 years the Greek rule disintegrated... [continue reading]
The origins of the Etruscans, a non-Indo-European population of preclassical Italy, are unclear. There is broad agreement that their culture developed locally, but the Etruscans’ evolutionary and migrational relationships are largely unknown. In this study, we determined mitochondrial DNA sequences in multiple clones derived from bone samples... [continue reading]
In this paper several archaeological, historical and other aspects of aqueducts in Minoan era are reviewed. During the Middle Bronze Age a “cultural explosion”, unparalleled in the history of other ancient civilizations, occurred on the island of Crete. One of the salient characteristics of that cultural development was the architectural... [continue reading]
This dissertation applies the principles of fiscal dissertation to the study of the Roman Republic. I argue that the creation of a profitable empire allowed the ruling elite to end their reliance on domestic taxation to fund state activity, and that Rome’s untaxed citizens were effectively disenfranchised as a result. They therefore lacked the bargaining... [continue reading]
This paper is concerned with stelai from North Africa dedicated to Baal / Saturn in fulfilment of a religious vow, and examines the development of their iconography as the region was incorporated into the Roman empire. The monuments in question range in date from the second century B. C. until the fourth century A.D., and are found throughout modern Tunisia... [continue reading]
The Metropolitan Museum is fortunate in having among its Greek collections three antique ceramics of exceptional interest, since they tell in a graphic way something of textile art in Europe’s oldest nation, several centuries before Christ. As research brings to light more of Greek life and customs, we find a distinctive charm in their humbler crafts... [continue reading]
India was subdued by Darius I and incorporated into the vast Persian Empire at the end of the sixth century. This conquest stimulated the interest of Greeks living in Persian Asia Minor, such as Scylax, Hecataeus, Herodotus and Ctesias, whose accounts of India are known to us. The aim of this paper is to examine those accounts, and bring forward the authors&rsquo... [continue reading]
The Roman historian, Livy, wrote a comprehensive history of Rome during the reign of Augustus. The work, Ab Urbe Condita, spanned from the time of Aeneas, preceding the founding of the city by Romulus, until the reign of Augustus. In ancient times, Livy’s work was immediately praised and used as an authoritative text on the history of Rome, and... [continue reading]
They [fundamental elements] prevail in turn as the cycle moves round, and decrease into each other and increase in appointed succession. For these are the only real things, and as they run through one another they become men and the kinds of other animals, at one time coming into one order through love, at another again being borne away from each... [continue reading]
The traditional games of children are the maximum exponent of a people’s culture of play, and though these games are sometimes derived from adult ceremonies, in spirit they belong to the world of children. Most authors assume that games depend on biological, cultural and psychological influences; they are considered a typical anthropological phenomenon... [continue reading]
To judge from the literature on Roman engineering, there was a time when the history of bridge building was a prominent theme closely associated with a parallel and equally well-developed interest in Roman roads. Recently, as a result of a variety of new approaches to archaeological, technical and social themes, the emphasis has moved to aspects of hydraulic... [continue reading]
The fifth century BCE Greek historian Herodotus relates the importance of bees in ancient Greece, pointing out that the honey of neighboring countries was made using fruit, while the honey of the Greeks was produced by bees. The significance of this difference lies in that, to the Greeks of that time period, bees were considered to be divine insects... [continue reading]
In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who... [continue reading]
Hannibal Barca, general of Carthage during the 2d Punic War with Rome, 218-202 BC, has few peers in the annals of military history. He invaded the homeland of his enemy and remained there, undefeated, for fifteen years. He soundly defeated every Roman army that dared to risk battle with him while in Italy. The military historian Trevor N. Dupuy named Hannibal... [continue reading]
How prosperous were the Romans? Their individual experiences ranged from wretched poverty to fabulous wealth, and that variety makes generalizations difficult. Many kinds of evidence can be used to address this question. Three approaches to the problem are particularly direct and encompassing. The first approach is to calculate the average income. This... [continue reading]
Recently Vivian Nutton wrote that “… for our knowledge of Greek medicine and its physicians before the late fifth century BC, we are largely at the mercy of a combination of later legend and modern plausible speculation, and neither can be trusted entirely”. This work attempts to remove some of this speculation, and look at what... [continue reading]
This is an inscribed sun-dried brick used in temple construction. It was commissioned by the Sumerian king Amar-Suen (reigned c. 2094-2038 BCE) of the Third Dynasty of Ur. Translation of the inscription: Amar-Suen, the one called by (the god) Enlil in (the town) Nippur, supporter of the temple of Enlil, the strong king, king of Ur, king of the four... [continue reading]
This study is based on the analysis of texts coming from several dispersed archives and collections referring to the activity pursued by private families in Mesopotamia during the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods. We chose to classify the documents according to types, taking for granted that documents referring to «goods» and “currency»... [continue reading]
Humor is everywhere in the ancient world, not only in comedies proper, but in almost every type of art and literary genre as well. Laughter is often considered the response to humor, but can result from many different stimuli, as is demonstrated by the irony caricature and the animal stories. Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted more than three thousand... [continue reading]
The history of iron and Damascus steels is described through the eyes of ancient blacksmiths. For example, evidence is presented that questions why the Iron Age could not have begun at about the same time as the early Bronze Age (i.e. approximately 7000 B.C.). It is also clear that ancient blacksmiths had enough information from their forging work, together... [continue reading]
Building stones and clay-rich Nile mud were ancient Egypt’s main raw construction materials. While the mud was easily accessible along the Nile river valley, the immense quantities of the diﬀerent stone materials used for construction of the famous pyramids, precious temples and tombs needed a systematic quarrying organization, well arranged transport... [continue reading]
According to Margaret Cool Root, a leading scholar on the ancient Near East, the royal art of the Achaemenid kings reflects the ideals and attitudes of the king and his courtiers, presenting, above all, an ideal view of the nature of Persian kingship. Root argues that the variegated origins and appropriated concepts of Achaemenid iconography, from the Egyptian... [continue reading]
The subject of this thesis is a theme that has not been fully studied until today and that has long been thought to be overlooked by the ancient Egyptians in a negative way. The aim of this thesis is then to look carefully into the texts dealing with this theme to reveal how exactly the ancient Egyptians felt about it. The texts scrutinized are divided according... [continue reading]
This paper considers the nature of Stonehenge and other Neolithic sites from an unusual perspective, that of medicine. At Stonehenge, the finish and pattern of the stones suggest that the trilithons represent the parents of the past, while the overall layout symbolizes Earth Mother, the Mother Goddess. Concern for this deity probably reflects the enormous... [continue reading]
This dissertation discusses Roman imperialism and runic literacy. It employs an interdisciplinary terminology. By means of terms new to archaeology, the growth of a specialized language, a technolect, is traced until it enters the realm of literacy. The author argues that there is more than one way for literacy to appear in prehistoric cultures. The ’normal&rsquo... [continue reading]
One of Horace’s noblest odes, III.2, proclaims the undying glory to be won in war (17-24). It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s fatherland, he declares. Death will overtake the coward anyway (14-16); one must seize the opportunity to die in a manner that will win him lasting fame. Yet this same poet also wrote—without any apparent embarrassment—that... [continue reading]
This overview examines the impact of horsepower on Old World society over the last 6,000 years. Analysis of man’s symbiosis with the domesticated horse necessarily takes the reader to regions remote from urban centers and pays special attention to mobile elements of nomadic society, too often deemed marginal or transitory. The discussion first grapples... [continue reading]
This paper attempts to redefine the role of the “hero” in ancient Western epic poetry, focusing specifically on the Iliad of Homer and the Irish epic the Tain Bo Cuailgne, by focusing on the maintenance of a hierarchy of loyalties. Similarly, this paper demonstrates the need to expand the traditional conception of the epic seductress. Ultimately... [continue reading]
In the last two years of his life Julius Caesar held absolute power in Rome and he was a monarch in everything except name. Was this, however, his objective since the beginning of his political career? Some authors, both modem and ancient have contended that Caesar always had a desire for absolute power and he always worked toward achieving that singular... [continue reading]
http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/hyperreality Explore this object: http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/relief-panel-assyrian-32.143.4 "That infinite image creates an endless echoing, which is almost dizzying and supernatural." 82nd & Fifth invites 100 curators from across the Museum to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world.
In a favourite mythological motif of the Greeks, the Amazons fought many of the most celebrated Greek heroes and lived in independent societies on the fringes of the known world. These warrior women appear throughout Greek literature and art of every kind, defined by characteristics which differentiated them from ‘ordinary’ women: heroic capability... [continue reading]
Life in rural areas in antiquity was hazardous to person and property. As one moved away from the centres of population, the risk of being robbed, assaulted or killed increased. Both travellers and country residents were constantly beset by these problems. The extent and nature of the lawlessness in any area, depended in part of the degree to which... [continue reading]
The history of epilepsy is intervened with the history of humanity. One of the first descriptions of epileptic seizures can be traced back to 2,000 B.C. in ancient Akkadian texts, a language widely used in the region of Mesopotamia. The author described a patient with symptoms resembling epilepsy: his neck turns left, his hands and feet are tense... [continue reading]
One cannot deny that the outcomes of historical research are to some extent a reflection of the researcher’s perceptions of historical events. When one deals with a topic such as “the role of women in antiquity,” which gained eminence in feminist literature in the 1970s, this is all the more true. Thus, although the sources and the interpretation... [continue reading]
This thesis examines the cultural and social relationships cultivated by ethnically diverse auxiliary soldiers in the western Roman empire. These soldiers were enrolled in the Roman auxilia, military units that drew primarily on the non-Roman subjects of the empire for their recruits in numbers that equaled the legionaries. I argue that auxiliary soldiers... [continue reading]
Ancient Ireland presents an interesting case for rhetorical study. While the island is usually considered a part of geographic Europe, it long resisted the influence of cultural Europe. Unlike Britain, for example, Ireland was never conquered by Rome, and its pre-literate culture flourished beyond the fall of the Empire. Consequently, the Irish maintained... [continue reading]
By investigating the works of Polybius and Livy, we can discuss an important aspect of the impact of Alexander upon the reputation and image of Rome. Because of the subject of their histories and the political atmosphere in which they were writing – these authors, despite their generally positive opinions of Alexander, ultimately created scenarios... [continue reading]
A lively debate has developed in recent years around the nature and development of archaic Greek colonisation. This debate tends to prove that the model based on the oecist–metropolis–date of foundation relation that has been passed on to us through the ancient tradition in fact results from a later normalisation process, which did not occur... [continue reading]
Within the field of extant Greek historical writing on the subject of the Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms the fragments of Berossus’ History of Babylonia, written by a so-called “Chaldean” priest, but addressed to a Greek-speaking audience, deserve our special attention. How could Berossus’ account correspond to the legendary... [continue reading]
The cult of the goddess Isis spread from Egypt out to Greece and Rome, where Isis became one of the most celebrated goddesses in the Ancient Mediterranean world. Her worship spanned an impressive time period from around the third millennium BCE up until the fourth century CE. Over time, as Isis was encountered by different cultures, her identity... [continue reading]
Whereas the Greeks, particularly in Ionia in the early period and at Alexandria in the Hellenistic age, made unparalleled strides in the theory of cosmology and geography, the Romans were concerned with practical applications. This contrast is sometimes exaggerated, yet it can hardly be avoided as a generalization when seeking to understand the overall... [continue reading]
This thesis is a study of the classes, architecture and uses of Romano-British amphitheatres. Such a study is useful in providing an understanding of the architectural characteristics of Romano-British amphitheatres, the manner in which they differed from and resembled those in other parts of the Empire and of the types of activities for which they were... [continue reading]
A number of cucurbits are mentioned and described in Mediterranean writings of the first and second centuries CE, including Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica, Columella’s De Re Rustica, Pliny’s Historia Naturalis, and the codices of Jewish law known as the Mishna and Tosefta. Images of cucurbits from the same region predating, contemporary... [continue reading]
The roles of Athenian women in the fifth century B.C. were primarily those of wife and mother. The Athenians, in their patriarchal society, selected models for women based on the divine and heroic orders. The divine order subjected the female duties to their male counterparts. The heroic order depicted Penelope as the absolute role model for Greek-Athenian... [continue reading]
In chapter 18 of Hellenistic Egypt (2007, pp. 240-253), Jean Bingen discusses the cultural interactions between the native population of Egypt and its ruling minority of Greek-Macedonians and come to the conclusion that there is not much mutual acculturation between the two. The specific aspect of society and this proposed cultural dualism of Ptolemaic... [continue reading]
This paper stresses the importance of distinguishing between different categories of children in order to better understand their changing lives and their shifting relations with the adult world. The example is taken from the Mesolithic burial/settlement site of Skateholm at the southernmost coast of Sweden. By contrasting grave content and spatial arrangement... [continue reading]
For better and for worse, both woods and warfare are fundamental factors in human life, and have been for a very long time. Humankind evolved in park like savannas of East Africa, from hominid ancestors who had lived in forests. We, and they, have used woodlands, and to some extent have been shaped by woodland environments, for millions of years. Warfare... [continue reading]
The mandrake is one of the plants which still grows widely in the Middle East, and which has claimed magical associations from a very remote period. It is generally assigned the botanical name of Mandragora officinarum L.. and is a perennial of the order Solanaceae. It claims affinity with the potato and eggplant, and is closely allied to the Atropa belladonna... [continue reading]
Few occurrences in antiquity are as widely discussed by a diverse, ancient authorship as transcontinental commerce between the Mediterranean Sea and East Asia. Yet modern historians remain profoundly divided over long-distance trade’s origin, operation and effect with regard to the governance of the Roman Principate. There is broad consensus, however... [continue reading]
Did the Chinese attribute a secular or a religious origin to law? One influential view has strongly asserted the secular origin. Recently, some scholars have mounted a strong challenge, arguing that this view has overlooked or distorted a vital fragment of evidence that, in their opinion, shows conclusively that law had a religious origin. Before the... [continue reading]
Josephus clearly identifies the queen who visited Solomon as “the woman who ruled Egypt and Ethiopia,” and tells us that her name was Nikaulis. Yet the Bible calls her the Queen of Sheba (I Kg. 10; II Chr. 9). However, elsewhere in Josephus’ Antiquities, he identifies Saba (Sheba) as the Ethiopian capital. He writes “Saba, that... [continue reading]
Although slavery was a widely accepted practice throughout the ancient Mediterranean, the Roman system was distinctive for its high rates of manumission and grant of citizenship to slaves manumitted through official channels. This dissertation sheds new light on the role of ex-slaves in Roman society by examining the cultural exchange that took place between... [continue reading]
In 1984, exactly ten years ago, at a conference in Athens on the ‘Function of the Minoan Palaces’, several participants in a general discussion on economy and trade brought up the possibility of Minoan artists working overseas. Peter Warren later went on to discuss the existence of Minoan merchants abroad, but few of the other participants pursued... [continue reading]
Blending commentary from noted historians with footage created using the Total War: ROME II engine, this documentary short takes a close look at one of the most devastating defeats the Roman Empire ever faced. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest saw three full legions of Rome utterly destroyed; it shook the empire to its very foundations, and offered Rome... [continue reading]
The thesis focuses on the socio-cultural interaction between Gallo-Romans and barbarians in fifth century Gaul. Its aim is to investigate how both Romans and barbarians, particularly the Gothic people, shared a common living space within imperial territory, how this space was created, and to which extent both sides assimilated with each other in terms... [continue reading]
Theodora: Detail from the 6th-century mosaic "Empress Theodora and Her Court" in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna.
The founder of the Merovingian Frankish kingdom was Clovis. He followed an aggressive policy of conquest to build up the kingdom over much of modern France, but his death in 511 saw his realm chopped up into several smaller kingdoms. It was Frankish custom to divide territory between surviving sons, a practise known as partible inheritance, and the event... [continue reading]
With the accession of Clovis, son of Childeric I of the Salian Franks, the Germanic occupiers of north-eastern Gaul had found a king who would change their fortunes out of all recognition. Rather than follow his father's policy of allying himself with the Roman domain of Soissons and trying to preserve some kind of peace in Gaul, Clovis pursued a highly aggressive... [continue reading]
Messalina holding Britannicus, Marble, ca. 45 AD. Inspired by Cephisodotos' renowned sculpture, Eirene bearing the child Ploutos. Louvre Museum, Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, Denon, ground floor, room 24.
Modern marble sculpture (1884 CE) depicting Valeria Messalina, by Eugène Cyrille Brunet (1828–1921). Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes.
The area which formed Sumer started at the Persian Gulf and reached north to the 'neck' of Mesopotamia where the two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates meander much closer to each other. To the east loomed the Zagros Mountains, where scattered city states thrived on trade and learning from Sumer, and to the west was the vast expanse of the Arabian desert... [continue reading]
This map shows the greatest extent of Etruscan influence in Italy, during the seventh to fifth centuries BC, including the Campania region to the south.
This is an artistic 3D impression of how a Roman naval landing may have looked in ancient times.
This is a 3d representation of how Spartan warriors in action might have looked. Armoured warriors equipped with shield and spear, known as Hoplites, were typical of ancient Greek warfare.
Artist's impression of a victory procession. This 3D render nicely displays how Roman soldiers have looked, and how their victories were celebrated.
This is a 3D rendition of what Carthage might have looked like at the height of its power. In the foreground you can see the Cothon, the city's famous military harbour.
This is a 3D rendition of how a Trireme ramming another ship in classical sea battles may have looked.
