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Ancient/Classical History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
From Locusts to Boils, The 10 Plagues of Egypt
List of the ten plagues of Egypt.
In Other Words: Use the Abbreviations I.e. and...
When do you use the common abbreviations i.e., and when do you use e.g., and what do they mean?
Ancient Greeks Blame Woman for the World's...
A brief version of the story of Pandora's Box
The Ten Greatest Greek Heroes
Ten of the greatest heroes of Greek legend, including Odysseus, Achilles, Perseus, Theseus, and Hercules.
The Meaning Behind the Sword of Damocles
The Sword of Damocles was described by the Roman orator Cicero in his 'Tusculan Disputations'. Here's my explanation of the proverbial expression.
Why Did Rome Fall?
Introduction to the Fall of the Rome and the Decline of the Roman Empire: When Did Rome Fall, How and Why Did Rome Fall?
What's the Difference Between the Greeks and...
Some basic comparisons between ancient Rome and ancient Greece, more specifically, ancient Athens.
A List of Ancient Sun Gods and Sun Goddesses
A list of the sun gods from various ancient religions.
Which Greek Hero Are You?
Take this little quiz to see which major ancient hero you are most like. Just don't take it too seriously.
Greek and Roman Gods Everyone Should Know
Roman and Greek names for the Olympians and the minor gods and goddesses.
What's the Deal with the "X" in Xmas?
The name Xmas is sometimes seen as a move to take the religious Christ element out of Christmas. But that's not its origins.
Every God and Goddess You Never Knew
An Index of Gods and Goddess of World Mythology, with Content from About.com's Vast Ancient History Archive.
What's Behind the Ancient Acronym SPQR?
The abbreviation SPQR refers to the Roman senate and the Roman people. Here is a look at the Latin for each of the letters in the abbreviation.
Were the Three Kings Really Just Literary...
Who were the Magi, and why did they worship baby Jesus? Were they priests, astrologers, or wicked magicians? About.com solves an ancient dilemma.
How Did Hercules Die?
Hercules didn't have an easy life, so you shouldn't be surprised to learn how difficult it was for him to die. Learn about his death and what came next.
Know Your Plagues: The Ten Plagues of Egypt
Learn the context of the famous 10 plagues in Egypt that led to the Biblical Exodus.
A Quick Summary on the Life and Times of Julius...
Learn a dozen important facts about Julius Caesar. Page 2.
5 Accomplishments of Julius Caesar
Read about five of the deeds and accomplishments of the great Julius Caesar.
Here's Why These Are the Most Important People...
Here are my selections for the most important names in ancient history. This list excludes people whose existence is disputed by most classical scholars.
Most Beautiful Women
Here are my choices for the most beautiful ancient women.
What Were the Gifts of the 3 Wise Men?
The names of the magi or three wisemen who visited the Christ child.
Immortal Combat: Gods of War You Never Knew
A list of war gods and goddesses from the mythology of the world.
What are the Names of the 5 Rivers of Hades?
An answer to the question. Ancient/Classical History.
What Did the Ancient Romans Eat?
Do you think the Romans were the original bulimics with a vomitorium in every household? It may surprise you to learn most Romans ate modestly. Learn more about the Romans' foods and their diet.
Adeste Fideles
The Lyrics to the Latin Christmas Carol Adeste Fideles.
What Are the Months in the Jewish Calendar?
Jewish months of the Hebrew calendar based on Babylonian month names.
Decide for Yourself: Is Atlantis Real or Fiction?
Atlantis is a story from Plato's Timaeus.
The 5 Worst Roman Emperors
My list of the worst Roman emperors.
Classic Myths and Legends You Should Know
Myths and Legends the story of Cupid and Psyche. Page 4.
The Dramatic Life of Cleopatra, Egypt's Last...
Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt was an historical queen and last pharaoh of Egypt whose story has been retold in countless stories, plays, and movies.
Who Were Hercules' Parents?
