4
votes
1answer
269 views

Is there historical evidence that Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism?

As far as I know, the only evidence having claim over the fact about Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism is the Ashokavadana, a work of the Buddhists themselves. Nor is this fact verifiable by Ashoka's ...
3
votes
2answers
304 views

How could lower judges ignore the US Supreme Court? [closed]

[Source:] Despite the Supreme Court's decision, anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books in several states, although the decision had made them unenforceable. Local judges in Alabama continued ...
17
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the earliest reference to “space aliens”?

If we go back sufficiently far in human history we will most likely see that any descriptions of (supposed) "aliens" are described solely in religious terms. So in the distant past, any weird or ...
0
votes
2answers
212 views

Why were the populous coastal areas of China not linguistically united?

Whilst most of China is quite culturally and ethnically diverse, there are significant areas especially on the coast and river plains which are mostly Han Chinese. These provinces are also united by a ...
6
votes
2answers
681 views

What was the context behind Felix Frankfurter's quote?

Some internet sites, including those of a more dubious and conspiratorial nature, have been posting this rather ominous quote: The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

How did pre-modern historians explain Qin's unification of China?

The Qin state unified China at the end of the Warring states period. After centuries of incessant warfare, in just under a decade Qin managed to conquer its opponents in quick succession. Modern ...
4
votes
1answer
487 views

From Tiberius Gracchus to Julius Caesar

In the BBC series about six critical moments in Ancient Roman history, the earliest episode is about Tiberius Gracchus. They say that, although his reforms were not successful, they initiated a ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

Which Field Marshal famously used to fire Staff Officers if they could not write orders within two pages?

I recall a military anecdote which described a Field Marshal who considered Officers ineffectual if they were unable to write concisely. I believe the standard applied was that all plans or orders ...
10
votes
2answers
466 views

Can anyone identify this warship?

The picture is of a ship that my late father is believed to have served on, I can find no identification marks on the photograph, so even a type of vessel would be a great help, as I have no records ...
-5
votes
2answers
618 views

Germany's “Economic Miracle” [closed]

I heard, but cannot verify, that some economists call what Hitler did for Germany's economy an "economic miracle." This claims (my emphases): Hitler's Economic MiracleThe real reason for World ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Was Henry III of England the first fully “English” king? [closed]

With his focus on Edward The Confessor, underscored by naming a his son Edward, did Henry III represent some sort of a political transition from from France to England? It also seems like there was ...
4
votes
2answers
360 views

WW1 Uniform - Which country does this uniform belong to?

Please help me identify this ww1 uniform.
1
vote
1answer
155 views

Napoleon's Height [duplicate]

I have heard from some scholars that Napoleon was actually average sized. The only reason everyone thinks he is short is because of the difference in English inches and French inches. Is this true?
5
votes
3answers
768 views

Extent of Empire of Lalitaditya Muktapida?

I recently came across this Wikipedia page of Lalitaditya Muktapida. The map in the page shows an enormous empire of him, stretching from China to Anatolia (as far as I can make out) in a relatively ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What were the insignia of the Western Roman Empire and what happened to them?

When Romulus Augustus was deposed by Odoacer, it is said that the "Imperial Insignia" was sent to Constantinople. I always wondered what kind of object(s) this was and if it survived in any form. If ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

How powerful and influential was the “last caliph” Abdul Mejid?

It is unbelievable to see how a Caliph was so easily deposed by Turkish parliament which begs a question: How powerful and influential was Abdul Mejid II? Was he merely a titular symbolic puppet who ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Soviet-German friendship propaganda posters (1939‒41)

Upon reading Putin’s New Nostalgia article by Timothy Snyder, I was specifically intrigued by one particular historical point he mentioned. Given the charged nature of current events, and Snyder’s ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

How can we evaluate a country's historians for independence?

How can we identify historians from a country who are (willing to be) independent of the interests of the government of it? Whether or not a historian is really able to see and hear about their own ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Were the Barons who pushed King John to Sign the Magna Carta descended from the Normans? [closed]

In reading "The Plantagenets" I noticed the names of many of the barons had a name like "so-and-so De so-and-so". It's the "De" that caught my attention as not sounding very British or Anglo. Instead ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did Abraham Lincoln choose Andrew Johnson as a vice presidential running mate?

Given the two were from different parties, I was curious as to why Lincoln would choose a man like Johnson from the opposing party when running for reelection. In addition, I'm curious as to why ...
10
votes
1answer
422 views

When and why did smiling at strangers and in photos become customary in the United States?

In the US, in my experience, it's customary to smile when meeting a stranger. Even in an interaction as casual as passing someone in the street without a word, a smile is normal and expected. In ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
8
votes
1answer
697 views

Why did the Ming Dynasty Treasure Fleet Voyages end?

Have we come to know more reasons, on why the Treasure Fleet Voyages of the Ming Dynasty ceased, other than eunuch-to-civil power shift? Wikipedia says However, in 1433, the voyages ceased and ...
0
votes
1answer
325 views

Why was Europe so technologically and culturally advanced? [closed]

In history, why were European populations so advanced, if compared to other populations, such as native Americans? What's the reason why Europeans were so good in technology and science? Why did ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why today's Japan celebrates Western New Year but China still celebrates Chinese New Year?