This map shows the territorial expansion of the Sasanian Empire from 226 to 651 CE.
Simorgh or Senmurv, the Sassanian Royal Symbol and the Mythology of Persia.
Painting by Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), oil on canvas, 1799. On display at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. The Abduction (or Rape) of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally said to have taken place in 750 BC, in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine... [continue reading]
Romans in Archeon; to the left Legio II Augusta, to the right Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix.
Half-figure tombstone of Gaius Largennius of legio II Augusta from Strasbourg. General view of half-figure relief. Inv. Nr. 2431; Éspérandieu 5495 H: 1.48m; W: 0.655m; Th: 0.21m
Modern plaque showing the Capricornus emblem of the II Augusta.
In 1896 Flinders Petrie discovered what is for many the most important achievement of his long and celebrated career as an archeologist. It is a large granite stela, over ten feet high, dating to 1208 BCE. This stone bears an account of how Egypt’s King Merneptah conquered his enemies in Libya and Canaan. As the philologist helping Petrie at the excavations... [continue reading]
Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), scanned from 15th century manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis.
View of Palmyra with the Temple of Bel, Syria. Palmyra (Aramaic: ܬܕܡܘܪܬܐ;Hebrew: תדמור; tiḏmor, Greek: Παλμύρα, Arabic: تدمر; Tadmur, /ˌpælˈmaɪərə/) was an ancient city in central Syria. In antiquity, it was an important city located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 180 km southwest of the Euphrates at Deir... [continue reading]
Photo of Palmyra's 13th century CE Mamluk castle with ancient ruins in the foreground.
Photo of the Bükk Hills (Hungary) in autumn.
Lion Temple to the Nubian deity Apedemak in Musawwarat (modern-day Sudan). Apedemak was worshipped in Nubia by Meroitic peoples, and Musawwarat appears to have been its central temple. The deity had only a small influence on the Egyptian pantheon. 3D reconstruction courtesy of the Zamani Project.
Jason bringing Pelias the Golden Fleece; a winged victory prepares to crown him with a wreath. Side A from an Apulian red-figure calyx crater, 340 BC–330 BCE. On display at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France (Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully wing, room 44, Accession number K 127). H. 45.7 cm (17 ¾ in.), Diam. 39.6 cm (15 ½ in.), W. 29.4 cm (11 ½ in.)
Portrait of Roman Emperor Tiberius (reigned 18 September 14 CE – 16 March 37 CE) in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.
Statue of Hades and Cerberus, his dog. On display at the Archaeological Museum of Crete.
Artist's impression of Mounichia naval harbour near Athens. Republished with Permission from Zea Harbour Project
3D reconstruction of the shipsheds for the Athenian navy at Zea Harbour. Republished with permission from the Zea Harbour Project.
Map of Akrotiri in the Bronze Age, ca. 1600 BC.
Bronze Age fresco of a ship procession from Akrotiri on the Aegean island of Thera (modern-day Santorini). From Room 5 of the West House, c. 2000-1500 BCE. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)
A photo of the ruins of Thera (Akrotiri) on Santorini, Greece.
The ruins of Archaic Thera on Santorini, Greece.
A lion relief from the ruins of the ancient Bronze Age city of Thera on Santorini, Greece.
On the eve of the Roman Conquest, the south-east was dominated completely by the Catuvellauni. They, if any, could claim the legendary High Kingship of Britain. As well as having conquered the Cantiaci, the Trinovantes, and the Atrebates and their subsidiary branch, the Belgae (the Regninses may not have borne a separate identity until after the Conquest... [continue reading]
Rome maintained trading and political links of a sort with the Britons, and were able to observe the slow coalescence of the south-east towards the creation of a unified kingdom. The Catuvellauni, who had already proved themselves to be national leaders in times of external threat, were starting to make their presence felt far and wide. By about AD... [continue reading]
When Julius Caesar landed on the Kent coast in 55 BC, he had a basic knowledge of what to expect of the south-eastern Britons from his dealings with their close relatives on the Continent. What he wasn't prepared for was the English Channel, and some bad weather almost cost him dear. His expedition doesn't seem to have made it out of Kent's borders on... [continue reading]
A model of the Ishtar Gate built in c. 575 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon, displayed at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The ruins of the Maya city of Tikal in what is now northern Guatemala.
A Babylonian mušḫuššu dragon from the Ishtar gate, made of glazed tiles. The Ishtar Gate was constructed by Nebuchadnezzar II in about 575 BC. Displayed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Turkey.
Bust of Nero at the Capitoline Museum, Rome.
Painting from 1897 by Henryk Siemiradzki (1843–1902), depicting Nero watching how a captive Christian woman is killed in a re-enactment of the Greek myth of Dirce.
Detail of a lion found along the processional way from Ishtar Gate into the city of Babylon. The Ishtar Gate was constructed around 575 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, made of fired bricks and decorated with animals made in glazed bricks.
Roman marble copy from the late 1st century CE-early 2nd century CE after a Greek original of 450-440 BCE (right hand restored). Possibly here as Hermes Psychopompos, leader of souls - the left hand beckons. Part of a monument in Athens to the fallen at Koroneia (447 BCE). Also known as Hermes Logios.
By Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), commissioned by Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de'Medici for Villa di Castello (?).
The Birth of Venus (1879 CE) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905 CE). Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Copy after Praxiteles. Aphrodite of the Syracuse type. Parian marble, Roman copy of the 2nd century CE after a Greek original of the 4th century BCE; neck, head and left arm are restorations by Antonio Canova. Found at Baiae, Southern Italy. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Department of Sculptures, no. 3524. Former Hope Collection; gift by M. Embeirikos, 1924.
Modern re-enactment of Bronze Age life.
An inscription using cipher runes, the Elder Futhark, and the Younger Futhark, on the 9th-century Rök Runestone in Sweden.
Statue of Artemis (Greek) or Diana (Roman), known as Diane de Versailles, France. Roman copy, 1st or 2nd century CE, of lost Greek bronze attributed to Leochares, c. 325 BCE. Musee du Louvre, Paris.
The Gold Cone of Ezelsdorf-Buch is a tall (88 cm), cone-shaped object made of thin sheet gold, it is seen as belonging to a group of artifacts referred to as Bronze Age Golden hats. It was presumably worn by special functionaries on ceremonial occasions. It is one of four such known items. Three of them were discovered in Southern Germany, and one in... [continue reading]
Urartian cuneiform inscription on the left of the temple door at Erebuni Fortress.
Modern reproductions of the ancient wall-paintings at Erebuni Fortress.
The consonants of the ogham alphabet (non-IPA).
Map of the Oxus' / Amu Darya's watershed in Central Asia, that drains parts of modern-day Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan into the Aral Sea.
The vowels of the ogham alphabet (non-IPA). Note: This is the vertical writing of ogham. In the horizontal form, the right side would face downward.
Ogham writing on standing stone, seen on the right-hand side of the picture.
fol. 170r of the Book of Ballymote (AD 1390), part of the Auraicept na n-Éces, explaining the Ogham script. the page shows varianst of Ogham, nrs. 43 to 77 of 92 in total, including shield ogham (nr. 73).
Sefer Torah at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne.
An artistic impression of Alexander the Great in combat (played by Colin Farrell), from the motion picture Alexander (2004), directed by Oliver Stone.
Vulcan. Marble, reception piece for the French Royal Academy, 1742. Guillaume II Coustou (1716-1777). Louvre Museum, Department of Sculptures, Richelieu, ground floor, room 25.
Hypatia of Alexandria, played by Rachel Weisz in the motion picture Agora (2009).
Map of the Poverty Point archaeological site, Louisiana.
Alexander The Great and Roxane (1756) by Pietro Antonio Rotari (1707–1762). Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The Citadel of Aleppo (Arabic: قلعة حلب) is a large medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo, northern Syria. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Subsequently occupied by many civilizations including... [continue reading]
Bust of Ptolemy I Soter, king of Egypt (305 BC–282 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. The identification is based upon coin effigies.
Nothern Africa under Roman rule. From H.Kiepert (1879), Historischer Schulatlas.
A map showing the political divisions in ancient Egypt during the Third intermediate Period, about 730 BC. The rulers of the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties ruled simultaneously, alongside Libyan chieftains controlling most of the Delta.
The Bronze Age collapse at the end of the 13th century BCE saw a great many changes in the ancient world. Many second millennium states disappeared entirely, as cities were destroyed and peoples migrated. Others underwent a process of transformation which effectively turned them into new states, and some regions in western and central Anatolia remained abandoned... [continue reading]
Ram-headed sphinxes deposited in the first court in Temple of Karnak, Egypt. Before the temple was extended by the construction of the first cour and its pylon, these sphinxes were part of the original approach. When the approach avenue was shorted, under the 22nd Dynasty, the surplus sphinxes were deposited in the newly built court. The ram of Amon, shown... [continue reading]
An Egyptian Royal Woman, probably of the 18th Dynasty, possibly Nefertiti.
The Library of Celsus in Ephesos (completed 117 AD), with a statue of Arete in the foreground.
A general map of Mesopotamia and its neighbouring territories which roughly covers the period from 2000-1600 BC reveals the concentration of city states in Sumer, in the south. This is where the first true city states arose, although the cities of northern Mesopotamia and Syria were roughly contemporaneous. However, the latter remained relatively minor states... [continue reading]
The Avenue of the Sphinxes is a 3km ancient processional route that once linked Luxor temple with the Temple of Mut at Karnak to the south. The avenue and sphinxes were built during the reign of Nectanebo I (380-363 BC) who ruled during the 30th Dynasty. Each of the approximately 1350 sphinxes which originally lined the route are inscribed with his name.
Map of the Diadochi successor kingdoms to Alexander the Great's empire, before the Battle of Ipsus (301 BCE).
From Uruk, southern Iraq Third Dynasty of Ur, about 2100-2000 BC. The king as a temple builder with a basket of earth to make bricks. This bronze figure represents Ur-Nammu, the ruler of Ur (about 2112-2095 BC). It was made for burial in the foundations of a temple of Uruk. It was one of the duties of a Mesopotamian king to care for the gods and restore... [continue reading]
Probably from southern Iraq, Late Prehistoric period, 3100-3000 BC. This clay tablet has an early example of writing, in the form of pictographs drawn in clay with a sharp instrument. In this case they record the allocation of beer. The symbol for beer, an upright jar with pointed base, appears three times on the tablet. Beer was the most popular... [continue reading]
Map of Sogdiana ca. 300 BCE. (Alternate names: Sughd, Sugdiane, Sughuda, Sute)
A funerary model of a bakery and brewery, dating the 11th dynasty, circa 2009-1998 B.C. Painted and gessoed wood, originally from Thebes.
The "Tusculum portrait", one of two surviving busts of Julius Caesar made during his lifetime.
Map of Roman Britain ca. 150 AD, showing the main Roman roads, cities, and Brythonic tribes.
The Late Roman fortifications of the "Saxon Shore" (litus Saxonicum) in Britain and France.
Rough map of modern Carthage showing remaining ruins from Punic and Roman Era.
A stone statue of Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt (reigned 1479–1458 BC, 18th Dynasty).
Topographical map of Constantinople during the Byzantine period. Main map source: R. Janin, Constantinople Byzantine. Developpement urbain et repertoire topographique. Road network and some other details based on Dumbarton Oaks Papers 54; data on many churches, especially unidentified ones, taken from the University of New York's The Byzantine Churches... [continue reading]
Map of Armenia and the Roman client states in eastern Asia Minor, ca. 50 AD, before the Roman-Parthian War and the annexation of the client kingdoms into the Empire.
Map of the troop movements during the first two years of the Roman-Parthian War over Armenia (58 to 63 AD), detailing the Roman offensive into Armenia and capture of the country by Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo.
Map of the troop movements during the last years of the Roman-Parthian War over Armenia (58 to 63 AD), detailing the Parthian counteroffensive and the defeat of the Roman army under L. Caesennius Paetus at Rhandeia.
Map of the operations of the Vandalic War in 533-534, including the rebellions on Tripolitania and Sardinia.
Map of the operations of the first phase of the Gothic War between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantine Empire, covering the period from the first Byzantine attacks in 535 until the fall of Ravenna in 540 and the recall of Belisarius.
A map showing the Battle of the Granicus River, May 334 BCE.
Belisarius may be this bearded figure on the right of Emperor Justinian I in the mosaic in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, which celebrates the reconquest of Italy by the Byzantine army under the skillful leadership of Belisarius. The identification was mentioned in the Soviet Military Encyclopedia (1980).
The Battle of Zama (202 BCE). Scipio and Hannibal rearrange their troops in a single line and battle remains stalemate until Roman cavalry returns and attacks Hannibal's infantry at the rear.
Scipio Africanus the Elder: The Roman general Scipio earned the surname Africanus after his victory at the Battle of Zama, which ended the Second Punic War in 202 BCE. This bust of Scipio Africanus the Elder is at the National Archeological Museum in Naples, Italy. It was excavated in the Villa dei Papirii in Herculaneum.
The Battle of Zama (202 BCE). Carthaginian cavalry routed off the field. Scipio attacks Hannibal's first and second line of infantry and routs both lines.
The Battle of Zama (202 BCE). Roman right wing charges and routs the Carthaginian cavalry, followed by the Roman left wing routing the Carthaginian right wing. Remaining elephants are lured through the lanes and killed.
The Battle of Zama (202 BCE): Hannibal starts the battle with his war elephants charging at Roman front. Scipio orders his cavalry to blow loud horns to terrify the charging elephants. The panicked elephants turn at the Carthaginian left wing and disorder it.
Map of the Battle of Cannae showing how Hannibal encircles and defeats the Roman army.
Map of the Battle of Cannae showing the initial deployment and the Roman attack.
Rhine frontier of the Roman empire, 70AD, showing the location of the Batavi in the Rhine delta region. Roman territory shaded darker.
The Battle of Issus, the decisive moment.
Plan of the Old Baths at Pompeii. Legend A — atrium B — apodyterium (room for undressing) C — frigidarium (cool bath) D — tepidarium (warm room) E — caldarium (hot bath) F — thermal chamber G — women's tepidarium H — women's apodyterium J — women's cold bath K — the servants' atrium M — chamber for fornacatores (persons... [continue reading]
The Battle of Issus, Movements to the battlefield.
The Battle of Issus, Initial dispositions.
Map of the Roman Empire during 69AD, the Year of the Four Emperors. Coloured areas indicate provinces loyal to one of four warring generals.
Hammurabi (standing), depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash. Hammurabi holds his hands over his mouth as a sign of prayer (relief on the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws). The upper part of the stela of Hammurapis' code of laws. Fritz-Milkau-Dia-Sammlung, erstellt in der Photographischen Werkstatt der Preußischen Staatsbibliothek von 1926-1933.
The Battle of Zama (202 BCE) - Roman and Carthaginian troop deployment.
The Pyramid of Djoser (Zoser), or step pyramid (kbhw-ntrw in Egyptian) is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by his vizier Imhotep, during the 27th century BC. It is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial... [continue reading]
A map showing the maximum territorial extent of the New Kingdom of Egypt, ca. 1450 BC.
Meroitic hieroglyphic and demotic script. Made from RK Meroitic font (free online, same font as old version) and Gentium Basic for Latin.
Map of the Siege of Tyre, November 333 BC to August 332 BC.
Statue of Asclepius, the Greek God of medicine, holding the symbolic Rod of Asclepius with its coiled serpent. The Glypotek, Copenhagen.
Provenance unknown, Mesopotamia Early Dynastic III period, about 2500-2200 BC A votive offering This gypsum statute was deposited in a temple to pray on behalf of the donor. It may have been set up in his lifetime or possibly as a memorial after his death. He wears a fleece skirt often referred to as a kaunakes. The statue was made at a time when southern... [continue reading]
Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq Neo-Assyrian, about 883-859 BC Protection for the royal palace from the forces of chaos This is one of a pair of guardian figures that flanked one of the entrances into the throne room of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC). Stone mythological guardians, sculpted in relief or in the round, were often placed at gateways... [continue reading]
Neo-Assyrian, 883-859 BC From Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq A rare example of an Assyrian statue in the round This statue of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) was placed in the Temple of Ishtar Sharrat-niphi. It was designed to remind the goddess Ishtar of the king's piety. It is made of magnesite, and stands on a pedestal of a reddish stone... [continue reading]
From Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, 7th century BC The most famous cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia The Assyrian King Ashurbanipal (reigned 669-631 BC) collected a library of thousands of cuneiform tablets in his palace at Nineveh. It included letters, legal texts, lists of people, animals and goods, and a wealth of scientific information... [continue reading]
Babylonian, about 700-500 BC Probably from Sippar, southern Iraq A unique ancient map of the Mesopotamian world This tablet contains both a cuneiform inscription and a unique map of the Mesopotamian world. Babylon is shown in the centre (the rectangle in the top half of the circle), and Assyria, Elam and other places are also named. The central area... [continue reading]
Baal, right arm raised. Bronze figurine, 14th-12th centuries, found in Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit).
Greek, about 540-530 BC Made in Athens, Greece; found at Vulci (now in Lazio, Italy) Achilles killing the Amazon Queen Penthesilea Penthesilea brought her Amazon warriors to help the Trojans defend their city, but was killed in combat with Achilles, the greatest of the Greek warriors. The scene on this vase shows Achilles looming above her as she sinks... [continue reading]
Phoenician, 9th-8th century BC Found at Fort Shalmaneser, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq Clear Egyptian connections Fort Shalmaneser consisted of a palace, storerooms and arsenal for the Assyrian army. This openwork ivory plaque may originally have been part of a piece of furniture which came to Nimrud, the Assyrian capital, as part of tribute... [continue reading]
A map showing the extension of Ubaid Culture, ca. 5900 to 4300 BCE.
