People & Places
By N.S. Gill, About.com Guide
- Gods and Goddesses
- Ancient Historians
- Religious Leaders
What's history without the people? Here you'll find an A-Z that covers more than the basics, a list of people you really should know, and an occupation index, in case you know job but not name. Within the lists, you'll find military/political leaders like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Cleopatra, important cultural icons like Homer, Vergil (Virgil), and Aristotle, and legendary or mythological figures.
- 67 Ancient People You Need to Know
- A - Z of Famous Ancient People
- Index by Occupation
- Cleopatra Study Guide
- Julius Caesar Study Guide
- Alexander the Great Study Guide
- Attila the Hun
- Visigoths and Alaric
Gods and Goddesses
Ancient gods and goddesses weren't ignored six days a week and then prayed to in a church on Sundays. Most ancient cultures credited the gods with the powers of nature. If it rained, blame the rain god. If you couldn't get pregnant, check in with the fertility goddess. In the ancient world, there were hundreds of spirits, gods and goddesses. In general, each god, goddess or spirit had control over specific powers of nature. They also administered to human activities like war and some behaved in a way we would describe as badly.
- Gods and Goddesses A-Z
- Which Greek Goddess Are You?
- Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
- Moon Goddesses and Gods
- Sun Gods and Goddesses
Kings, emperors, and other monarchs who ruled ancient city-states or empires. Some of these rulers were members of ruling dynasties; others were elected or otherwise appointed. Mostly, you'll find chronological lists of kings here.
- Rome - Kings
- Roman Emperors Portrait Gallery
- Timeline: Roman Emperors
- Timeline: Egypt - Pharaohs and Dynasties
- Timeline: Indian Subcontinent - Mauryan Kings
- Timeline: Parthian Kings
- Timeline: Persian Empire - Kings of the Sassanid Dynasty
- Timeline: Persian Empire - Kings of the Achaemenid Dynasty
- Timeline: Hebrew Kings
- Timeline: Mesopotamian Kings
- Chinese Dynasties
- Alexander the Great
Would the ancient Greeks have counted you a hero for saving a puppy from a burning building? Possibly, but probably not. Heroes were expected to be a certain calibre of person, between an ordinary mortal and a god. Their fathers were kings if not gods -- usually the randier gods, Zeus or Poseidon -- and they were expected to have arete 'virtue'. Adversity humbled them.
- Picture Gallery of the Greek Heroes
- Top Heroes
- Who's Who in Greek Legend
- Who Was Hercules?
- Labors of Hercules
Imagine the world of Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre. Now go back further to a time when men still played the parts of women, but plays were part of a religious ceremony. The ancient Greeks are credited with inventing theater, as an element in their religious celebrations to which they zealously attached contests and prizes. Here are the most famous of the Greek playwrights in tragedy and comedy, as well as their successors in Roman drama.
Time, fires, and the monks of the Middle Ages have prevented us from reading all the great literature of the ancient world. Having lost so much, we put a premium on the relatively small corpus of ancient literature that we have. The competitive ancient Greeks and Romans kept modifying and improving their literary forms. Greeks developed poetic and theatrical genres. Romans invented a genre that did more than entertain: It insulted. This now popular genre is satire.
The ancient Greeks are credited with inventing the genre of history. We tend to lump together with historians proper, like the father of history (or lies) Herodotus, people who wrote biographies, like Plutarch, and geographers. You'll find them here.
The Greeks are credited with inventing philosophy. Of the philsophers, the Greek Socrates is probably the best known. Here you'll find information on ancient Pre-Socratic philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Epicureans, Stoics, and the eastern philosopher we know as Confucius.
Religious leaders include the Church fathers who were known for their piety and for creating the standards of Christianity, as well as some of the major figures from other ancient world religions and ethical systems.
Ancient Rome started as a small community in Italy founded, according to legend, in 753 B.C. By the time it fell, at a date that is often given as A.D. 476, Rome had spread its empire, legal system, roads, and language not only around the Mediterranean Sea, but into continental Europe, parts of Asia, and Britain. It would be hard to overstate the impact Rome had on the world.
