Ancient History Encyclopedia

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Ancient History Encyclopedia is a non-profit educational website with a global vision: to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free.

We combine different media, subjects and periods in interactive ways that will help readers understand both the "big picture" and the detail. Editorial review is a key component in our process to ensure highest quality.

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591 definitions
401 articles
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Encyclopedia Definition

Akhenaten

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 17 April 2014
Akhenaten (r. 1353-1336 BCE) was a pharaoh of Egypt of the 18th Dynasty. He is also known as `Akhenaton’ or `Ikhnaton’ and also `Khuenaten’, all of which are translated to mean `successful for’ or `of great use to’ the god Aten. Akhenaten chose this name for himself after his conversion to the cult of Aten. Prior to this conversion... [continue reading]
Article

Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 15 April 2014
Daily life in ancient Mesopotamia cannot be described in the same way one would describe life in ancient Rome or Greece. Mesopotamia was never a single, unified civilization, not even under the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great.  Generally speaking, though, from the rise of the cities in c. 4500 BCE to the downfall of Sumer in 1750 BCE, the people... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Nefertiti

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 14 April 2014
Nefertiti (c. 1370 - c. 1336 BCE) was the wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. Her name means, `the beautiful one has come’ and, because of the world-famous bust created by the sculptor Thutmose (discovered in 1912 CE), she is the most recognizable queen of ancient Egypt. She grew up in the royal palace at Thebes, probably the daughter... [continue reading]
Article

The Development of Culpa Under the Lex Aquilia

by Adam Giancola (University of Toronto)
published on 14 April 2014
The Lex Aquilia, likely passed by the jurist Aquilius around the year 287 BCE , superseded all previous laws of its kind under the Roman Republic.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]
Article

The Role of Greek Cavalry on the Battlefield

by David Josiah Weekley (Patrick Henry College)
published on 14 April 2014
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]
Encyclopedia Definition

Roman Naval Warfare

by Mark Cartwright
published on 13 April 2014
Military supremacy of the seas could be a crucial factor in the success of any land campaign, and the Romans well knew that a powerful naval fleet could supply troops and equipment to where they were most needed in as short a time as possible. Naval vessels could also supply beleaguered ports under enemy attack and, in turn, blockade ports under... [continue reading]
Article
Once upon a time, in the land known as Sumer, the people built a temple to their god who had conquered the forces of chaos and brought order to the world. They built this temple at a place called Eridu, which was “one of the most southerly sites, at the very edge of the alluvial river plain and close to the marshes: the transitional zone between... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Verona

by Mark Cartwright
published on 10 April 2014
Verona, situated on the river Adige in northern Italy, was a Roman town probably founded some time in the 2nd century BCE. It was a colonia by 69 CE and the impressive monuments which survive to this day attest to the city's importance. In late antiquity, the emperors Constantine I and Theodoric spent time in Verona, the latter building a palace, and today... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Urbanization

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 07 April 2014
Urbanization is the process by which rural communities grow to form cities, or urban centers, and, by extension, the growth and expansion of those cities. Urbanization began in ancient Mesopotamia in the Uruk Period (4300-3100 BCE) for reasons scholars have not yet agreed on. It is speculated, however, that a particularly prosperous and efficient village attracted... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Arthashastra

by Cristian Violatti
published on 06 April 2014
The Arthashastra is the title of a handbook for running an empire, effectively written by Kautilya (also known as Chanakya, c. 350-275 BCE) an Indian statesman and philosopher, chief advisor and Prime Minister of the Indian Emperor Chandragupta, the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire. The title Arthashastra is a Sanskrit word which is normally translated... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

City

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 05 April 2014
In the study of the ancient world a City is generally defined as a large populated urban center of commerce and administration with a system of laws and, usually, regulated means of sanitation. This is only one definition, however, and the designation `City' can be based on such factors as the: population of the settlement height of buildings... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Lake Titicaca

by Mark Cartwright
published on 05 April 2014
Lake Titicaca is located between Bolivia and Peru and, at an altitude of 3,800 metres (12,500 feet), it is the world's highest navigable lake. The tundra plain known as the altiplano stretches to the south and was the location of Tiwanaku, capital of one of the most important Andean cultures during the first millennium CE. The lake was also considered... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Gold

by Mark Cartwright
published on 04 April 2014
Gold, chemical symbol Au (from the Latin aurum meaning ‘shining dawn’), is a precious metal which has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues.  Gold does not corrode and so it became a symbol of immortality and power in many ancient cultures... [continue reading]
Article

The Army of Alexander the Great

by Donald L. Wasson
published on 04 April 2014
No military commander in history has ever won a battle by himself. To be successful he needs the support of a well-trained army who will follow him regardless of the cost whether it be a stunning victory or hopeless defeat. One need only read of Leonidas as he bravely led his 300 Spartans to inevitable defeat at Thermopylae. History has had its share... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Ankhsenamun

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 03 April 2014
Ankhsenamun (born c. 1350 BCE and known as Ankhesenpaaten in youth) was the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. She was married to her father and may have borne him one daughter, Ankhesenpaaten Tasherit (`Ankhesenpaaten the Younger'), before she was thirteen years old. While still a young girl, and possibly already married... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

El Dorado

by Mark Cartwright
published on 01 April 2014
El Dorado ('Gilded Man' or 'Golden One') referred to the legendary kings of the Muisca (or Chibcha) people who populated the northern Andes of modern-day Colombia from 600 CE to 1600 CE and the name is especially associated with their coronation ritual held at Lake Guatavita, just north of modern-day Bogotá. Over time, El Dorado extended... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Tutankhamun

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 01 April 2014
Tutankhamun (also known as Tutankhamen and `King Tut') is the most famous and instantly recognizable Pharaoh in the modern world. His golden sarcophagus is now a symbol almost synonymous with Egypt. His name means `living image of [the god] Amun’. He was born in the year 11 of the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (better known as Akhenaten... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Easter

by Cristian Violatti
published on 31 March 2014
Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian tradition links the date of the Easter celebration to the Hebrew calendar based on a combination of astronomical events. Easter and the Jewish Passover festival are strongly connected. The passion of Jesus Christ in the gospels is often presented with the festival... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Silk Road

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 28 March 2014
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though 'Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized... [continue reading]

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