Ancient History Encyclopedia

About

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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627 definitions
414 articles
1,894 illustrations
199 videos
5,435 references
3,153 tags
66,753 registered users

Latest Content

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Article
The process of determining ethnicity is a problematic venture, even more so when interpreted through the archaeological record. Despite this issue, evidence, such as the four-room house, has been preserved that can be interpreted to represent ethnic markers and help illuminate the lives of individuals and groups from the past. Following the theoretical perspective... [continue reading]
Article

Pizarro and Atahualpa: The Curse of the Lost Inca Gold

by Bill Yates
published on 29 July 2014
In November 1532 CE, Francisco Pizarro led a group of about 160 conquistadors into the Inca city of Cajamarca. The illiterate and illegitimate son of an Extremaduran nobleman and an impoverished woman, Pizarro had spent his entire life on a quest to become wealthy and be remembered. After hearing of how a distant cousin of his, Hernan Cortes, had looted... [continue reading]
Article
For the ancient Greeks, the quality of arete (personal excellence) and the concept of eusebia (social duty) were most important. Aristotle discusses both of these at length in his Nichomachean Ethics and relates arete to eudaimonia - translated as "happiness" but actually meaning "to be possessed of a good spirit". To have arete, Aristotle... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Shield of Heracles

by
published on 25 July 2014
The Shield of Heracles (also known as The Shield of Herakles, Aspis Herakleous) is a poem of 480 hexameter lines written by an unknown Greek poet in the style of Hesiod (lived 8th century BCE). It deals with the Greek hero Herakles (also known as Hercules) and his nephew Iolaus and their battle with Cycnus, son of the war-god Ares. It is unclear... [continue reading]
Article
The Shield of Heracles (also known as The Shield of Herakles and, in the original, Aspis Herakleous) is a poem of 480 hexameter lines written by an unknown Greek poet in the style of Hesiod (lived 8th century BCE). It deals with the Greek hero Heracles (also known as Hercules) and his nephew Iolaus and their battle with Cycnus, son of the war-god Ares... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Alcestis

by
published on 24 July 2014
Alcestis was the mythical queen of Thessaly, wife of King Admetus, who came to personify the devoted, selfless, woman and wife in ancient Greece. While the story of Admetus' courtship of Alcestis was widely told, she is best known for her devotion to her husband in taking his place in death and her return to life through the intervention of the hero Herakles... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Megara (Wife of Hercules)

by
published on 24 July 2014
Megara was the first wife of the Greek hero Herakles (better known as Hercules). She was the daughter of King Creon of Thebes who gave her in marriage to Hercules in gratitude for his help in winning back Creon's kingdom from the Minyans. Megara's story is best known through the work of the Greek playwright Euripides (480-406 BCE... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Deianira

by
published on 24 July 2014
Deianira was the second wife of the Greek hero and demi-god Herakles (better known as Hercules, son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene). She was the daughter of King Oeneus and Queen Althaea of Calydon. During the time of Hercules' famous Twelve Labors, he had taken a kind of side-adventure to sail with Jason and the Argonauts and, on this trip... [continue reading]
Blog
We are excited to announce that we've redesigned our contribute page! Now users and volunteers can submit videos in addition to articles, definitions, book reviews, and web links. If you know of great content you would like to share with us, go ahead and submit it! Anyone with knowledge of ancient history can submit content to Ancient... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Sargonid Dynasty

by
published on 22 July 2014
The Sargonid Dynasty was the last ruling house of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 722-612 BCE. It began with the reign of Sargon II (reigned 722-705 BCE) and ended with fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE. Some of the most famous kings in the history of Assyria come from this dynasty, and the period in which they ruled is considered the high point... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Stone Age

by
published on 18 July 2014
From the dawn of our species to the present day, stone-made artefacts are the dominant form of material remains that have survived to today concerning human technology. The term “Stone Age” was coined in the late 19th century CE by the Danish scholar Christian J. Thomsen, who came up with a framework for the study of the human past, known... [continue reading]
Article
When he came to the throne in 884 BCE, Ashurnasirpal II had to attend to revolts which broke out across the empire. He ruthlessly put down all rebellions, destroyed the rebel cities and, as a warning to others, impaled, burned, and flayed alive any who had opposed him. He fortified and strengthened his borders and then expanded them through campaigns that... [continue reading]
Article
The kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire have long been considered some of the most ruthless monarchs in ancient history. However, at the same time they were sacking cities and slaughtering those who rebelled against them or resisted conquest, they often pursued gentler interests. Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE) enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. His son, Esarhaddon... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Sennacherib

by
published on 15 July 2014
Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE) was the second king of the Sargonid Dynasty of Assyria (founded by his father Sargon II). He is one of the most famous Assyrian kings owing to the part he plays in narratives in the biblical Old Testament (II Kings, II Chronicles, and Isaiah) and, since the 19th century CE, from the poem “The Destruction of Sennacherib&rdquo... [continue reading]
Review
Thinking Big: How Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind, by Drs. Clive Gamble, John Gowlett, and Robin Dunbar, explores the prehistoric and ancient origins of our social lives in a mere 224 pages. Divided into seven chapters, Thinking Big is centered on some provocative questions about the evolutionary development of the human mind: “When... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Patrician

by
published on 11 July 2014
The 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote in his essay Politics, “If liberty and equality…are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” Regrettably for Rome, when the Etruscan king was finally ousted in 509 BCE, the aristocratic families... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Ashurnasirpal II

by
published on 09 July 2014
Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884-859 BCE) was the third king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. His father was Tukulti-Ninurta II (reigned (891-884 BCE) whose military campaigns throughout the region provided his son with a sizeable empire and the resources to equip a formidable army. Ashurnasirpal II is known for his ruthless military conquests and the consolidation... [continue reading]
Blog

We're on Tumblr, too!

by
published on 09 July 2014
We are excited to announce that we now have our own ancient history blog on Tumblr. Founded in 2007, Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking hybrid platform that houses more than 132 million blogs. It is also among the top 15 websites in the United States of America. We're excited to share new and reviewed education articles... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Esarhaddon

by
published on 08 July 2014
Esarhaddon (reigned 681-669 BCE) was the third king of the Sargonid Dynasty of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was the youngest son of King Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE), and his mother was not the queen but a concubine named Zakutu (also known as Naqia-Zakutu, c.701-668 BCE). Esarhaddon is mentioned in the Bible in II Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38, and Ezra... [continue reading]

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