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Questions tagged [ancient-history]

For questions that are set in an era corresponding to a level of technology between the invention of writing and the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.

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3 votes
6 answers
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How early can the concept of "evolution" come to be? Can it come earlier than religions? [closed]

To this day, some "primitive" tribes still don't have any concept of god or religion. When presented with the idea of a divine being, they will call you a liar or a fool the moment you say &...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,006
4 votes
7 answers
2k views

how early can people build a giant clock?

Can a clock that measures hours and minutes be created using primitive technology? so at most gears carved out of wood/bone/stone or crude non smitthed copper and when? I tought that maybe a primitive ...
user avatar
8 votes
8 answers
2k views

How would civilization differ if silicate glass wasn't so useful? [closed]

(This is a "hard sci-fi" chemistry question.) Silicate glass is malleable when hot, stiff at human-compatible temperatures, transparent, and chemically inert. It's cheap and easy to make, ...
Foo Bar's user avatar
  • 488
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What would make winged centaurs a reasonable fighting force? [closed]

Within my world of Astarious, I have a race known as the Pegtauri, winged centaurs, who for a time were feared raiders on villages near the mountains that separated their plains from the rest of ...
Cyrania De Bergerac 's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
687 views

Peak Copper Age Society

How far could the technology of a copper age society get; Could they work up to the level of late antiquity? Context: Im working on a si-fi/fantasy world were people have been transplanted onto a ...
William.L's user avatar
  • 326
8 votes
2 answers
442 views

How fragile exactly are flint weapons? How much abuse can they take before breaking?

Obviously flint and similar stones are much more fragile than tool or weapon quality bronze and steel, but while writing I find I don't actually have any idea what this means in practice. I use steel ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
199 views

Effects of a nuke against a large ancient city [closed]

In my world, a mad scientist accidentally created a wormhole during the middle of a nuclear war, and a 15kt fission bomb flew through it and appeared in an ancient city around the size of 100$km^2$. ...
TempzApex's user avatar
  • 373
5 votes
5 answers
281 views

My Fictional Metal Expands Dramatically When Heated -- What are the Applications in the Ancient World? [closed]

Maridinium is a made-up metal of my own creation. It's defining property is that it has a high volume expansion coefficient. Meaning it expands when heated much more than normal metal. Notable ...
KaffeeByte's user avatar
  • 1,702
4 votes
1 answer
265 views

How to name an Ancient Egyptian Prince?

I have created a character and only still need his name. I've spent the past 3-4 hours googling stuff about Ancient Egyptian royal naming conventions, and it's a lot! @_@ The character is a young man (...
user avatar
13 votes
10 answers
4k views

Would aluminium be of any use in classical antiquity? Ignoring the problem of obtaining it, can it be used as anything but a status symbol?

So this is a nation RP server set in Classical antiquity ( somewhere around 1st or 2nd century AD). The lore of this place is that around a thousand years ago, an advance civilization collapsed and ...
shivam tripathi's user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
2k views

What factors would contribute to a medieval era mechanical revolution?

In our real world we have been blessed with many mechanical inventions throughout the ages. Wind mills, water driven sawmills, rope and pulley systems, cranes, marvels in clockwork and gearing such as ...
Stargazer's user avatar
  • 535
29 votes
4 answers
6k views

How long would it take for a Roman farmer to learn about Julius Caesars assassination? [closed]

I'm writing a story that follows the life of a poor plebeian farmer in the late republic. While I was working on the plot, I realized a potential plot hole: such a person would not learn about the ...
SmartBulbInc's user avatar
  • 1,503
1 vote
1 answer
202 views

A meteor falls in a Mediterranean-like sea: what is the impact?

A meteor with a diameter of 300 meters crashes into the middle of a circular sea with a radius of 1500 km and with a speed of 30 km/s. Civilizations (and humanity as a whole) that are situated around ...
Bowman's user avatar
  • 619
4 votes
3 answers
192 views

The Falling Tower of Babel

In Preventing a word from being spoken, I asked about how to prevent a word from being spoken, and the means I chose was to change humanity so that humans can no longer say the Word. To that end, I am ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 60.3k
3 votes
0 answers
129 views

A High School student time travelled through a certain time in Medieval Ages how would he/she survive? [closed]

Since it's the Medieval Age can mean any time period and any place you can suggest which place and time the student can most likely survive with limited skill. How would a person with high-school ...
Magtibay's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
241 views

How can a disease increase the likelihood of stillbirth in male infants?

In the ancient world, maternity death rates were very high due to lack of medical knowledge and understanding, as well as life-saving technologies. As such, it was a toss up to whether the woman and ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the most advanced form of torch?

