It is the second smallest continent, forming the Western extension of Eurasia.

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How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
2
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2answers
173 views

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas?

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas? Yule is in part a set of secular and religious observances of a festival, arising out of pagan Germanic cultures. Christmas is in part ...
4
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2answers
247 views
11
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5answers
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Rape perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII?

A while back I had a disturbing encounter with someone related to a Jewish survivor from the Auschwitz death camp. This survivor apparently claims that not only Red Army soldiers, but also G.I.'s ...
65
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6answers
14k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
8
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2answers
347 views

What were the thoughts of the Celts, Romans and other ancient European people about the standing stones which survive from prehistoric times?

All over Europe, there are monuments of stone such as stonehenge, although many are not so grand as stonehenge is. Contra Asterix, the Celts didn't carve out menhirs and things like that. The stones ...
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0answers
76 views

Was there ever a visit by a person from India to a noble in Scandinavia? Is there a painting of such a visit? [closed]

When is the first recorded visit by a citizen of the Indian subcontinent to Scandinavia? I'd also like to know when the first such visit was recorded.
21
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3answers
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Who were the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Western Europe?

I've heard it said that the Basque are conjectured to be the last remnant of Pre-Celtic Western Europe. When would have these people existed? What evidence do we have for their culture and habitation ...
2
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0answers
56 views

Copper and Bronze Age Burials in Western Europe

Can anyone estimate the number of high-prestige burials that have been found in France, Spain or Portugal which date from, say, 3000 BC to 1000 BC/ For example, supposing that there were 2000 persons ...
9
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10answers
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Why were people from the Asian Steppes able to militarily dominate Europeans on a repeated basis?

From the Huns through the Mongolians, why were nomadic people from the east able to create such havoc in Europe? Was it an endless 'first mover' advantage with horse domestication? Was it a higher ...
3
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3answers
326 views

What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?

I once saw a documentary that discussed a discovered possible "round table" but wondered how "pie in the sky" this possibility was as well as just how much/how little evidence is there for any ...
2
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2answers
167 views

Russian war reparations from Germany post WW2 [closed]

Is there any record of negotiations(if any), regarding war reparations from Germany to Russia following WW2, if there were reparations paid by Germany to Russia following WW2, do they have an impact ...
7
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4answers
336 views

Where did the Crusaders go after 1291?

With most historians saying the Crusades stopped in 1291, and the disappearance of the Crusader States/Outremer, I'm left to wonder: what happened to the Europeans who had built a life there? Did they ...
33
votes
6answers
6k views

Why did Europe not see Roman-era numbers of men participating in battles until the 17th century?

Typical decisive battles in Roman times involve 4+ legions - around 20,000 men + auxiliaries giving a total of about 30,000 men, on the Roman side only. Battles in even the late middle ages and early ...
1
vote
2answers
778 views

Was swastika really a popular symbol among Slavs and/or ancient Indo-Europeans?

It seems to me that many Russian nationalists and neo-paganists currently believe that swastika was a Solar symbol or a symbol of fortune in ancient Slavic folklore. There are multiple paintings by ...
27
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3answers
2k views

Did the Romans have winter uniforms?

Standard ancient Roman uniform consisted of a tunic, a cloak and sandal-type boots, resulting in a look like this. Now, this is all very well for Mediterranean climates but I really cannot fathom how ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Is it true that Proto-Ukrainians conquered Europe and India?

I am Ukrainian high school student. And recently we have been told by a teacher that Proto-Ukrainians, the people who lived in the modern territory of Ukraine and ancestors of modern Ukrainians once ...
22
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4answers
3k views

Where does the name of the country “Belarus” come from?

I've read the German and English Wikipedia on this topic as well as the translated Belarussian version and some sites I googled. They all seem to argue that the 'Rus' part stems from the Region called ...
1
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1answer
131 views

What was the death toll of Plague of Justinian?

I am looking for approximate number of people that died in Europe during 541–542 Plague of Justinian. All wiki has is Modern scholars believe that the plague killed up to 5,000 people per day in ...
6
votes
1answer
635 views

New theory on origins of modern-day Romania?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Sieges: Average Attacker to Defender Ratio in Middle Ages

I have read that attackers should outnumber defenders, 20 to 1 or better 50-100 to 1 in sieges in a book about conquest of İstanbul, though I can not find its reference right now. I remember that this ...
13
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2answers
736 views

How long would the average sword last in the middle ages?

Assuming normal wear and tear, how long before a knight had to replace his sword?
4
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1answer
217 views

What's the etymology of the name of the Schengen village?

The Luxembourg village of Schengen is noted for being the site where European leaders signed the historic Schengen Agreement. The village is named for its 1390 castle. Where does the name "Schengen" ...
6
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1answer
408 views

Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

The title of Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch, seems odd to me. It was acquired by his father Jean II de Grailly (so it was passed down from father to son like other titles of nobility): Jean ...
7
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2answers
417 views

Were there any battles in Continental Europe that were decided by “peasants with pitchforks?”

I can think of one such battle in the British Isles; the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 in Scotland. In that battle, a 14,000-man English army despoiled a bunch of "homeless" vagrants on their way to ...
16
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6answers
7k views

What factors enabled Europe to conquer almost the whole world?

