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Lysistrata
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Lysistrata

Lysistrata was the third and final of the peace plays written by the great Greek comic playwright Aristophanes (c. 445 - c. 386 BCE). Shown in 411 BCE at the Lenaea festival in Athens, it was written during the final years of the war between...
The Clouds
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

The Clouds

The Clouds is a comedy written c. 423 BCE by the Greek playwright Aristophanes (c. 448 BCE – c. 385 BCE). A failure at the Dionysia competition, finishing third out of three, it was revised later in 418 BCE but never produced in the author's...
Artillery in Medieval Europe
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Artillery in Medieval Europe

Artillery weapons in medieval Europe included the mounted crossbow (ballista) and single-arm torsion catapult (mangonel), both similar to ancient Roman machines. As armies battled further afield such as in the Byzantine Empire and against...
Warring States Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Warring States Period

The Warring States period (481/403 BCE - 221 BCE) describes the three centuries when various rival Chinese states battled viciously for territorial advantage and dominance. Ultimately the Qin state was victorious and established the first...
Charon
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Charon

Charon is a figure from Greek mythology where he is the boatman who ferries the souls of the dead across the waters of Hades to the judgement which will determine their final resting place. The Greeks believed the dead needed a coin to pay...
The Athenian Calendar
Articleby Christopher Planeaux

The Athenian Calendar

The term “Athenian Calendar” (also called the “Attic Calendar”) has become somewhat of a misnomer, since Ancient Athenians never really used just one method to reckon the passage of time. Athenians, especially from the 3rd Century BCE forward...
The Greek Philosophers
Collectionby Mark Cartwright

The Greek Philosophers

In this collection of 20 biographies of ancient Greek philosophers, we examine the thoughts and lives of some of the most important thinkers in history. We look at the pre-Socratic philosophers and the titan trio of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle...
Legions of the Parthian Wars
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

Legions of the Parthian Wars

Parthia had always been a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire. The initial campaigns by Crassus and Mark Antony were total failures, and although Trajan and Syrian governor Cassius made some progress in the 2nd century CE, both failed to...
The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): Caesar against Ariovistus
Articleby Jona Lendering

The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): Caesar against Ariovistus

The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): one of the first battles of the Gallic War, in which Caesar defeated an army led by the Germanic leader Ariovistus. In 58 BCE, Julius Caesar had invaded Central Gaul. The pretext had been the plan of the...
The Parthenon Sculptures
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Parthenon Sculptures

The extraordinary quality and quantity of the marble sculpture which adorned the 5th century BCE Parthenon in Athens made it the most richly decorated of all Greek temples. The sculpture, now mostly separated into the Parthenon Marbles (Elgin...
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