Who were the parents of Hercules?
What are Moses' 10 Plagues?
Actually, the 10 Plagues associated with Moses were not created by Moses, but by his God. They helped Moses get what he wanted from the Egyptian Pharaoh.
Seneca's wisdom can guide us even today
Notes on Seneca's life, philosophy and tragedy.
Myths Featuring the Great Titan Prometheus
If it weren't for Prometheus, we wouldn't be here. Learn why.
King Leonidas of Sparta and the Battle at...
Leonidas was a 5th century B.C. military king of the Greek city-state of Sparta.
Who Was Constantine the Great?
Constantine the Great was the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire.
The Many, Many Wives of the Bible's King David
The many wives of King David in the Bible played important roles in the history of Israel. Through their relationships, David's wives brought him political alliances and material wealth, as well as 19 sons and one daughter. Three of David's wives were especially significant to Israel's history. They are Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba.
How to Say Happy Birthday in Latin
In Latin, words that mean may it be a happy birthday would convey the message of Happy Birthday.
A Guide to Norse Mythology
Background information on Norse mythology. This section is on the Aesir and Vanir gods and goddesses.
13 Ancient Cultures, and the Gods They Worshipped
List of ancient gods and goddesses by Culture.
The Greek Alphabet, From Alpha to Omega
The letters of the Greek alphabet.
13 Basic Facts About Alexander the Great
Thirteen facts to know about Alexander the Great. Page 2.
Latin Christmas Carol Lyrics
Lyrics for Christmas Carols in Latin.
Why Was the Peloponnesian War Fought?
A look at the causes and sequences of events leading up to the Peloponnesian War.
Discover the Code-Breaking History of the...
The key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs was the Rosetta Stone.
A Timeline for the Fall of Rome
A timeline showing a chronological list of only major events leading to the fall of Rome.
Who Was Moses?
Moses, the recipient of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and a Hebrew prophet, was the leader of the Hebrew people when they left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness during the Biblical Exodus.
The Many Vital Contributions Ancient Greeks...
Read about the important inventions attributed to early Greek scientists. This list is in chronological order.
Everything You Need to Know About Hercules
Hercules is such a popular figure from Greek mythology that you have undoubtedly heard of him or seen him in movies or on the television. If you want to know the basic facts and events of his life, here is the basic information the media uses to portray the demigod.
Everything You Need to Know about Apollo
Learn about Apollo, a very popular Greek and Roman god, his passions, gifts to mankind, and association with the sun. Also learn about Apollo's application in modern culture.
Who Said 'The Face That Launched a Thousand...
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These Terms Will Help You Read Ancient History
The Ancient / Classical History glossary is an evolving resource on people and topics in ancient history, mythology and classical literature, mostly with very brief descriptions and biographies.
How Did Ancient Romans Keep Clean?
Roman Baths and Hygiene in Ancient Rome. Hygiene in ancient Rome included baths, toiletss, cleansers, access to facilities, and high standards of cleanliness.
What Was the Role of Perseus in Greek Mythology?
Perseus was a Greek hero known for the slaying of the Gorgon Medusa, whose head with its snaky locks, turned men to stone.
Who Was Paul of Tarsus?
Paul of Tarsus was a Jew who had Roman citizenship and tried to stamp out Christianity until he had a vision on the Road to Damascus.
The History Behind 'The 300'
Date and very brief description of the Persian War Battle of Thermopylae at which the Spartans, under Leonidas, fought bravely to their death.
12 Ancient Lunar Luminaries
Gods and goddess of the moons came in male and female forms. An alphabetical list of deities or personifications of the moon.
Creation Myths
Stories of how the world and mankind came to be, from chaos, a primordial soup, an egg, or whatever; that is, creation myths.
How Ancient Greeks Believed the World Was Formed
Despite repeated parental attempts to eat or hide their offspring, the birth of the Olympian gods and goddesses including Zeus and Hera followed the emergence of the titans Cronus and Rhea who sprang from Uranus the sky and Gaia the earth.