Amorite, about 2400-2000 BC From the Middle Euphrates region, Syria This juglet, with its applied figurine, is pierced at the base and may have been a strainer. Alternatively it could have been used a sprinkler, by clamping a thumb over the top when the vessel was filled with liquid, then withdrawing it gently and so releasing the pressure. Much... [continue reading]
Late Bronze Age / Syrian, 16th century BC From Tell Atchana (ancient Alalakh), modern Turkey A statue of a king of Alalakh, covered with his biography in cuneiform This extraordinary statue represents Idrimi, a king of Alalakh. It was discovered by the excavator Leonard Woolley in the ruins of a temple at the site of Tell Atchana (ancient Alalakh... [continue reading]
This map depicts a possible location of the Land of Punt, together with travel routes from Egypt to Punt.
The 10 Harappan alphabets/signs found at the Northern Gate of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization city of Dholavira. Each of these are up to 37 cm high and are thought to have been hung as a 'Banner' on the city gate.
Tiye (c. 1398 BCE – 1338 BCE, also spelled Taia, Tiy and Tiyi) was the daughter of Yuya and Tjuyu (also spelled Thuyu). She became the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III.
From Thebes, Egypt 19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC The judgement of the dead in the presence of Osiris This is an excellent example of one of the many fine vignettes (illustrations) from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer. The scene reads from left to right. To the left, Anubis brings Hunefer into the judgement area. Anubis is also shown supervizing... [continue reading]
Thebes, Egypt Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC Fowling in the marshes Nebamun is shown hunting birds, in a small boat with his wife Hatshepsut and their young daughter, in the marshes of the Nile. Such scenes had already been traditional parts of tomb-chapel decoration for hundreds of years and show the dead tomb-owner ‘enjoying himself and seeing beauty’... [continue reading]
From Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC This is one of an almost identical pair discovered by Leonard Woolley in the 'Great Death Pit', one of the graves in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The other is now in the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. It was named the 'Ram in a Thicket' by the excavator Leonard Woolley, who liked biblical allusions... [continue reading]
From Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC This object was found in one of the largest graves in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, lying in the corner of a chamber above the right shoulder of a man. Its original function is not yet understood. Leonard Woolley, the excavator at Ur, imagined that it was carried on a pole as a standard, hence its common name. Another... [continue reading]
From the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, Thebes, Egypt 18th Dynasty, about 1350 BC Amenhotep III commissioned hundreds of sculptures for his mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, though the precise original location of most of them is not known. They included not only figures of the king but also a large range of animal sculptures... [continue reading]
Conical Towers in Great Zimbabwe, 3D reconstruction by the Zamani Project.
A photo of the Nebra Sky Disc, a Bronze Age artifact (c. 1600 BC) found in Nebra, Germany.
Map with the locations of the main cities of Sumer and Elam.
Replica of 'Dancing Girl' of Mohenjo-daro at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, India.
Seal discovered during excavation of the Mohenjodaro archaeological site in the Indus Valley has drawn attention as a possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva" figure. This "Pashupati" (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati) seal shows a seated figure, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals. 2600–1900 BCE.
The white horse of Uffington, a Bronze Age carving into the chalk hills in Oxfordshire, England.
Bust of Septimius Severus (reign 193–211 CE). White, fine-grained marble, modern restorations (nose, parts of the beard, draped bust). Glyptothek, Munich.
The Roman Empire by 271 A.D before the reconquests of the Palmyrene Empire and Gallic Empire by Aurelian.
Bust of Roman Emperor Claudius II, r. 268-270 CE. (Santa Giulia Museum, Brescia)
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, king of Akkad. c. 2250 BCE. Brought from Sippar to Susa in the 12th century BCE. Restored in 1992 CE. (Louvre Museum, Paris)
A map showing the distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian empire after the Settlement in Babylon summer/fall 323 BC.
A map showing the major sites of metal production in the Ancient Near East, including Egypt, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Indus Valley Civilization.
Map of Philip II of Macedon's campaign in Greece, 339 BC
A map of Minoan Crete.
A photo showing the three Pyramids of Giza. From left to right they are: - The Pyramid of Menkaure (c. 2532–2504 BCE) - The Pyramid of Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BCE) - The Great Pyramid of Khufu (c. 2589–2566 BCE)
Ruins in the Town of Ur, Southern Iraq.
Bronze Age golden helmet found in Leiro, Galicia (modern-day Spain). Museo de San Antón, A Coruña.
A map of Gaul indicating the local tribes, regions, and cities, circa 54 BCE.
Bust of Pythagoras of Samos, display in the Capitoline Museums, Rome.
A 18th century map of Lutetia by Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697–1782).
One of the first representations of the Buddha, 1st-2nd century AD, Gandhara: Standing Buddha. Tokyo National Museum
Heracles depiction of Vajrapani as the protector of the Buddha, 2nd century AD Gandhara, British Museum.
Mathura region: Yakshi, ca. second century CE: sandstone. The William A. Whitaker Foundation Art Fund. Republished with permission from the Ackland Art Museum. Credit: 84.2.1 Unidentified Artist Indian, Mathura region: Yakshi, 2nd century, Sanstone, 17 7/16 x 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 in (44.29 x 14.61 x 8.89 cm) Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina... [continue reading]
A map of the Mediterranean around 550 BC, showing the major cultures: - Greece and its colonies - Phoenicia and its colonies - Lydia - Egypt - Persia - Thrace - Illyria
The famous Lion's Gate in the ruins of Mycenae.
This map shows the Roman conquest of Italy from 500 BCE to 218 BCE.
A map showing the Empire of Alexander the Great, his conquests, and the routes he took (334 BC - 323 BC). Major cities, roads, and battles are indicated.
A map showing the sites and cultures of prehistoric Illyria.
A map showing the Illyrian tribes prior to Roman conquest, including Phrygian tribes, Venetic tribes, independent tribes, and those under Celtic influence.
A map showing ancient Greece at the time of Theban hegemony, 371 BCE to 362 BCE.
A map showing the expansion of Macedon, around the time of the Peloponnesian War, between 431 - 336 BC.
Map of the Roman province of Dacia, part of modern-day Romania and Serbia, between the era of Trajan (106 CE) and the evacuation of the province in 271 CE. Roman settlements and legion garrisons with Latin names included.
A map showing the major tribes in Thrace and the surrounding regions.
A map showing the known world at the time of the Ptolemaic Empire, ca. 300 BC.
A map showing the locations of battles in ancient Greece.
Map of the main religious sanctuaries of classical Greece. The following gods' sanctuaries are marked in colour: Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Dionysius, Demeter, Hera, Poseidon, Zeus.
A map of the political structure of Greece in the Archaic Age (ca. 750 - 490 BC).
A map showing the major empires, kingdoms, tribes, and ethnic groups of the Eastern Hemisphere in 100 BC.
A bust of Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), from the Vatican Museums.
Marlbe bust of Cleopatra VI of Egypt form 30-40 BC. Altes Museum Berlin.
Cleopatra Before Caesar by Jean-Léon Gérôme, oil on canvas, 1866. Cleopatra confronts Gaius Julius Caesar after emerging from a roll of carpet. The Egyptian Queen had been driven from the palace in Alexandria by her brother/husband Ptolemy XIII. She had to disguise herself to regain entry and treat with Caesar for protection and restoration of her throne.
Mahajanapadas (Sanskrit: महाजनपद, Mahājanapadas), literally "great realms", (from maha, "great", and janapada "foothold of a tribe", "country") were ancient Indian kingdoms or countries. Ancient Buddhist texts like Anguttara Nikaya make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics (Solas Mahajanapadas) which had evolved and flourished... [continue reading]
Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. The shaded area does not include recent excavations such as Rupar, Balakot, Shortughai in Afghanistan, Manda in Jammu, etc.
This is the entrance to the excavated ruins of the royal palace at Ugarit.
Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, when it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew the Python, a deity who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. His sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek... [continue reading]
Ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollon in Cyrene, modern Libya.
The ruins of the agora in Cyrene, modern Libya.
Ptolemy I Soter (367 - 283 BCE) was a trusted Macedonian general of Alexander the Great, and became ruler of Egypt. Engraved by an unknown artist after an ancient Roman relic. It was published in a history of Italian Renaissance art in 1883 and is now in the public domain.
A possible trade route for pepper from India to Rome.
From Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen (1897).
A map showing the territory of the Iceni tribe overlayed in red in the context of the modern county boundaries of England and Wales.
The Old Roman Forum of Leptis Magna.
Map (rough) of ancient Leptis Magna, Libya, own work composed from various map references.
View of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.
The site of Stonehenge as of 2004. The plan omits the trilithon lintels for clarity. Holes that no longer, or never, contained stones are shown as open circles and stones visible today are shown coloured, grey for sarsen and blue for the imported stone, mainly bluestone. Key to plan: The Altar Stone, a six ton monolith of green micaceous sandstone from... [continue reading]
Map of the Indo-Saka / Indo-Scythian Kingdoms.
Theatre of Epidaurus, Greece.
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, probably the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization and culture. It is a popular tourist destination today, as it is near the main city of Heraklion and has been substantially if imaginatively "rebuilt", making the site accessible to the casual visitor in a way that a field of unmarked ruins is not.
Ancient glazed tiles from the gates of ancient Babylon (Iraq) depict a lion. The Lion is the symbol of Babylon, and represents Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, love and war. Meant not only to symbolise Babylon, but to instill fear in enemies, it seems fitting that a single stone lion, albeit poorly preserved, is the only true remainder of Babylon that stands... [continue reading]
Bust of Marcus Aurelius (reign 161–180 CE). Glyptothek, Munich, Germany.
A family tree of the Akkadian Dynasty, starting with La'ibum and Sargon of Akkad.
Bust of the philosopher Parmenides of Elea.
Photo of the Colosseum in Rome, completed 80 AD.
A map of the Mediterranean in 218 BC, showing the territorial extents of the following states: - Antigonids - Attalids - Carthage - Ptolemies - Roman Empire - Seleucids Major battle locations are also shown.
A map of Palestine circa 830 BC, showing the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, as well as the surrounding kingdoms and tribes.
A map showing Iberian peninsula in 125 AD including important roads, locations of legions and gold (Au) and silver (Ag) mines.
An engraving inside an onyx-stone-eye in a Marduk statue that depicts Nebuchadnezzar II.
A map of the Roman Empire and Europe in 125 CE, at the time of Roman emperor Hadrian. "Barbarian" names and locations are given as found in the works of Tacitus (written c. 100 CE).
The image shows part of the excavated city of Ebla in Syria. Most of the ruins have been given a top layer of new bricks. Some stones used to grind flour are also seen in the picture.
A panoramic view of ruins of the ancient desert city of Palmyra in Syria, which grew large in the Syrian desert in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The ruins are now a United Nations World Heritage site.
Map of the Roman Empire at its maximum extent in 117 CE, under the rule of Trajan.
The Achaemenid Empire during the reign of Cyrus the Great, 559 BC-530 BCE. Major cities are marked and modern borders are superimposed.
The Tomb of Cyrus is the burial place of the ancient Cyrus the Great of Persia. The tomb is located in modern day Iran, at the Pasargadae World Heritage Site. Cyrus the Great (c. 590 BC; August 529 BC or 530 BC), or Cyrus II of Persia was a Persian Shahenshah (or Emperor), who founded of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. This empire thence expanded... [continue reading]
The so-called Prison of Solomon (Zendan-i Suleiman), Pasargadae, Iran. A fire temple, a tomb or a depository, this now-fragmentary construction continues to defy secure interpretation.
Indo-Greek territory and campaigns with known encounters.
Cyrus the great's private palace at Pasargadae. This palace is one of the two first builded in the emerging capital of the founder of the new persian empire. Before Pasargadae, the persian who were nomadic shepperds, had no real architectural traditions of stone and columned palaces. Pasargade changed that, and shows the first attempts to set the persian achaemenian... [continue reading]
The audience hall of the royal palace in Pasargadae.
Bilingual (Greek and Aramaic) inscriptions by king Ashoka at Kandahar (Shar-i-kuna). (3rd century BCE). Preserved at Kabul Museum. Today disappeared. Two-dimensional inscription. Greek (transliteration) 1. δέκα ἐτῶν πληρη[....]ων βασι[λ]εὺς 2. Πιοδασσης εὐσέβεια[ν ἔδ]ε[ι]ξεν τοῖς ἀν-... [continue reading]
This is a map of Mesopotamia showing the dominant kingdoms of Egypt, Mitanni, Hatti, and Kassite Babylonia.
The temple of Poseidon was constructed in approx. 440 B.C., over the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic Period. It is perched above the sea at a height of almost 70 m. The design of the temple is a typical hexastyle i.e. it had a front portico with 6 columns. Only some columns of the Sounion temple stand today, but intact it would have closely resembled... [continue reading]
A map depicting the approximate layout of the Phrygian city of Gordium.
A map of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and its neighbours.
A map of the regions of ancient Anatolia, circa 500 BC. Greek settlement areas are noted in italics.
A map showing the position of the province of Galatia within the Roman Empire.
Map of the Hittite Empire at its greatest extent under Suppiluliuma I(c. 1350–1322 BCE) and Mursili II (c. 1321–1295 BCE). Because many of the place names have been taken from Hittite sources and compared to classical place names, they may not all be correct as there is still scholarly disagreement (ex. Lukka as Lycia, Karkija as Caria).
A colossal basalt lion lion statue found at the Ain Dara Temple near Aleppo, Syria. This statues dates c. 10th to 8th century BCE, and it was discovered in 1955.
The Ain Dara temple is an Iron Age Syro-Hittite temple, located northwest of Aleppo, Syria, and dating to between the 10th and 8th century BC. It is noted for its similarities to Solomon's Temple as described in the Hebrew Bible. The surviving sculptures depict lions and sphinxes (comparable to the cherubim of the First Temple). The god's massive footprints are carved into the floor.
Temple Period, 4000 - 2500 BCE. This clay figure of a reclining lady was found in one of the pits of the Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni in Malta. It has traces of red ochre paint and is thought to represent a "mother goddess", even though she may equally be a representation of death or eternal sleep. National Museum of Valetta, Malta.
A map of Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii in Gaul, 58 BC.
A map of Caesar's campaign against the Belgae tribe in Gaul, 57 BC.
A map of Roman limes, located outside the city of Trier, in present-day Germany.
Routes of the Barbarian invaders into the Roman Empire during the Migration Age.
Map of the Empire of Justinian I from his accession in 527 CE to his conquests up to 565 CE.
Principal areas of the Italian penninsula and its vincinity up to the Second Punic War (218 BC).
Map of the western Mediterranean at the time of the First Punic War in 264 BCE.
3rd Century mosaic of Bikini Girls at the Villa Romana at Piazza Armerina in Sicily.
Roman mosaic from the 2nd century CE depicting Odysseus and the Sirens. Displayed in the Bardo Museum in Tunisia.
Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth, Greece, with the Acrocorinth in the background.
Scythian warriors, drawn after figures on an electrum cup from the Kul'Oba kurgan burial near Kerch. The warrior on the right is stringing his bow, bracing it behind his knee; note the typical pointed hood, long jacket with fur or fleece trimming at the edges, decorated trousers, and short boots tied at the ankle. The hair seems normally to have been worn... [continue reading]
Map of the Kingdom of Macedon and its expansions at the death of Philip II in 336 BC. Based on R. Ginouvès et al., La Macédoine, Paris, 1992.
Approximate borders in Europe around 220 BC. Based on the Pengiun Atlas of History.
Old Babylonian, 1800-1750 BC From southern Iraq A major acquisition for the British Museum's 250th anniversary This large plaque is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modelled in high relief. The figure of the curvaceous naked woman was originally painted red. She wears the horned headdress characteristic of a Mesopotamian deity and holds a rod and... [continue reading]
The excavated ruins of Pompeii in the foregreound with the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in the background. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, and it was... [continue reading]
This map shows the spread of Christianity around the Mediterranean and Europe. Dark Blue: Spread until 325 AD. Light Blue: Spread until 600 AD. Patrick O'Brien, ed (2003). Atlas of World History. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 44-5. 0-19-521921-X.
A folio from P46, an early 3rd century collection of Pauline epistles. Folio from Papyrus 46, an early 3rd century collection of Pauline epistles, containing 2 Corinthians 11:33-12:9 Transcription (the bracketed portions are illegible or missing and are not necessarily attested by P46): ενσαργανηεχαλασθηνδιατουτειχουσ... [continue reading]
The Lion Gate at Hattusa, Turkey. This was one of the two city gates. The arc is typical for Hittite architecture.
Hypaspist by Johnny Shumate For more illustrations email [email protected] If illustration is used, please credit my name.
Seating diorite statue of Gudea, prince of Lagash, dedicated to the god Ningishzida, c. 2120 BC (neo-Sumerian period). Excavated in Telloh (ancient Girsu), Iraq. On display at the Louve, Department of Oriental antiquities, Richelieu, ground floor, room 1.
Temple of Zeus at Cyrene
A map of the Kingdom of king Lugalzagesi of Umma, circa 2350 BC.
