7
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
388 views

What happened to the French royal navy during the french-revolution?

Similar to my other question about her colonies I am interested in knowing what happened to the french royal navy of the period. Some ships must have been at sea and only learned the news as they ...
7
votes
1answer
315 views

What class / type of ship was the “Dragon” from Rotterdam c. 1732?

I am attempting to determine the class, size, features, history of the British ship "Dragon" c. 1732 that was known to arrive in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732 with 173 men, women and children ...
7
votes
3answers
253 views

How historical are early Chinese (Shang dynasty and earlier) dynastic records?

Early Chinese dynastic records look like actual history in some places (in particular the exact dating of reigns, back to and including the Yellow Emperor). Elsewhere, there is clearly a lot of myth ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

Who were the “tyrants” that Charles Martel “crushed”?

The second chapter of Einhard says: It was this Charles that crushed the tyrants who claimed to rule the whole Frank land as their own, and that utterly routed the Saracens, when they ...
7
votes
1answer
424 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
665 views

When was General Douglas MacArthur made aware of the Manhattan Project?

Considering the US government's low opinion of General MacArthur* even before he almost performed a military coup in the 1950s: Was Douglas MacArthur ever made aware of the Manhattan Project before ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

Why did Christopher Columbus think he had arrived near Japan?

This question came to our mind as a long discussion in chat between some users over ELU including me and we thought to post the question here. Wikipedia states he thought he had arrived Japan. In ...
7
votes
4answers
440 views

Inquiry into the nature and roots of the temporal power of the Roman Catholic Pope:

The Roman Catholic Pope is head of both the Roman Catholic Church: "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church", and a head of state: "Sovereign of the Vatican City State". Official list of Papal titles ...
7
votes
3answers
468 views

How did it happen that countries and cities got different names in different languages?

I wonder why a single city's (or country's) name is different in various languages. To me, city and country names are somewhat similar to a person's given name, and it doesn't seem right to call ...
7
votes
2answers
393 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline [closed]

I am writing a blog post about knowledge banning, either by state censorship or by self-imposed censorship, like the US Comics Code Authority of the 20th century. My focus is moral censorship, ...
7
votes
1answer
400 views

What was the first assassination/murder recorded on film?

Was it the murder of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What was President Jimmy Carter's role in the Iranian Revolution?

Iran was a friend to the USA until Carter traveled to Iran and immediately afterwards Iran faced revolution. Khomeini went to Iran from France. On November 4, 1979, an angry mob of young Islamic ...
7
votes
2answers
442 views

Did the Gallic army besieged in Alesia conduct itself well when expecting relief?

During a Gallic revolution against Rome, a Gallic army of some 80,000 men took shelter in the fortress town of Alesia, where they were besieged by some 50,000 Romans under Julius Caesar. (His army may ...
6
votes
2answers
624 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
6
votes
1answer
154 views

Who was the first member of the United States Senate to resign?

Who was the first member of the United States Senate to resign? How many times has it happened? Where might one find a list of resignations of senators? (My tentative guess was Moses Robinson of ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
6
votes
4answers
862 views

How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
6
votes
2answers
531 views

When did Australia declare war on Germany in WWII

In 1939, Australia had not ratified the 1931 Westminster Statute, and so lacked independent foreign policy. Menzies recognised this by saying in 1939, that as Britian was at war with Germany, so ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

How/why did Plzeň become the “armourer” for Austria-Hungary?

In 1938, Nazi Germany coveted (the modern) Czech [Republic] in large part for its Skoda Works which produced something like one-quarter of the arms and ammunition used by the Third Reich. From what ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why have major sporting events been held every 4 years?

Many major sporting events are held every 4 years such as the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, Rugby World Cup, etc. I've had a look around and I've yet to find an answer ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
6
votes
1answer
443 views

Who gave Charles the Bold his nickname and why?

I am talking about the Duke of Burgundy here. Wikipedia has a tantalizing footnote (n. 1): Charles le Téméraire is more accurately translated in English as "the Rash", but the English speaking ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

What did sectionalism have to do with the American civil war? [closed]

I've been writing an essay for school and I've been wondering what did sectionalism have to do with the American Civil War? Does sectionalism include the Missouri Compromise and the breaking away of ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so it is effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be a ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Oldest known international sporting event

We know that modern Olympics are very popular international sporting events. What is the earliest known (documented) instance of an international sporting event? Let us define an international sports ...
6
votes
1answer
543 views

What are the archaeological evidence for the Aztec's use of entheogens?

