Culture, from the latin "to cultivate", references both the combined experience of a population and the works created by them. Thus culture is ultimately a combination of societal mores and taboos, historical memory, attitudes, and a people's contributions to literature, stagecraft, painting, ...

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70 views

What were normal bathing habits in Cairo in 1798?

In the old western world we did not bath much after the fall of the Roman Empire. I was wondering if that is the same for the population in Egypt in around 1798. This leads me to 2 questions 1) Did ...
9
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2answers
777 views

What was the cultural background of Burgundians?

In the Middle Ages there was a big country in Europe between France and German kingdoms, Burgundy. What language did they speak there? Were they more German or French in origin?
2
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1answer
146 views

Looking for the 20th century painters on this t-shirt

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
2
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2answers
192 views

When did people start believing aliens are abducting cows?

I think all of us must have seen the following scene in a film, or read it in a book: It is night, and there are cows standing in a field. All of a sudden, a flying saucer appears, and starts to beam ...
25
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5answers
3k views

Why does Romanian culture have Latin influences?

Romania is located between Bulgaria, Serbia on one side and Ukraine/many Slavic countries on the other. Romanian is however a Romance (Latin) language, and not Slavic. They don't use the Cyrillic ...
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3answers
232 views

Were major foreign films allowed in the USSR?

I'm thinking of really major films that came from Hollywood, like Star Wars, Back to the Future, Planet of the Apes, etc. Were these allowed to be shown in the USSR? Did they have to wait for ...
18
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9answers
3k views

What cultures did, or do, perform human sacrifice on a regular basis?

Looking at the Area 51 commitment page, I realized that some of the questions that were originally suggested there never got asked here, so I thought I'd add some of them. Something else I would like ...
3
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0answers
115 views

India and Egypt: What enables a culture to endure? [closed]

What traits exist in Indian Hindu culture to allow it to persevere to the present day that did not exist in Egypt from ~3100 BCE to ~30 BCE? EDIT by Alex: What destroyed Egyptian civilization? ...
27
votes
7answers
8k views

When and why did having long hair become associated with women, and short hair with men?

It's obvious that having short or long hair is an identity sign for men and women respectively, more or less worldwide. I wonder why something like this happened, though. Maybe it was a way to ...
9
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3answers
7k views

Viking culture: unhygienic use of water bowl

I am interested in understanding something which I have seen in the film 13th warrior where the Vikings all use the same bowl of water to clean themselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkcsLFSAS30 ...
6
votes
0answers
136 views

Has being a single mother been always stigmatized?

Being a single mother was obviously a big economic disadvantage. And in the times when the Christian church morality dominated every day life, being a single mother was obviously a proof of a sin. But ...
1
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1answer
61 views

History of native cultures in America

What are some of the risks of relying on their accounts when studying the history of Native cultures?
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2answers
551 views

Was there a reason Hitler saluted differently to everyone else?

When people think of the nazi salute, the hand is generally out in front, around 45° palm down. Sometimes it would be lower, which I think reinforces that it's a "palm open and down" gesture: ...
2
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0answers
41 views

Are there any sources which talk about the experience of attending a 15th/16th century fencing school?

I'm interested to know of any material which describes the experience of being a student at a medieval period fencing school e.g. once which may have been run by a Master teaching in the Lichtenauer ...
3
votes
3answers
246 views

Has there been any culture where men typically have longer hair than women?

Most discussions of gender differences in hair length seem to argue that men have had "long" hair in many cultures (such as the answers to "When and why did having long hair become associated with ...
2
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0answers
72 views

How did French people greet in 1400? [closed]

How did French people greet in 1400? In particular I'm looking for french expressions that a peasant like Saint Joan of Arc could have used to greet a friend.
2
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0answers
80 views

Isn't the current trend of young, unmarried, women living at home merely a reversion to older practices? [closed]

The trend of Millenials "boomeranging" home, or never leaving in the first place is much-reported-upon, and much lamented, here, for example. Is this a new trend, or merely a reversion to pre-WWII ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

What is Machaivelli wearing in his painting?

This may not be completely relevant to this board, but what was Machiavelli wearing in his painting? I have looked and I couldn't find anything like it. Was his black "overcoat" only around in his ...
18
votes
2answers
530 views

When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US?

In the US people that own pets seem to be pegged as either dog people, or cat people. This cultural phenomenon is so prevalent that Hollywood even made a movie about it. My question is, when did this ...
4
votes
0answers
169 views

Was classical Alexandria really this brutal and class-segregated?

"The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library" by David Bentley Hart in the journal First Things claims that while Hypatia was indeed murdered by a mob of angry Christians, this ...
2
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0answers
102 views

What was the Chinese impact on Japanese culture and the arts after ~1750?

What significant and subtle impacts has China had on Japanese social dynamics and the arts from ~1750 to the early nineteen hundreds? If at all possible include dates on which changes happened ...
7
votes
1answer
568 views

Cultural history of Saudi Arabian rulers' uniform beard style?

Why is it that all Saudi Arabian rulers and princes, both of the present and past generations, apparently wear the same style of chin beards? (Yes, they wear the same styles of headdresses as well.) ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Are there documented shifts in how history, time, and accuracy were regarded in society? [closed]

I recall an interview where Reza Aslan described that History, in its present form, didn't always exist that way. That is the rigor, validation, and peer review wasn't present. Instead, it was a ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Where does the concept of traffic keeping to the “right” side of the street originate?

