A History of the Roman-Parthian Wars, 54 BCE – 217 CE

These battles were part of long-lasting conflict between the Roman Empire and the Persians. Introduction The Roman–Parthian Wars (54 BC – 217 AD) were a series of conflicts between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was the first series of conflicts in what would be 682 years of Roman–Persian Wars. Battles between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 54 BC.[1] This first[…]

Julius Caesar versus Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia in 52 BCE

Victory at Alesia had come for Caesar but at a terrible cost. Introduction The Battle of Alesia was a decisive Roman victory in Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars in September 52 BCE. Roman commander Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) and his legions faced a united Gallic army under the command of Vercingetorix (82-46 BCE), chief of the Arverni, at the hilltop fort or oppidum of Alesia, in modern-day eastern[…]

The Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet and the Siloam Inscription

The inscription hence records the construction of the tunnel in ancient Jerusalem. Introduction The Siloam inscription or Shiloah inscripti, known as KAI 189, is a Hebrew inscription found in the Siloam tunnel which brings water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, located in the City of David in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shiloah or Silwan. The inscription records the construction of the tunnel, which has been dated to the 8th century[…]

A History of the Philistines in Ancient Canaan

Outside of pre-Maccabean Israelite religious literature, evidence for the name and the origins of the Philistines is less abundant and less consistent. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for[…]

Demography of the Ancient Roman Empire

“Census” is a Latin word. The modern notion of a state counting the population is a direct legacy from the Roman Empire. Introduction Demographically, the Roman Empire was a typical premodern state. It had high infant mortality, a low marriage age, and high fertility within marriage. Perhaps half of Roman subjects died by the age of 5. Of those[…]

A Scientific Population History of Ancient Egypt

Scholars have reviewed the available skulls and skeletal evidence on the ancient Egyptians to draw some conclusions. Introduction Egypt has a long and involved demographic history. This is partly due to the territory’s geographical location at the crossroads of several major cultural areas: North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Egypt has experienced several invasions during its[…]

Diogenes: Making a Virtue of Poverty in Ancient Greece

He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar, or pithos, in the marketplace. Introduction Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope, an Ionian colony on the Black Sea coast of modern-day Turkey,[1] in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.[2] Diogenes was a[…]

Why Do We Rebury Ancient Sites after Archaeological Digs and Study?

There are many scenarios where reburial is the best option for an excavated heritage site. Introduction When we bury something, it’s usually because it’s dead or we want to hide it. But what if burying something actually extended its life? It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes burying excavated ancient art and architecture is the best[…]

A 3,000-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ Discovered in Egypt

It has been called the most important discovery since tomb of Tutankhamun and a window into the ancient world. Archaeologists hailed the discovery of “the largest” ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since unearthing Tutankhamun’s tomb. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced[…]

Themes and Decorations of Ancient Celtic Pottery

The Celts themselves had no concept that they were part of a wider European Iron Age culture. Introduction The pottery of the ancient Celts, although produced over great distances in space and time, shares several common features no matter where it was made, illustrating that there was contact between people living as far apart as[…]

Ancient Celtic Art, Sculpture, and Pottery

Celtic art must be judged largely by examining only the art objects themselves and the contexts in which they have been rediscovered. Introduction Art, along with language, is perhaps the best way to see the connections between the ancient peoples we label as Celts who lived in Iron Age Europe. There were great variations across time and space but[…]

666: Christianity, Revelation, and Gematria in Ancient Rome

Why the biblical reference in Revelation should be considered in its first-century context. By Dr. Eric M. Vanden EykelAssociate Professor of ReligionFerrum College Introduction The mark of the beast – a cryptic mark in Revelation which indicates allegiance to Satan – has been invoked by fringe Christian figures throughout the pandemic in reference to what[…]

Ancient Genomes Trace the Origin and Decline of the Scythians

Despite evidence from external sources, little is known about Scythian history. Introduction Generally thought of as fierce horse-warriors, the Scythians were a multitude of Iron Age cultures who ruled the Eurasian steppe, playing a major role in Eurasian history. A new study published in Science Advances analyzes genome-wide data for 111 ancient individuals spanning the Central Asian[…]

An Historical Overview of the Ancient Scythians

Scythian government was more a confederation of tribes and chiefs. Introduction The Scythians were a nomadic people whose culture flourished between the 7th and 3rd century BCE in a territory ranging from Thrace in the west, across the steppe of Central Asia, to the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the east. This covers an area around 2500[…]

Dogs and Their Collars in Ancient Mesoamerica

It seems to have been thought that these would restrict the dog’s movement between worlds. Introduction Dogs were an integral aspect of the lives of the people of Mesoamerica regardless of their location or culture and, throughout the region, were recognized as liminal beings belonging not only to the natural world and that of humans[…]

The Lamecus: Famous Ancient Roman Charioteer

He was one of the most celebrated athletes in ancient history. Early Life Gaius Appuleius Diocles was born in approximately 104 A.D in Lamecum, in the Roman province of Lusitania (now Lamego, Portugal). His father owned a small transport business, and the family was comparatively well off. Diocles is believed to have started racing at the age of 18 in Ilerda[…]

Circus Maximus: Chariot-Racing in Ancient Rome

The Circus was Rome’s largest venue for ludi, public games connected to Roman religious festivals. Introduction The Circus Maximus (Latin for greatest or largest circus; Italian: Circo Massimo) is an ancient Romanchariot-racingstadium and mass entertainment venue in Rome, Italy. In the gap between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft)[…]

