6
votes
2answers
166 views

How did people count before Fibonacci published Liber Abbaci?

Counting as we know it, including zero as a number, was brought to the traders and merchants of Europe by Leonardo of Pisa (whom we now know as Fibonacci) by his book "Liber Abbaci" in 1202. This ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Questions historians ask that non-historian enthusiasts don't?

Long-time history buff looking to take my game to the next level, so to speak. I am interested both in writing historical/alt-history fiction and maybe doing some podcasts on historical phenomena I ...
7
votes
2answers
407 views

What did the Crusaders really wear?

What did those who walked the First Crusade wear? I'm not just talking about the noblemen etc. but also the poor people who allegedly went (or is that a myth?). And how did they dress according to ...
10
votes
1answer
139 views

“The signal on the Zibby is dead” - what is the meaning of “Zibby”?

I am line editing a book about World War II and the Battle of the Coral Sea. The action is taking place in the front and rear cockpits of a Devastator torpedo-bomber aircraft. The pilot and gunner ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

How did the Romans build their armies for the First Punic War?

The Romans built a great and vast empire, my question is what were some of the military techniques they used to build, train, and use their army? Specifically during the period of the First Punic War. ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why was Khomeini in France? Who allowed him to leave and why?

I never knew that Khomeini was in France until I saw What was President Jimmy Carter's role in the Iranian Revolution?. Why was Khomeini in France? Who allowed him to leave France and why?
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Does a reputation for cruelty to PoWs give a tactical advantage?

Among warring factions, some groups throughout history have sought to strike fear into their adversaries by 'making examples' of any members of the opposing force(s) that they capture alive, by means ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

What was the life expectancy in Medieval Britain?

I'm working on doing background research for one of my novels and I'm looking for roughly how old a male in the peasant class would've lived around 5th or 6th century Britain.
26
votes
2answers
5k views

Why do the horses on this vase have too many legs?

Why do the horses have too many legs? They appear to have an extra set, why is this?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

When did the Luftwaffe lose air-superiority over the Reich?

To me one of the many crucial stages of WWII was when the Luftwaffe were no longer able to mount serious resistance to the Allied bombing raids. While the effect of the raids if often debated, it ...
23
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

How did Isaac Newton support himself in the period of self-study that he conducted at 23?(after he received his B.A.)

I quote wiki : Soon after Newton had obtained his B.A. degree in August 1665, the university temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he had been undistinguished ...
-1
votes
2answers
85 views

Are there any historical conceptions that accurately depict a scenario of swinging rapidly from a state of war to a state of tranquility? [closed]

Leading on from the horrors of the First World War, the pussyfooting involved in the Second World War could be likened to that of a swinging mechanism of war, rapidly followed by peace, then followed ...
9
votes
3answers
298 views

How much did a ship cost in Ancient Greece?

I'm exploring the history of the Peloponnesian War and I was wondering how much money a trirreme did cost and how long it took on average to build such a ship.
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Why have North and South Korea stopped marching together at the Olympics?

In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, we saw the teams of North and South Korea marching together. This was repeated for the 2004 and 2006 (Winter) Olympics. This didn't happen in 2008 (and we can understand ...
6
votes
2answers
583 views

How can we be sure that a certain historical claim is true and accurate?

The study of history heavily relies on textual records, which are, to some extent, value-laden or subjective. Worse still, since peer-review was not a strict practice in the past, it is fairly ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

What major approaches to “class” as a theoretical category do historians commonly use?

"Class" is a set of connected, but not identical, theoretical approaches to social division in human societies, including past human societies. Historians regularly make use of "class" in their ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

What made capitalism different from previous forms of manufacture and trade?

When giving defenses of capitalism, people often free markets or free enterprise as a "natural" freedom that's gone on since the dawn of civilization. However, capitalism, both as an idea and ...
6
votes
3answers
197 views

Who considered themselves as “Prussian”?

This is very confusing to me. The word "Prussian" means a lot of different things and has a lot of connotations (such as imperialism, militarism, ...), while simultaneously describing a geographical ...
-4
votes
0answers
70 views

Where did the phrase “Great Divergence” come from? [closed]

I'm currently writing a paper about "The Great Divergence" and the factors behind it. This term refers to the inequalities in growth and development that occurred on a worldwide scale during the 19th ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Why do Afro Carribeans have English names whereas Indo Carribeans still have Indian(ish) names

Why don't Afro Carribeans have African names or Indo Carribeans have English names? Did colonizers find it difficult to pronounce African names but not Indian names? Further to this question, if this ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the role of towers in Romanesque architecture?

I'm currently reading some books about romanesque architecture. I would like to know the roles of towers that many religious buildings have. I have some guesses, so I would like you to tell me if ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated?

The shapes of the Länder territories in Germany were very complicated. There was hundreds exclaves and enclaves all over the place to the point it became ridiculous. Notably the shape of Prussia, ...
11
votes
1answer
305 views

How wide-spread was antisemitism in the USA during WWII?

Richard Feynman writes in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, chapter Who stole the door, that: At MIT the different fraternities all had "smokers" where they tried to get the new freshmen to be ...
9
votes
2answers
202 views

How much of the *Iliad* was confirmed scientifically?