In any nation that has cars, there are well-understood rules about how to operate them. If a road is shared by traffic going both ways, everyone will, by law and convention, stick to either the right ...
7
votes
5answers
904 views

When did formal social dance fall out of favor in the US?

Up until about the 1950s, one can see instances of social dance (especially ballroom) dominating the social scene. This includes instances such as the tennis court scene with Humphrey Bogart and ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the first known organized religion in the world?

Which were the first religions to be created with well known scriptures, ceremonies and traditions? Was it that of the ancient Egyptians or the old kingdoms of the Middle East? What about Africa or ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

Is classical music 'bourgeois'? [closed]

Historically I am aware that classical music has always been an activity mostly reserved for the elite; therefore, it would seem that it is something completely inaccessible to the general population. ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

When was the concept of “art criticism” first seen?

Today being an art critic is a full time occupation for some individuals. When/where does the concept of "art criticism" first come into being? Clarify I am NOT looking for a random person sharing ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive or New ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

Which was the earliest book of names for naming babies?

Nowadays one finds books and online websites that help you to name babies. What are the earliest instances of these? I would assume that these would be in Europe, China or the Middle East, but if ...
4
votes
2answers
544 views

Where was the cultural inheritance of the Greco/Roman world/antiquity preserved?

In school and later in media (this is northern Europe) I was/am always told that it was the arabs/muslim world that preserved the science, technology, literature, art, culture etc from the Greek and ...
1
vote
2answers
358 views

What's the origin of Crespi plates? [closed]

I've found this article about The Mysterious Crespi Collection & The Metal Library And there is a picture of The enigmatic Crespi plate: And it's said: The age and origin of these items is ...
2
votes
0answers
130 views

When did lecherousness, in Western Culture, become a primarily male quality, instead of a female one? Or is that not true? [closed]

When did lecherousness, in Western Culture, become a primarily male quality, instead of a female one? According to TvTropes: I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Very much Newer Than They Think. In ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

Can the University of Bologna be considered the first university in the world?

There are usually two different opinions: the first group considers the University of Bolgona to be officially the first one, some others instead claim that there might have been other groups of ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?

Currently, the plays of William Shakespeare are viewed as great English literature, and viewed as "high culture". However I heard someone say that Shakespeare was writing "bawdy, violence filled plays ...
2
votes
5answers
393 views

Was there a single ancient religion that all others sprang from?

Many religions share same stories, Christianity, Judaism and Islam for example (the ones I know of at least). Some of those stories could even be traced to earlier civilizations in the Middle East ...
9
votes
1answer
752 views

How voluntary was Sati during the Mughal era?

So the ritual of sati (where a women must throw herself onto the funeral pyre of her dead husband) was widely practiced throughout South Asia in the Ancient era and Middle Ages. In the Mughal era, ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

When and why did marriage become about love? [closed]

In ancient times, marriage was an institution among the wealthy, arranged entirely by parents as part of their political and economic strategy. Many cultures saw love as an impediment to marriage, ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

When did challenging to a duel cease to be a practice in English culture?

In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, there are at least two scenes where the protagonists are challenged to a duel: Post-Captain - Aubrey and Maturin about Aubrey's reputation with the Admiralty ...
24
votes
2answers
966 views

When did the term “Nationality” first come into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? By ethnicity?

When was the term "Nationality" first came into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? When we refer to Ancient Civilizations, did they consider themselves a nation in the modern ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
0
votes
1answer
329 views

Why was Europe so technologically and culturally advanced? [closed]

In history, why were European populations so advanced, if compared to other populations, such as native Americans? What's the reason why Europeans were so good in technology and science? Why did ...
8
votes
1answer
409 views

What did 19th century playgrounds look like?

In the beginning of the novel Cold Mountain, a character recollect his childhood at a school house (maybe in the 1840s or 1850s in rural North Carolina) and describes flinging his hat out onto the ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

How was Chinese Communism connected to the New Culture Movement?

Looking for ways that the New Culture Movement was associated with Chinese Communism or the Chinese Communist Party.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline?

When we look back at 1960s-1970s, many times we come across the term 'Hippie movement' or 'Counter-Culture'. Hippies were described as people who made themselves stand out from the rest of the world. ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
10
votes
1answer
818 views

What's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve?

With the new year right around the corner, I got wondering: what's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve? How did it become such a global trend? Where did this trend originate ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Is every major culture in the same year?

In the Western world the current year is 2014, which is the number of years since the birth of the Christian messiah. Given that Christianity is not the dominant religion in every part of the world, I ...
3
votes
1answer
463 views

In the past were there gifts on the days leading up to Christmas instead of them all being on the one day?

Sometimes I'm tempted to give my kids gifts in a spread out way, instead of all at once, so they can appreciate each gift. In the song The 12 Days of Christmas the author describes getting gifts on ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Which cultures considered dual-gender sacred

Which cultures have historically considered the manifestation of two or more genders by one individual to be either a divine trait (being a deity) or to be an indication of divine favor or association ...