4
votes
2answers
85 views

Why was there a tradition attached to Crossbowmen?

Medieval literature makes several references to Gascons, Flemish and especially Genoans to denote elite troops wielding Crossbows. However, it isn't exactly hard to shoot a Crossbow accurately and ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Could a ruler demand a homage from an independent prince?

The Polish Wikipedia about the battle of Kowal (1327) says (translation mine, maybe in some places duke and prince are not used correctly): In 1327 Władysław I Łokietek [the Polish king] begun the ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

How do historians treat gossip?

How do historians deal with information that has no other sources than gossip? I mean facts (or "facts") that are not covered by primary sources, but are widely known from gossip. Usually this ...
2
votes
4answers
345 views

What made Stalingrad a turning point in the second world war?

Operation "Barbarossa" the German plan to invade the Soviet Union was a colossal success until Stalingrad. Capturing one third of the European Soviet Union and having the Luftwaffe taking monopoly of ...
5
votes
1answer
365 views

Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure Imam Hussain, during a war between ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807

who were the presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807? the French wiki only has an undated list of names (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribunat): Pierre Daunou Jean-Nicolas Démeunier ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What do you call? [on hold]

What do you call a person who discovers a Native American campsite with artifacts?
8
votes
4answers
135 views

What did other European powers say when Portugal and Spain signed the Treaty of Tordesillas?

In 1494, Portugal and Castile (succeeded by Spain) divided all lands outside Europe, including the newly "on-discovering" Americas, between them signing the Treaty of Tordesillas. What were the ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Where can I find more information about former German internal enclaves and exclaves?

This question is related to the question I asked previously: Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated? Most maps of pre-WWII are not detailed enough to see an ...
3
votes
3answers
846 views

Was there any mention in historical articles regarding Joan of Arc's physical appearance?

Modern media seems to portray Joan of Arc as a very attractive girl. I don't quite buy this interpretation of her as it would also suggest plenty of suitors and could be counter productive in a camp ...
7
votes
2answers
433 views

Which came first, the shield or the sword? [closed]

According to the history stated in Wikipedia: The oldest form of shield was a protection device designed to block attacks by hand weapons, such as swords, axes and maces, or ranged weapon ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Who liberated Denmark in WWII?

The obvious encyclopedic site surprisingly has nothing on this in its article about Denmark in WWII. It alludes to a British occupation force after the war, but is not clear who actually liberated ...
5
votes
0answers
239 views

How much of the success of the Soviet forces in WWII can be attributed to the modernization efforts enacted by the Soviet/Bolshevik leadership? [closed]

The Bolsheviks took power in 1917 and were able to achieve significant progress in the industrialization and militarization of the country. Even to the point that Hitler said, “Had I known they had ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

Were new forms of communication and media usually condemned similar to how television/video games are now?

I'm sure anyone who is reading this has read at least an article, blog, or book condemning the consumption of television and video games as harmful to children, the behavior of teenagers, intelligence ...
-1
votes
0answers
64 views

What are the heaviest swords in the world? [on hold]

What are the heaviest swords in the world? How were these swords used on the battlefield?
17
votes
3answers
7k views

Who is the earliest recorded person?

Who is the earliest person recorded in history? Whose fame has survived the greatest amount of time to come down to us today?
31
votes
4answers
5k views

What did Germany do in World War II about the different rail gauge in the Soviet Union?

One reason it was so hard for Germany to invade Russia/the Soviet Union in World War II (and I) was because the Russians had a different (wider) railroad gauge than that of most of the rest of Europe, ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Was the wall of the Second Temple part of the fortification of Jerusalem?

In the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, there is a 1:50 model of Jerusalem from the Roman period (Holyland Model of Jerusalem). There it shows that the Temple was at the edge of the city and seemingly one ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What was the reason for Gandhi's visit to Africa [on hold]

Why did Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi visit South Africa? What was the purpose of his visit to South Africa?
14
votes
4answers
6k views

What does the skull and crossbones on the Nazi uniform represent?

I was watching The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, and I saw this skull and crossbones on this Nazi's cap. Why is it there? (That is, what does this represent?)
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

US detente with Cuba: could one reason for it be the development of a sphere of criminality (drug cartels) outside of the Cuban regimes control? [on hold]

Although matters have come along way since the 80's - 90's and Cuba's drug ties http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/archive/cubaandcocaine.html (or at least we haven't actually heard ...
11
votes
7answers
356 views

Is there any country where the founder of the nation is no longer respected? [on hold]

Founders of nations are often known as the "Father of the Nation". These people are charismatic leaders who have gone through hardship in creating a nation for the independence of their country, and ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What did a carpenter's square signify, outside of carpentry? [on hold]

norm (n.) "standard, pattern, model," 1821, from French norme, from Latin norma "carpenter's square, rule, pattern," of unknown origin. Klein suggests a borrowing (via Etruscan) of Greek ...
10
votes
2answers
433 views

What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
-5
votes
2answers
68 views

Why did middle eastern countries become rich, while African countries could not? [on hold]

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, UAE, Qatar, all countries became rich by selling their oil. In Africa, among the oil producing countries, Libya, Nigeria had dictatorship. Angola had civil war. ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Why is the Bishopric of Canterbury located in London?