Which Greek Goddess Are You?
Which Greek Goddess Are You? Take this quiz to determine if you're a goddess of love or war or something
What Happened When Rome Fell?
The Fall of Rome and the End of the Roman Empire in the west. Articles on the effects of certain emperors and barbarians on the fall of the Rome.
The cornucopia comes to the American Thanksgiving table from Greek mythology.
Is Ares Basically a B-List Greek God?
Ares was a Greek god of war and homicide.
Saturnalia - Celebrate the Saturnalia
Saturnalia - Celebrate the Saturnalia
Reasons for the Fall of Rome
Common theories or reasons for the fall of rome.
Moses: The Baby in the Basket
As a baby, Moses wasn't exposed, but he was stuck in a basket and set adrift amid the bulrushes. Read why and what happened next.
Profile of the Greek God Zeus
The Greek god Zeus was the top Olympian god in the Greek pantheon. Zeus is father of gods and men. He controls lightning and thunder.
Learn 15 of the Most Important Deities in...
Learn the basics on the main gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt.
Who's Who: Babylonian Gods and Goddesses
Babylonian Gods and Goddesses. Ancient / Classical History.
What's the Significance of Biblical Hebrew Names?
It's important to know the meaning and significance of Biblical and Hebrew names before you give one to your child. Here are resources especially for people in the process of finding a name for their newborn.
Before You Learn About the Greek Goddesses
These are the major goddesses of Greek mythology.
The Growth of Rome
An introductory look at the growth of Rome, how Rome expanded its power to become master of Italy.
Rubicon - Crossing the Rubicon
What it means when we say someone, or specifically, Julius Caesar, crossed the Rubicon.
Everything You Need to Know About the Greek God...
Hades is the Greek god of the Underworld.
How to Write Greek Letters With HTML
If you don't have a font and only want to add a few letters of Greek, here is the code for upper and lower case Greek letters.
What Happened During the Shang Dynasty, and Why...
The Shang Dynasty of ancient China was the first dynasty in Chinese history with both archaeological and documentary (written centuries later) evidence.
Do You Know All 5 of the Greek Underworld Rivers?
List of the rivers of the Underworld.
How Spartacus Led a Slave Revolt and Defied Rome
Learn about the slave revolt led by the Roman gladiator Spartacus.
Table of the Roman Equivalents of Greek Gods-...
Roman and Greek names for the Olympians and the minor gods
Aristotle's Take on Democracy
Aristotle argues that all forms of government have their problems, including, but not limited to democracy.
Get the Lyrics to 'Angels We Have Heard on High'
The Lyrics to the Latin Christmas Carol Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
Was Cleopatra Really as Beautiful as They Say?
The name Cleopatra Queen of Egypt has often been used to mean a seductive, beautiful woman, but Cleopatra may not have been beautiful at all.
6 Fast Facts About Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq)
Learn these fast facts about Mesopotamia, the ancient land of modern Iraq and an area that included various, changing nations in the ancient world.
15 Translations for Colors in Latin
Words for colors in Latin. Ancient / Classical History.
How Tall Was the Great Pyramid?
The tallest of a cluster of three pyramids at Giza, the Great Pyramid has lost some height over the millennia due to erosion. How tall was it originally?
When Did the Most Famous Greek Philosophers Live?
Timeline of Greek and Roman Philosophers.
What's So Interesting about Deborah of the Old...
A look at how the Bible portrays Deborah as a wise and courageous judge of Israel.
The Roman Republic's 3 Branches of Government
The Roman Republican form of government had three branches.
The Life and Influence of Attila the Hun
A barbarian to the Romans, Attila, a fierce warrior and king of the horse-riding Huns, harassed the Roman Empire during the fifth century and put the fear of god in all the peoples in his way.
Cleopatra - What We Think the Famous 'Beauty'...