A 3D reconstruction of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, based on a 1939 drawing by Leonard Woolley, Ur Excavations, Volume V. The Ziggurat and its Surroundings, Figure 1.4
Map of Persepolis.
The Goddess Isis, wall painting, c. 1360 BCE.
"Priestess of Delphi" by John Collier, 1891. A 19th century vision of how the Pythia might have looked like, and how she became intoxicated by hallucinogenic gases emerging from the floor.
A map of the Athenian Agora in the 5th century BCE. Key 1 Peristylar Court 2 Mint 3 Enneacrounos 4 South stoa 5 Heliaea 6 Strategeion 7 Colonos Agoraios 8 Tholos 9 Agora stone 10 Monument of the Eponymous Heroes 11 Old Bouleuterion 12 New Bouleuterion 13 Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion) 14 Temple of Apollo Patroos 15 Stoa of Zeus 16 Altar... [continue reading]
The ruins of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, taken in 2005 near Ali Air Base in Iraq. The ziggurat was built by the Sumerian King Ur-Nammu and his son Shulgi in approximately the 21st century BC (short chronology) during the Third Dynasty of Ur. The massive step pyramid measured 210 feet (64m) in length, 150 feet (46m) in width and over 100 feet (30m) in height... [continue reading]
Model of the Temple of Artemis, Miniature Park, Istanbul, Turkey.
A drawing of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as Pharos, by German archaeologist Prof. H. Thiersch (1909).
Djeser-Djeseru is the main building of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri. Designed by Senemut, her vizier, the building is an example of perfect symmetry that predates the Parthenon, and it was the first complex built on the site she chose, which would become the Valley of the Kings
A map of Tartessos, showing its sphere of influence, as well as Greek and Phoenician colonies in southern Spain.
Detail of Hatshepsut, Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, c. 1473-1458 B.C. Indurated limestone sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Hatshepsut is depicted in the clothing of a male king though with a feminine form. Inscriptions on the statue call her "Daughter of en:Re" and "Lady of the Two Lands." Most of the statue's fragments were excavated... [continue reading]
The Phoenician alphabet and its equivalents in four modern alphabets. From left to right: Latin, Greek, Phoenician, Hebrew, Arabic. Legend: In the middle column you'll find the original Phoenician letters, with their modern equivalents in other languages in the same row. Each Phoenician letter has its own color. Arrows also relate letters to their equivalents.
The Phoenician alphabet.
From the grave of Menna, the agricultural scribe of the Pharaoh. Scene: Threshing of grain. c. 1422-1411 BCE
Map of the Carthaginian Empire and its losses during the Punic Wars.
This map shows the location and extent of the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East incorporating ancient Egypt; the Levant; and Mesopotamia.
Plan of the archeological site of Troy/Hisarlik. Legend: 1: Gate 2: City Wall 3: Megarons 4: FN Gate 5: FO Gate 6: FM Gate and Ramp 7: FJ Gate 8: City Wall 9: Megarons 10: City Wall 11: VI. S Gate 12: VI. H Tower 13: VI. R Gate 14: VI. G Tower 15: Well-Cistern 16: VI. T Dardanos Gate 17: VI. I Tower 18: VI. U Gate 19: VI. A House... [continue reading]
As Hannibal passed Lake Trasimene, he came to a place very suitable for an ambush, and hearing that Flaminius had broken camp and was pursuing him, made preparations for the impending battle. To the north was a series of heavily forested hills where the Malpasso Road passed along the north side of Lake Trasimene. Along the hill-bordered skirts of the lake, Hannibal... [continue reading]
Hannibal's route into Italy in the Second Punic war.
Map of the Battle of Trebia (218 BC), illustrating Hannibal's strategy.
Satyrs making wine, dionysianbas-relief from altar of unknown date, National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler, probably Sargon the Great, c. 23rd - 22nd century BCE.
Approximate maximum extent of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom circa 180 BCE, including the regions of Tapuria and Traxiane to the West, Sogdiana and Ferghana to the north, Bactria and Arachosia to the south.
Possibly what Herodotus believed the world looked like (5th century BC).
The empire of Sargon, late 24th century BCE.
Ur-Nammu (seated) bestows governorship on Ḫašḫamer, patesi (high priest) of Iškun-Sin (cylinder seal impression, c. 2100 BCE). Greenstone seal(clay impression of the cylinder seal) of Hashhamer, Governor of Ishkun-Sin. Third Dynasty of Ur, about 2100 BCE, from Babylon, southern Iraq. Length: 5.28 cm Diameter: 2.87 cm Obtained at Babylon... [continue reading]
Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare, Ireland. Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poll na mBrón in Irish meaning "hole of sorrows") is a portal tomb in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland, dating back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC to 2900 BC.
Map of Lydia in the middle of the 6th century BCE. The red line shows an alternative interpretation of Lydia's ancient borders.
Model of a Greek Trireme. Displayed at Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany.
Coin with Greek inscription reads: ΕΥΘΥΔΗΜΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ i.e. "of Euthydemus God", Euthydemus qualified as "THEOU" ("God"). (Pedigree coin of Agathocles of Bactria.)
A map of the battle of Gaugamela depicting Alexander the Great attacking Darius III, a move that led to victory.
Map of the Alliances of the Peloponnesian War, as well as the respective strategies of the opposing factions of Sparta and Athens, and their allies.
Persian Archers at Darius' palace at Susa. Exhibited in Pergamon Museum / Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin.
Map of the Persian Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under the reigns of Darius the Great and Xerxes. Inspired by Historical Atlas of Georges Duby (p.11, map D), this map was made by Fabienkhan the 24th of August 2006, using Inkscape and GIMP. Arad translated the map to help.
Monument that is generally believed to be the tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae, the oldest base-isolated structure in the world.
The opening of the battle of Gaugamela.
The ruins of the Forum Romanum in Rome.
This map indicates trading routes used around the 1st century CE centred on the Silk Road. The routes remain largely valid for the period 500 BCE to 500 CE. Geographical labels for regions are adapted from the Geography of Ptolemy (c. 150 CE), some trading centre names date from later (c. 400 CE). Relying on Ptolemy's names is wrong but neutral... [continue reading]
Map of the ancient Near East during the Amarna Period, showing the great powers of the period: Egypt (green), Hatti (yellow), the Kassite kingdom of Babylon (purple), Assyria (grey), and Mittani (red). Lighter areas show direct control, darker areas represent spheres of influence. The extent of the Achaean/Mycenaean civilization is shown in orange.
Ashurbanipal's campaign against Susa is triumphantly recorded in this relief showing the sack of Susa in 647 BC. Here, flames rise from the city as Assyrian soldiers topple it with pickaxes and crowbars and carry off the spoils.
Map showing the area of the Elamite Empire (in red) and the neighboring areas. The approximate Bronze Age extension of the Persian Gulf is shown.
Silver cup from Marvdasht, Fars, with linear-Elamite inscription on it. Late 3rd Millennium BC. National Museum of Iran.
Artistic attempt at reconstruction of the inside of the palace of Khorsabad, constructed by the Assyrian king Sargon II. From the 1901 Brockhaus Enzyklopädie.
The rock-cut tomb at Naqsh-e Rustam north of Persepolis, copying that of Darius I, is usually assumed to be that of Xerxes I.
Artist's impression of a reconstructed Acropolis, from the 1901 Brockhaus Enzyklopädie.
A map showing the deportation of the Jews by the Assyrians.
King Ashurbanipal in a detail of a Neo-Assyrian relief depicting a lion hunt (British Museum).
Detail photo of the Lions Gate in Mycenae, Argolis, Greece.
Detail of the Alexander Mosaic, representing Alexander the Great on his horse Bucephalus, during the battle of Issus.
A map showing the early expansions of Rome, in the 2nd century BC.
A map showing the route that Alexander the Great took to conquer Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Bactria.
The Sarcophagus of Ahiram, king of Byblos, bearing the oldest inscription of the Phoenician alphabet, which reads: "Coffin which Ittobaal, son of Ahiram, king of Byblos, made for Ahiram, his father, when he placed him in the 'house of eternity'. Now if a king among kings or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos... [continue reading]
A map illustrating the battle of Chaeronia.
A map showing classical Greece and the Aegaean islands.
A map of Persia, indicating major settlements, regions, and mountain ranges, as well as the march of the Ten Thousand (dotted line). The Ten Thousand were a group of mercenary units, mainly Greek, drawn up by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to wrest the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Their march to the Battle of Cunaxa and back... [continue reading]
The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in the South of France constructed by the Roman Empire, and located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département. It has long been thought that the Pont du Gard was built by Augustus' son-in-law and aide, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, around the year 19 BC. Newer excavations, however, suggest the construction... [continue reading]
A section of Hadrian's Wall near Carlisle.
Columns of what is believed to be Palaestra (athletes' training area) at the Al Mina excavation area in Tyre.
A map of ancient Phoenicia with important cities.
A map showing the extent of Etruria and the Etruscan civilization. The map includes the 12 cities of the Etruscan League and notable cities founded by the Etruscans. Based on a map from The National Geographic Magazine Vol.173 No.6 June 1988.
Plain of the Argolis, as seen from Mycenae in Greece.
A map of ancient Athens (with some text in German).
Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and its expansions.
Map of Phoenicia and its trade routes.
Sennacherib of Assyria (reigned 704 – 681 BC) during his Babylonian war, relief from his palace in Nineveh.
A Saite 26th Dynasty period (664-525 BC) bronze art work of an Egyptian cat playing with one of her kittens and feeding another. The goddess Bastet, which had a cat’s head, was one of the many gods in Egypt’s polytheistic religion and had her own temple in Bubastis, in the Nile delta. [Gulbekian Museum; Inv. No.21]
Weighing of the heart scene, with en:Ammit sitting, from the book of the dead of Hunefer.
Roman Agora (believed to be) at Al Mina excavation area.
circa. 1200 BCE Burial chamber of Sennedjem, Scene: Plowing farmer. "Sennedjem" plowing: (1st and 2nd column in front: "Behold"-(i+Crown), "plowing-by-Hand-(earth), in Osiris's House-Two Lands(of Egypt), col 2: "Sennedjem, ..."True of Voice")-The Plow hieroglyph is 'poor', or may have 'dual'(?) meanings-(equal to: "black"-(Kam-t)-Egypt(?)).
So-called “Venus de Milo” (Aphrodite from Melos). Parian marble, ca. 130-100 BC? Found in Melos in 1820. On display at the Louvre, Paris. Gift of the Marquis de Rivière to Louis XVIII of France, 1821
The Royal Game of Ur, as exhibited in the British Museum, London. Early Dynastic III, about 2600 BC. Game boards of this type were found in at least six royal graves at Ur. They are made of wood, inlaid with carnelian, shell, and lapis lazuli (which was the most precious mineral at the time). This game was played all across the Ancient Near East for about 3000 years.
King Ashurnasipal II of Assyira (reigned 883 - 859 B.C.), flanked by eagle-headed protective spirits, of which only the left one is visible in this photo. From Nimrud, North-West Palace. Exhibited in the British Museum London.
A relief of cuneiform writing from Assyria. Exhibited in the British Museum London.
The North Gate of Housesteads Fort on Hadrian's Wall. Passport control, immigration control and customs check all in one place. The wall was a checkpoint for taxing cross-border trade as well as a defence.
Modern illustration of a 4th century BCE Greek hoplite.
Augustus of Prima Porta, statue of the emperor Augustus in Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican, Rome.
Hunting in the Marshes; from a bas-relief in the tomb of Ti. From "A history of art in ancient Egypt, Vol. I" (1883)
Amen or Ammon, from a bronze in the Louvre. Height 22·04 inches. From "A history of art in ancient Egypt, Vol. I (of 2)" (1883).
Ptah, from a bronze in the Louvre. From "A history of art in ancient Egypt, Vol. I (of 2)" (1883).
Osiris, from a bronze in the Louvre. From A history of art in ancient Egypt, Vol. I by Georges Perrot and Charles Chipiez (1883).
Family tree of Julio-Claudian Dynasty, which produced five emperors at the start of the Roman Empire (27 BCE - 68 CE).
Nymph with scoprion. Marble, commissioned by Prince Charles de Beauvau, exhibited at the 1845 Salon. Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850). Louvre Museum, Department of Sculptures, ground floor, room 4
Imagine finding yourself and a group of thousands of fellow citizens stranded in the middle of a strange country, thousands of kilometres away from home. You have just lost your military leader in a battle. You have no provisions and little hope of finding any. There are no maps available and none of you have knowledge as to what type of terrain... [continue reading]
The issue of perspective is intrinsic to historiography. This is evident in the ancient Greco-Roman literary record, specifically the limits placed on its value to modern academics by the ethnographic biases of its authors. However, with the rise of the post-processual approach to archaeology over the past thirty years, modern historians have begun... [continue reading]
This dissertation examines the origin, purpose, and function of the Athenian ephebeia during the Lycurgan period (334/3-322/1 B.C.). The ephebeia, a compulsory two-year long state-funded and organized program of military service for eighteen and nineteen year old citizens called ephebes, did not exist as a formal institution prior to 334/3 B.C., the... [continue reading]
Archimedes Thoughtful, painted 1620 CE in Mantua by Domenico Fetti (1588–1623). Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.
By the late fourth century BCE Rome had conquered much of modern day Italy and was a maturing power in the Mediterranean. In the First Punic War (264-241) Rome defeated Carthage and acquired Sicily as its first overseas province. The late third century saw Rome again at war against Carthage and the two powers vied for control of the Mediterranean on... [continue reading]
“Touching the Gods: physical interaction with cult statues in the Roman world‟ explores different forms of physical interaction with cult statues in the many cults and beliefs evident across the Roman world, and proposes wide-ranging implications of this for the understanding of Roman religions and Roman art. Despite the theoretical detachment... [continue reading]
Artist's impression of how Caesar and his army marching through Gaul may have looked like. This is a marketing picture for the Rome II: Total War DLC "Caesar in Gaul".
