User: writer873

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The basilica was a fundamental element of a Roman forum. It was used as a public building, much like the Greek stoa. It served as a meeting place for administration, as a law court, and as a marketplace. It also provided cover and shade for hot or stormy afternoons. After Christianity became the main religion of the Roman Empire, the basilica came to be... [continue reading]
Article

Ancient Greek Clothing

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The Ancient Greeks were not fussy about their clothing. The garments they wore were made for function, and they were made simply. A single piece of fabric could be styled and restyled, to fit a particular occasion or a fashion. And with Greek summers being brutally hot, the less fabric and complicating seams to deal with, the better. The fabrics that... [continue reading]
Article
The Imperial Fora were very important public and ceremonial areas in Rome. These areas had practical use, especially when the population of Rome began to grow rapidly. They also provided more room for government, business, religious worship, and gave the Emperors notoriety and immortality. The Forum Iulium (Forum of Julius Caesar) was the first of the Imperial... [continue reading]
Article
By definition, a forum in Ancient Rome was meant as a gathering place for the people. Commercial exploits were obviously highly successful in the merchant forums of Rome, where all matter of food products and the citizens of the city could buy other necessities from local and traveling merchants. Beginning early in Rome’s history, during the period... [continue reading]
Article
The Forum Romanum was the main and central forum of the city of Rome. It became the economic, political, and religious center of the city in early Republican times, around the seventh century B.C. It continued to be an important functional and symbolic area of Rome through the city – and the Empire’s – evolution, and changed along with... [continue reading]
Article

The Roman Forum

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
A Forum was the main center of a Roman city. Usually located near the physical center of a Roman town, it served as a public area in which commercial, religious, economic, political, legal, and social activities occurred. Fora were common in all Roman cities, but none were as grand as the fora of Rome itself. A forum is not unlike a Greek Agora in concept... [continue reading]
Article

Prostitution in Classical Athens

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
As a coastal city and hub of the Ancient Greek world, Athens was frequently visited by sailors and merchants who docked their ships for business and respite. The presence of these visitors to the city sparked a need for entertainment, and that need was fulfilled by the emergence of prostitution in the Archaic Period (800 - 500 B.C.). Prostitution continued... [continue reading]
Article

Mummification in Ancient Egypt

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Mummification is a type of preservation of the dead that was most notably practiced by the Ancient Egyptians. During the Old Kingdom (2750 – 2250 B.C.) this long process of embalming the dead was an extravagance reserved for pharaohs, whose mummies were placed in opulent tombs or pyramids along with riches, foods, furnishings, and anything else... [continue reading]
Article
The peoples of Sumer are among the earliest denizens of Mesopotamia. By about 4000 B.C., the Sumerians had organized themselves into several city-states that were spread throughout the southern part of the region. These city-states were independent of one another and were fully self-reliant centers, each surrounding a temple that was dedicated to god or goddess... [continue reading]
Article

Coinage in Ancient Greece

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Originally, the Ancient Greeks employed a barter system in order to trade goods and services. This likely worked well before sea trade became prevalent in the region, and trading large goods such as sacks of wheat or large farm animals would have been quite cumbersome. Around the eighth century B.C., the Greeks began minting and using silver coins (some areas... [continue reading]
Article

The Fullers of Rome

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The Romans were all about appearances, which was obvious by the array of clothing that they wore. Their garments were billboards that advertised their status and wealth to all other Romans and anyone they came into contact with. As such, the clothing industry was a highly important part of Roman commerce. Not only was the sale of clothing a profitable business... [continue reading]
Article

Pirates of the Mediterranean

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
As soon as sea faring vessels made their way through the waters of the Mediterranean on newly established routes for trade and travel, the wealth and prosperity of ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Phoenicians began to blossom. With valuable goods, especially precious metals, being traded back and forth between kingdoms on a regular... [continue reading]
Article

