3
votes
3answers
627 views

Why and how did some Germans choose to join the Stasi (Staatssicherheit)?

I'm wondering; What motivated some Germans to join the Stasi or to support the Stasi? Were there any common backgrounds among those who did so apart from living or being from the East? Why did so ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Are there non-russian sources related to how Rurikid Dynasty became rulers of Russia?

Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle"). Is ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Psychology in the 19th century

I have read about the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo, and noticed that starting from 1829 they taught psychology and ethics. I wonder what the 19th century psychology would be like given that even ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

Was Pawiak prison in Warsaw originally for political or general prisoners?

I was reading about Pawiak prison in Warsaw and the general consensus appears to be that it was built between 1829 and 1835 during a time of Russian occupation. It seems clear that after the January ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Are “I, II, III, …” versions of archaeological versioning of layers unique to Troy?

When reading about archaeological research of Troy, one can see that archeologist distinguish between different discrete numbered layers (Troy I => Troy IX). Is that a standard approach in archeology ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Rulers of Rome - Caesar and Pompei

Why is Pompei Magnus' name not lauded as much as Caesar's is as a Roman ruler ,considering Magnus was the one who ran Rome in the first place ?
2
votes
4answers
78 views

Know of any historical tales in which a man kills the woman he loves as a sacrifice in the name of duty, religion, etc.? [closed]

Know of any historical tales in which a man kills the woman he loves as a sacrifice in the name of duty, religion, etc.? I'll take mythological tales too, but for the purposes of the novel I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
375 views

Why did George H. W. Bush select Dan Quayle as his running mate in 1988?

I've just been revisiting some quotes from Dan Qualyle. For example: I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change. and We are ready ...
7
votes
1answer
181 views

Who kept noble prisoners captured in battle?

During the Hundred Years War era, noblemen captured in a battle were normally held for ransom. In such a case, who got to keep the prisoner, provide him lodgings, and receive the ransom? Was it the ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Nymphodorus of Syracuse

Is there an online version of his history? I am actually trying to assemble some information about a slave rebellion led by one Drimakos and Nymphodorus is one of the ancient writers who mentioned ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

Where did the design of the US Colonel insignia come from?

I've been trying to figure out why the insignia for a colonel in the U.S. military is an eagle. Obviously, there is the connection with the seal of the united states. But why is it used by the colonel ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Were there rules about the number of retainers for the Achaemenid Empire?

In Rome, magistrates (and later the emperors too) each had a fixed number of lictors, according to the rank of the office they held. Is a similar regulation of the number of retainers according to ...
7
votes
5answers
890 views

How did a nomadic minority group the Manchus come to rule over China?

The population of the Chinese empire was about 120 times larger than the Jurchen tribe, who later renamed themselves to Manchus. Yes, the Manchus were very skilled warriors and the late Ming dynasty ...
8
votes
1answer
231 views

Horace Walpole on Richard III

Thus reads Wikipedia: In Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III (1768), Walpole defended Richard III against the common belief that he murdered the Princes in the Tower. In ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Historically accurate films about the English Civil War [closed]

Last night I saw Cromwell which is good drama but absolutely grossly inaccurate. Do you know of other good films on the subject that do more justice to the history?
4
votes
0answers
56 views

Proportion of population that works in agriculture (1000 - today)

I wonder what the proportion of people was that worked in agriculture (growing food and raising livestock, not processing food in a factory plant) throughout the past centuries in Europe and also, to ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

When did Harvard give its last entrance exam?

I saw this article pointing out how different college admissions used to be, pre World War II. Entrance exams are still used around the world today but it seems like no American universities give out ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

What was Vyshinsky's position about extrajudical repressions in the USSR?

Vyshinsky was the prosecutor-general of the USSR who is mosly known for his participation in the Moscow show trials of the 1930s. But what was his position regarding the extrajudical repressions?
8
votes
1answer
139 views

How were heavier objects weighed in antiquity/middle ages?

How were heavier objects weighed in antiquity or the middle ages? Were balances simply scaled up in size with appropriately larger weights? Did people know how much an elephant or even an ox actually ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

What is “quarter column”

I'm watching a documentary on the Boer War and apparently, during the Victorian era, the British Army commonly employed their infantry in "quarter column". I've tried to look it up, but can't find ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the “Forty Niners” get to California in 1849?

How did the "Forty Niners" get to California in 1849? In 1849, the Panama Canal would not have been built for over 50 years, meaning that ships from the U.S. east coast would have had to sail all the ...
2
votes
3answers
231 views

Did emperor Kangxi indirectly contribute to China's massive population and subsequent problem?

Emperor Kangxi, especially towards the latter part of his reign, firmly believed that China was in a secure economic position and the treasury was adequate. To stimulate economic activity, he froze ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Was Eumenes really a non Greek by birth?

I have been reading a very interesting graphic novel by Hitoshi Iwaaki which is about Eumenes. It starts of by saying that Eumenes was not a Greek by birth, but was born in a tribe called Scythians. ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

How many non-partisan (independent) legislature members were in the USA compared to the USSR?

How many legislature members there were who were not members of any party in the USA compared to the USSR during the Cold War and now?
12
votes
2answers
391 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
470 views

Was India's independence inevitable after Cripps Mission?