Before Meiji Restoration, Japan used Chinese calendar and celebrated Chinese New Year just as China did. Nowadays, both Japan and China have adopted Western calendar. However, Japan celebrates ...
-1
votes
1answer
254 views

How Many German Born American Citizens served for the U.S. in World War II? [closed]

I have been searching for the number of German born American soldiers in WWII that are still alive (in 2015). I was quite shocked to not even be able to find how many German born American Citizens who ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
4
votes
1answer
332 views

Napoleon's role in serfdom abolition

It is known that Napoleon has given constitutions to a set of countries. The constitutions were written in the style of the French one. How many of those napoleonic constitutions have played a role ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
4
votes
4answers
175 views

What is the historical name(s) for area between Syria and Mesopotamia?

Apologies if this is "really" a geographical question, but I suspect it must have been addressed by scholars of the past millenium of Middle Eastern history, not least because it is so central to a ...
4
votes
0answers
178 views

Who is ISIS/ISIL, Really? [closed]

For the past 6 months or so (probably longer), I've heard a lot about ISIS, and I know that they are involved in military actions in Syria, but I am still confused as to what their true purpose is. If ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would staff officers carry swords during combat, in World War II?

I realise one purpose as ceremonial, as depicted in Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's surrender (eg this picture), but when Isoroku Yamamoto was killed, his white-gloved hand [was still] ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Anti-personnel use of blowguns

The wikipedia entry for blowguns currently states that blowguns were historically used to hunt small wild game and only rarely used as an anti-personnel armament. This made me wonder if there are any ...
-2
votes
1answer
311 views

What do they do with corpses after a battle? [closed]

In the ancient time (maybe Roman era) when a war finishes, when an army killed (yield) another army, generally speaking what do they do with the corpses? My question is specified to a war in a ground ...
1
vote
0answers
91 views

Was there ever a visit by a person from India to a noble in Scandinavia? Is there a painting of such a visit? [closed]

When is the first recorded visit by a citizen of the Indian subcontinent to Scandinavia? I'd also like to know when the first such visit was recorded.
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting travelers from far away visiting European nobles?

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting European nobles being entertained or given gifts by travelers from far away places, such as sub-saharan Africa or India? I'm ...
70
votes
6answers
18k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
6
votes
3answers
653 views

When was the “New Kingdom” of Egypt first called that?

When was the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550BC to 1077BC) first called "New Kingdom" (or something cognate)?
4
votes
2answers
158 views

post slavery segregation outside of the US

Other than the USA did any other countries practice a codified form of segregation after abolishing slavery?
2
votes
0answers
123 views

What was the prevalence of ethnic minorities in 15th century Bohemia?

What was the prevalence of what we in contemporary western culture would consider "ethnic minorities" (Africans, East Asians, South Asians, Latinos, etc) in the population of early 15th century ...
5
votes
2answers
474 views

The monumental/architectural sculptures of Petra - has there been any research on the likely craftsmen who executed them?

The Nabatean people who founded Petra are described as a pre-Islamic Arab people. Centrally located on the spice trade routes, they achieved fabulous wealth and settled in the city of Petra. A recent ...
3
votes
2answers
330 views

Why women in English-speaking world commonly assume husband's family name after marriage, but women in China do not? [closed]

In English-speaking world, it is a common practice that women assume their husband's family name after marriage. This seems to be a practice that somewhat reflect patrilineality. In contrast, ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Who were these two conspirators against Titus?

Suetonius has this to tell us in Chapter 9 of his biography of Titus: When two men of patrician family were found guilty of aspiring to the throne, he satisfied himself with warning them to ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Was it ever claimed by a scholar that the Byzantines intentionally missed the battle of Civitate? [closed]

I have seen a claim to this effect in a popular article but it strikes me as very very odd. So - Was it ever claimed by a scholar that the Byzantines intentionally missed the battle of Civitate? ...
2
votes
0answers
109 views

Copper and Bronze Age Burials in Western Europe

Can anyone estimate the number of high-prestige burials that have been found in France, Spain or Portugal which date from, say, 3000 BC to 1000 BC/ For example, supposing that there were 2000 persons ...
3
votes
2answers
234 views

How was Ivaylo's Bulgarian peasant army able to repel the Mongols?

So this peasant in Bulgaria named Ivaylo says he's tired of all these Mongols and gets together a peasant army. How was this roughshod force able to repel the Mongols when so many others have failed?
26
votes
5answers
9k views

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

In every movie, cartoon, comic or any other fictional sources I have read or watched that involves sea pirates, it is always shown that their favorite beverage is rum. I want to know why sea pirates ...
8
votes
3answers
546 views

Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?

I was trying to compare the military spending of the Roman empire in the 1st century with modern military spending and how much of a burden that was to Roman people. The Wikipedia page of the ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Was malaria worse on Hainan Island than elsewhere in south China?

I’m reading William Skinner’s “Chinese Society in Thailand” (1957). He notes that of the various speech-groups from different parts of south China that came to live in Siam, the Hainanese were one of ...

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