Love, Sex, and Marriage in Ancient Greece

Marriage traditions in ancient Greece differed depending on the city-state, and majority of the sources are about the upper classes. By Ollie WellsHistorian and Journalist Introduction Love, sex, and marriage in ancient Greece are portrayed in Greek literature as distinct, yet closely intertwined, elements of life. For many upper-class men, marriages did not take place for love, and other[…]

Beauty in the Bronze Age: Minoan and Mycenaean Fashion

Mycenaean fashion was heavily influenced by its Minoan predecessor. By Georgia McDonnell Introduction Dress and appearance in Bronze Age Greece (c. 3100 BCE – c. 1100 BCE) played a part in defining gender roles and emphasising idealized beauty that planted the seed for modern-day standards. The Minoans turned the island of Crete into a Mediterranean powerhouse and dominated Aegean culture until around 1450 BCE[…]

The Year of the Four Emperors and the Demise of Four Roman Legions

The empire’s expansion brought them into contact with a population of different customs, languages, and religions. Introduction During the Year of the Four Emperors (69 CE), the fight between Vitellius and Vespasian would ultimately bring about the demise of four legions, the XV Primigenia, I Germanica, IIII Macedonica, and XVI Gallia. All four of these legions had previously served the Roman[…]

Methods, Economics, and Strategy in Ancient Greek Warfare

The scale and scope of warfare in Ancient Greece changed dramatically as a result of the Greco-Persian Wars, which marked the beginning of Classical Greece. Introduction Warfare occurred throughout the history of Ancient Greece, from the Greek Dark Ages onward. The Greek ‘Dark Age’ drew to an end as a significant increase in population allowed urbanized culture to be restored, which led[…]

Boxing in the Ancient Roman Empire

The earliest depictions of boxing as a formal sport can be traced back to Mesopotamia as early as the 3rd millennium BCE. By Michael Vivonia Introduction Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world that is still practiced today. Included in the original athletic contests of the Olympic Games, pugilism orboxing was well known and[…]

Ancient Greek Boxing Legends and History

According to the Iliad, Mycenaean warriors included boxing among their competitions honoring the fallen. Introduction Ancient Greek boxing dates back to at least the 8th century BC (Homer’s Iliad), and was practiced in a variety of social contexts in different Greek city-states. Most extant sources about ancient Greek boxing are fragmentary or legendary, making it difficult to reconstruct[…]

‘Oneness’ and Duality: Melissus and the Philosophy of Monism in Ancient Greece

Melissus echoes Parmenides by objecting to a pluralistic view of reality essentially based on perception. By Daniel CostasEducator and WriterUniversity of Qatar Introduction Melissus of Samos (5th century BCE) was a Greek philosopher from the island of Samos near the modern-day coast of Turkey. He advocated the philosophical doctrine known as monism, suggesting that reality is single and unchanging. While[…]

Being Whole: The Philosophy of Hedonism since the Ancient World

Pleasure plays a central role in all forms of hedonism. It refers to experience that feels good, that involves the enjoyment of something. Introduction Hedonism refers to a family of theories, all of which have in common that pleasure plays a central role in them. Psychological or motivational hedonism claims that our behavior is determined by desires to increase pleasure and to[…]

The Vienna Dioscurides: A Medical and Scientific Text in Ancient Byzantium

The manuscript was produced around 512 C.E. for the imperial princess Anicia Juliana in Constantinople. By Dr. Courtney Ann TomaselliProfessor of Art HistoryElon University Introduction For many, the term “Byzantine art” conjures otherworldly images of holy figures in golden icons and mosaics. But opening the pages of the large, sumptuously illustrated Byzantine manuscript known as the Vienna Dioscurides (the colloquial[…]

Trade in Ancient Celtic Europe

Typical goods traded by the Celts included salt, slaves, iron, gold, and furs. Introduction Trade in raw materials and manufactured goods in ancient Celtic Europe was vibrant and far-reaching, particularly regarding the centre of the continent where there was a hub of well-established trade routes. As the Celts’ territory expanded, so their trade networks encompassed the Mediterranean cultures (Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans), Iberia, and Britain.[…]

Manufacture, Design, and Functions of Ancient Celtic Coinage

An enormous number of Celtic coins have been found in burials and as part of ritual treasure hoards across Europe. Introduction The coinage of the ancient Celts, minted from the early 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE, at first imitated Greek and then Roman coins. Celtic engravers then soon developed their own unique style, creating distinctive coins with depictions of stylised horses,[…]

Grammar: From the Ancient Greeks to the Middle Ages

English sentence structure or grammar has been extraordinarily impacted by the ancient Greek and Latin models. By Dr. R GnanasekaranAssistant Professor, Department of EnglishKarpagam University Abstract In view of the fact that grammar is a central phase of instructing a language, many techniques have been adopted to instruct it effectively over the time. Right from[…]

The Ancient Peruvian Moche Royal Tombs of Sipán

The tombs were found almost completely undisturbed. A Golden Discovery In 1987, Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva received a tip from the police that local villagers had discovered gold in one of the huacas (a term for ancient sacred sites used widely in Peru) and were looting artifacts at the site of Huaca Rajada in the town of Sipán, near[…]