12
votes
0answers
111 views

The riddle of Marco's Millions

The question is asked in the context of theories about the use of 'millions' or 'milioni' in association with Marco Polo and the reason for the use of the word as the Italian title for his book, known ...
12
votes
0answers
142 views

What happened to Soviet citizens on Finnish territory before and during winter war?

How many Soviet citizens were on Finnish territory immediately before the Winter War? Other than diplomats. I suppose there would have been trading officials, some engineering personnel etc. What ...
12
votes
0answers
188 views

Why was Queretaro chosen as a fail-safe capital of Mexico?

According to this article on a person's experience in the country of Mexico, Querétaro was used as a temporary capital city of the Mexican Republic three times. What I am having trouble finding out ...
10
votes
0answers
95 views

Three rings (wreaths?) symbol in XIX century Russia

On some buildings in Moscow (and other cities in European part of Russia) there are carvings of three interconnected wreaths. For example, some are on the Pushkin Museum building on Prechistenka: ...
10
votes
0answers
2k views

Why was the Bald Eagle chosen as the national bird of the United States?

The Bald Eagle is a grand and beautiful bird of prey that once frequently soared majestically through the skies of the American wilderness. It is also very important in American Indian culture (See: ...
10
votes
0answers
121 views

When did songs extolling leaders of companies go out of fashion?

When recently visiting Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA I came across an exhibit called "Songs of the IBM". It's from 1930s and has a song called "Ever onward" which extols then IBM ...
9
votes
0answers
147 views

When did nose-picking became socially condemned?

Nose-picking is a common and well known socially condemmed habit. However, this condemnation seems to be a purely social behavior with very little grounds on medical risks; it is even done by other ...
9
votes
0answers
120 views

What currently existing IT companies collaborated with Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?

I am aware that IBM has designed the tabulator machines to calculate information dealing with the extermination of Jews, but are there any other currently existing corporations which have helped Nazi ...
9
votes
0answers
214 views

Role of Indian princes and aristocratic landowners under British colonial rule?

I am currently reading Ludwig von Mises' Human Action and find it rewarding in various ways. For instance, von Mises points out the following about volunteers' roles even around autocratic rulers: ...
9
votes
0answers
136 views

Which Japanese military officers helped Ho Chi Minh?

According to Wikipedia, in 1946 during negotiations between the French and Ho Chi Minh, One demand by the French was the return to French custody of a number of Japanese military officers (who had ...
8
votes
0answers
84 views

How accurate is quantitative evidence included in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico?

Two pieces of evidence in relation to Caesar's Comentarii de Bello Gallico currently seem to suggest two different conclusions as to the authors veracity in reporting numbers. One is from a comment ...
8
votes
0answers
95 views

What mistake did abbot [Jacques?] Delille make when eating an egg at the Court of Louis XVI?

Stendhal's Scarlet and Black has a curious passage where the main character observes that even the eating of a boiled egg "reveals the progress one has made in the godly life" To support this it ...
8
votes
0answers
71 views

Was the Iraqi Mukhabarat modelled on the German Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and in what ways?

In Charles Stross (urban fantasy-ish) novel "The Atrocity Archives", it is claimed that the Iraqi Intelligence Service Mukhabrat was modelled on the Nazi-German Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). The ...
8
votes
0answers
305 views

Evidence that 16th and 17th century wig craze was started by the Syphilis epidemic?

I've read that one reason that the nobility attending royal court in the 17th century had a passion for wigs, powdered faces, and gloves was the then prevalence of syphilis. By this reasoning those ...
8
votes
0answers
146 views

How did lower classes with aspirations to high social standing greet each other in the Paris of the 1630's?

I am running a game of En Garde over on the RPG Stack Exchange. For purposes of verisimilitude, we're wondering about station-specific greetings in Paris in the 1630's. What would be an appropriate ...
8
votes
0answers
22 views

Was the Church of St Simeon the Elder at Aleppo built while Simeon was still alive or decades after his death?

I recently read in Diarmaid MacCullochs 'A History of Christianity' that the pillar dweller and hermit, Simeon had a church built around him, almost like a "living exhibit in a Christian zoo". However ...
8
votes
0answers
107 views

What was done to improve the safety of jousts after the death of Henry II?

While jousting in a tournament to celebrate his daughter's marriage in 1559, France's Henry II received a splinter in the eye, and died not long afterwards. According to Wikipedia, this marked the ...
8
votes
0answers
254 views

What household servants would a Tudor gentleman have had?

There's a lot of easily-accessible information about the staffing of a Tudor nobleman's household, but very little about that of a Tudor gentleman's. Was it basically the same as a nobleman's? Or ...
7
votes
0answers
120 views

How is history studied?

What are the unique and distinct features of the study of history in terms of: Epistemology Purpose Theory Method Methodology Does the study of history produce unique perceptions? Does the ...
7
votes
0answers
181 views

How much of an impact did the Roman emperors' civil wars have on their decision to debase the coinage?

From Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell: "Civil war remained a common event, ...the economy collapsed, as successive emperors massively devalued the coinage to pay for their wars." Other sources say ...
7
votes
0answers
163 views

How successful were Einsatzkommando Tunis and how much was Rommel complicit?

This Einsatzkommando was headed by SS officer Walter Rauff and according to his wikipedia article it had great effect on the local Jewish population. An example is given, a quote from a German TV ...
7
votes
0answers
167 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
116 views

Was Swedish king Charles X Gustav's horse killed during Siege of Kraków (1655)?