In 1942, the British government had sent Sir Stafford Cripps to negotiate with the Congress. According to most sources (though this was not made public at that time), the Cripps Mission had proposed ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

Why did the Arab League re-admit Egypt in 1989?

Wikipedia: During the years 1979-1989, Egypt was suspended from the Arab League in the wake of President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Time of day first traffic light exploded

The first traffic light was installed in December 1868 at Bridge Street, Great George Street and Parliament Street in London. It exploded on 2 January 1869. What time of day did it explode?
-2
votes
3answers
204 views

Hitler's Religion or Atheism [closed]

There seems to be even amongst some Historians and even this forum an unclear approach to Hitler and his Religion or the lack there of is there any clear history that establishes Hitler's religious ...
8
votes
2answers
352 views

What was the social status of a man who failed the civil service exams in Imperial China ( 1200 - 1800 AD )?

Generally the merchant class was viewed with disdain while peasants were viewed with more respect as they were the producers. Scholars were perhaps most respected, and many important posts were held ...
12
votes
4answers
775 views

Is the steel pan the only acoustic musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century and used widely around the world?

I have seen claims that the steel pan (commonly called steel drum) was the only acoustic instrument developed in the 20th century. Is this true? There are related instruments (the Hang or hand pan) ...
9
votes
2answers
234 views

Plate armour worn by men-at-arms fighting on foot 1380-1415

I am interested in how much plate and what exactly plate elements have been worn by men-at-arms/soldiers at the turn of the 14th century in different parts of Europe. I have established that a ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Riveted mail - flat or round rings? Die cut rings mixed with riveted ones?

I'm interested in the chainmail worn in the 14th and 15th century. As far as I know, almost all chainmail found in Europe has been riveted and woven 4 in 1. But I hear that there were chainmails made ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Did Bismarck have any influence on Hitler?

There were some similarities between the two brilliant statesmen. Both Bismarck and Hitler were against popular forms of governments such as democracy. Bismarck and Hitler both had similar disdain for ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What repercussions did Agrippina's murder have for Pompeii?

This review of a book about Pompeii has an intriguing remark (emphasis mine): There is an emphasis within this book on weaving both Imperial and provincial figures, events and episodes into the ...
7
votes
1answer
357 views

Popularity of knight-robbery in the 15th century in Germany, Poland and Silesia

I've found the term Raubritter (German), which is translated to Robber-knight, and I was wondering - was it a popular thing in the 15th century? Were there many such knights? If they were tolerated by ...
6
votes
2answers
339 views

Proportion of footmen and soldiers to knights in battles

Im looking for some scientific articles/expert opinions on the typical proportion of footmen and soldiers to knights in small and big scale battles in the 14th and 15th century. A summary for pretty ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Adapting clothes, weapons, tools and customs from other nations in the middle ages - judging plausability [closed]

Background Im into historical reenactment and and a member of a "knights brotherhood" (couldnt find a percise translation of the term "bractwo rycerskie"). We are trying to recreate the material ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

What is the origin of the myth of St. Valentine?

There seems to be a story floating around about St. Valentine being martyred for performing weddings. Here's a representative version: Valentine became famous for marrying couples who were in love ...
8
votes
4answers
621 views

Life in the middle ages for ordinary people?

From studying medieval history and reading related literature, I know enough about day to day life in the sense of life expectancy, work, pleasure, etc. My question is, given that human nature is ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

Was it impossible for the Germans to arrange a plane to East Asia for Subhas Bose?

Bose's journey from Germany to Singapore by submarine was a well-remarked incident of World War II history. But what was the need for the Germans or the Italians to use a submarine to transfer a ...
9
votes
2answers
338 views

Were Soviet warships allowed to use the Panama canal?

During the Cold War, were Soviet naval vessels allowed to use the Panama canal? I'm aware that no Soviet warships happened to use the canal during the Cold War. Was there a rule aganst them ...
9
votes
1answer
197 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
1answer
104 views

Who was Asselin FitzArthur?

I stumbled in wikipedia upon a lovely story about a man called Asselin FitzArthur who stopped the burial proceedings of William the Conqueror in Caen, claiming that the church stood on land that had ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Linen doublets around 1380-1410, middle and eastern Europe

Most people agree that doublets and hose were made with wool on the outside and linen on the inside. Are there any evidence that confirm such belief? Any guild documents, findings, etc? Do we have ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Is there an online archive with letters written by people in the past? [closed]

Is there an online (preferably free) archive with letters written by people in the past? (other written material which reflects the era from the point of view of someone who lives in it will also be ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Why Californian Indian leader Estanislao was named after Polish martyr?

Researching for Polish people dealing with Indians during 19th century, I've found out about Estanislao, one of Yokuts' leaders, who led different groups of Californian Indian rebels against Mexican ...
6
votes
4answers
481 views

Was the death toll in the atomic bombing of Japanese territory greater than was expected by the US?

It is known that the US tried to justify their atomic bombing of Japanese cities by claiming they were aimed at military targets such as a plant and a bridge. Yet the bombs destroyed much more than ...

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