5
votes
3answers
230 views

How did shells, bones, and other trinkets work as currency?

One often hears stories about civilised and pre-civilised societies using shells, bones, and other trinkets as currency. How exactly did this system work? Taking the example of shells, did they have ...
6
votes
1answer
341 views

Who is the person sitting to the left of corporal Hitler?

My son, in my opinion, looks like the person sitting next to corporal Hitler in this photograph. Does anyone know who this is or any information about where the photo was taken?
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Who is responsible for the oldest known calendar?

What is the oldest known calendar? Where exactly was it developed? Who was responsible for its creation?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Which is the oldest language in the World? [closed]

I want to know which are the oldest languages in the world? And within those, which is still in use?
10
votes
3answers
176 views

Tito's partisans loyalty

Why was Tito able to rally the loyalty of so much of the young people in ex-Yugoslavia, and the royalist Draza Michailovich (Драгољуб "Дража" Михаиловић) was not? The so-called chetnicks, loyal to the ...
2
votes
3answers
203 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Who is the earliest recorded person?

Who is the earliest person recorded in history? Whose fame has survived the greatest amount of time to come down to us today?
4
votes
1answer
130 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), ...
22
votes
6answers
548 views

Why didn't the silk road run north of the Black Sea?

I have read many times that the only way for Europeans to get to China, or vice versa, was through Anatolia and Persia. This gave Istanbul an advantage in throttling trade, as well as Mesopotamia and ...
8
votes
3answers
276 views

At the Battle of Zama, was the Roman army more “native” than the Carthaginian?

At the battle of Zama, which army had a higher proportion of native troops? Within the context of this question consider troops to be either "native" or "mercenary". Native troops serve out of ...
1
vote
3answers
315 views

What was the origin of the roles of “lieutenant” officers?

A "captain" is a commander of a basic unit, a company in the military. As such, it makes sense that he will have one or more "lieutenants," first and second lieutenants that is. A major commands the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did the USA take no action to help Pakistan during their 1971 war against India?

In 1971, USA and Pakistan were known to be strong allies or were they? Why did the USA just pretend to help Pakistan and actually do nothing in the Indo-Pak war of 1971? Why did the 7th fleet not ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Are there any good sources on the history of the name for Kazakhstan?

I'm having a very hard time finding sources on the history of Kazakhstan's name changes. My query began when I read this quote: Have you ever wished you could change your name? In 1995, the people ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

Wasn't it a tactical mistake for Saladin to send fruits and water to Richard I when ill? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why did Saladin show kindness to Richard I? "When Richard falls sick at the siege of Acre in 1192, Saladin not only sends his personal physician Maimonides over to treat him, he ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Successors of the Roman Empire

I know that the Byzantine Empire was technically the Eastern Roman Empire, but did they carry over actual Roman traditions with them? Also, did the Holy Roman Empire have anything to do with the ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

Is there a link between the Easter rabbits and the Yaknehaz rabbits?

It came to my attention this Passover that old German Haggadahs (books used at the Passover ceremonial meal) often featured an illustration of a rabbit hunt, or of just a rabbit, to serve as a ...
9
votes
1answer
467 views

How quickly could the roman legions march? How does it compare to the mobile cavalry?

In the history of Rome there are numerous instances of legions being marched up and down Europe, from Spain to Rome and from Rome to Syria. I'm interested to know how quickly these armies could move? ...
3
votes
3answers
554 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
331 views

What were the German “general” ranks in World War II?

The Anglo-American armies share ranks up to "full" (or four star) general. (The German army has ranks equivalent to those armies for non-general officers). The American army deviated from the English ...
3
votes
3answers
339 views

The destruction of the mycenaean palaces and the sea-peoples

I am reading about the destruction of the mycenaean palaces lately and there are a couple of theories to explain their destruction. One of those theories supposes that the sea people, who raided the ...
5
votes
3answers
221 views

Has any US President served in a government position with a foreign nation before or after their presidency?

Has a person elected to the US Presidency ever held a government position in a nation besides the United States? I think any government-related role would be an interesting answer. I think the ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Did any of the US States ever attempt to secede, aside from American Civil War times?

Reading about the non-governmental organizations in support of the Texas secession movement, I've started to think if there were any States where such movements achieved something more. My questions ...
18
votes
2answers
457 views

What was the structure of religious beliefs among the Arabic peoples before conversion to Islam?

Other questions on this topic has addressed the pre-Islamic religious beliefs in broad detail, including the conversion of near-Arab cultures. What was the specific nature of the pre-Islamic ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Were China's problems in the past two centuries due to “missing out” on the industrial age?

Until the industrial revolution, China was (mostly) an "advanced" or at least "state of the art" country. That is, until it fell behind the West, starting in the late 18th century. Recently, China ...
9
votes
2answers
261 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How has Chinese GDP as a percentage of world GDP changed over time and why?