- Roman History
- 4 Periods of Roman History
- 7 Kings of Rome
- 12 Caesars
- 5 Good Emperors
- Rome Conquers Italy
- Plebeians vs Patricians
- The Gracchi (Social Reformers)
- How the Emperors Came to Power
- Constantine the Great
- Alaric Sacks Rome
- Private and Social Life
- Fall of Rome
- Ancient Rome in Pictures
- Appian Way
- Roman Water Supply
- Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii
- Rome and the Barbarians
- Janus - God of Doorways
It is to ancient Greece that we owe much of the culture we take for granted, including democracy, the Olympics, and the theater. Natural observation led to the Hippocratic medicine and the oath medical practitioners still honor, as well as the beginnings of other physical sciences and philosophy. Under Alexander the Great, the Greek world spread all the way to India and Greek was the lingua franca in the time of Jesus. Here you'll also find introductions to the periods of Greek history, a look at the geography, and a selection of the most important basic topics to know in Greek history.
- 7 Points to Know About Greek Government
- 14 Points to Know About Ancient Greece
- Greek Bronze Age
- Archaic Age of Ancient Greece
- Classical Age of Ancient Greece
- Hellenistic Age of Ancient Greece
- Greek Theater Study Guide
- Rise of Democracy
- Geography of Greece
- Persian Wars
- Sparta's Rise to Power
- 30 Tyrants
- Presocratic Philosophy
- Hippocratic Medicine
- Cimon of Athens
- Macedonian Wars
- Peloponnesian War Books
China developed an advanced culture far from the Mediterranean, but there was indirect contact through the Silk Road. China made important contributions to the world even in the ancient period. It developed paper, gunpowder, and a seismograph, among other things.
- Chinese Inventions and Accomplishments
- Yellow Emperor
- Periods of Chinese History
- What Is the Silk Road?
- Oracle Bones
- Maps of Ancient China
- When Did Confucianism Start?
- Herbert Giles - Chinese Linguist
- Peking Man
- Chinese Pottery
During ancient history, Egypt was an enduring presence on the southern border of the Mediterranean Sea. These resources explore aspects of the culture of ancient Egypt until the time it became part of the Roman Empire.
- Tutankhamen (King Tut)
- Battle of Megiddo
- Cleopatra's Needle
- Glosssary of Egyptian Terms
- Ancient Egypt Maps
- Hatshepsut and the Problems With Egyptian Dates
- Mysteries of the Amarna Pharaohs
- Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
- Pharaohs, Dynasties, and Egyptian Kingdoms
- Periods of Ancient Egypt
- What Foods Did the Egyptians Eat?
People of the Bible
Purposely ambiguous in order to apply to both the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible as well as scholarship about both, here you'll find information on both verifiable and legendary figures in Bible history, as well as important people connected with the Bible -- like the Jewish historian Josephus who is used in arguments about the verifiability of Jesus.
- Historical Biblical Figures You Should Know
- Bible History
- Star of Bethlehem and the Dating of the Birth of Jesus
- Herod the Great
The Indian Subcontinent, like the other areas of the ancient world, was only gradually unified. Early areas where writing was found are in the area of modern Pakistan. Ancient India is the home of the Rig Veda, Buddhism, the Arian Invasion controversy, and more.
- Ancient Languages
- Aryan Invasion Hypothesis
- Religions of Ancient India
- 18 Terms/Names to Know About the Ancient Indian Subcontinent
Names of ancient places do not always correspond with their modern equivalents. Political borders are different.
- Israel, Palestine, Fertile Crescent
- Indian Subcontinent
- Central Asia
- Ancient Countries - Introductions
Mesopotamia is the land between the rivers, and is basically modern Iraq. It is part of the Fertile Crescent and is sometimes known as the Cradle of Civilization. Surrounding areas, including Syria and Armenia, were incorporated into the competing empires of the region.
Maps and Geography
Ancient maps of the Roman Empire include much of what we think of as Europe, parts of Asia, and Northern Africa; the geographic borders of Asia fluctuated with the dominant empires; Sudan and Egypt are in both the Near East and Africa.