In a pre-electrical age, anyone who needs a mobile source of illumination must rely on a lantern, lamp, candle or torch. Torches seem to be the cheapest, most primitive option, yet surely they have ...
Kiteration's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
223 views

What types of conditions in an early civilization would create a religion that values joy, celebration, camaraderie and loyalty?

I’m currently in the early stages of building cultures in a high fantasy setting, and what I initially have to work with is a couple of deities- one of which embodies joy, celebration, camaraderie and ...
cas's user avatar
  • 29
8 votes
5 answers
714 views

How to take inspiration cultures without copying them?

I'm currently creating a setting with a large culture that takes a lot of inspiration from Zoroastrianism and the Ancient Near east and Mediterranean. It's going pretty good I'd say, but I've realized ...
Sarāntairi's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
228 views

What sort of geopolitical environment would sustain generations of legendary warriors fighting battles everyday?

Background Fans of power metal band "Gloryhammer" might have already recognized from the title of this question that I'm talking about Knights of Crail as described in a song "Hail to ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
117 views

How would a groups of scientists, engineers, architects, survival experts, smiths and archeologists survive back in the mesolithic-era-ish of humans? [closed]

A group of 25 people, which consist of scientists, a musician, a linguist, engineers, architects, survival experts, smiths and archeologists from the year 2021, lets assume all of them are experienced ...
The Dingus Lord's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
176 views

What would ancient warfare look like with basic radios & railways?

What would ancient warfare look like with basic radios & railways? The other changes are easy access to steel & very basic steam engines. Everything else technology wise is the same as the ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,466
-3 votes
2 answers
196 views

Give proof or pay [closed]

In this kingdom the king really loves freedom of speech, thus he decided that dissonesty is a capital crime and sin. When saying something, everyone involved must be cited by name and with date and ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
258 views

Complications from drafting human breeding stock [closed]

We all know about the various obsessions of the kings from olde times... Some women liked bathing in the blood of virgins, well ex virgins after watching them being raped by guards and animals...some ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
209 views

Would ancient accounting records be useful to archaeologists or historians?

I'm creating a story about a team of archaeologists and historians in the present age who discover large library of accounting books from two millennia ago. Those records predates the precursor states ...
soho's user avatar
  • 531
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Inventions that could have come earlier [closed]

There are some technical ideas that could have been developed much earlier, changing the ancient or medieval world. A sterling example is the hot-air balloon. It was actually invented at the close of ...
Ralf B's user avatar
  • 651
17 votes
19 answers
6k views

How would the punishment of murder change if people could just respawn?

In this world, since there has been writing, when someone dies unless they are pregnant, they kill themselves on purpose, or they die while asleep, they will respawn where they last slept, just like ...
user avatar
18 votes
13 answers
3k views

Feasibility of entirely self-supporting fortress

In a Medieval Fantasy style world, I'd like to have a city/fortress that is impossible to besiege, because they can produce all of the food they need within the strong city walls. However, I'm not ...
Cyrus_The_Great_Fanboys_Only's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
1k views

Advanced Tech beats Combined Arms [closed]

TL;DR: If I am insistent on a nation having a single weapons system spread throughout all of its troops, how much of a technological advantage is necessary to conquer the benefits of the enemy having ...
Cyrus_The_Great_Fanboys_Only's user avatar
15 votes
11 answers
5k views

Most Effective Ancient Weapons System if Combined Arms isn't an option

Short Version: If everyone in my army is going to be armed the same way, what is the most effective weapons system that isn't a horse archer? It is understood that this is still not as good as ...
Cyrus_The_Great_Fanboys_Only's user avatar
-6 votes
2 answers
106 views

assuming the Old Testament YHWH could not create angels, how would He recruit them? [closed]

I mean to tell a story set during the time of the Book of Genesis, leading up to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. YVVH (one of many regional gods) builds more power, as part of a plan to ...
Ria Byss's user avatar
  • 107
7 votes
2 answers
271 views

Viability of underwater palace built by merfolk

In my fantasy setting there are merfolk who live deep under the ocean and neighboring human civilizations nearby based on iron age civilizations like the ancient greeks and phoenicians. I would want ...
BoaHancocklover's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
733 views

Underground Cities

Assuming ancient levels of technology, perhaps 2500-1500 BC, how would one be able to make a underground city like that of Kaymaklı, while having it be able to be breathed in and, is possible, have a ...
Zoey's user avatar
  • 766
1 vote
6 answers
346 views

What alcoholic drinks would my people make?