Modern historians and classicists have studied the ancient Greeks’ use of Amazon mythology extensively and exhaustively. Their analysis of the Amazon in literature and artwork has contributed to a better understanding of Greek society, culture, and the mindset of those ancient people. Next to nothing, however, has been written about the ancient Romans&rsquo... [continue reading]
The dissertation is intended to show whether it is possible for a Roman traveller to make a journey around the Roman world in the year C.E. 210, within 180 days, in a manner similar to that of Phileas Fogg, a character in Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days (1874). The Roman’s 180-day adventure to complete the journey within... [continue reading]
Production of beer in ancient Egypt was an important daily activity. Beer was an essential part of the nutrition of the ancient Egyptian as well as important in religious life. Beer production dates back to at least the 35th century BC. The standard model for the production of beer in ancient Egypt is based on the interpretation of artistic depictions... [continue reading]
Of the many great archaeological ﬁnds in the 20th century, one of the grandest is the discovery of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi’s terracotta army. The ruler of the state of Qin, King Cheng, proclaimed himself the First Emperor of China in 221 BC taking the name Shihuangdi (ﬁrst sovereign). After hundreds of years of open warfare between the different... [continue reading]
In his New History, the second century CE grammarian Ptolemy Chennos (also called Ptolemy Hephaestion) alleges that over two dozen celebrated women named Helen lived at the time of the Trojan War. These women include a painter, a woman who ate three dogs a day, and a woman from whom Homer took his account of the Trojan War. The New History of Ptolemy... [continue reading]
This paper explores the acculturation of customs native to the people of Western Europe by Roman soldiers and citizens living on the frontier. This paper examines who these indigenous people were and focuses on their development from the middle of the fifth century BCE until several centuries after Roman conquest. There is an emphasis on the unique challenges... [continue reading]
In the year 274, Romans witnessed what the Historia Augusta described as a “most brilliant spectacle” — a triumph on a lavish scale not seen in a generation. The Emperor Aurelian, rode through the city streets of Rome in a magnificent chariot said to have belonged to the king of the Goths, pulled by four matching white stags and followed... [continue reading]
Did Greek city-states create colonies in the ancient world in order to expand their sphere of influence? If the answer is yes, then why did one of these colonies break away from its mother-city in order to better itself? The answer is a complicated one and is subject to analysis on both a macro and micro level. The primary example of a colony that found... [continue reading]
Most mental maps of the Roman world center on the Mediterranean basin. At the empire’s heart lies the “Eternal City,” with the edges of this mental map forming the limits of direct Roman political control. This conception of the Roman Empire is not, however, always the most useful way of thinking about the Roman world. Indeed, a Mediterranean-centered... [continue reading]
When Alexander the Great marched over to India towards the end of the 4th century B.C. and incorporated a section of this country in his Empire, it was not the first time that the ancient Greeks were learning about this part of the world, for they had known quite a lot about it already from centuries before. Indian words for various products from that country... [continue reading]
The ancient Romans took every precaution in their prayers or rituals to ensure that their deities were addressed by name or generically as a divine spirit, or numen. In many matters of ritual and tradition they acknowledged their dependence on Etruscan practices, Etrusca disciplina. The Etruscans were known for their interpretation of signs such as lightning... [continue reading]
According to his own testimony, Hammurabi (Hammurapi) was destined for kingship since time immemorial, when two powerful gods, Anu and Enlil, entrusted to a third god, Marduk, control over destiny, on Earth as in heaven. At that time, too, the gods set Babylon above all other lands, and its rule was made everlasting. Here is how Hammurabi describes himself... [continue reading]
In this dissertation, I examine the magical practices of Roman farmers, primarily through the Latin farming manuals; topics include the magical practices which the Roman agronomists recommend to farmers, the relationship of this material to other genres of magic such as curses and amulets, and how its inclusion in technical handbooks is part of the authors&rsquo... [continue reading]
In this thesis I set out to determine the possible motivations in response to which Diotima agreed to teach Socrates the arts of love. In the process I develop a broader understanding of Diotima and her natural, feminine complexity. This understanding of Diotima suggests an interpretation of her teaching to show that, for all that can be said of love... [continue reading]
This paper considers the nature of Stonehenge and other Neolithic sites from an unusual perspective, that of medicine. At Stonehenge, the finish and pattern of the stones suggest that the trilithons represent the parents of the past, while the overall layout symbolizes Earth Mother, the Mother Goddess. Concern for this deity probably reflects the enormous... [continue reading]
Identifying an exact origin of agriculture remains problematic because the transition from hunter-gatherer societies began thousands of years before the invention of writing. It isn't until after 9,500 BCE that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick... [continue reading]
Trade is believed to have taken place throughout much of recorded human history. There is evidence of the exchange of obsidian and flint during the Stone Age. Materials used for creating jewelry were traded with Egypt since 3000 BCE. Long-range trade routes first appeared in the 3rd millennium BCE, when Sumerians in Mesopotamia traded with the Harappan civilization... [continue reading]
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). Pottery is made by forming the clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions... [continue reading]
The Bronze Age is the second part of the three-age system (Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age) for classifying and studying prehistoric societies, particularly the ancient societies of the Mediterranean and Near East. More broadly, the Bronze Age of any culture is the period during which the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread... [continue reading]
Bronze was significant to any culture that encountered it. It was one of the most innovative alloys of mankind. Tools, weapons, armour, and various building materials like decorative tiles made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper ("Chalcolithic") predecessors. Initially bronze was made out of copper and arsenic to... [continue reading]
The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. By 2700 BCE Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and... [continue reading]
The historical records of ancient Egypt begin with Egypt as a unified state, which occurred sometime around 3150 BCE. According to Egyptian tradition Menes, thought to have unified Upper and Lower Egypt, was the first king. This Egyptian culture, customs, art expression, architecture, and social structure was closely tied to religion, remarkably... [continue reading]
An empire is a political construct in which one state dominates over another state, or a series of states. At its heart, an empire is ruled by an emperor, even though many states in history without an emperor at their head are called "empires". At its core, an empire is the domination of one state by another. This idea lies at the heart... [continue reading]
The historical Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age Europe. Proto-Celtic culture formed in the Early Iron Age in Central Europe (Hallstatt period, named for the site in present-day Austria). By the later Iron Age (La Tène period), Celts had expanded over a wide range of lands: as far west as Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula... [continue reading]
The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος) is a large peninsula and region in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology, specifically the legend of the hero Pelops who was said to have conquered... [continue reading]
In archaeology, the Iron Age was the stage in the development of any people in which tools and weapons whose main ingredient was iron were prominent. The adoption of this material often coincided with other changes in society, including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles. In history, the Iron Age is the last principal period... [continue reading]
Phrygia was an ancient nation in western Turkey with its capital at Gordium. Compared to several other nations in Anatolia, the Phrygians were newcomers. Although their language has to be reconstructed from names, quotes, and a mere 350 inscriptions, and is consequently not very well-known, it is certain that it is related to the languages of the southern Balkan... [continue reading]
Levant is the name applied widely to the eastern Mediterranean coastal lands of Asia Minor and Phoenicia (modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon). In a wider sense, the term can be used to encompass the entire coastline from Greece to Egypt. The Levant is part for the Fertile Crescent and was home to some of the ancient Mediterranean trade centers, such as Ugarit... [continue reading]
Jerusalem is an ancient city located in ancient Judah that is now the capital of Israel. The city has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It is the holiest city in Judaism and Christianity and has been the spiritual center of the Jewish people since c. 1000 BCE, when David the King of Israel... [continue reading]
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is technically a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a completely separate... [continue reading]
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to the culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy and Corsica whom the ancient Romans called Etrusci or Tusci. The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. The main hypotheses are that they are indigenous, probably stemming from the Villanovan culture, or that they are the result... [continue reading]
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three peninsulas of Southern Europe (the other two being the Iberian Peninsula and Balkan Peninsula), spanning 1,000 km from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula is bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic... [continue reading]
When people spoke of Africa in ancient times, they generally meant the northern coast of Africa, and more specifically the coast west of Egypt (Cyrenaica and the Maghreb). The ancients vaguely knew of the existance of sub-Saharan Africa, but were unaware of its geography. Despite its location in Africa, Egypt never expanded westwards. The expanse of... [continue reading]
The Achaean League (Greek: κοινὸν τῶν Ἀχαιῶν) was a Hellenistic era confederation of Greek city states on the northern and central Peloponnese, which existed between 280 BCE and 146 BCE. The league was named after the region of Achaea. The regional Achaean League was reformed in 281/0... [continue reading]
It is thought that the Kassites originated as tribal groups in the Zagros Mountains to the north-east of Babylonia. Their leaders came to power in Babylon following the collapse of the ruling dynasty of the Old Babylonian Period in 1595 BC. The Kassites retained power for about four hundred years (until 1155 BC). There is very little evidence for serious... [continue reading]
Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Knowledge of Elamite history remains largely fragmentary, reconstruction being based on mainly Mesopotamian sources. The city of Susa was founded around 5000 BCE, and during its early history, fluctuated between submission to Mesopotamian and Elamite power. The earliest Elamite sites... [continue reading]
The Medes, (Greek Μῆδοι, from an Old Persian ماد Mādai) were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. This area is known as Media (also Medea; Greek Μηδία, Old Persian Māda; the English adjective is Median, antiquated also Medean). They entered this region with the first wave of Iranian tribes, in... [continue reading]
Lydia arose as a Neo-Hittite kingdom following the collapse of the Hittite Empire in the twelfth century BC. According to Greek sources, the original name of the Lydian kingdom was Maionia. Herodotus relates that that the "Maiones" were renamed Lydians after their king, Lydus (Greek: Λυδός), son of Attis, in the mythical epoch that preceded the rise of... [continue reading]
Bactria was a province of the Persian empire located in modern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. After the defeat of Darius III of Persia, Bactria continued to offer resistance against Alexander the Great, led by Bessus, who had proclaimed himself successor to Darius. Alexander conquered it with great difficulty between 329-327 BCE, largely with... [continue reading]
Cambyses II was the son of Cyrus the Great and King of Persia from 530 BCE to 522 BCE. It was quite natural that, after Cyrus had conquered the Middle East, Cambyses should undertake the conquest of Egypt, the only remaining independent state in that part of the world. Before he set out on his expedition, he killed his brother Bardiya (Smerdis... [continue reading]
Cyrus II (reign: 559-530 BCE), also known as Cyrus the Great, was the founder of the Persian empire. When he became king, Persia was a client state of the empire of the Medes. Cyrus revolted, conquered the Median capital Ecbatana and deposed the king of the Medes, Astyages. Throughout his reign he conquered Babylon, Lydia, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor... [continue reading]
East of the Zagros Mountains, a high plateau stretches off towards India. While Egypt was rising up against the Hyksos, a wave of pastoral tribes from north of the Caspian Sea was drifting down into this area and across into India. By the time the Assyrians had built their new empire, a second wave had covered the whole stretch between the Zagros... [continue reading]
The Delian League was an association of approximately 150 5th-century BCE Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Greco–Persian Wars. Founded in 478 BCE, the League's name derives from its official meeting... [continue reading]
Darius III was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BCE to 330 BCE. It was under his rule that the Persian Empire was conquered during the Wars of Alexander the Great. Artaxerxes III of Persia and all of his sons except one, Arses, were killed off through the assassination plots of a vizier named Bagoas, who installed Arses... [continue reading]
The Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire (Persian: اشکانیان) after the eponymous founder, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in the Ancient Near East. It was founded in the mid-3rd century BC by Arsaces I of Parthia, leader of the Parni tribe, when he conquered the Parthia region ("roughly... [continue reading]
Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca, (248–183 or 182 BC), commonly known as Hannibal was a Carthaginian military commander and tactician who is popularly credited as one of the most talented commanders in history. His father Hamilcar Barca was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War. Hannibal lived during a period of tension in the Mediterranean... [continue reading]
Coins were introduced as a method of payment around the 6th or 5th century BCE. The invention of coins is still shrouded in mystery: According to Herdotous (I, 94), coins were first minted by the Lydians, while Aristotle claims that the first coins were minted by Demodike of Kyrme, the wife of King Midas of Phrygia. Numismatists consider that the first coins... [continue reading]
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. All human societies have medical beliefs that provide explanations for birth, death, and disease. Throughout history, illness has been attributed to witchcraft, demons, adverse... [continue reading]
Two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD, Caesar Augustus died. He was Rome's first emperor, having won a civil war more than 40 years earlier that transformed the dysfunctional Roman Republic…
Aleppo is a city in northern modern-day Syria. The ancient name of Aleppo, Halab, is of obscure origin. Some have proposed that Halab means 'iron' or 'copper' in Amorite languages since it was a major source of these metals in antiquity. Halaba in Aramaic means white, referring to the color of soil and marble abundant in the area. Another proposed... [continue reading]
The Battle of Chaeronea (338 BCE) was a decisive battle in which king Philip II of Macedonia overcame Athens and Thebes, which meant, essentially the end of Greek independence. The war between the Greek city states and Macedonia became inevitable when, in 340 BCE, King Philip of Macedonia was besieging Perinthus --on the west bank of the... [continue reading]
The Roman Republic was the phase of the ancient Roman civilisation characterised by a republican form of government. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 509 BC, and lasted over 450 years until its subversion in 29 BC, through a series of civil wars, into the Principate form of government and the Imperial period. The Roman Republic... [continue reading]
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions or German: Völkerwanderung (wandering of the peoples), was a period of human migration that occurred roughly between AD 300 to 700 in Europe, marking the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. These movements were catalyzed by profound changes within both the Roman Empire and... [continue reading]
The Indo-Saka or Indo-Scythians are commonly thought to have been a branch of Sakas (Scythians), who migrated from southern Siberia into Bactria, Sogdiana, Arachosia, Gandhara, Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, from the middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE. The first Saka king in Pakistan and India was Maues or Moga who established... [continue reading]
As described by the Roman historian Livy (1st century BC), the youthful Massiva was the nephew of a prince of Numidia in present-day Algeria who had supported Scipio Africanus (a Roman general so known because of his conquests in North Africa) and the Romans in battle. The young Massiva was captured by the Romans in 209 BC and brought before Scipio. When Scipio... [continue reading]
Ba'al (Hebrew בעל, Ba'l, "lord"; Greek Βήλος) was the title of several Canaanite deities. The word "Ba'al" can be translated as "lord", "owner", "master", or "husband", and referred to a group of deities venerated in the Levant. Some of these deities... [continue reading]
Byzantine Empire was the successor of the Roman Empire in the Greek-speaking, eastern part of the Mediterranean. Christian in nature, it was perennially at war with the Muslims, Flourishing during the reign of the Macedonian emperors, its demise was the consequence of attacks by Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. Byzantium was the name... [continue reading]
Ammon is the name of a Libyan deity and his oracle in the desert. It became famous after Alexander the Great made a detour to consult the god. The modern name is Siwa. Ammon was a Libyan deity, whose oracle was situated in the Siwa oasis, some 500 km west of Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt. The oasis was also called Ammon. The Egyptians identified... [continue reading]
Pasargadae was one of the oldest residences of the Achaemenid kings, founded by Cyrus the Great (r.559-530). It resembled a park of 2x3 km in which several monumental buildings were to be seen. According to the Roman geographer Strabo of Amasia, the palace of Pasargadae was built on the site where king Cyrus (r.559-530) defeated the leader of the Medes, Astyages... [continue reading]
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Pepper has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. Pepper is native to India and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE. Peppercorns were a much prized trade good... [continue reading]
Lutetia Parisiorum was the capital of the Parisii, a tribe in ancient Gaul. The Parisii were a tribe on the Middle Seine, and Lutetia ("place near a swamp") was one of their main settlements. It was on the south bank of the river. In 53 BCE, the Roman general Julius Caesar used Lutetia, which had probably been founded in the mid-third century BCE, as place... [continue reading]
Southern Mesopotamia was divided between competing city-states during the period 2900-2300 BCE. This so-called Early Dynastic period has three subdivisions based on archaeological finds made by the Oriental Institute of Chicago in the area of the Diyala, east of modern Baghdad. Early Dynastic I (around 2900-2800 BCE) saw the emergence... [continue reading]
Trapezus (Greek: Τραπεζοῦς) was a Greek city on the southern shore of the Black Sea, modern Trabzon. According to the Christian author Eusebius, writing more than a millennium after the event, Trapezus was founded in 756 BCE, in the country that was called Colchis. Its first settlers were from Sinope (Xenophon... [continue reading]
This week, it seems that my classical friends wished me to learn a great deal about clothing–or lack thereof. I started off reading (and then quickly consumed) the splendid book by late…
The Last Supper, oil on panel (c. 1562) by Joan de Joanes (1510–1579). Prado Museum.
This paper examines the influence of Hannibal of Carthage on the art of war over time. Hannibal’s war with Rome provides a complex example of strategic and tactical successes and failures that have been modeled and studied throughout military history in one fashion or another. The method of research was a literature review organized into chapters... [continue reading]
That there is a connection between warfare and sport is evident enough. Competitive games, in the form of contests between individuals or teams, imitate war in a more or less conscious manner. This fact is most obviously reflected in the language of sport. When sports writers use terms like catastrophe, tragedy, massacre, or annihilation, people sometimes... [continue reading]
Today we have much evidence that modern Sports Culture has its roots in Ancient Olympic Games. Many excavations are held by archaeologists to understand the idea of sport as the ancient world’s culture by searching Ancient Olympia. However there are many ancient stadiums and maybe many more are waiting to come into daylight all over the world, where... [continue reading]
Ritual has always been a popular subject of study in archaeology and anthropology. Early ethnographers relished the details of its drama, and early archaeologists found it a convenient explanation for those finds they could not explain. More sophisticated modern scholars ponder the symbolic complexity of its action, and debate its social function. And... [continue reading]
The history of Jewish Christianity is a very tragic one. During the first few years of its existence, it enjoyed an enormous growth in numbers, both in Jerusalem and in the rest of Judaea and Samaria. The early Jewish Christians of the Jerusalem Church were respected both by their countrymen and by the Gentiles of the churches founded by Paul in Asia Minor... [continue reading]
This account of viticulture in Italy during the period from the Punic Wars to the crisis of the third century AD is written in the conviction that the ‘economic’ history of the ancient world will remain unacceptably impoverished if it is written in isolation from the social and cultural history of the same period. The orthodoxy which sees... [continue reading]
Painting by Vasily Polenov (1882). Oil on canvas. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
Ruins of Jupiter Cathedral and Cathedral of Sun. Painting by Vasily Polenov (1882).
Temple of Athena Parthénos. Painting by Vasily Polenov, c. 1882.
Painting by Vasily Polenov, 1899.
Statue of Amenhotep III. Painting by Vasily Polenov (date unknown).
Grecian Female from a fictile vase.
This artistic 3D scene shows how fighting between the Roman and the Gauls may have looked during Julius Caesar's campaigns in Gaul (58 to 50 BCE).
This is an artistic 3D model of how the Battle of Alesia may have looked. In this decisive Roman victory (September 52 BCE), Julius Caesar defeated the Arverni leader Vercingetorix, completing the Roman conquest of Gaul.
This is an artistic 3D impression of what the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (September, 9 CE) may have looked like. Germanic tribesmen led by Arminius wear down the Roman column, as its general Varus is trying to lead it back to safety. The engagement ended in a crushing Roman defeat.
From Egypt Middle Kingdom, about 2040-1750 BC An ancient Egyptian farmer at work This model was originally placed in a tomb. Models showing various stages in the production of food were placed in wealthy burials of the Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC) to guarantee that the deceased would have food for eternity. The first stage of the process was ploughing... [continue reading]
A nude girl sits in an ancient landscape, trying to push away Eros / Cupid, the god of love, who is holding an arrow. Nevertheless, she is smiling, suggesting that she might not really want to prevent him from hitting her with the arrow of love. Adolphe William Bouguereau French, about 1880 Oil on canvas 31 1/4 x 21 5/8 in. 70.PA.3 Getty Museum
This is an artist's illustration of how Parthian camel cataphracts may have looked like in combat against Roman legionaries.
Artemisia I of Caria as depicted in the fictional Hollywood movie 300: Rise of an Empire, played by Eva Green. This depiction is a modern cinematic representation of the character and does not reflect the historical Artemisia. This movie still is a promotional image for the movie, given to the press.
The monumental stone statue from Tiwanaku, Bolivia, known as the Ponce Monolith. Such statues perhaps represented the race of stone giants which first populated the world in pan-Andean mythology. Gold pins and traces of piant indicate they were once clothed in textiles and decorated with bright colours. The statue is 3.5 metres tall and dates to c. 300 CE.
A map of the Roman Empire, circa 350 CE, showing its Dioceses, the administrative divisions of the late Roman Empire. The diocese was introduced by emperor Diocletian to supplant the province as administrative unit of the empire.