As we probably all know, after ancient and medieval times European countries traveled to almost every part of the Globe. Today's heritage are, among many others, Roman law and alphabet, Gregorian ...
8
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7answers
804 views

How close were the living standards of India compared to England during the medieval period?

India, China and the African continent today are mostly associated with poverty in Europe, the US and so on. Looking at India specifically, did it during the medieval era share a similar standard of ...
12
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3answers
405 views

What was the size of surface of a cereal crop needed per man per year during the Dark Ages in Western Europe?

If I'm a peasant during the dark ages, what surface (in meters (<- I am in advance on my time)) I need to farm to get enough cereal (for bread and brew) ? how many cereals (in kg (<- again, I'm ...
6
votes
2answers
559 views

Why did silver gain prominence in trade over gold in Early Medieval Europe?

After the Roman Empire's slow decline, and its withdrawal from much of northern Europe (France, Germany, Britain), gold coin use seems to have declined to the point where it would be a rare to see ...
-1
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2answers
336 views

What steps were taken at the end of WW2 to prevent a WW3? [closed]

I've heard a lot of unofficial stories regarding various steps that were taken at the end of WW2 to prevent a WW3. What were these steps? Did they work? Or is America's status as a superpower a ...
6
votes
1answer
495 views

What is the origin of the black/devil riders?

From what I understand, the black/devil riders were a group of German soldiers or mercenaries who were famous for using black painted armor. They developed various techniques for fighting on ...
4
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0answers
98 views

Cost of producing posters in world war 1

I know that a lot of posters were printed out during World War 1, but am confused by the cost for the government to produce all these, a google search normally yields some results - but this time it ...
4
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1answer
348 views

What was the average percentage of taxes in Europe during the Middle Ages? [closed]

I've found a lot about what kinds of taxes existed in the Middle Ages, but couldn't find a source pointing to specific percentages (apart from the tithe, but I don't know how thoroughly it was ...
3
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2answers
471 views

Why did the musket become the standard infantry combat weapon in European armies around 1700?

Could it have been because of the introduction of the bayonet, particularly in "socket" form? This question goes (well) beyond a related question. Until the introduction of a bayonet, musketeers ...
1
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0answers
127 views

Was any Medieval state ever “partially” Roman Catholic? [closed]

It is my understanding that in most of (if not all) the states in western medieval Europe the Roman Catholic church was the only recognized religious body. I'm looking for an example of a state with ...
23
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5answers
711 views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
6
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1answer
218 views

Were women banned from entering the castle of Trakai?

According to legend, Vytautas the Great banned women from entering the Trakai Island Castle under penalty of death. I read it in Russian, it is called "The Horse of knyaz Vytautas". The plot is ...
8
votes
1answer
268 views

Around the time of Columbus, were there other failed attempts?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He sailed farther than anyone else had ever done, on three tiny ill-equipped ships. After days of sailing he finally reached his intended destination and ...
3
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0answers
257 views

Why sabres replaced swords after middle age [closed]

After the middle age sabres almost completely replaced swords in the europe. I don't see any reason why sabres are superior to swords used before so why that happened? By swords used before I mean ...
3
votes
2answers
298 views

What is the origin of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's surname?

This is my first time posting on History.SE, so I hope my question is appropriate for this site. I've tried to look up the nationality of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's parents, that is Ernst and Elsa ...
10
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4answers
7k views

Lion in the european monarchies' flags

I recently found out that most of the European monarchies have the same kind of lion in their flag. As you can see it is a lion with a strange long tongue: Netherlands United Kingdom Prince of ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Where did Medieval Europe's gold come from?

Medieval Europe processed copious amounts of gold into religious artifacts, jewelry and of course gold coins, as evidenced by the large number of those that survive to this day. Given that today, no ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

What were the acceptance criteria in universities of medieval Europe?

Did they have entrance tests? Were certain groups officially banned from entering? How much did one have to pay? Did they have scholarships for talented studends? How these criteria differed between ...
17
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2answers
5k views

What did squires do in the middle of a medieval battle?

According to wikipedia, a normal squire daily job included: Carrying the knight's armour, shield, sword, Holding any prisoners the knight takes, Rescuing the knight should the knight be ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

How did cities operate in medieval times?

Modern fiction is often filled with fantasy versions of the Middle Ages, from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, and everything in between, but how did the reality of this trope operate? There ...
6
votes
1answer
280 views

Have any of the Presidents of France taken advantage of its co-princeship of Andorra in a significant way?

The Principality of Andorra is quite interesting, because it is a monarchy headed by two persons, including the President of France (who is basically elected at will of foreigners). My question is, ...
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1answer
151 views

Are the slavs somehow involved in slavery? [closed]

Why are the slavs / slavic people called the slavs? It looks like the name suggests that it has to do something with slavery.
4
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2answers
907 views

Was the Bosnian Crisis the trigger to WWI and not the assassination?

I've read that Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, much to the dismay of the Serbs. Russia backed this action and was promised to have access to the Straits but were later denied. The ...