5
votes
2answers
8k views

Is it true that Spartan soldiers fought naked?

I was watching a trailer for a movie called 300: Rise of an Empire. I noticed in this movie the Spartan soldiers from the chest and legs are naked. But recently I read in several posts here in the ...
6
votes
3answers
153 views

What was the most northern region/city in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek as the native language?

My understanding is that prior to the migrations/invasions of the Goths, Huns and Sklavenoi into the Balkan peninsula, Greek and Latin where the most common native languages, alongside other steadily ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Why did Poland keep Warsaw as its capital instead of returning it to Krakow in the 20th century?

My recollection is that Krakow was Poland's capital for much of the Middle Ages, having moved there from Thorn(?) shortly after 1000 A.D. My understanding is that Warsaw, a newer city, became ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?

The House of Representatives originally did not pass the 13th Amendment, and on January 1, 1865 it was reconsidered and passed. Evidently, the House first voted that day on whether to reconsider the ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do minor political parties in the US receive so few votes?

Reading about the election statistics in the United States I was amazed about how few votes are received by the minor parties and their candidates. For example, Gloria La Riva received only 181 votes ...
15
votes
4answers
18k views

Number of bullets used in WW2

I have wondered if there are any estimates on the number of bullets used in World War 2. I have thought about the question but cannot even get a plausible attack strategy.
10
votes
1answer
135 views

What happened to Dada Abdullah & Co, the firm that started Gandhi's career in South Africa?

Reading the autobiography of Gandhi I just wondered what happened to the company Dada Abdullah & Co, which hired Gandhi to go to South Africa. What is it now? As given in the book Dada Abdullah ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How did Alexander III of Macedon get the title “the Great”?

Alexander III of Macedon is referred to as Alexander "the great", but who gave him this title? At what point in history was he acknowledged as such and why is he considered so great?
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Knights' coat of arms colors [closed]

Okay, I was playing chivalry medieval warfare (after customizing my knights look to be my family's coat of arms) when I started thinking, "Wait, did knights have the colors of the one they served on ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between V-5 and V-12 Navy programs during WWII

I was curious if there was a difference between the V-5 and V-12 Navy programs during World War II. I have found a lot of information on V-12 program specifically but I haven't been able to find to ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

How was Israel able to build a powerful military within days of the formation of the state?

The State of Israel was formed in May 14, 1948. I guess the first Arab-Israel war broke out in the same month of the same year. Israel won the war decisively. The question is not "How did they win ...
13
votes
1answer
178 views

What was lost when the British burned the White House in 1814?

Often times, we are informed that Dolley Madison saved state papers, Washington's portrait, and silver (source). What was lost in the White House? Were there other would-be famous items taken or ...
-1
votes
1answer
117 views

Which of the participant states was benefited in the long run by the Congress of Vienna?

Congress of Vienna took place in 1814-1815 aiming to restore stability in Europe after the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Each state/kingdom sent their diplomat(s) to the congress in order to ...
-2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any evidence that the book of Isaiah was written before Cyrus?

The OT Prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th-century BC. Cyrus, the Emperor of Persia, lived well over one hundred years later: Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. Yet The Book of Isaiah in ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

It was virtually impossible for citizens of the Soviet Union to move or travel abroad. Only some ethnic minorities (e.g. Jewish) with family members abroad could move out, although with great ...
14
votes
2answers
141 views

What exactly happened with beer and Leeuwarden in 1487?

On the history page for the day July 24th at Wikipedia, one of the events listed as happening that day is: 1487 – Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against a ban on foreign beer. This ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3?

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3? What were the changes at the time?
3
votes
3answers
158 views

Why was the spread of Christianity scattered compared to other major religions?

This video of the spread of world religions makes Christianity look like an anomaly. Every other religion spreads out smoothly from a central point, growing at the edges. Christianity begins as a ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Why did the the East-Pakistanis oppose Urdu as their national language while Indians accepted Hindi as theirs?

In 1947, Both India and Pakistan were given independence from Britain. India was able to establish Hindi as its national language with minimal problems. Pakistan on the other hand, was created with ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What evidence supports the claim that Shivaji's father was Muslim?

Professor James Laine wrote a biography of an Indian historical figure named Shivaji. The book was outlawed for a number of years but later the Supreme Court of India unbanned it. There are various ...
-2
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What motivated Germanic tribes to accept Christianity?

I have read histories that tell of St. Boniface and other Anglo-Saxon and Irish monks working in the Rhine valley among Germanic tribes converting them to Christianity. I understand that this work ...
-3
votes
0answers
38 views

Why Hitler attacked Stalin [duplicate]

Hitler and Staling started out on the same side, massacring Poland, among other atrocities. What is the reason that Hitler suddenly turned on Stalin midway during the second world war? Related ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Have governments or combatants marked the houses of groups to be persecuted?