A recent Skeptics question, Was honey used preserve psychoactive mushrooms in the ancient past?, caught my attention and I came upon the Wikipedia article on the Aztec use of entheogens. The article ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

At what point did mapmaking begin to accurately reflect what we now know about the earth?

Looking at maps through the ages, it is apparent that maps have become closer and closer to representing the locations and shapes of the Earth's features with increasing accuracy over the centuries. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When did monogamy become the norm in Ancient Greece?

This article says The case for an automatic association between Christianity and monogamy is weakened further by the fact that socially imposed monogamy was first established in ancient Greece ...
5
votes
2answers
354 views

What was the final result for France after the Napoleonic wars?

What I'd like to know is if the final outcome of the wars was ultimately beneficial for France. In territorial terms. Did it manage to keep some territorial gains? If the question isn't clear be ...
5
votes
4answers
356 views

How did the upper class stay wealthy in the past?

If I am not mistaken, people in the past tended to have enough offspring so that they increased the population of their family until the maximum sustainable population was reached, due to the lack of ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
5
votes
4answers
506 views

Why did it take so long for humanity to be able to cross the oceans?

Caravels were a key invention that allowed Iberian Peninsula people to sail from Europe to America. But why it took so long for this to happen? Which problems had to be solved to make that possible? ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

When the term “president” was used the first time?

Wikipedia mentions that the term was used in Oxford and Cambridge universities at least in 1464. But I wonder whether the title was used somewhere before. Was is used under Ancient Rome?
5
votes
2answers
219 views

When has a military force used their own people as human shields?

I am looking for instances/examples (and sources) throughout history of times an army used it's own people as a buffer between itself and an opposing force. While it is fairly common for an army to ...
5
votes
3answers
284 views

Les Misérables historical setting

What is the period in French history portrayed in Les Misérables in the early 1800s? Also, who was the French King at that time - the restored King? I thought the French Revolution was in the late ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

What are the modern roles of “brigadier” generals and commodores?

It has been said that the hardest jump in the military is between colonel and general. That's because a colonel is a "specialist" who commands troops of only one type (infantry, cavalry or artillery), ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Could medieval European merchants travel through the Islamic world?

I've heard that the Islamic world was closed to European merchants in the Middle Ages. Is this true? If so, when did it close and when did it open again?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Who first wrote about deafness?

Aristotle referred to the sense of hearing in his work "The Problems". He correlated hearing with the capacity of learning, he believed that the sense of hearing was the most important in order to ...
5
votes
3answers
286 views

What language was the Charter of Liberties written in?

While researching my answer for the What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century? question I came upon the Charter of Liberties, or Coronation Charter, issued by ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a Baal human sacrifice statue from Carthage exist?

While I was reading a Roman history book, it said that people from Carthage used to sacrifice children by placing them on the arms of Baal's statue and letting them roll to the fire. What would be ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Sources for letters written during the Boer Wars

For a project at my school i need to make a 'letter home' of a canadian soldier that participated in the second boer war. I need to draw from primary sources and im not having luck finding any. so ...
4
votes
0answers
78 views

Who where the firefighters in Muslim North Africa in the 18th/19th Century and how were they organized?

As we know that the Romans already had some forces for keeping their cities secured and safe: The Vigiles who were what we now may call police and firefighters together! And as I failed to find some ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Scandal at Annapolis in 1934

According to the Wikipedia article on Peyton Magruder he "resigned during his senior year of 1934 partially due to a scandal which has now become a part of Naval Academy lore." What was this scandal?
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Are there any evidence besides the scriptures that the Ark of the Covenant existed?

Are there any historical evidence that the Ark of the Covenant really existed? What physical or written evidence are there, excluding the scriptures? Note: I am not discounting the writings of the ...
4
votes
3answers
301 views

Have there been known instances in history when a queen consort slept with someone other than her husband, and no one got hurt? How was that possible? [closed]

King Henry VIII executed two of his wives for alleged adultery. This was almost certainly true of one of them, Catherine Howard, while the facts concerning the other one, Anne Boleyn, are in dispute. ...
4
votes
0answers
227 views

Did Socrates earn money (get paid) for philosophy? [closed]

I have only read Platos Apology, so I was rather surprised when a recent comment said he "was paid". A quick look at Wikipedia find this In The Clouds Aristophanes portrays Socrates as ...

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