Obviously, one of the central facts of Homer's Iliad was confirmed when archaeologists found Troy. But were there any other details of Iliad (such as existance of Atreidae dynasty, Agamemnon actually ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Did Louis XIV actually say “The State? I am the State.”? Could he have said it?

In "The French Revolution, A History" Chapter 1.1.II, Thomas Carlyle reports that Louis XIV once proclaimed: "L'État, c'est moi" - The State? I am the State (Carlyle's rendering into English) ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

During the Great Depression, roughly what proportion of Americans lived below the World Bank PPP $1.25/day poverty line?

The $1.25 PPP/day standard (in 2005 dollars), as defined by the World Bank Wikipedia. To be more specific, let's pick the year 1932, which is roughly when the Great Depression was said to be at its ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

Alexander the Great conquered so much territory so quickly that I'm always surprised he was able to maintain control of it as his army pushed further east. What kept territories from reverting to ...
6
votes
5answers
536 views

What is the origin of the “Bigot” clearance used by the Allies in World War II?

During WWII a level of clearance called "Bigot" was adopted by the allies. This was (to my understanding) done in order to create a smaller circle of individuals who were cleared to know information, ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

What is the history of bauxite mining in South America?

I've been googling this for a few days but have not found much definitive data yet. What I want to know is a rough timeline of bauxite mining in South America. Central America would be good too. ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

Battle of Queenston Heights, 13 Oct 1812: 23 American soldiers held as British deserters

The Battle of Queenston Heights was a British victory. Of the captured American soldiers it was determined that 23 were former British soldiers who were charged as deserters. Is there a reliable list ...
7
votes
2answers
334 views

Why was there a surge of writings about the Illuminati in America in the late 1910's?

I came across this interesting graph on Google's Ngram Viewer service: It looks like there was a massive spike in the occurrence of "Illuminati" in American literature starting around 1915 and ...
48
votes
9answers
10k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in ...
16
votes
4answers
10k 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: ...
3
votes
3answers
288 views

Was Jesus unique from the point of view of contemporaries? [closed]

Was in the time and place when Jesus preached, common for someone to do so in the manner Jesus did it? (Of course, Jesus was unique, even from the point of view of someone who completely disbelieves ...
23
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are the signatures on the United States Declaration of Independence structured as they are?

When looking at the United States Declaration of Independence its easy to notice that John Hancock's signature is more prominent than the others: From my readings I know John Hancock did sign one of ...
9
votes
1answer
113 views

Land Ownership in Palestine - Big Landlords or Small Peasants?

I have seen pro Arab sources cite surveys like these (see image) that demonstrate that most of the privately owned in Palestine land belonged to Arabs. I have seen Israeli sources assert that much of ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

What are the various theories behind why Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered Sen no Rikyu to commit suicide?

From wikipedia: Although Rikyū had been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, because of crucial differences of opinion and other reasons which remain uncertain, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ...
7
votes
1answer
151 views

What stood behind Maria Theresa's forestry policy?

Maria Theresa of Austria established laws that determined how many trees you have to plant for every cut-down tree. Why? Did the industry need so many trees because of the industrial revolution?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of Indian weekday names?

The days of the week in several Indian languages are named after the same planets/gods as the Graeco-Roman days of the week. Did these arise from some common source predating both (PIE?), or was the ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Why was 17th Century England a particularly supportive place for groundbreaking thought? [closed]

Issac Newton, John Lock, Robert Hooke, Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon...etc. Was 17th century England somehow more conducive to excellent new ideas or was it no more ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

When did Archbishop Desmond Tutu invite the world press to review Apartheid?

For my theology homework, I was asked to research Desmond Tutu - specifically, when he invited the world press to see apartheid, and he did this to try and end it. Although, after quite a lot of ...
17
votes
4answers
684 views

What were the factors that caused the world to move away from the Gold Standard in the 20th century?

For most of the world's history for thousands of years, gold was used as the medium of exchange for money. The world gradually moved off the gold standard in the 20th century. What were the factors ...
36
votes
6answers
10k views

Why did navies abandon armour?

Over the Cold War the many navies of the world moved away from significant;y armouring their ships besides splinter protection for some vital spaces, with a few exceptions. What prompted the shift ...
9
votes
1answer
353 views

Who was Balavignus?

I was reading up on some history on the Black Death and came across the name "Balavignus". He was a Jewish doctor who urged people to apply hygienic measures, based on some biblical verses in ...
5
votes
4answers
770 views

Is there a relationship between Portugal and Spain being able to discover the New World and the Moor occupation?

Some people believe that the Renaissance actually happened in Toledo, Spain. To me that seems plausible. The knowledge and culture brought by the Moor seems a much better catalyzer to escape the dark ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

What time period did these notes come from?

This may be a bit broad of a question, but as I was going through some old things I found some Japanese monitary bills in varying currencies from I'm guessing around WWII, but I'm not sure. I cannt ...
4
votes
2answers
549 views

Origin of left and right-hand road traffic rules, respectively [closed]

Some countries we drive on the left; some countries we drive on the right. What is the origin of each style?
9
votes
1answer
182 views

References or accounts in historical Egyptian literature about the Exodus

In the Bible, there is a long treatise about the miracles that had forgone the Exodus, the Book of Genesis details these. Then there are the dealings between Moses and Pharaoh, the magic fight of ...

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