The regal period largely coincides with the Archaic period, for Rome's development. Of course, a lot was going in what would develop into Rome before the famed foundation date of 753 BC (which was debated by ancient historians nevertheless). The 8th and 7th centuries are known as the Iron Age and Orientalizing period and were marked by shared and overlapping... [continue reading]
The Romans began building with local materials, wood, clay, and tuff (see Episode 3 for local materials and geology of the city). There are many sources from antiquity, but a good place to start is with the writings of Vitruvius (on architecture) and Frontinus (on aqueducts: De Aqueductibus Urbis Romae). Vitruvius' 10 Books of Architecture is a work that became... [continue reading]
The regal period largely coincides with the Archaic period, for Rome's development. Of course, a lot was going in what would develop into Rome before the famed foundation date of 753 BC (which was debated by ancient historians nevertheless). The 8th and 7th centuries are known as the Iron Age and Orientalizing period and were marked by shared and overlapping... [continue reading]
Video on the Roman Republic produced by the American Institute for Roman Culture.
Video on the Late Roman Republic produced by the American Institute for Roman Culture.
Artemision Zeus or Poseidon, c. 460 B.C.E., bronze, 2.09 m high, Early Classical (Severe Style), recovered from a shipwreck off Cape Artemision, Greece (National Archaeological Museum, Athens) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker
A conversation with Dr. Darius Arya and Dr. Beth Harris at the Basilica of Constantine, Rome, c. 306-312
U.S. Army Special Forces 'Green Beret' combat veteran, Discovery Channel presenter and survivalist Mykel Hawke takes a look at the kind of equipment every Roman legionary was sent to war with over 1,500 years ago. How does it stack up to military standards today? In this documentary short for Total War: ROME II, Hawke discovers exactly the sort of kit... [continue reading]
It wasn't all stabbing and slicing in ancient combat, during battle the air was often dark with thrown projectiles of various deadly natures. Taking a look at some of the man and machine-powered missile armaments of the Roman period is shouter's favourite BRIAN BLESSED! - in this short film to mark the release week of Total War: ROME II. With the... [continue reading]
Monique Seefried, consulting curator of Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, describes this stone palace wall relief panel of an Assyrian winged deity from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BCE) from the ancient city of Nimrud, capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, in present-day Iraq. It is north of Baghdad, 21 miles SE of Mosul.
Sorry, no Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom, just Mrs. B and some black figure art.
Historiarum ab Urbe Condita. - The complete history of Rome and its Urban Foundation -from its foundation to Augustine- by Titus Livius Patavina (59 BC – AD 17). Latin text. Edited with extensive commentary by Joannes Frederick Gronovius. The first complete account of early Roman history. Published by Ludovic & Daniels at the Elsevier Press, Amsterdam... [continue reading]
Map showing the ancient states in the western Caucasus (modern-day Georgia) from c. 600 BCE to 150 BCE.
Anavysos Kouros, c. 530 B.C.E., marble, 6' 4" (National Archaeological Museum, Athens) Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris
http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/snapshot Explore this object: http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/statue-of-two-men-and-a-boy-that-served-as-a-domestic-icon-egypt-11.150.21 "You start saying, 'Who were they, and what are their personalities?'" 82nd & Fifth invites 100 curators from across the Museum to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world.
http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/bricks Explore this object: http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/two-panels-with-striding-lions-babylonian-31.13.1-.2 "It always had this possibility to come alive in a very real sense." 82nd & Fifth invites 100 curators from across the Museum to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world.
Lecture by Dr. John E. Curtis, OBE, FBA, Keeper of Special Middle East Projects, The British Museum. Introduction by Joan Aruz, Curator in Charge, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This program is presented with the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire. Thursday, June 20, 2013 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/monsters Explore this object: http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/marble-capital-and-finial-in-the-form-of-a-sphinx-greek-attic-11.185d-x "This makes you think about beauty and especially female beauty as being both enchanting and dangerous. ." 82nd & Fifth invites 100 curators from across the Museum to talk about... [continue reading]
Preparing pieces of papyrus ready for display in the exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Overview of Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Egyptian Art for TICE ART 1010.
Overview of Greek and Roman Art for the TICE ART 1010 Course
Trace the legacy of Babylonian discoveries and ideas, including their mathematical system based on 60 and their desire to predict the future. With British Museum curator Irving Finkel. http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_this_site/audio_and_video/exhibitions_-_archive/babylon_-_video_archive/babylonian_mind_video.aspx
For three years, a research team from the British Museum, the University of Reading, Royal Holloway University of London and the Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal de Huamanga set out to discover how the Inca Empire used a stone platform known as an ushnu as a symbol of political power. By enhancing our knowledge of how ushnus were built, their symbolism... [continue reading]
From wax to metal (de la cera al metal) Goldmaking techniques of the ancient Colombians Created for the exhibition Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia at the British Museum, Organised with Museo del Oro, 17 October 2013 -- 23 March 2014 http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/beyond_el_dorado.aspx
Depletion gilding (dorado por oxidación). The gold-making techniques of the ancient Colombians. Created for the exhibition Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia at the British Museum, Organised with Museo del Oro, 17 October 2013 -- 23 March 2014 http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/beyond_el_dorado.aspx
In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for 'Pompeii Live from the British Museum'. Get the full recipe and find out more at britishmuseum.org/pompeiilive
Sculptures of the female form are a feature of the exhibition Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind. Here, exhibition curator Jill Cook and artist Ghislaine Howard explore these representations of women in Ice Age and contemporary art.
Find out about the lasting legacy of Alexander the Great in Afghanistan today. The exhibition Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World is at the British Museum until 3 July 2011. Book tickets now: http://bit.ly/dXJ9CY
In AD122 Hadrian ordered a mighty frontier system to be built across the north of Britain. The result was Hadrian's Wall, a 73 mile barrier stretching from the Solway Firth on the west coast of Britain to the River Tyne on the east coast. http://www.britishmuseum.org/the_museum/museum_in_london/london_exhibition_archive/archive_hadrian.aspx
For many years Hadrian was perceived as a peace-loving admirer of Greek culture and customs, a philhellene. But the one statue on which this long-standing perception was based is not all that it should be. British Museum curator Thorsten Opper and conservator Tracey Sweek investigate. http://www.britishmuseum.org/the_museum/museum_in_london/london_exhibition_archive/archive_hadrian.aspx
Hadrian built himself a vast palace in the countryside, the villa Adriana in Tivoli about 30 kilometres east of Rome. It was a huge complex, designed to accommodate thousands of people. It was his administrative capital and represents his empire in miniature. British Museum Director Neil MacGregor visits.
See various depictions of the Tower of Babel through the ages. With British Museum curator Irving Finkel http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_this_site/audio_and_video/exhibitions_-_archive/babylon_-_video_archive/towers_of_babel_video.aspx
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=ENAZqOoOVaI Nude Woman (Venus of Willendorf), c. 28,000-25,000 B.C.E., Limestone, 4 1/4" high (Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna)
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=ld8kHvz1yN4 Jade Cong, c. 2500 B.C.E., Liangzhu culture, Neolithic period, China (British Museum) A conversation between Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker
The origin of pictographic & ideographic writing systems are imagined in the first part of this story (proto-writing). The rebus principle is introduced, setting the stage for the development of an alphabet. Featuring some key artifacts from France, Spain, Egypt & Ancient Sumer: Cave Drawings, Narmer Palette, Hunters Palette, Cuneiform Accounting Tablets... [continue reading]
Bushel with ibex motifs, 4200--3500 B.C.E., Susa I period, necropolis, acropolis mound, Susa, Iran, painted terra-cotta, 28.90 x 16.40 cm, excavations led by Jacques de Morgan, 1906-08 (Musée du Louvre) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=Nok4cBt0V6w Standard of Ur, c. 2600-2400 B.C.E., 21.59 x 49.5 x 12 cm (British Museum) Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris
History of the Alphabet. This video introduces the Hieroglyphic, Cuneiform, Hieratic, Demotic & Phoenician writing systems. It presents information as a series of selections from a finite collection of symbols... References (book): - The Alphabetic Labyrinth (Drucker) - Letter Perfect (David Sacks) - Empire and Communications (Innis) - The Mathematical Theory... [continue reading]
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=OY79AuGZDNI Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, Akkadian, pink limestone, 2254-2218 B.C.E. (Louvre, Paris) This monument depicts the Akkadian victory over the Lullubi Mountain people. In the12th century B.C.E., 1,000 years after it was originally made, the Elamite king, Shutruk- Nahhunte, attacked Babylon... [continue reading]
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=_w5NGOHbgTw Law Code Stele of King Hammurabi, basalt, Babylonian, 1792-1750 B.C.E. (Musée du Louvre, Paris) A stele is a vertical stone monument or marker often inscribed with text or with relief carving. Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=J5iEY4hapMQ Ashurbanipal Hunting Lions, relief from the North Palace, Ninevah, Assyrian, c. 645-635 B.C.E. (British Museum) Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=U2iZ83oIZH0 Reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way, Babylon, c. 575 B.C.E., glazed mud brick (Pergamon Museum, Berlin) View this work up close on the Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/pergamonmuseum-berlin/artwork/ishtar-gate-from-babylon/484075/
Capital of a column from the audience hall of the palace of Darius I, Susa, c. 510 B.C.E., Achaemenid, Tell of the Apadana, Susa, Iran (Louvre) Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris
The Hero Overpowering a Lion Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Sargon II (721-705 BC) Khorsabad, ancient city of Dur Sharrukin, facade N of the throne room of the palace of Sargon II, Assyria (Iraq). High relief, gypseous alabaster, traces of paint H. 5.52 m; W. 2.18 m; D. 0.63 m Excavations by P.E. Botta, 1843-44 AO 19862 Near Eastern Antiquities... [continue reading]
Historians usually argue that the Greek hoplite phalanx rendered cavalry ineffective until Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great began to employ cavalry as a shock weapon in the fourth century BCE. This assumption, however, assumes that cavalry are only truly powerful when they are used as a battering ram against enemy infantry. The evidence instead indicates... [continue reading]
The Lex Aquilia, likely passed by the jurist Aquilius around the year 287 BCE , superseded all previous laws of its kind under the Roman Republic. With an emphasis on the civil liability of damage to property, the Lex Aquilia represented the culmination of the rapid development of Roman law at the hands of the jurists. The notion of culpa as fault , from... [continue reading]
SPEYER, GERMANY: For the past three millennia, the exploits of the Amazon tribe have become the stuff of legend. These implacable female warriors are supposed to have battled before Troy and laid siege to Athens. To this day, scholars have searched the world for evidence of their true nature. In this unique international historical and cultural exhibition... [continue reading]
We've just added a news system to Ancient History Encyclopedia. This was the logical next step, as the goal of the site is to promote the knowledge of ancient history by making it freely accessible in a useful format. We are going to post news about everything relating to ancient history, including but not limited to archaeological discoveries, talks & conferences... [continue reading]
In his new Book Life in Year One Scott Korb examines what life was like when Jesus was born: What did people eat, how did they live, how did they dress, and what was flirting like? Using archaeological data, ancient texts, and modern historical research, he paints a clear picture Jewish life under Roman rule. National Public Radio has interviewed Korb about... [continue reading]
The First Punic War dramatically changed Rome by transforming her into an Empire swelling beyond the natural confines of the Italian peninsula, accordingly bringing her into greater interaction and conflict with other Mediterranean powers. We are forming an active working research group across multiple disciplines including but not limited to History, Archaeology... [continue reading]
France: In this first exhibition devoted exclusively to Meroë, capital of a great empire on the Nile, two hundred works of art highlight the majesty of an ancient civilization and its intermingling of African, Egyptian and Greco-Roman influences. The exhibition is in the Louvre Museum in Paris until 09 June 2010. Situated in Sudan, two hundred kilometers... [continue reading]
United States: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is currently exhibiting jars, lids, bowls, floral collars, linen sheets, and bandages that were used at Tutankhamun's mummification and the rites associated with his burial, as well as related objects such as a sculpted head of the youthful pharaoh and several facsimile paintings depicting funerary rituals... [continue reading]
Paris: The French National Library (Bibliothèque nationale de France) is hosting an exhibition on the Qumran Scrolls until 11 July 2010. Read below the fold for the French exhibition description. Description from the exhibition site: Un bédouin, Mohammed dit « le loup », découvre en 1947, dans une grotte de Qumrân, au bord de la mer Morte, sept rouleaux... [continue reading]
Ancient History Enyclopedia is looking for peer reviewers to verify and improve the quality of content on the site. We accept applications from a wide range of specialists, including but not limited to historians, archaeologists, researchers, PhD students, and authors / journalists that are focussing on ancient history. Students below the PhD level are invited... [continue reading]
London: The British Museum is hosting an exhibition about the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Book was not a single text but a compilation of spells designed to guide the deceased through the dangers of the underworld, ultimately ensuring eternal life. The exhibition is on display from 04 November 2010 to 06 March 2011. Tickets are on sale now... [continue reading]
The website Livius.org has been awarded the 2010 Oikos Prize for popularizing Ancient History by the Dutch national research school of classicists. In his acceptance spech titled "Ancient History, Poor Information, and the Internet" the site owner, Jona Lendering explains why the quality standards of information about ancient history have fallen over the years... [continue reading]
The study of ancient warfare is a broad and well established subject that stretches across a range of disciplines. However, persistent controversies regarding interpretations of and approaches to the subject matter remain. In light of this and in celebration of the recent 2,500 year anniversary of the battle of Marathon, the UCD Schools of Archaeology and Classics... [continue reading]
A team led by Oxford University professor Christopher Ramsey has established a more accurate chronology of Dynastic Egypt than has ever been possible. The study was based on a radiocarbon analysis of plant remains from ancient Egypt. Surprisingly, the results largely confirm the previously established chronology from ancient sources. Some proposed dates... [continue reading]
Amsterdam: The Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam is hosting the exhibition The Immortal Alexander the Great, which will be on view from 18 September 2010 until 18 March 2011 in the Hermitage Amsterdam, with over 350 masterpieces, including the famous Gonzaga cameo from the State Museum the Hermitage in St Petersburg. This is the first time that any Dutch museum... [continue reading]
LONDON. The British Museum is hosting the exhibition Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World, featuring over 200 objects found in Afghanistan dating from between 2000 BC to the first century AD. The Exhibition is on display from 03 March to 03 July 2011 at the British Museum in London Bloomsbury. At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan was the historic... [continue reading]
The British Museum, London: James Allen, Brown University, explores their meaning and the relationship between the pyramids and the afterlife. Thursday 25 November, 18.30 BP Lecture Theatre £5, Members and concessions £3 British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom Related to the exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.
London: The British Museum. Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, talks with Mary Beard, University of Cambridge, about his latest book, an unusual and highly praised work which retraces the journey taken by Spartacus and his slave army as they fought their Roman enemies in 7371 BC. The British Museum, LondonThursday 7 October, 18.30BP... [continue reading]
LONDON: British Museum. The landmark exhibition Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead has opened its doors in the British Museum in London. The Book was not a single text but a compilation of spells designed to guide the deceased through the dangers of the underworld, ultimately ensuring eternal life. Many of the examples of the Book of the Dead... [continue reading]
LONDON, British Museum: The exhibition "crossroads of the ancient world" about ancient Afghanistan is opening on 03 March 2011. At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan linked the great trading routes of ancient Iran, Central Asia, India and China, and the more distant cultures of Greece and Rome. The countrys unique location resulted in a legacy... [continue reading]
Ancient History Encyclopedia is looking for a new domain name! We have found that many people find it hard to remember or even pronounce "ancientopedia.com", so for now we have moved to "www.ancient.eu.com". Nonetheless we are still looking for suggestions! If you have a suggestion for a new domain name, please post it in the comments section of this news... [continue reading]
We would like to wish all of you a happy new year! Over the last year AHE has really grown to become a major website on ancient history, thanks to all your contributions! Without the work of its users AHE is nothing. So join in now and help us provide free ancient history information by sharing your knowledge in 2011!
KARLSRUHE, GERMANY: The Baadisches Landesmuseum is hosting the exhibition The Neolithic Period in Transition: The Michelsberg Culture and Central Europe 6.000 years ago on societal changes in the early stone age, focussing on Stone Age culture in southern Germany. Around one thousand years after the establishment of the Neolithic in Central Europe radical cultural... [continue reading]
Yesterday for the first time in its history AHE has had over 500 uniqe visitors in one day. I thought I should use this opportunity not only to celebrate this milestone, but also take the time to assemble some statistics about the site. Continue reading to see the numbers! Visitors 9,295 visitors last month 17,976 pageviews last month Content 215 definitions... [continue reading]
Google Chrome users, listen up: Ancient History Encyclopedia is now also available as Google Chrome app in the Chrome Web Store. You can now simply install the AHE Chrome app to have easy access to the site!
Ancient History Encyclopedia has a new and improved design! Thanks to the help of designer Alexis Chovas we've now got a website that's not only functional but also looking great! It's not 100% done yet: I still want to change the way contributions are done, and add some more UI improvements. Your feedback is welcome, of course! Just post a comment under... [continue reading]
There is a new feature on Ancient History Encyclopedia: visual timelines! Now, above every timeline column you will find a link to a visual timeline, where each event is visually placed on a timeline. When searching the timeline you will now also always see a visual timeline. I hope you like the new feature -- feedback is always welcome!
We have another new feature: Book recommendations! Now you can recommend books on every subject on the site. Recommended books will always display with the related books at the bottom, and are specially highlighted. You can also leave a review (which isn't displayed yet, but will be soon). I'm looking forward to all your recommendations!
