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A Hodgepodge of Ancient Facts II
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  9/1/12
By: Yona Williams

If publications like the Guinness Book of World Records existed during ancient times, it would be interested to see whose accomplishments would stand the test of time. In the case of one ancient Greek athlete, one of his achievements went unbeaten until 1928. This article highlights this athlete as well as other interesting facts about the ancient world, including trivia regarding ancient wonders of the world and mysterious stone structures.

Ancient Sports Record

When ancient Greek athlete Protiselaus was in a standing position, he could throw a discus 152 feet. He accomplished this feat around 600 BC and for more than 2,500 years – no one could best this achievement until Clarence Houser threw a discus 155 feet in 1928.

A Place in History

Some people will do anything to have their name remembered. In the case of Herostratus, he burned down one of the seven wonders of the ancient world so that history would not forget his name. On July 21st, 356 BC, he burned down the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Herostratus was executed for this crime, and the officials of Ephesus tried in vain to erase his name from all of the records.

Troy was Not Large

The ancient city of Troy is now found in what we know as Turkey. In the past, it wasn’t a large city and the village was only comprised of seven acres of land.

Prevention Poison

King Mithridates VI (132-63 BC) of Pontus got it in his head that he could protect himself from being poisoned by enemies by taking small doses of poison throughout his life to develop a resistance. His immunity to poison was so strong that when he attempted to take his own life as a way to flee being captured by the Roman, the poison had no effect. In the end, he had to order a slave to take his life with a sword.

Mysterious Stones

If you ever visit Carnac in Brittany, France, gaze upon the nearly 3,000 upright stones (also called menhirs) that decorate the countryside. Measuring between 18 inches and 20 feet high, the stones date back to 4000 BC and are positioned in parallel lines that continue on for three miles. No one is sure why the stones were developed in Carnac. A few theories include lunar observatory purposes or monuments dedicated to the dead.

Ancient 'Graffiti'

When a troop of Les Eclaireurs de France (comparable to the Boy Scouts of America) went on a trip to la Grotte des Mayrières Supérieures in 1992, they made a historic discovery. The cave located in the Tarn-et-Garonne region of southern France was covered in what was mistakenly identified as graffiti. The troop was intending on cleaning off the vandalism, but what really happened was destroying the only prehistoric cave paintings of their kind in that part of France. The art was dated as being between 10,000 and 15,000 years old.


 

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