My question is related to Siege of Kraków, which took place in 1655, between 25th of September and 13th of October, during Second Northern War, which is usually referred to as "Swedish Deluge" in ...
7
votes
0answers
81 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
6
votes
0answers
107 views

How did Rome's legal system work?

How was it decided if a case should be tried in Rome or in the province by the governor of that province? was the governor always the judge or were there exceptions? who were the lawyers? I know a lot ...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

Did Ben Franklin actually make any tofu?

It is well documented that Franklin was interested in tofu, which he called a sort of cheese made from beans, and he got a recipe for making it that he sent on to others. But no source that I have ...
6
votes
0answers
125 views

Rommel's letter to his wife from November 16, 1942

I'm looking for the original German version of Erwin Rommel's letter to his wife Lucie Rommel from November 16, 1942. You can find the English translation on page 354 of "The Rommel Papers". The ...
6
votes
0answers
98 views

Battle of Xiaoting: was Shu's invasion doomed from the start?

The Battle of Xiaoting was one of the three major battles of China's Three Kingdoms period; after the kingdom of Wu invaded Jing province a few years earlier, the state of Shu amassed an army to ...
6
votes
0answers
92 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
0answers
171 views

In England, how many Jews died during the persecutions of the crusades during 1190-1200?

As is well known Steven Runciman, a British historian known for his work on the Middle Ages, definitively clarified what the Holy War had been: "The Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of ...
6
votes
0answers
179 views

Did Hannibal start the Second Punic War prematurely?

IN 221 BC, Hamilcar, Hannibal's father, made a peace with Rome that divided Spain north and south between Rome and Carthage. The latter got the larger "piece," the area shaded in green on the map ...
6
votes
0answers
1k views

What is the real story of the Lion of Gripsholm Castle?

In 2011, one of the popular stories over the Internet was a history of The Lion of Gripsholm Castle. The Swedish language version of the linked blog entry was the one responsible for spreading this ...
6
votes
0answers
94 views

Did genocide occur in the Football War?

In the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras, the El Salvador claimed that genocide had occurred in Honduras. However, was anybody actually prosecuted for these actions, or were these claims ...
6
votes
0answers
88 views

What was the societal wealth demographics when the major pyramids were built?

All this talk about wealth distribution (1% of US Citizens etc. etc.) got me wondering about the wealth distribution in other periods of history when - let's call them - great edifices were built. ...
6
votes
0answers
226 views

Were the Nazis the first to use phenol as a means of execution?

Phenol was discovered in 1834 by Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge.... Injections of phenol were used as a means of individual execution by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was originally used by ...
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Why did Ieyasu Tokugawa oppose Hideyoshi's plan for expansion?

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?
5
votes
0answers
43 views

Clauses against unifications in peace treaties

I have learned in school that the Treaty of Versailles (after World War I in 1919) contained a clause that forbade unification of Germany and Austria. Presumably it is Article 80: Germany ...
5
votes
0answers
75 views

What are the earliest examples in history where one state/people stepped in to rescue another?

I started wondering about this after watching yet another World War II movie where the European people are freed by Mother Russia and Uncle Sam and also helped in their recovery. What are the ...
5
votes
0answers
53 views

Were NC, IL, and VA's latest concurrent constitutions' effective dates coincidental?

The latest Constitutions of North Carolina, Illinois, and Virginia all became effective on the same day (July 1, 1971). Was this coincidental, or was there some coordination going on? If so, why did ...
5
votes
0answers
65 views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

When was the modern manuscript for the Torah agreed upon?

(This question is also asked on judaism.SE for a different approach.) Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara/Talmud may mention events where a few ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Were Uncles referred to by surname in Victorian England?

Merry Christmas, everybody! And speaking of Christmas ... In Charles Dickens' novelette, A Christmas Carol, the main character Ebeneezer Scrooge is referred to several times by others as "Uncle ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Where did Batista announce his resignation?

Wikipedia says, "On December 31, 1958, at a New Year's Eve party, Batista [then dictator of Cuba] told his Cabinet and top officials that he was leaving the country." The scene is famously depicted in ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Jewish diaspora in the late antiquity

Is it possible to estimate the distribution of Jews in the variety of cities they settled in the aftermath of expulsion from Palestine by Adrian in 135 AD and in the following few centuries of the ...
5
votes
0answers
72 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
5
votes
0answers
172 views

Why did antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian War make part of the demilitarization program to which Germany was subjected?

As is well known, after the WW2 ended, the U.S. imposed a strong program of demilitarization to Germany. Can anybody explain the reason why the "antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

Is this really “Napoleon’s March”?

The Chabad/Lubavitch Jewish group have a tradition that this song originated as a military march played by Napoleon’s armies as they invaded Russia: ...
5
votes
0answers
212 views

Did Franco really ask “Why? Are they going somewhere?”

The story goes that Franco on his deathbed in 1975 hears the noise of a crowd outside and asks what it is. And is told: "The people of Spain have come to say goodbye" Franco replies: "Why? ...
5
votes
0answers
91 views

Were there any other systems which resemble the complex election procedure for the doge of Venice

I was fascinated by a passage in Thomas F. Madden's Venice: a New History describing the complex process used to elect the doge of Venice. This process is explained briefly here: Wikipedia: Doge of ...
5
votes
0answers
181 views

What was the influence of dead people on Johnson's 1948 election victory?

It has been alleged for years that Johnson captured his Senate seat through fraud, but the book, "Means of Ascent,", by Robert A. Caro, goes into great detail to tell how the future President overcame ...

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