A sample of ancient medicinal tablets dated to 130 BC has been DNA-analyzed. The result: Ancient pills consisted of various vegetables and herbs that can be found in any garden. Read below the fold for more details. A team led by Alain Touwaide, a historian of sciences at the Smithsonians Natural History Museum and co-founder of the Institute for the Preservation... [continue reading]
With the recently-introduced feature of book reviews, we now have our first full-length book review of Peter Davidson's Atlas of Empires. In cooperation with the publisher we have also included some content from the book on Ancient History Encyclopedia: The definitions of Empire in general and of the Achaemenid Empire in particular are now chapers taken... [continue reading]
We have just moved Ancient History Encyclopedia to new servers! The old servers were reaching their limits, and we have now found a load-balanced clustered solution, which spreads the traffic over several servers. Due to the move there have been several errors on the site, as well as some downtime... sorry for that. Hopefully you can now enjoy a faster-loading... [continue reading]
International experts in classics and filmmaking are taking part in a University of Liverpool conference to discuss the re-emergence of ancient world films in popular culture. The conference, Cinema and Antiquity: 2000-2011, will examine films based in ancient history and mythology which have been released since the millennium, such as Gladiator, Clash... [continue reading]
The BBC reports that several Stone Age communities might be found under the sea off the Scottish coast. Rising sea levels have caused previously habitated land near the Outer Hebrides to now be covered by the sea. Read more on the BBC Scotland website.
The world of Cleopatra VII, lost to the sea and sand for nearly 2,000 years, will surface in Milwaukee on October 14, 2011 when Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt opens its doors. The Milwaukee Public Museum will be the third stop on the exhibitions world tour. Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt features nearly 150 artifacts... [continue reading]
Keith Roberts, author of The Origins of Business, Money, and Markets wrote an interesting article on Forbes, comparing changes in ancient Economies to what is happening in the modern world. The article An Investment Strategy Based on Ancient History (a strange title considering its content) is definitely worth a read.
The British Museum has just uploaded a video lecture on the Nimrud Ivories, which were acquired by the museum in March 2011. In this lecture, given exclusively for Members, Nigel Tallis, Curator of Middle East, talks about this fascinating collection of over 5000 ivories that was excavated in Iraq between 1949 and 1963 by Sir Max Mallowan. The ivories represent... [continue reading]
A sword recently found in an ancient drainage channel under Jerusalem (we reported two days ago) has been linked to the fall of Herod's Temple (also known as the Second Jewish Temple) in 70 AD. The Lebanon Daily Star quotes the Israel Antiquities Authority as saying that the drainage channel "served as a hiding refuge for the residents of Jerusalem from... [continue reading]
The Pergamonmuseum in Berlin is currently exhibiting statues found in Tell-Halaf that had been forgotten, left in a warehouse, damaged by bombs in World War II, and now restored and exhibited to the public. Hurry! The exhibition "The Tell-Halaf Adventure" is only open until 14 August 2011.
The excavation of an ancient drainage tunnel beneath Jerusalem has yielded a sword, oil lamps, pots and coins abandoned during a war here 2,000 years ago, archaeologists said Monday, suggesting the finds were debris from a pivotal episode in the city's history when rebels hid from Roman soldiers crushing a Jewish revolt. Read the full story on Yahoo News.
Naturenews has published a very interesting article on the state of current research into what modern human DNA owes to the Neanderthals and the extinct Siberian Denisova non-homo-sapiens population. According to DNA research, there has not only been interbreeding with Neanderthals, but also with Denisovans. Read the full story on the naturenews website.
Archaeologists leading the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archeological Project in southeastern Turkey have unearthed the remains of a monumental gate complex adorned with stone sculptures, including a magnificently carved lion. The gate complex provided access to the citadel of Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 950-725 BCE) and... [continue reading]
A Canadian team of the Royal Ontario Museum has unearthed a previously undiscovered building at Meroe in modern-day Sudan. It has been radiocarbon-dated to 900 BC, which predates the previously-known time span of the Meroe civilization by 100 years. Read the entire article at Live Science.
A treasure trove of Roman coins near Exeter (Devon) suggests that the Romans controlled more of south-western Britain than previously thought. Sam Moorhead, of the British Museum, said: 'It is the beginning of a process that promises to transform our understanding of the Roman invasion and occupation of Devon.' Read the full story on the Daily Mail website.
A recent study of two Bronze Age cemeteries in Austria has shown that over a 600-year time period the elderly had become leaders of society. While in the earlier period, old men were not buried any differently from young men, over time the older men were given status symbols into their graves, such as bronze axes, which is indicative of a leading role... [continue reading]
Excavations underneath downtown Rome have revealed a mosaic depicting Apollo and the Muses from the times of Trajan. It has been hailed as an "exceptional archaeological discovery" by Umberto Broccoli, superintendent for the city's cultural heritage. See an image gallery with descriptions on the Discovery News website.
The School of Archaeology of Oxford University has just announced a new five-year project looking at the history of the English landscape from the middle Bronze Age to the Norman period. The results will be publicly available on a website to be called A Portal to the Past. The Portal to the Past website is expected to go live in 2014. Read the full Portal... [continue reading]
Recent research shows that an ancient city at the site of Tell Qarqur in Syria surprisingly expanded during a severe drought period in around 2200 BC. During this period, several civilizations of the Ancient Near East declined or collapsed, including the Akkadian Empire and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. During the same period, Tell Quarqur grew in size, which... [continue reading]
The Guardian reports that a Cambridge University study has revealed that Neanderthals died out due to the invasion of homo sapiens into Europe. The humans coming from Africa were 10x more numerous, causing the indigenous Neanderthal population to be marginalized and pushed into harsher habitats, where they could no longer survive. Paul Mellars, emeritus professor... [continue reading]
The Ancient Lives Project of Oxford University is looking for volunteers to help transcribe thousands of ancient Greek papyrus pages, found in Egypt. Not only are famous works such as Homer and Plato among the papyri, but also letters, receipts, and other common documents. It's rather easy to help: You point on a part of the image and klick the appropriate... [continue reading]
The Wall Street Journal has just published a review of Richard Miles's book Carthage must be destroyed. The book examines the rise and fall of Carthage as a Mediterranean civilization: "Richard Miles draws a very good picture of the peaceful interaction through trade between the Carthaginians and Greeks, and later the Carthaginians and Romans." You can read the entire review on the WSJ website.
While it was previously thought that humans and neanderthals never mixed, Wired reports that a recent DNA study of both human and neanderthal DNA has revealed the opposite. In non-African humans there is a part of DNA that is neanderthal in origin, which proves that there was human-neanderthal coexistence and reproduction. Doctor Damian Labuda of the University... [continue reading]
Natural history in Herodotus’ “Histories” By Valeria Viatcheslavova Sergueenkova PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2009 Abstract: This thesis argues that Herodotus should be considered in the context of early Greek science... [continue reading]
The Topography of the First Dacian War of Trajan (A.D. 101-102): A New Approach By Coriolan Opreanu BHAUT – Bibliotheca Historica et Archaeologica Universitatis Timisiensis, Vol.2 (2000) ... [continue reading]
The mighty and the sage. Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius and the quest for friendship in second century BC Rome By Michael Sommer Published Online Introduction:Â âNow that... [continue reading]
Literature and Politics in the Time of Ramesses II: the Kadesh Inscriptions Ignatov, Sergei Literatur und Politik im pharaonischen und ptolemÃ¤ischen Ãgypten (1997) Egyptologists regard the Kadesh inscriptions... [continue reading]
What Did Our Ancestors Eat? By Stanley M. Garn and William R. Leonard Nutrition Reviews, Vol.47:11 (1989) Abstract:Â Over the millennia various hominoids and hominids have subsisted on very different dietaries, depending on climate, hunting proficiency, food-processing... [continue reading]
In Search of the Libyan Amazons: Preliminary Research in Tunisia By Marguerite Rigoglioso Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future, edited by Heide Goettner-Abendroth (Inanna Publications, 2009) Introduction:Â When... [continue reading]
The Jewish Revolt against Rome: History, Sources and Perspectives By Mladen Popovic The Jewish Revolt against Rome: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. M. PopoviÄ; Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism Vol.154... [continue reading]
Research coordinated by Carlos III University in Madrid (UC3M) analyzes the images of women in Roman mosaics and their impact on the collective consciousness of feminine stereotypes. In many cases, the research concludes, the images pointed... [continue reading]
Tübigen, Germany -- Archaeologists have discovered four stone that have been painted by humans about 15,000 years ago. It is therefore the oldest known painting ever found in Central Europe. The meaning of the painting is unclear: The stones are covered with several rows of reddish-brown dots. Archaeologists speculate that they might have a shamaic meaning... [continue reading]
Satellite imagery has uncovered new evidence of a lost civilisation of the Sahara in Libyaâs south-western desert wastes that will help re-write the history of the country. The fall of Gaddafi has opened the way for archaeologists to explore... [continue reading]
Today the social network Google+ launched pages for organizations and businesses, and we're among the first to set up our very own Ancient History Encyclopedia Google+ page! Add this page to your circles to get updates on AHE, to post suggestions, ask questions, or give feedback!
Construction of the Top of the Egyptian Pyramids: An Experimental Test of a Levering Device By Robert Scott Hussey-Pailos Master’s Thesis, University of Florida, 2005 Abstract:Â A... [continue reading]
An international team of paleoanthropologists and archaeologists from the Universities of Vienna, Oxford, TÃ¼bingen, the Senckenberg Research Institution (Frankfurt am Main) and other institutions, used Virtual Anthropology methodology to analyse... [continue reading]
Humans may have undergone a gradual rather than an abrupt transition from fishing, hunting and gathering to farming, according to a new study of ancient pottery. Researchers at the University of York and the University of Bradford analysed... [continue reading]
Teutoberger Wald, 9 A.D. – Strategic Implications By John M. D’Amico US Army War College, 2000 The Battle of Teutoberger Wald (9 A.D.) in which tribal Germans defeated a highly professional and disciplined Roman Army... [continue reading]
An archaeological excavation at Poggio Colla, the site of a 2,700-year-old Etruscan settlement in Italys Mugello Valley, has turned up a surprising and unique find: two images of a woman giving birth to a child. Researchers from the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which oversees the Poggio Colla excavation site some 20 miles northeast of Florence, discovered... [continue reading]
Britain’s Portable Antiquities Scheme announced this week details about two recent discoveries of Roman coin hoards. One involved the find of more than 9000 coins that was discovered in August 2009 by a novice metal detector user in the Shrewsbury... [continue reading]
Centuries before movie and television audiences thrilled to tales of werewolves, vampires and wizards and Halloween became the second biggest celebration of the year, the ancient Greeks and Romans were spinning scary stories about monsters, ghosts and the afterlife... [continue reading]
An archaeological excavation at Poggio Colla, the site of a 2,700-year-old Etruscan settlement in Italyâs Mugello Valley, has turned up a surprising and unique find: two images of a woman giving birth to a child. Researchers from... [continue reading]
For a long time I felt that the "community" part of Ancient History Encyclopedia was still in need of improvement. Yes, the content is all contributed by the community... but a community means interaction. Therefore I'm happy to announce that we now have more communication features! Whenever somebody post a comment on your content, or replies to one of your comments... [continue reading]
A reconstruction based on the skull of Norwayâs best-preserved Stone Age skeleton makes it possible to study the features of a boy who lived in Scandinavia 7,500 years ago. âIt is hoped that this reconstruction is a good likeness and that, if someone... [continue reading]
The anatomy of a mercenary: from Archilochoas to Alexander By Nicholas Fields PhD Dissertation, University of Newcastle, 1994 Abstract:Â Xenophon, who marched so many perilous Persian parasangs as a soldier-of-fortune and survived... [continue reading]
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor: Minoans and Mycenaeans abroad By Eric H. Cline Aegaeum, Vol.12 (1995) Introduction: In 1984, exactly ten years ago, at a conference in Athens on the ‘Function of the Minoan Palaces’... [continue reading]
Classical Precariousness vs. Modern Risk: Lessons in Prudence from the Battle of Salamis By Ernest Sternberg Humanitas, Vol.18:1-2 (2005) Introduction:Â On September 19, 480 B.C., the ancient... [continue reading]
Our goal at Ancient History Encyclopedia is always to give you great content that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet, but we cannot deny that various universities and journals have already published excellent research papers (usually PDFs) that we would like to publish here on the site. Unfortunately, these papers are usually protected by copyright... [continue reading]
Dye was already being produced and used 100,000 years ago, an international team of researchers found in South Africa. They discovered two bowls containing traces of dye from sea snails in the Blombos-Cave near Cape Town. It is still unclear what the dye was used for: body paint, skin protection, or paint for art? The two bowls are now on display in the Iziko... [continue reading]
I am proud to present a massively improved timeline search and visual timeline: I have categorized every timeline entry (which took quite a while, considering we have over 1000 entries, even though I did get some help) and you can now search the timeline by category. Categories include "Philosophy & Religion", "States & Territories", "War(fare) & Battles"... [continue reading]
The Israel Museum has published six of the Qumran Scrolls on its websites. For each of the scrolls there is a high-resolution image viewer as well as a description of the scroll and where it was found. You can view the Qumran Scrolls on the Israel Museum website.
Bigthink.com posted an interesting article that examines the "missing link" between the art of Antiquity and art of the early Middle Ages. Art found in the city of Dura-Europos might fill in this gap of the "Dark Ages" in art history. Read the full article on bigthink.com.
