Ancient History

A:

The ancient Greeks were polytheistic and believed in a pantheon of Gods, some of whom were more powerful than others. Though Zeus was the king of the gods, he was not omnipotent, and other deities controlled specific aspects of nature and human endeavor.

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  • What did the Mayans eat?

    Q: What did the Mayans eat?

    A: The four staple foods in Mayan cuisine are squash, beans, maize and chili peppers, and they were often combined with meat or seafood. Squash, beans and maize are often referred to as the "three sisters" because they provide all the necessary nutrients when eaten together.
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  • What were ancient China's natural resources?

    Q: What were ancient China's natural resources?

    A: The prodigious land area of ancient China harbored resources like coal, drinking water, numerous minerals and plant and animal life. China is the biggest producer of salt on Earth, with 17 million tons annually. There are 760 billion tons of coal located in China's Shanxi region, and the 3 trillion cubic meters of rainfall and river water rank 6th in the world.
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  • Why was the wheel so important to Mesopotamia?

    Q: Why was the wheel so important to Mesopotamia?

    A: The wheel allowed Mesopotamians to create a number of novel transportation methods. It was also used in a variety of mechanical devices. Creating wheels may have also spawned new methods of making items that need precision.
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  • Who was the first person to discover America?

    Q: Who was the first person to discover America?

    A: The discovery of America is most commonly attributed to Christopher Columbus, as it was he who revealed the Americas to early-modern Europe. Scholars entertain many alternative answers to who discovered America depending on the specific parameters of what constitutes "discovery."
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  • Why did Ferdinand Magellan make his voyage?

    Q: Why did Ferdinand Magellan make his voyage?

    A: Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator, sailed west from Spain in the early 16th century in hopes of finding a western shipping route to Indonesia's Spice Islands. With five ships and more than 250 men, he reached Brazil, where he looked along the coast of South America for a strait leading to the Pacific Ocean. After camping in Port St. Julian for the winter, Magellan found the strait.
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  • How long did it take to get across the Atlantic in the 1700s?

    Q: How long did it take to get across the Atlantic in the 1700s?

    A: Since ships in the 1700s relied on sails to propel them, the length of the voyage greatly depended on the wind. An immigrant who made the journey in 1750 reported that it could take between eight and 12 weeks, while another who arrived in 1724 reported that the journey took six weeks and three days. The average journey was about seven weeks.
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  • What was the first bank in the world?

    Q: What was the first bank in the world?

    A: The world's first bank on record was the Taula de la Ciutat, which opened in Barcelona in 1401. Banking practices can be traced back to the Roman Empire.
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  • What accomplishment is Confucius most well-known for?

    Q: What accomplishment is Confucius most well-known for?

    A: Confucius' most well-known accomplishment is creating the philosophy of Confucianism. This philosophy stresses that a stable society requires people to follow tradition and a policy of mutual respect. Confucianism provided the basis for the bureaucracy in imperial China.
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  • What was the role of women in ancient China?

    Q: What was the role of women in ancient China?

    A: Women in ancient China lived oppressed lives, and their roles centered around caring for their husbands, cleaning, cooking and looking after their kids. The women of ancient China were expected to bear many children, and most of them felt pressure from their husbands to bear a son despite its being beyond their control.
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  • What did Charles Darwin discover?

    Q: What did Charles Darwin discover?

    A: Charles Darwin is famous for the strong case he made in support of his theory of evolution. He showed how species changed over time, and proposed that all life resulted from evolution. His theory was controversial but eventually caught on with the scientific community.
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  • What did samurai wear?

    Q: What did samurai wear?

    A: Samurai warriors wore kimonos, obis, loincloths, kamishimos, hakamas and occasionally long-sleeved coats and hats. Their clothing varied in quality and style depending on their socioeconomic status and level of mastery. All warriors wore loincloths, which served as underwear, along with belts and swords or other protective weapons, at all times.
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  • Did ancient Indus River Valley cities have military protection?

    Q: Did ancient Indus River Valley cities have military protection?

    A: Research suggests that the people of the Indus Valley civilization were peaceful. No weapons or other forms of protection from invaders or other civilizations were used. According to USHistory.org, no evidence of a military has been found in the remains of these ancient cities.
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  • Who won the Opium War between China and Great Britain?

    Q: Who won the Opium War between China and Great Britain?

    A: Great Britain won the Opium War against China. Their victory created foreign spheres of influence in China, allowed Great Britain to take possession of Hong Kong, opened China to European influence and created a drug epidemic in southeastern Asia.
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  • What was the religion of the Han dynasty?

    Q: What was the religion of the Han dynasty?

    A: The main religion of the Han dynasty was Taoism. The Han dynasty also embraced the philosophical ideas of Confucianism. Buddhism was brought to China during the Han dynasty.
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  • What did the Incas live in?

    Q: What did the Incas live in?

    A: Inca houses were made from stone blocks and they had angled, thatched roofs. The Incas used mainly granite stones, because it was a hard, sturdy building material.
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  • What country colonized China?

    Q: What country colonized China?

    A: Great Britain took Hong Kong from China after winning the First Opium War and took southern Kowloon after winning the Second Opium War. Portugal claimed the Macau region and kept it until 1999. France took over the region that is now northern Vietnam from China by winning the Sino-French War.
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  • What did the Mayans invent?

    Q: What did the Mayans invent?

    A: The Mayan people invented complex and highly accurate calendars based off astronomical readings. They are also believed to have discovered the technique of vulcanization, a process that strengthens rubber by adding other materials.
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  • What is the cradle of civilization?

    Q: What is the cradle of civilization?

    A: Scholars traditionally regard Mesopotamia, an ancient area surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that is now parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Kuwait, as the cradle of civilization. The area is also know as the Fertile Crescent.
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  • What did Alexander the Great do?

    Q: What did Alexander the Great do?

    A: Alexander the Great created the largest political empire in the ancient world. He is considered a great military leader and was an inspiration to future leaders such as Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte.
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  • What food did Sumerians eat?

    Q: What food did Sumerians eat?

    A: Barley was the main staple of the Sumerian diet, and was used to make barley cakes and barley paste. Sumerians combined barley with other local vegetables, including beans, lentils, chickpeas, mustard and lettuce. Lamb, goat, pork and fish were favorites with city-dwelling Sumerians, but rural farming communities did not eat meat often and lived on a mostly vegetarian diet.
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  • What kind of government did Sparta have?

    Q: What kind of government did Sparta have?

    A: Sparta had what is known as a diarchical monarchy. The government's complete makeup consisted of dual kings; a council of about 30 gerontes or gerousia, which are rich elders; the ephors, a small council of five people and an assembly, called the Appella or Demos, of the common people who gathered once a month.
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