Despite the fame of Cleopatra, there are no images of what she looked like. See how the Egyptians pictured Queen Cleopatra in this photo of her statue.
How Did Jews Live During Jesus' Time?
Understanding how the Jews lived in Jesus' time requires reading the New Testament within the context of first-century Judaism and the Roman Empire. Biblical texts hold clues to the influences on Judaism of its religious heritage and Roman occupation.
Classical Abbreviations
A list of the abbreviations for classical works and authors with the full names spelled out.
Know All the Greek Immortals: Gods, Muses,...
Immortals, supernatural beings, and gods and goddesses from Greek mythology.
The 12 Greek Gods You Should Know
Basic information on the Olympians of Greek Mythology.
Maps of the Levant
Maps showing an area of the eastern Mediterranean important in antiquity and known as the Levant.
What Was the World Like During the Roman...
Roman culture includes its architecture and technology, entertainment system, which includes gladiators and Roman theater, its literature, medicine, religion and myth, and philosophy.
Evaluating Historical Clues About the Date of...
Jesus may have been born under the Star of Bethlehem, a comet that may have appeared in the spring of 5 B.C.
The When and Where of Major Events in Ancient...
Time line of major events in the ancient history of the world. Most dates and events on the ancient history timeline are of political importance.
The Seasons and Elements of the 4 Bodily Humors
Here is a look at the major terms connected with the Hippocratic method and especially the ancient medical use of the theory of the four humors.
Ancient Queens
Here are some of the most famous ancient queens in ancient history.
A Look at Bathsheba and King David's Romance
Bathsheba was King David's most famous wife because they committed adultery before they were married. David tried to cover up their affair after Bathsheba became pregnant, and David succeeded in getting her husband Uriah killed. Although the child they conceived during their affair died, David and Bathsheba had another son, Solomon, who was David's successor.
Who Was Ashoka the Great?
Ashoka was an important Buddhist king in India in the 3rd century B.C.
Do You Know Where Cleopatra Was Originally...
Lear these important to know facts about Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt. Page 3.
How Taxes Led to the Fall of Rome
Rome fell or changed partly as a result of economic policies of the Roman emperors.
187 Aristotle Quotes on Living Well
A list of Aristotle quotes. Quotations attributed to Aristotle.
Facts You Probably Didn't Know About the Trojan...
A description of the sequence of major events of the Trojan War and Homer's 'Iliad', starting with the theft by Paris of Helen of Troy.
Military Masters from Millennia Gone By
Learn about three intriguing military men from Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
The 3 Possible Ways a Gladiator Fight Could End
The editor of a gladiatorial match decided who lived and who died in the arena, although he usually paid some attention to the cries of the crowds and the gestures for mercy of the gladiators.
Learn the Real Meaning Behind these Famous...
Latin quotes for various occasions with translations, plus a few Greek quotes.
Read the Wisdom of King Solomon
The Biblical passage showing the classical example of the wisdom of Solomon.
Latin Days of the Week
The Latin names for the days of the week.
How a Very Unlucky Family Inspired Ancient...
The House of Atreus was an unfortunate family descended from and persecuted by the gods. It features prominently in Greek tragedy and the Iliad of Homer.
Toga, Toga! 5 Facts About Ancient Greek Clothing
Five facts about ancient Greco-Roman clothing.
Which Was the World's First Empire?
Answer to the question, Ancient/Classical History.
Get to Know the First Chinese Dynasty: Xia...
The Xia Dynasty of ancient China was the first dynasty in Chinese history.
A Profile of the Ancient Greek Princess Andromeda
Andromeda was rescued by Perseus, married him, produced numerous children and was transformed into a constellation.
Beyond Russell Crowe: Everything You Need to...
Fighting in the arena for the entertainment of the population of the Roman Empire, gladiators were well-trained slaves, usually.
How Important Was the Chorus to Greek Theater?