In 280 BC a Gaulish tribe became stranded in a forest with no access to grains/potatoes/cultivated grapes. (Magic handwavy - no access to anybody else or land that isn't a forest). They have fresh ...
Hukk2010's user avatar
  • 1,302
4 votes
6 answers
312 views

What are some ways I can ensure that only a small amount of people actively try to pursue divination in a pre-modern society?

I'm trying to make a story where the amount of people that are able to see the future range from 1-0.1% (i.e. 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000). The problem I'm having is that I'm trying to have my cake and eat ...
Snail343's user avatar
  • 392
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

What is my environmental poison?

I have a small number of people (300ish) that live in marshlands/bog/wetlands environment. They are infertile, live about two thirds of a normal lifespan, and have hallucinations, poor memory, ...
Hukk2010's user avatar
  • 1,302
2 votes
3 answers
356 views

What kind of policies, background elements and institutions would be required for a city to have 900,000 people in an Iron Age Setting?

For example, Rome had between 600 000 and a million people at its height. This was due to urban planning, water aqueducts, trade and the grain dole. What would be required for a similar fictional city ...
Snail343's user avatar
  • 392
-2 votes
1 answer
140 views

What kind of genetic problems would arise after three, five and ten generations of inbreeding? [duplicate]

In this case I'm assuming that the family has been inbreeding to a level of 2 or closer for a certain amount of generations. Given this what would be the likely issues that would arise after: Two ...
Snail343's user avatar
  • 392
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

Farming sense check

There is a highly militarized nation of 300k people between 0 and 60 years old – technology level similar to the Romans. For climate, think the Mediterranean with plenty of freshwater (streams & ...
Hukk2010's user avatar
  • 1,302
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Is there a separate name for a genre/sub genre for more “ancient” fantasy [closed]

Not sure if this was the right stack exchange, but I decided to go with this one. Sorry about the title (it’s pretty vague) But my question is rather simple actually. My story is set in a made up ...
Destructive Wolf's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
278 views

Is it realistic to depict a gradual growth from group of huts into a village and town? Or is it more realistic to depict it as series of big jumps?

Is it typical or at least sometimes happening to have a town that started as a group of huts? And have gradually and organically grown into a village and later into a town? To be more specific, it ...
reducing activity's user avatar
24 votes
11 answers
6k views

How would sailing be affected if seas had actually dangerous large animals?

In the real world, sailing is undoubtedly dangerous, but 90% of that danger comes from either the weather, your mistakes, or other ships. Animals don't really count as a factor, unless you fall ...
Darth Biomech's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
118 views

How could a civilization survive a continent splitting cataclysm? [closed]

Say the lost continent of Lemuria was real, and was home to an ancient sophisticated civilization that like the Atlanteans, dabbled in high technologies and forbidden magicks. Due to their fatal ...
Kalvin Metcalf's user avatar
39 votes
5 answers
8k views

Making Rock, Paper, Scissors fair in battle

The year is 1,000 BC The Rock Tribe, apart from liking very loud music, makes war by throwing rocks. In close combat they can use rocks as primitive (non-handled) clubs. The Scissors Tribe naturally ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
453 views

Hypothetically or Theorethically can ancient to medieval periods technology make non biodegradable plastic bag?

To make it clear, I mean the period or timeline, so this include the entirety of the world during up to 1500, not just specifically the technology of ancient/medieval Europe, ancient/medieval Japan, ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
38 votes
37 answers
10k views

What non-electrical, basic tool from today, could be made that would change the world in ancient times?

John from our future, takes the time-travel bus back in time and steps off in 5th century Europe. He heads for the secret location where travellers are kitted out with authentic clothes, food and ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
122 views

Population spread of frontier settlements [closed]

Here's the situation... In 1000 BCE 5000 people from 13 cultures each are transported to a whole other world, for a total of 65000 people. These culture group together and divide up so that we have a ...
Durakken's user avatar
  • 6,608
17 votes
19 answers
5k views

How do I make a writing system undecipherable, while not intended as such in-world?

It is relatively well known that hieroglyphs were not fully translated, or at all for that matter, until a while after the Rosetta Stone was found. It is less well known that the script known as ...
Mark Gardner's user avatar
  • 2,884
0 votes
1 answer
178 views

What materials would / could be immune to magic? [closed]

For my story/novel I'm looking for materials that would/could be immune to magic. Context: One of the characters accidentally drank a transformation potion that turned her into a newt. So, as I can'...
Polovinci's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
423 views

Conceptual differences between nations inspired by East-West dichotomy

I have decided to completely rewrite my question, since the original text led people to believe that I am asking about historical facts. Let's imagine a world in ancient/medieval setting populated by ...
Storm's user avatar
  • 159