As far as I understand the seat used to be in Canterbury and then was transferred to London but kept the title. Is that true and when did this happen?
8
votes
3answers
106 views

Why was the capital of Poland moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1595?

This question is a follow-up to the question Why did Poland keep Warsaw as its capital instead of returning it to Krakow in the 20th century? In particular: Now as for Warsaw becoming the ...
5
votes
3answers
129 views

What was the opportunity cost to bombing the rail lines to Auschwitz?

Occasionally ranters, internet and otherwise, claim that America betrayed the Jews because Roosevelt was asked to bomb the rails to Auschwitz and he refused/ rebuffed them. Is it difficult to bomb a ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

What does “the purpose of history is ideological” mean? [on hold]

I have this question which states "How does the story of Columbus illustrate that the purpose of history is ideological?" Unfortunately, I am having trouble understanding what exactly the question is ...
37
votes
13answers
5k views

Has there ever been a truly multi-sided war?

I was playing StarCraft the other night, and it occurred to me: that game series portrays effectively a 3-way war, where all three factions are fighting the other two with equal ferocity. Obviously, ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Even though Spain and Portugal had many colonies (15th/16th C), what factors permitted UK/France to become world powers later (18th/19th C)?

Some of the first European countries to acquire colonies in the "New World" (and elsewhere) were Spain and Portugal. They "discovered America" (as the euro-centric interpretation goes), and had ...
20
votes
3answers
907 views

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, ...
-2
votes
0answers
52 views

I need a map of the defunct country of Prussia in the context of 2015? [on hold]

I need to have an idea of the extent of Prussia in the context of the present day world of 2015. I never found a map like that and that is why I do not have a mental picture about the extent of ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

What was the largest empire in terms of time of communication between its two ends?

What was the largest empire in human history in terms of the time required to deliver a message from one end of the empire to the other? How long was this time?
4
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the Vikings practice voluntary human sacrifice?

In the TV series Vikings there's a scene at the Vikings temple where a Viking warrior happily agrees to be sacrificed in exchange for the goodwill of the Norse gods for his friends and family. I was ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Which trade route took the longest to travel? [on hold]

Which historic trade route took the longest to travel and how long did it take? Even better would be if somebody knew the commodities that were transported on the route.
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Were the Axis Powers really obligated to attack USSR and USA?

EDIT: I don't think it's a duplicate of this. That question asks why attack USSR while still fighting Britain (and I think the OP has a misunderstanding there because the Battle of Britain was already ...
8
votes
2answers
155 views

At what age did samurai children start going into battles in the Sengoku era?

Exactly as the title says, from what age did a child of a samurai start to join his father in battles? I suspect it is when the child was considered an adult, but what age was considered an adult ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Did Churchill and Roosevelt know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the following secret pacts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany prior to, and during WWII. It seems that the actions of the two countries after the invasion of Poland ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

First reference to the city of Kish

I wanted to ask when exactly in the cuneiform record was the name Kish first mentioned. I realize as a Sumerian nation Kish has existed as early as 3000/2900 BC, but when was the city given an ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What would have happened had Stalin not had the Siberian forces help? [on hold]

During World War II, part of the reason that Germany was stopped cold(pun intended) on the Russian front was due to the fact that Stalin was able to move all the Siberian troops that had been ...
6
votes
1answer
110 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.
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Why didn't Stalin use force to bring Tito into line?

In 1956 and 1968, the Soviets invaded Eastern European countries because they had deviated from Moscow's model. Why didn't they do this to Tito? His independent inclinations are usually explained by ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Were there any abolitionists imprisoned for being critical of the Congress or the President during the American Civil War?

It's been said that some 14K civilians were imprisoned without trial and that some 300 newspapers were temporarily shut down by the executive branch over the course of the Civil War. I'm wondering if ...
14
votes
1answer
162 views

Why did Thomas Hendricks win the majority of Horace Greeley's electoral votes in 1872?

In researching my answer to Can electors "flip the ticket?", I re-examined the results of the election of 1872. As stated in that answer, 1872 was an interesting election, not for the result (Grant ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history? [on hold]

The idea of a super-scientist who invents things that no contemporary is able to equal because he's just that smart is a common trope in works of fiction, especially of the sci-fi or superhero ...
9
votes
2answers
170 views

Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?

Given that President Nixon was bold enough to erase 18 minutes of the "Nixon tapes" before turning them over to the Watergate investigators, why didn't he also erase the "smoking gun," the ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

How long did belief in the Egyptian sun god Ra last?

According to Wikipedia, Ancient Egyptian belief in the sun god Ra started sometime before 2500 BC. In that Wikipedia article, it also states, "The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire put an end ...
12
votes
1answer
209 views

How did this 900AD key work?

The Wikipedia Keys article shows this ancient Anglo-Viking voided key from circa 900AD: Unlike a tumbler lock which needs cuts at exact depths on the key to align its barrels, this key looks very ...

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