I came across a claim on Skeptics about marking the houses of those to be killed by the government. The idea appeared to me as pretty silly - "Why would the government make it that obvious?", but I ...
16
votes
1answer
887 views

Where did Hannibal cross the Pyrenees?

Hannibal's passage through the Alps has been extensively studied, regarding the route chosen and logistics involved in passing a large army through difficult terrain. Before that, Hannibal would have ...
8
votes
0answers
600 views

What is the origin of the Flower of Life symbol?

I have been collecting resources and tracing the history of the Flower of Life geometrical symbol, since it contains great properties of many kinds: While the oldest occurence in Abydos, Egypt has ...
10
votes
2answers
853 views

Did Goebbels realize that his wife used to know Arlozorov?

One of the versions for Arlozorov's 1933 murder (not solved to this day!) is that it had something to do with his early friendship with Magda Goebbels. This is what wikipedia says, soberly hedging its ...
3
votes
2answers
229 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
1answer
646 views

How many USA men dodged the draft in Vietnam, and how?

During the Vietnam war, men who should serve just didn't, hiding or something else. Are there any numbers as to how many men should have served but didn't? Also, is there some information about what ...
2
votes
5answers
294 views

Did any nation have a demonstrable qualitative advantage in their soldiers of the 18th century, and how did they achieve this?

I once read in a primary source that whilst the Prussians had the best drilled regiments who were able to fire 4 shots a minute to everyone else's standard of 3, the Redcoats were the best shots, by ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Painting of a French man in a red jacket around 1850, who is this man?

This is a painting from near 1850 that depicts a (famous) French man, possibly noble, in a park, maybe Paris. Is he a Minister? King? Military? Whoever he might be, I consider he is important, since ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Where does the concept of traffic keeping to the “right” side of the street originate?

In any nation that has cars, there are well-understood rules about how to operate them. If a road is shared by traffic going both ways, everyone will, by law and convention, stick to either the right ...
1
vote
2answers
229 views

Were any Egyptian pyramids designed to be half an octahedron? [closed]

Are there Egyptian pyramids which were modeled to resemble half an octahedron? Do the angles of some pyramids correspond to angles of an octahedron? For those who don't know what an octahedron is: ...
4
votes
2answers
261 views

Did the USSR have a more positive relationship with France than other west european countries after 1945?

France and the USSR were allies before World War 2. A number of things intervened before then and 1945, not limited to the war itself. After the war, did Soviet officials publicly (or privately) ...
14
votes
1answer
232 views

What were the key factors to the fall of domestic socialism in the USA?

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s the United States saw the rise of trade union membership, the coming and going of the populist party, and watched the progressive era come to institute reforms ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Recorded data on crime rates [closed]

Is there any online source that displays the change in world crime rates since the Middle Ages? I am also looking for attempted crime, not "successful" crime, since the rate of successful murders may ...
10
votes
3answers
393 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Has any country ever voluntarily admitted to genocide? [closed]

I am curious if any country has ever admitted to genocide of their own volition without being diplomatically pressured to do so, as a matter of losing a war, sanctions or other not-so-voluntary means? ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Why did the NATO (help to) overthrow Kadhafi? [closed]

What was NATO's goal? What was the strategic objective? NATO tolerated Kadhafi when he was quite hardline against the West and attacked him when he took a much more cooperative attitude towards the ...
2
votes
3answers
943 views

Why didn't America finish Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War?

I have read To Die in Babylon by Harold Livingstone and it shows how powerful USA is, but some parts are not clear to me. Saddam thought Iraq is prepared for the Americans and it turns out not. At the ...
7
votes
2answers
154 views

Did contemporary scholars draw a connection between Great Schism and Crab Nebula Supernova (1054 A.D.)?

Did any contemporary scholars draw a connection between the occurrence of the Great Schism and the Crab Nebula Supernova, which both occurred around the middle of 1054 A.D.? I already asked at ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Why did the Portuguese colonies stay united whereas the Spanish ones split up?

Why did the South-American Portuguese colonies unite into one country, Brazil, whereas the South-American Spanish colonies split into many different countries, i.e. Argentina, Peru, Chile, etc?
7
votes
1answer
373 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who performed it and who was in charge of this operation?
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Early attempts to abolish slavery in USA

Were there any early attempts or debates to abolish slavery in the USA, before Lincoln?
7
votes
2answers
250 views

Why was Germany unified in Versailles not Berlin?

Why did Wilhelm I (or Bismarck) decide to perform official Germany unification in France? In my opinion, if the ceremonial was to honour the Prussian king and be a tribute or allegiance to him, it ...
37
votes
10answers
9k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
15
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

When did covered wagons disappear from America?

Throughout 19th century Americans migrated west to settle land and most such trips were on foot and on covered wagons. With the arrival of trains the wagons stopped, but my guess is that not everyone ...

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