The Roman Toga

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The toga is the definitive representation of the Ancient Roman. It is depicted in Ancient and Renaissance art, and various styles of the toga have lasted throughout the generations. Togas were important social representations, denoting power, occupation, and social place of upper class Roman citizens. Coming from the Etruscans, and modified throughout... [continue reading]
Article
Women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed many more freedoms than women in Ancient Greece or Rome. Egyptian Women who were educated were entitled to study any field they chose, and to become respected professionals in their chosen exploits. Unlike their ancient counterparts who were largely relegated to such positions as handmaidens, housewives, or prostitutes, Ancient... [continue reading]
Article
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. The Egyptians were famously clean and fearful of illness and disease... [continue reading]
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The Ancient Egyptians were quite advanced in their diagnoses and treatments of various illnesses. Their advancements in ancient medical techniques were quite extraordinary, considering the lack of “modern” facilities, sterilization, sanitation, and researching capabilities. The remedies used by Ancient Egyptian physicians came mostly... [continue reading]
Article

Pherenike the Trainer

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Pherenike was born on the island of Rhodes, located in the Aegean Sea. She was a girl in a family of accomplished male athletes. Her father, Diagoras, was a champion Olympic boxer from the games of 464 B.C. Her brothers were also champion boxers, as well as prevailing champions in the Pancration. Because women were not permitted to participate in sports... [continue reading]
Article

Imperial Temples in the Roman Forum

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The temples built in the Forum Romanum during the Imperial era (27 B.C. – A.D. 476) were largely built to commemorate mortal men who had been deified after death. These were usually Emperors of Rome who had been particularly influential and popular. Temple of Caesar – Built in honor of Julius Caesar by Augustus in 29 B.C., this temple stood... [continue reading]
Article
The temple was an important physical and ceremonial structure in any Roman city. Originally a gathering place (a templum), the temple evolved into a place for people to gather, to worship gods and deified emperors, and to perform ceremonial sacrifices and rites. The temples of the Forum Romanum, particularly from the period of the Roman Republic (509 &ndash... [continue reading]
Article
Rome fancied celebrating its military conquests and victories. Victorious generals and legions would parade through the streets of Rome after an important battle, often to grand hoopla and celebration. Along with these processions, many commemorative monuments would be built to forever immortalize the grandeur that was Rome. Triumphal arches were one type... [continue reading]
Article
Aspasia was born around 470 BCE in Miletus in Asia Minor. She was likely born into a wealthy family because she was known to have been highly educated.. How she arrived in Athens is the source of some debate among scholars. A few sources suggest that she traveled there when her older sister married Alcibiades, who had been ostracized from Athens... [continue reading]
Article
The Temple of Athena Nike is the smallest structure on the Athenian Acropolis, but holds no less importance than its neighboring shrines. Built to honor Athena Nike, the goddess of victory, the site upon which the temple was constructed has ceremonial roots that date back to the Bronze Age. When the newer, Classical temple was built in the fifth century... [continue reading]
Article
While its origins remain mysterious even today, the Hittite Empire was one of the most significant of the Mesopotamian kingdoms, powerful enough to bring down the commanding Babylonians and their strict ways of life. The Hittites burst on to the Mesopotamian scene sometime around the late 18th century BCE.. At its height, the Hittite Empire covered Anatolia... [continue reading]
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Hammurabi was the first king of the Babylonian Empire, reigning from 1792 B.C. – 1750 B.C. During his time in power, he conquered Sumer and Akkad, amassing those cultures for his territory. He is probably best known for his enduring code of Babylonian laws, known as Hammurabi’s Code. Though not the only law code around... [continue reading]
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The Babylonians: Unifiers of Mesopotamia

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The Babylonians began their rise to power in the region of Mesopotamia around 1900 B.C. This was at a time when Mesopotamia was largely unstable, prone to conflict and invasion, and not at all unified. This early period, known as the Old Babylonian Period, is characterized by over 300 years of rule of the Amorites, who had come from west of the Euphrates... [continue reading]
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The heart of the original Assyrian civilization was located off the western coast of the Tigris River in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). At its height, the Assyrian empire stretched far and wide, encompassing several territories and uniting the Near Eastern region for the very first time. This included territories in modern Iran, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Israel... [continue reading]
Article

