What Is Meant by Ancient Times?

When we talk about “ancient times,” we are referring to a period of history that occurred before the Middle Ages. This time period is typically recognized as extending from the earliest human civilizations until around 500 AD. The ancient world was characterized by great advances in science, art, philosophy, and technology.

The Earliest Civilizations

The earliest civilizations developed in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and Egypt around 3000 BC. These societies were characterized by complex political structures, sophisticated art and architecture, and written languages.

In Mesopotamia, the Sumerians developed a system of writing known as cuneiform. They also created some of the earliest forms of government, including the city-state system.

In Egypt, the pharaohs ruled over a highly structured society that included scribes (who wrote on papyrus), artisans (who created elaborate tombs and temples), and farmers (who cultivated crops along the Nile River).

The Ancient Greeks

The ancient Greeks are often considered to be one of the most influential civilizations in history. They developed a system of democracy that influenced modern political systems around the world.

Greek society was also characterized by great advances in philosophy (with thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), literature (including epic poems like The Iliad and The Odyssey), and art (with sculptors like Phidias creating some of the most famous works in history).

The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire emerged from a small city-state in Italy to become one of the most powerful empires in history. At its height, it stretched from Spain to Syria.

Roman society was known for its engineering feats (including aqueducts, roads, and public works projects), military prowess (with legions that conquered much of Europe), and law (with a legal code that influenced Western legal systems).


In conclusion, “ancient times” refers to a period of history that includes some of the most influential civilizations in human history. From the earliest societies in Mesopotamia and Egypt to the Greek philosophers and the Roman Empire, this era was characterized by great achievements in science, art, philosophy, and technology. By studying these civilizations, we can gain a better understanding of our own cultural heritage and the foundations of modern society.