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Did the Carthaginians sacrifice human babies?
Many of our Roman sources claim that the Carthaginians sacrificed babies to their gods, but how true is this?
Did the Spartans only use music for military purposes?
The Spartans did use music in military contexts. Various sources attest to the practice of campaign war-songs and marching music. However, the claim that the Spartans focused only on military music – at the expense of any interest in non-military music – is simply incorrect.
Was Sparta a communist state?
Writers have often associated Sparta with a communist or proto-communist ideology, based in no small part on the writings of Plutarch. But is there any truth to this claim?
Did Pheidippides invent the marathon?
After the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides is said to have run back to Athens to report the news of the Athenian victory. But was this run the inspiration for the modern marathon race?
Did the Spartans throw babies down mountains?
It is often repeated that the Spartans practiced an institutionalised form of eugenics, part of which included the disposing of “imperfect” babies . Modern archaeology, and historical studies, have brought this story under serious scrutiny.
Did the Spartans bring their war dead back on their shields?
It is often said that the Spartans returned their war dead back to Sparta on their shields, due in no small part to a famous quote in Plutarch.
Did Leonidas say “molōn labe” at the battle of Thermopylae?
Molōn Labe has become a go-to phrase to denounce political authorities removing the perceived rights of citizens, and its origins in Spartan history is used to solidify its meaning as a righteous stand against oppression.
Did Athens lose the Peloponnesian War because it was ravaged by a plague?
With the coronavirus making its way through the world, ancient epidemics like the Plague of Athens are seized upon to make dire forecasts about the fate of modern society.
Did the Dorian Invasion cause the destruction of the Mycenaean palaces?
Invasions, migrations, and other movements of people were long used to explain changes in the past, but this is no longer widely supported in academic circles.
Did 300 Spartans try to put a halt to the Persian advance at Thermopylae?
The Battle of Thermopylae was where, in 480 BC, a force of just 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas fought valiantly against the Persians. Or is there something the popular accounts are not telling us?