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3
votes
2answers
570 views

What is a knight of the windmill?

In Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, while ridiculing Sir William Howe and his recently obtained knighthood, said: As a proper preliminary towards the arrangement of your funeral honors, we ...
4
votes
3answers
223 views

Early modern vs late modern vs post modern?

I frequently come across these three terms, but I haven't been able to find a source that explains the difference between all three of them precisely. Here's what I think I know now: The early ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

'Sub rosa' council meetings

Wiktionary's etymology of the term sub rosa reads: The rose's connotation for secrecy dates back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, the god of love; he, in turn, gave it to ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Who first coined the name “Wahhabi”?

Specifically, did Muslims coin it or non-Muslims? Is there any evidence, recorded in history, about the first usage of this term?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

Vigenere vs. Bellaso

I noticed on the Wikipedia article for the Vigenere cipher, that: The Vigenère (French pronunciation: [viʒnɛːʁ]) cipher has been reinvented many times. The method was originally described by ...
1
vote
6answers
169 views

What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants

Historically, the name "Persia" has been applied to southern Asia to disassociate that land from the people who inhabit it, who called themselves Aran. Similarly, the name "Palestine" has been applied ...
8
votes
2answers
273 views

Why aren't the Americas named after Christopher Columbus

I was reading the question Why is Columbus Credited with Discovering America, and I wondered why aren't the Americas named after him? I was under the impression that although he is the one we credit ...
10
votes
5answers
342 views

Since the inception of the United States, has the term “America” ever referred to something more than simply “the United States”?

Today we use the terms America and the United States as synonyms. The official name of the country is The United States of America. But prompted by a question on another forum, wherein an author ...
8
votes
3answers
439 views

What Was “Courtly Love” (Amour Courtois?)

My understanding was that it was a form of "extramarital" romance for knights and nobles in Europe during the Middle Ages. Was it ever an "institution" anywhere, and what (if any) impact did it have ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

What makes a distinct civilization?

Inspired by this question, I have a more general one: What is, historically speaking, a civilization? We can identify broad traits that make a society a civilization- agriculture, city building, ...
4
votes
2answers
298 views

What was the significance of the term “Lollard” in describing religious dissenters? [closed]

When John Wycliffe's followers gained support from the common people, why did the church call them Lollards? What does Lollard mean? Why didn't they just call them Wycliffites?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages?

Is there any difference between the "Middle Ages" and the "Dark Ages"?
9
votes
2answers
921 views

Where did the term “Middle Ages” come from?

Where did the term "Middle Ages" come from? Who was the first known person to use that term?