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

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Prior to the Age of Exploration, Did Slavery Endure Anywhere in Europe?

Could someone tell me if there was a period in European history prior to the age of exploration where institutionalized slavery existed nowhere? If so, who was the last (European) nation to end the ...
26
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5answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Yoga has been accepted as a way of life by so many people around the world irrespective of the religion and country. There is world wide promotion for Yoga and June 21 is going to be celebrate as ...
4
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1answer
272 views

Were the Islamic Caliphates (Umayyad and Abbasid) and the Mongol Empires truly as benevolent as they are portrayed?

My history textbooks insist on the same idea: these empires were religiously tolerant, allowed trade to flourish, and improved the quality of life for the subjects. On the other hand, all the ...
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1answer
379 views

Did any part of the Netherlands ever use this flag?

Was there ever any part of the Netherlands which had this flag? Guilherme Paula - Public Domain
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207 views

What reached Scandinavia/Northern Germany first: Muslims, or Islamic texts?

Years ago i had the chance to leaf through some Qur'an translations (Latin, German? some bilingual with Arabic text) in a library in northern Germany which are dated to 16th century and later. As we ...
7
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1answer
188 views

Westernmost and easternmost locations that Charles V visited in his empire?

Charles V (1500 – 1558) famously was ruler over an "empire on which the sun never set". It included large parts of Europe and also colonies in the new world. Charles V was born in the Low Countries ...
6
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1answer
170 views

When did chairs with arms and backs develop in Europe? [closed]

There are numerous depictions of early / high medieval Popes, Kings and Bishops sat on thrones, with arms and a back, and the saddles of the high medieval period had a padded back, but every depiction ...
4
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1answer
296 views

Were Christian Mediterranean ports open to Muslim traders in the middle ages?

This article talks about Muslim-christian trade in the middle ages 11th-14th century, also referenced in this answer. In brief: Trade greatly intensified after the crusaded and was conducted at ...
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0answers
71 views

Examples of massive immigrations from areas torn by expansionist revolutions [closed]

Although triggered by the current massive migration from Syria to Europe, this question is not about the current events (at least not directly), but rather about similar events in history. Here's an ...
7
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2answers
407 views

What caused the imposition of strict celibacy for Catholic priests during the 11th century?

At the Second Lateran Council in 1139, the Catholic Church implemented a rule requiring all priests to remain celibate. Although the Church has already talked about being celibate for the previous ...
6
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2answers
207 views

How would prospective members join a medieval European guild?

On related lines, 1) How would a young person (young man) have selected a master with whom to apprentice? How did the matching up process work? 2) What motivated a master/practitioner to take on an ...
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158 views

How widespread was literacy in classical Greek in Europe during the medieval period?

How widespread was literacy in classic Greek in Europe during the medieval period? I assume "every" (?) educated person, such as clerks, monks, nobility, judges, doctors and similar knew Latin at the ...
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6answers
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Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
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4answers
2k views

Were any fortified castles self-sufficient in food?

I read here and there about sieges of fortified castles which lasted extended lengths of time (two years for instance). Was there any castle in Medieval Europe that was self-sustaining? By ...
5
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3answers
457 views

Greek Revolution: Where did the Greeks look for descendants of the Byzantine dynasties?

I recall reading in a few books that during the early to mid 19th century, the Greeks where trying to find European nobles who had genealogies linked to the dynasties of the old Byzantine Empire ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What percentage of Jews were in “finance” (money-lenders) throughout Middle Ages?

The stereotypical image of a Jew in Middle Ages (and the portrayal of them) was of course "the money-lender". From Ivanhoe's Isaac of York, to Shakespeare's Shylock, to "Проклятый жид, почтенный ...
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3answers
422 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 ...
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6answers
3k views

Why Europe became more developed although metal was first discovered and used in Asia/Africa? [closed]

Copper was first discovered and used in Middle East. Iron was first discovered in Egypt. What were the factors that allowed the development of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations (the father of ...
11
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1answer
292 views

Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
11
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4answers
6k views

War Guilt Methodology: Was Germany solely to blame for WWI? [closed]

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles places the blame of the war solely on Germany and her allies. This is the quote: The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the ...
2
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1answer
311 views

Why is Europe so cluttered with countries? [closed]

There are much more countries with smaller area in Europe than any other continent. Why is that?
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1answer
324 views

Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on the dark ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
2
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2answers
459 views

How did people categorize each other in the middle ages, how did racism work? [closed]

I'm interested in the european high middle ages, about the 12th-13th century. I'm trying to understand how people sorted each other. Nowadays, some overlapping categories people use would be: ...
8
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3answers
385 views

Why was there a tradition attached to Crossbowmen?

Medieval literature makes several references to Gascon, Flemish and especially Genoese to denote elite troops wielding Crossbows. However, it isn't exactly hard to shoot a Crossbow accurately and ...
6
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1answer
144 views

How did the French word 'familier' become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically?