Learn these important points about Greek theater and especially Greek tragedy. Page 2.
Winter Holidays Celebrating the Solstice
6 Winter Holidays Besides Christmas. At or around the Winter Solstice there have been festivals and holidays in ancient as well as modern times.
Five Ages of Man in Greek Mythology
Among the creation myths of the Ancient Greeks is the story by Hesiod in his Works and Days about the five ages of man beginning with the Golden Age.
Pregnant King Carries Baby in His Head: The...
Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom also known as Pallas Athena. In ancient Rome, Athena was known as the Roman goddess Minerva.
How Democracy Helped Solve Ancient Greek Problems
Democracy Then and Now. A look at the meaning of the word democracy in ancient politics as contrasted with what we mean by democracy today.
Who Were the Etruscans?
A look at the possible identity of the Etruscans.
The Death of Balder
The death of the Norse god Balder and the punishment of Loki.
10 Important Norse Gods and Goddesses
Short notes on individual Norse gods and goddesses in Norse mythology.
The Legend of Romulus and the Founding of Rome
Romulus was the first of the seven Roman kings and the founder of the city of Rome.
10 Important Early Greek Philosophers
Chronological list of ten of the most important early Greek philosophers.
Who Said 'If You Want Peace, Prepare for War'?
Latin quote from Vegetius. Prepare for war and the Latin version of the quote from Vegetius.
13 Important Events in the Life of Alexander...
Want to check which battle Alexander first fought in -- Chaeronea or Granicus or what year he became the leader of the Macedonians? This short timeline shows such events at a glance: A timeline of major events in the life of Alexander the Great.
How Do You Say Thank You in Latin?
: How Do You Say Thank You in Latin? What is the best way to say thank you in Latin? Is it gratias tibi
10 Greatest Military Leaders of All Time
List of the greatest warriors in the ancient world.
10 Hercules FAQs
Ten frequently asked questions about Hercules.
What You Should Know about Plato, One of the...
What you should know about the Greek philosopher Plato.
The 7 Romance Languages
Find out why we call these languages romance languages.
Maps of Syria
Maps of ancient Syria. Ancient / Classical History.
A Timeline of the Peloponnesian War's Major...
Timeline of the major treaties and battles in the Peloponnesian War.
Don't Know Much About Greek Mythology? Read This
Greek mythology is one of the most fascinating and colorful topics connected with the ancient world. Here is an introduction to the mythology and gods and goddesses who still play a part in today's world.
What Are the Exodus Passages Listing the 10...
These are the 10 Commandments from the King James Version of the book of Exodus chapter 20, along with some comparisons to other versions.
What Are the 12 Tribes of Israel?
What are the 12 tribes of Israel?
A Quick History on the Nymphs of Greek Mythology
Names and categories of nymphs in Greek mythology.
Why Was Hannibal, Rome's Biggest Enemy,...
Hannibal (Hannibal Barca) was the military leader of Carthage in the Second Punic War.
What's So Great About Alexander the Great?
A basic facts profile of the ancient Greek military leader Alexander the Great.
Read a Story of Friendship: Damon and Pythias
The friendship story of Damon and Pythias and their confrontation with the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse.
What's So Interesting about the Roman Goddess...
Aspects of the goddess of love, the goddess Venus, the Roman Aphrodite.
Latin Learners, Start With This Guide to Latin...
Latin tenses for Latin verbs in the Indicative.
Why the Death of Attila the Hun Is Such a Mystery
There are so many mysteries of ancient history and the cause of the death of Attila is just one of them.
What's So Interesting about the Greek God Cronos?
Basic information on the titan or Greek god Cronos who was the father of the Olympian gods and goddesses.
A Profile of the Roman Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius, the second emperor of Rome, was not flashy or charismatic enough to overcome either his sensible domestic policy or his gossip-filled seclusion from public life.
Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Here's a look at its history, fortifications and geography.
Is 'First Do No Harm' Really Part of the...
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