The Women of Athena's Cult

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Much like the Vestal Virgins of Rome, the priestesses of Greek religion enjoyed a great many perks that other Greek women did not. In exchange for the commitment to their religious and civic responsibilities, they were often paid, given property, and most importantly, they were respected for their contributions to society – despite being female. The priestesses... [continue reading]
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Hipparchia was the wife of Crates, a very popular Athenian philosopher. She was also notable for her brazen abandonment of her aristocratic upbringing for life as a Cynic. Though not much is known about Hipparchia, her importance in the history of ancient Greek women is undeniable. She was an educated philosopher, she was outspoken, and she was unconventional... [continue reading]
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Sappho of Lesbos: Ancient Greek Poetess

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Sappho was born in 612 B.C. on the island of Lesbos, located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. Born into an aristocratic family, Sappho was fortunate to be exposed to the public life. As an upper class Greek, she would have been well read and exposed to the "finer things" in Greek life, such as banquets, dances, festivals, and religious ceremonies... [continue reading]
Article
The laws of Sparta were developed and written by Lycurgus, a legendary lawmaker who, in the 7th century B.C. reorganized the political and social structure of the polis, transforming it into a strictly disciplined and collective society. He also developed the stringent military academy of the agoge, where Spartan boys were trained from childhood to adulthood... [continue reading]
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The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest monument on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is also the only one left standing. It is a marvel of human engineering and construction, and its sheer size and scale rivals any structure built within the last few hundred years. It's construction, though, has always been the subject of much debate... [continue reading]
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The Colossus of Rhodes was an enormous statue depicting the city's patron god, Helios (the god of the sun), and stood in Mandraki Harbour. Though it stood for little more than 50 years fully intact, its grand size and imposing presence at the coastal entrance of Rhodes made it an undeniable candidate as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World... [continue reading]
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The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
In the ancient world, there were many temples dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. But there was only one temple to Zeus that housed one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was home to one of greatest sculptural achievements of ancient history. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia represented the pinnacle of Classical sculptural... [continue reading]
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The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, also known as the Artemesium, was constructed in the mid 6th century BC. It was located in Ephesus (modern Turkey), and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon included it on his definitive list of monuments, partly because of its size and grandeur, but also because of its location... [continue reading]
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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon evoke a romantic picture of lush greenery and colorful flowers cascading from the sky. The grandeur of their sight must have been awe-inspiring, which is why Herodotus would have considered them one of his 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. However, not only are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon not standing today, but their entire... [continue reading]
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The Pharos at Alexandria was the last structure to be named on Antipater of Sidon's list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, begun by Ptolemy Soter, the ruler of the Egyptian region after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. It was impressive in its construction and scale, and legends... [continue reading]
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The term mausoleum, since the Roman era, has meant any large-scale tomb. It is what we think of today as a big marble building that houses the remains of the deceased. The term mausoleum, though, has very specific origins that can be traced back to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. This monument was the grandiose... [continue reading]
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We've all heard stories about the "Lost City of Atlantis", sunken into the ocean thousands of years ago. This intellectually and technologically advanced civilization, with its electricity and sophisticated plumbing systems, was far ahead of any other ancient culture thriving during its time. Then, like a flash, it was gone, sunken at the bottom of some... [continue reading]
Article