How did the word 'familier' (French) become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically? Or do we not know? Proof for the concept being from French, first.
5
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1answer
221 views

During the Middle Ages, how many people could fishing feed?

I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age. But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher? I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea ...
9
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1answer
673 views

How common was it for Americans to visit Europe in the late 19th century?

According to this article, in 2009, around 13 million people from the United States travelled overseas, of which 35% visited Europe. Given the United States' population of 320 million, we can estimate ...
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1answer
164 views

Was Black Death a weaponised disease? [closed]

There has been many attacks/accidents involving diseases that have been purposefully used with a sole purpose to kill people. In history there has been many examples of mass deaths caused by an ...
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3answers
663 views

Why did monarchy become common practice after the fall of Rome?

Why did the government of most nations after the fall of Rome and the beginning of medieval age turn to monarchy? Before the fall of Rome most nations seem to be organized after different model and ...
16
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5answers
3k views

What were shoe soles made from in previous ages?

Today, nearly all commercial footwear has a sole made of either rubber or plastic with rubber-like qualities. It's a great material for the job, but it comes from a tree that's native to the ...
8
votes
1answer
641 views

What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
24
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3answers
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Why wasn't Monaco unified with France?

Why wasn't Monaco unified with the Kingdom/Republic of France during the unification? I understand France used to be a very decentralized kingdom with many areas ruled by vassal or smaller rulers, and ...
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1answer
464 views

What regions worldwide have not been conquered or colonized by nations recursively located in land once ruled by someone born in Belgium? [closed]

I'm working on an alternate history book based on historical events. Basically, the group of tribes from the Roman era that are grouped under the Belgae group managed to avoid being conquered by the ...
5
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0answers
341 views

Origins of knife and fork language etiquette

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...
8
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3answers
604 views

How and why did the Cavalry lance temporarily fall out of favour during the 16-18th centuries?

In the late middle ages, every knight or even his retainers and squires were armed with a spear or a lance. When heavy cavalry gave way to pike squares, we still see the lance still in use among the ...
5
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1answer
163 views

When did civilians in Europe gain access to breech-loaded firearms?

I know European militaries started adopting breech-loaded firearms around the 1840s with the Prussians adopting the Dreyse needle gun. My question is about the civilians. When did the breech-loaded ...
7
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2answers
926 views

Are Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? [closed]

Some historians say yes, but some do not. There had been archaeological diggings in Saint-Petersburg and the Novgorod region, as seen in one rare documentary on Youtube. ( haha I am not studying ...
8
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1answer
280 views

Why are most late medieval fencing manuals German?

Not only is the German school dominating modern European martial arts, but almost everyone who talks about late medieval fencing refers to German fencing manuals as the primary source. Why are German ...
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0answers
162 views

What does the case of Louis Napoleon tell us about the passport regime in 1830s Europe? [closed]

Here is a more specific question about passports and borders. The Wikipedia entry on passports describes how for several decades leading up to WWI, the system for checking travelers' identities when ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Paradigm change in power: from military to economic in Europe [closed]

It seems to me that the Middle-Ages/Renaissance observed a paradigm shift between the source of political power in Western Europe. Indeed, in the High Middle-Ages, Kings were ruling surrounded by ...
8
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3answers
314 views

Was there a Japanese Exchange, à la Columbian Exchange?

After the European (re-)discovery of the Americas, there was a widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas and ...
9
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1answer
232 views

Did hanging tyres from Mostar's bridge help at all to protect it?

At various points (e.g. 00:14) in this BBC documentary on Mostar's Stari Most (Old Bridge) you can see dozens of car tyres hanging from the bridge prior to its destruction in the Croat-Bosniak ...
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0answers
45 views

How effective was child labor legislation in Victorian Europe? [closed]

How effective was child labor legislation in Victorian Europe? Effectiveness being counted in 'percent of working environments that actually complied', with 'Effective' being... 50% compliance? Or ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Did early nineteenth century commoners know their royalty?

I'm wondering if European commoners in the early nineteenth century knew who their royalty was. I'm sure not all of them would have recognized them face to face because there may have been little ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How did Churchill and Stalin intend to translate the percentages in the “Percentages agreement”?

In "percentages agreement", Stalin and Churchill allegedly divided Southeastern Europe to sphere of influences of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. According to Churchill's account quoted by ...
2
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1answer
160 views

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting travelers from far away visiting European nobles?

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting European nobles being entertained or given gifts by travelers from far away places, such as sub-saharan Africa or India? I'm ...
2
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1answer
145 views

Names of articles worn by men of ~11th century European nobility

Would anyone be able to name the articles of clothing that would usually be worn by men of noble status in Europe around the 11/12th century CE? A general answer would suffice, as I realize that ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...
9
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3answers
481 views

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of Medieval Europe?

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of the Medieval Europe? I'm quite sure that personal calendars weren't a thing back then... but I could be wrong... If they had a ...