The beginnings of the written culture in Antiquity By M. Isabel Panosa DigitÂ·HVM. Revista Digital dâHumanitats, No.6 (2004) Abstract:Â This paper proposes an analysis of writing as a system for communication, since its origins... [continue reading]
Romulus, Remus and the Foundation of Rome By H Strassburger Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Volume 34 (1987) Introduction:Â Besides Aeneas, there were always Romulus and Remus. The existence... [continue reading]
Gods and Places in Etruscan Religion By Ingrid Edlund-Berry, The University of Texas at Austin Etruscan Studies, Vol. 1 (1994) Introduction: Whether thou are a god or a goddess…(Cato, De Agricultura 139) As this epigraph and other quotes... [continue reading]
On Kings and Nomads: New Documents in Ancient Bactrian Reveal Afghanistanâs Past By Nicholas Sims-Williams IIAS Newsletter, No.27 (2002) Introduction:Â Until very recently, Bactrian... [continue reading]
A ritual bath exposed beneath the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem shows that the construction of that wall was not completed during King Herod’s lifetime. Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa... [continue reading]
Eleven books that came out in 2011 that caught our eye! Alexander the Great By Philip Freeman In the first authoritative biography of Alexander the Great written for a general audience in a generation, classical scholar and historian Philip Freeman describes Alexander’s... [continue reading]
Aristotle and the Murder of Alexander By Gilbert M. Cuthbertson Political Mythology, by Dr. Gilbert M. Cuthbertson (1995) Introduction:Â Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. recently revived the charge that Aristotle was the poisoner of... [continue reading]
Childhood in the Roman Empire By Ray Laurence History Today, Vol. 55:10 (2005) Introduction: Today, in the West at least, we find it hard to accept the unexplained death of a child. The terminology associated with these deaths, such as Sudden Infant... [continue reading]
Using only a tooth, researchers at Idaho State University can help solve ancient archeological mysteries â for example, determining what someone ate hundreds of years ago on Easter Island or tracing the genetics of 2,000-year-old Roman slaves â... [continue reading]
Using only a tooth, researchers at Idaho State University can help solve ancient archeological mysteries â for example, determining what someone ate hundreds of years ago on Easter Island or tracing the genetics of 2,000-year-old Roman commoners... [continue reading]
State Counter-Terrorism in Ancient Rome: Toward a New Basis for the Diachronic Study of Terror By Ricardo Apostol Paper given at Re-Visioning Terrorism: An Interdisciplinary and International Conference... [continue reading]
Other-Centred Love: Diotimaâs lesson to Socrates By Colin A. Redmond Master’s Thesis, University of Notre Dame Australia, 2010 Abstract: In this thesis I set out to determine the possible motivations in response to which Diotima... [continue reading]
The concept of law and justice in ancient Egypt, with specific reference to “The tale of the eloquent peasant” By Nicolaas Johannes Van Blerk Master’s Thesis, University... [continue reading]
Malaria and Alexander the Great: How important is family history? By Srdjan Denic Emirates Medical Journal, Vol.24:3 (2006) Abstract: Alexander the Great died from an acute febrile illness in 323 BC. Recent analyses have suggested... [continue reading]
Sexuality and the Sacred in Gnostic Literature By Mary Sharpe Diploma in Theology and Religious Studies Dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2001 Introduction: Â âWhoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.â... [continue reading]
Financial Intermediation in the Early Roman Empire ByÂ Peter Temin The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 64, No. 3 (2004) Abstract: In this paper I use a theoretical hierarchy of financial sources to evaluate the effectiveness of financial... [continue reading]
Ophir: its location unveiled By Emilio Spedicato Paper given at the 2010 Conference of Quantavolution Abstract:Â Ophir is the name of a geographic location appearing in several passages in the Bible. Most notably it appears as the far away place wherefrom... [continue reading]
The Smithsonianâs National Museum of Natural History officially opened yesterday its largest exhibition of ancient Egyptian mummies and artifacts in âEternal Life in Ancient Egyptâ. The opening follows a preview in the spring of three cases... [continue reading]
Visigoths and Romans: Integration and Ethnicity By Jennifer Neal Honors BA Thesis, Pacific University, 2011 Introduction:Â Outside of Inginiusâ fine home in Narbo, the January weather was far from pleasant. Inside the main apartments... [continue reading]
A team of researchers led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered the first prehistoric bronze artifact made from a cast ever found in Alaska, a small, buckle-like object found in an ancient Eskimo dwelling and which likely originated... [continue reading]
The Greeks were not always in such dire financial straits as today. But whether it is necessary to look as far back as these University of Bonn archaeologists did in order to see a huge, flourishing Greek commercial area? They have just discovered... [continue reading]
In both Jewish and Christian traditions, Moses is considered the author of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Scholars have furnished evidence that multiple writers... [continue reading]
Livia Drusilla: Deciphering Between Traditional Views of Romeâs First Lady By Meagan Button Honor BA Thesis, Western Oregon University, 2009 Introduction:Â On a warm August night in the year AD 14, Augustus... [continue reading]
UNESCO and Italy have agreed to collaborate on the restoration of the Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, inscribed on UNESCOâs World Heritage List in 1997. International attention turned to the World Heritage... [continue reading]
Women in Roman Life and Letters By F. E. Adcock Greece and Rome, Vol. 14, No. 40 (1945) Introduction: TheÂ infant community of Rome grew up with neighbours who conceded a fairly high place to women. Etruscan sepulchral art suggests as much; the tomb paintings... [continue reading]
To Survive, Decentralize! The Barbarian Threat and State Decentralization By Jakub Grygiel Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, Volume 55, Number 4 (2011) Abstract:Â What happens when states or empires face multiple... [continue reading]
Hannibal: The Man, The Myth, The Mystery First aired in 2008 on BBC and National Geographic Channel In a series of epic battles, Hannibal brought Rome to the brink of destruction, but in the end it was Hannibalâs army that was obliterated. Where did... [continue reading]
Roman Policy towards the Jews: Expulsions from the City of Rome during the First Century C.E. By Leonard Victor Rutgers Classical Antiquity, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1994) Introduction: In this articleÂ I... [continue reading]
Dating Christmas By Andrew McGowan Originally published as âHow December 25th Became Christmas,â Bible Review Vol.18:6 (2002) Introduction:Â Where did Christmas come from? Many have heard the explanation that Christians appropriated a pagan festival, date and customs... [continue reading]
Athenian Terms of Civic Praise in the 330s: Aeschines vs. Demosthenes By Brad L. Cook Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, Vol.49:1 (2009) Introduction: InÂ 336 B.C., when Ctesiphon moved to crown Demosthenes, he included... [continue reading]
Sol Invictus, the Winter Solstice, and the Origins of Christmas By Steven Hijmans Mouseion, Number 47 (2003) Introduction: It is well known that we do not know the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ. In most churches December... [continue reading]
The separateness of Christians in their interaction with the public life of Imperial Romans, AD 50-313 By Diana Valerie Clark PhD Dissertation, University of Johannesburg, 2008 Abstract... [continue reading]
The Twilight of Judah: In the Egyptian-Babylonian Maelstrom By A. Malamat Vetus Testamentum, Vol.28 (1975) Introduction:The late seventh century B.C., noted for its reshufflings in the international political sphere, saw the collapse... [continue reading]
The Athenian Plague By Markus Asper Published Online, 2008 Introduction: During the years 430-426/5 BCE, a plague afflicted the city of Athens. At that time, Athens had just entered upon a three-decade war with her arch-enemy, Sparta, and her allies. Because of Spartan... [continue reading]
Ethics in Ancient India By John Bussanich Grundlagen der Antiken Ethik / Foundations of Ancient Ethics, ed. J. Hardy and G. Rudebusch, Vandenhoek & Ruprecht (V & R Unipress Gmbh, 2010) Introduction: Ancient India is rich with reflection on perennial ethical... [continue reading]
Science, Egypt, and Escapism in Lucan By Jonathan Edward Tracy PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto, 2009 Abstract: This dissertation seeks to demonstrate Lucan’s profound engagement and conflict with two ancient intellectual and literary traditions... [continue reading]
Researchers at Swedenâs KTH Royal Institute of Technology say they have found further proof that the wolf ancestors of todayâs domesticated dogs can be traced to southern East Asia â findings that run counter to theories placing the cradle... [continue reading]
Amasis: The Pharaoh With No Illusions Ray, John History Today ,Volume: 46 Issue: 3 (1996) Abstract There is no denying that ancient Egypt arouses great popular interest, but most of the interest concentrates on periods which have visual impact especially... [continue reading]
Ancient Rome and the Pirates By Philip Souza History Today, Volume: 51 Issue: 7 (2001) Introduction: The Greek historian and geographer Strabo, writing around the time of the death of Augustus in AD14, divided the known world into two parts. The better... [continue reading]
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opened six new galleries on Saturday that showcases its collection from Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Building on the success of the Museumâs extension, which opened in 2009, this second phase of major redevelopment redisplays... [continue reading]
The Witches of Thessaly By Brian Clark Published Online Introduction:Â Book 6 of Pharsalia, Lucanâs epic account of the civil war between Pompey and Caesar, is set in Thessaly on the eve of the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BCE. Pharsalus is a major Thessalian city... [continue reading]
Homerâs Humor: Laughter in The Iliad By Robert H. Bell Humanitas, Vol. 20:1-2 (2007) Introduction:Â The very subject of humor in Homerâs Iliad might seem to be a bad joke. âDeep-browed Homerâ has long been our laureate of loss... [continue reading]
Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions: Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean By Pierre A. Zalloua et al. The American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol.83 (2008) Abstract:Â The... [continue reading]
Fluid Frontiers: Cultural Interaction on the Edge of Empire By Andrew Gardner Stanford Journal of Archaeology, Volume 5 (2007) Abstract:Â This paper will use the northern frontiers of the Roman empire as a case study... [continue reading]
Epic Appetites: Images of Food in Ancient Greece and Rome By Jenifer Neils Paper given at the Western Reserve Studies Symposium (2000) Introduction: Although there exist many accounts describing food, its production, consumption... [continue reading]
Crassus as Symposiast in Plutarch’s Life of Crassus By James T. Chlup Symposion and Philanthropia in Plutarch, edited by J. R. Ferreira, D. LeÃ£o, M. TrÃ¶ster, and P. Barata (Coimbra, 2009) Abstract: The references to Crassus... [continue reading]
Private Armies and Personal Power in the Late Roman Empire By Ryan Wilkinson Master’s Thesis, University of Arizona, 2009 Abstract:Â This thesisâ case studies examine the critical roles... [continue reading]
From Infant Sacrifice to the ABC’s: Ancient Phoenicians and Modern Identities By Brien K. Garnand Stanford Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 1 (2003) Introduction:Â The Phoenicians showed extraordinary acumen... [continue reading]
Toys, Play and Swaddling Indications of Early Childhood in Ancient Greece By Maria Stilund Sommer SpÃ¥ren av de smÃ¥: Arkeologiska perspektiv pÃ¥ barn och barndom, ed. Fredrik Fahlander (Stockholm Studies in Archaeology Vol.54... [continue reading]
An international team of researchers, with the participation of the University of TÃ¼bingen, have discovered the earliest evidence for the intentional construction of plant âbeddingâ. An international... [continue reading]
Reflections on the earliest Phoenician presence in North-West Africa ByÂ Eleftheria Pappa TALANTA, Vol.40-41 (2008-2009) Introduction:Â In the last few decades, and especially in the 1990s, Morocco has enjoyed anÂ extensive... [continue reading]
Carmina: Odes and Carmen Saeculare By Alessandro Barchiesi The Cambridge Companion to Horace, ed. S. Harrison (Cambridge, 2007) Abstract:Â This is obviously a generalizing piece, not a research paper, but Horace is frequently taught at college level... [continue reading]
Ancient King Gives Dog A Royal Burial By G.A. Reisner The American Kennel Gazette, Vol.55:5 (1938) Introduction:Â What should be of unusual interest to all dog lovers is the fact that the Harvard-Boston Expedition not so long ago... [continue reading]
Organisation of the Roman Clothing and Textile Industry: Skill, Occupation, and the Gender-Segmented Workforce By Marjorie Jerrard Monash University Working Paper (2000) Abstract:Â The... [continue reading]
Marriage and Strife in Euripidesâ Andromache By Loukas Papadimitropoulos Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, Vol. 46 (2006) Introduction: Euripides’Â Andromache is one of the least appreciated Greek tragedies. The play has baffled... [continue reading]
Paganism and its influence on the development of Christianity: an honors thesis By Steven P. Koehneke Undergraduate thesis, Ball State University, 1996 Abstract: This honors thesis is intended to explore... [continue reading]
Piracy in the Ancient World: from Minos to Mohammed By Philip Charles de Souza PhD Dissertation, University College London, 1992 Abstract:Â This thesis is an historical analysis of the phenomenon of piracy in the ancient... [continue reading]
The Celts in Iberia: An Overview By Alberto J. Lorrio and Gonzalo Ruiz Zapater e-Keltoi: Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies, Vol. 6 (2005) Abstract: A general overview of the study of the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula is offered from... [continue reading]
New in Ancient History books this week! The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean Cline, Eric H. Oxford Handbooks (January 1, 2012) ï»¿Summary:The Greek Bronze Age, roughly 3000 to 1000 BC, witnessed the flourishing of the Minoan and Mycenean civilizations... [continue reading]
Foreign soldiers – native girls? Constructing and crossing boundaries in Hellenistic cities with foreign garrison By Angelos Chaniotis Paper given at the 19th International Congress... [continue reading]
Jesus the Healer in the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and EarlyÂ Christianity Moles, John Histos, 5 (2011) Abstract This paper argues that the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles contain sustained... [continue reading]
The Casting of Julian the Apostate ‘in the Likeness’ of Alexander theÂ Great: a Topos in Antique Historiography and its Modern Echoes Smith, Rowland Histos... [continue reading]
Structuring Roman History: the Roman Year and the Roman Consular Tradition Rich, John Histos, 5 (2011) Abstract This article is concerned with the shaping of the annual narrative in historical writers working... [continue reading]
The year 2011 will be marked by several important archaeological discoveries, and the overthrow of authoritarian regimes in Egypt and Libya, which had profound implications for the preservation of ancient history. Egyptian... [continue reading]
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a 1,600 year-old bathhouse apparently used by the owners of a wealthy estate or an inn on an ancient road. Remains of an ancient bathhouse dating to the Byzantine period were exposed during work being conducted... [continue reading]
On the Bravery of Women: The Ancient Amazon and Her Modern Counterparts Whalley, Jo Doctor of PhilosophyÂ in Classics,Â Victoria University of Wellington (2010) Abstract In a favourite mythological motif... [continue reading]
Dux Femina Facti: Gender and Ethnicity in the Aeneid Burke, Rhiannon Christine Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Emory University (2011) Abstract The women of Vergil’s Aeneid are among the poem’s most memorable characters... [continue reading]
Submission Fighting and the Rules of Ancient Greek Wrestling By Christopher Miller Published Online by JudoInfo (2004) Introduction:Â The Ancient Greek sports are remarkable in human history and instructive to those interested... [continue reading]
Roman Virtue, Liberty, and Imperialism: The Murder-Suicide of Classical Civilization By Geoffrey Allan Plauche Published Online Introduction:Â It is widely recognized that the Romans made remarkable achievements... [continue reading]
The âSolarizationâ of the Moon: Manipulated Knowledge at Stonehenge By Lionel Sims Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol. 16:2 (2007) Abstract: Bronze Age as a period of separation from... [continue reading]
Motherhood and Childbirth in Pharaonic Egypt S. Ashoush, MRCOG and A. Fahmy, MD Assistant lecturer and Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology(Ain Shams University) History of Medicine: ASJOG â¢ Volume 3 â¢ February (2006)Â Abstract... [continue reading]
Pharmacological practices of ancient Egypt Parkins,Â Michael D. Â (University of Calgary) The Proceedings of the 10th AnnualÂ HISTORY OF MEDICINE DAYS, THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY Abstract Some of the most extensive... [continue reading]
Relations between the Late Roman World and Barbarian Europe in theÂ Light of Coin Finds Bursche,Â Aleksander XIV International Economic History Congress, Helsinki (2006), Session 30 The area considered... [continue reading]
Mining: The Roman Exploitation of Northwest Spain By Lindsay McNeill Seminar Presentation, Western Oregon University, 2009 Introduction: The attitudes associated with Roman infiltration of the upper reaches of northern Spain are best described... [continue reading]
Learning from Liu Hui? A Different Way to Do Mathematics By Christopher Cullen Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Vol.49 (2002) Introduction: CouldÂ we have done mathematics differently? At a logical level this question... [continue reading]
We wish you a happy new year and a great 2012! A big thanks to all our contributors, without whose research and writing this website would not be possible. Many thanks to our visitors: students, enthusiasts, and teachers from all over the world. And another thanks to all those educators who refer their students to this humble website. Click on the headline... [continue reading]
A magnificent 2,000 year-old silver-gilt Roman helmet of outstanding quality and international importance was unveiled today in England. Archaeologists who made the original discovery at Hallaton in Leicestershire, used to finding more glamorous gold... [continue reading]
Season 2 of Museum Secrets Premieres this week! Museum Secrets, the Canadian television show that explores museums from around the world returns for a second season on History Television, beginning January 12th, 2012... [continue reading]
Tracing the Origins of the Ancient Egyptian Cattle Cult By Michael Brass A Delta Man in Yebu, ed. Eyma, A.K. and Bennett, C.J. (Universal-Publishers, 2003) Introduction:Â Studies of ancient Egyptian religion have examined texts... [continue reading]
The Intellectual History of Catacomb Archaeology By Amy K. Hirschfeld Paper given at Commemorating the Dead: Texts and Artifacts in Context: The Shohet Conference on Roman, Jewish and Christian Burials (University of Chicago, 2005) Abstract:Â Since... [continue reading]
A world record was set at an auction earlier this week, when an ancient Greek coin was bought for more than $3.25 million (US). The entire collection of 642 ancient coins was sold off for approximately $25 million through New York-basedÂ A. H. Baldwin and Sons auction house on Wednesday. Known... [continue reading]
The first known Roman brothel token to have been discovered in London and most likely Britain, is on temporary display at the Museum of London. The token or spintria, depicts a man and a woman having sex on one face, and has the Roman numerals XIIII (14... [continue reading]
Romans and Goths in late antique Gaul: asepcts of political andÂ cultural assimilation in the Fifth Century AD RUCKERT, JULIA, MARGARETA, MARIA Masters thesis, Durham University (2011) Abstract... [continue reading]
In search of Xerxes: images of the Persian king Clough, Emma Elizabeth Doctoral thesis, Durham University (2004) Abstract The figure of Xerxes, the Persian king who invaded Greece in 480 BC, is known to us primarily through Greek sources... [continue reading]
The Early Dynastic Through Old Kingdom Stratification at Tell Er-Rubâa, Mendes Adams,Â Matthew Doctor of Philosophy,Â The Pennsylvania State University, December (2007) Abstract This project... [continue reading]
The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt Skocilic, Jasmina (University of Zagreb, Croatia) Expanding Horizons: Travel and Exchanging Ideas through the Ages, Journal of the XIIIth annual ISHA conference (Nijmegen, 2002)Â Abstract Western man places religion... [continue reading]
The influence of Hannibal of Carthage on the art of war and how his legacy has been interpreted Messer, Rick Jay Master of Arts Thesis, Kansas State University (2009) Abstract This paper... [continue reading]
The deification of imperial women: second-century contexts By Karin S. Tate Master’s Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 2011 Abstract:Â In the early second century AD four extraordinary imperial deifications are recorded... [continue reading]
Culture Contact, Cultural Integration and Difference: A Case From Northern Mesopotamia By Sevil Baltali Stanford Journal of Archaeology, Vol.5 (2007) Introduction:Â In this article, I revisit one of... [continue reading]
Infrastructure Protection in the Ancient World By Michael J. Assante Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2009) Abstract:Â This paper provides lessons learned from ancient Roman attempts... [continue reading]
They got married, had children, made beer. Although they lived 3,500 years ago in Nippur, Babylonia, in many ways they seem like us. Whether they were also slaves is a hotly contested question which Jonathan Tenney, assistant professor of ancient Near Eastern... [continue reading]
Analyzing Caesar’s Motivations and Emotions on the Banks the Rubicon By Michael Sweet Published Online, 2006 Introduction:Â Gaius Julius Caesar is among the most famous men in human history. His cognomen... [continue reading]
From War Elephants to Circus Elephants: Humanityâs Abuse of Â Elephants By Mike Jaynes Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1 (2009) Abstract:Â This paper examines the historical human... [continue reading]
Wet-nursing in the Roman Empire: Indifference, efficiency and affection By Anna Sparreboom Thesis M-phil., VU University, Amsterdam (2009) Introduction:Â The introduction of artificial baby food in the western world... [continue reading]
Hygienic conditions in ancient Rome and modern London By Lord Amulree Medical History, Vol.17:3 (1973) Introduction:Â Edwin Chadwick, acting on first principles only, outlined a programme for the improvement in the health... [continue reading]
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gordon Doherty, a Scottish writer of historical fiction, about his book Legionary (set in the Migration Age Byzantine Empire) and his latest book Strategos (set in the Medieval Byzantine Empire). In this interview, he talks about his interpretation of Byzantium and why it's a great setting for historical fiction. Click... [continue reading]