The Athenian Agora in the Roman Era

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
Greece became a Roman province in 146 BC after the Roman general Mummius destroyed the Greek capital city of Corinth. Athens did not convert to Roman ways so quickly, however. The city and its building programs remained relatively static in their typical Greek style. This was certainly the case in the Athenian Agora. After all, the Stoa of Attalos was constructed... [continue reading]
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Just as the Athenian Agora was home to the many legal and political headquarters of the polis, it also was home base to the all-important Athenian army. In the chronicles of ancient history, we can see how armies and navies played a vital role on the succession of power of important ancient civilizations, and Athens is no exception. The Athenian military... [continue reading]
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The great statesman Pericles was credited with bringing Athens into its "golden age", at a pinnacle of culture, wealth, and influence that few other cultures have achieved in history. Under Pericles, Athens became the legendary city that we think of today, with its democratic political ideals, magnificent columned temples, and artistic innovations... [continue reading]
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The Hellenistic Period of Ancient History is generally though of as the time between the Classical Period (5th century BC) and the onset of the Roman period (1st century BC). It is characterized by Macedonian rule, brought about by the military exploits of Philip II, and later by his son, Alexander the Great. Both Philip (who ruled until 336 BC) and his... [continue reading]
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After Athens' victory in the Persian War (around 448 BC), it was leader among the Greek poleis in the realms of politics, economics, art, and literature. They were seemingly untouchable, except by perhaps the Spartans. This period of power and prosperity is known widely as the Classical Period of ancient history, and the benchmark of the period of... [continue reading]
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The Agora was the central gathering place for all of Athens, where social and commercial dealings took place. Arguably, it's most important purpose was as the home base for all of the city-state's administrative, legal and political functions. Some of the most important, yet least acclaimed, buildings of ancient history and Classical Athens were located... [continue reading]
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Kimon: Beautifier of the Athenian Agora

by writer873
published on 18 January 2012
The Classical Athenian Agora began to take shape under the ruling of Kimon. He took power around 479 B.C., as the Athenian people ostracized Themistocles. As a respected general who had led many victories for Athens in the Persian Wars, he was easily accepted as a new leader. Kimon is widely known in ancient history as a beautifier of the arid Athenian countryside... [continue reading]
Article
The fires of the hearth of the Roman home were symbolic of its stability: Keep the home fires burning, and keep the home thriving. The daughter of the household often held the vital responsibility of tending these fires, making sure they constantly burned. This concept of continuity extended out into the civic arena, where at the Temple of Vesta, a group... [continue reading]
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The early Athenian Agora served a series of very different purposes than it did in its halcyon days of ancient history. The area that came to be the Agora was in use as a cemetery from the Bronze Age (approximately 3000 B.C.) until the end of the 7th century B.C. It was also a residential area during this time. This is evidenced by the discovery... [continue reading]
Article
Being a Vestal Virgin was a lifetime committment that required certain promises be made to the powerful position. Breaking a promise made in honor of the priesthood spelled certain disaster. For example, breaking the vow of celibacy usually meant execution for the former Virgin. Over the course of Roman history, the technique of execution that was employed... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Amorite

by writer873
published on 28 April 2011
The Amorites were a nomadic people who lived in the region of Mesopotamia that was west of the Euphrates River during the third millennium BCE. Their movement east into the more civilized and culturally established regions brought about great change and influence for the Babylonian Empire. There is speculation that the Amorites traveled all the way from Europe... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Aedile

by writer873
published on 28 April 2011
An aedile was an elected official of Roman government. This position was held by two men simultaneously, one a Plebeian and one a Patrician, both of whom were elected to the Senate on an annual basis. An aedile was responsible for the maintenance of the public buildings and he also managed all public ceremonies and festivals. Aediles gained prominence during... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Patrician

by writer873
published on 28 April 2011
A Patrician was a wealthy upper class citizen of the Roman Republic. From the Latin pater ("father") the term was originally used to describe the earliest Senators of the Republic, who were the elite Roman citizens. The term patrician evolved through the history of the Republic, and by the early days of the Roman Empire, the term was mostly... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Consul

by writer873
published on 28 April 2011
A consul was the highest elected office under the Roman Republic. During the Republic, consuls were the heads of the government, making all administrative and military decisions with the Roman Senate. It was an annually elected office, held by two men at a time. Under the Empire, the position shifted to one of mere symbolism. From the Latin, consulere... [continue reading]
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