I've heard it's 33% during the Qing dinasty. 4% during cultural revolution. Now it's climbing up steadily to 11%. Where can I see the table of those actually tracking those numbers? What were the ...
11
votes
2answers
174 views

Battles that took place on the ice

As my favorite ice hockey team became the champion of Poland today, I reminded famous Battle of the Ice that took place in 1242. During the fights, forces of Alexander Nevsky managed to draw Teutonic ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How much tax did Romans pay?

According to this guy The Jewish rebellion in A.D. 66 that ignited the war with Rome was by no means inevitable. Judaism was a legal religion in the Roman Empire, and Nero's own empress, Poppaea, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Did the Celts really go into battle naked?

Yes, this of-repeated tale was reported by the Romans all the time, but it sounds a lot like rumor. Stuff the victors write about their former enemies, "they were so stupid, they went into battle ...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

Who was the oldest recorded participant in a battle whom we know of?

This is a record of a eighy-year-old's participation in a battle -- the Battle of Vienna in 1683 -- from Andrew Weatcroft's The Enemy At the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe; he ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

How early did restrictions on hunting start?

Today in the US you can only hunt certain game during certain seasons. In medieval England, only certain people were allowed to hunt deer and boars. Legal restrictions on who could hunt what, where, ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Was Ley ever married to Rudolf Hess's sister?

A book I am reading claims that Robert Ley was married to a Margarita Hess, Rudolf's sister. But I am finding it surprisingly hard to find an independent confirmation of this fact - or even to find ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Historically, have African nations had a higher proportion of coups than nations on other continents?

The president of the Central African Republic was recently ousted by rebel forces. According to atlanticwire there have been over 40 coups in the past 60 years. Do African nations have a higher ...
3
votes
1answer
572 views

Were there biological weapons used in WW1?

WW1 was, among other things, the first war where chemical weapons were used on massive scale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I However, I never heard of any mention of ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What was Gen. Buford's ultimate objective at the Battle of Gettysburg?

On the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Buford and the Union cavalry were initially defending the ridges to the north and west of the town. Even after Gen. Reynolds arrived with the Union I ...
5
votes
2answers
684 views

Military tactics specifically aimed against cavalry horses

Were tactics specifically aimed against horses common in past cavalry warfare and what forms did they take? For instance, did opponents try to harm (poison or shoot-them-first), distract (loud ...
4
votes
2answers
403 views

Who were the Wright brothers competitors?

I once have heard that there were a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. But Wright brothers did it first. And after that this person gets really depressed and ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Where did the masquerade ball come from and what was its original concept?

I mean a kind of party which guests and hosts hide their faces behind different masks or/and wear odd clothes. Surely there is no certain idea about main concept with me unless perhaps it has roots in ...
1
vote
0answers
114 views

Kazakhstan and anti-capitalism in the 1990s

What drove anti-capitalist sentiments from Kazakh intellectuals and economists in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union? It is my understanding that Kazakhstan was a low level ...
0
votes
4answers
239 views

How far should I go back in Russian History in order to understand Communist Russia? [closed]

I'm writing a story and need information on the Russian communist rule because I'm writing a book about a government much like that of communist Russia, specifically focused on a police state ...
11
votes
2answers
480 views

How did Mongolian nomads acquire metal weapons?

Metal-working requires a furnace, heavy tools and of-course metal ore and yet nomadic Mongolians were able to obtain metal weapons, so either they worked metal or traded it. But if they worked metal ...
4
votes
1answer
775 views

Were the “hussars” that Jan Sobieski used at the battle of Vienna actually elite troops?

Apparently, the decisive blow at the 1683 Battle of Vienna was struck by Jan Sobieski, with only 3,000 "hussars" (cavalry). This seems a bit hard to believe, given that the Turkish army had about ...
10
votes
3answers
853 views

Why did Chinese use high tin bronze for swords?

Also unique for Chinese bronzes is the consistent use of high tin bronze (17–21% tin) which is very hard and breaks if stressed too far, whereas other cultures preferred lower tin bronze (usually ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?

Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Were Roman emperors in the first century AD shown as holding stars in their hands?

The New Testament Book of Revelation starts with an image of the exalted Jesus holding several stars in his hand. I read in a commentary that there were coins at that time which showed Roman emperors ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

How did Bedouins exercise tribal governance?

According to the Wikipedia article Bedouins travel together in groups of 1-2 family units however in the same article it mentions the presence of a Tribe who share common descent and are led by a ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How was money transferred before digital transactions?

Take, for example, the late 18th century and pre-French Revolution. The American War of Independence (1775 - '83) and the Seven Years War (1754 - '63) were financially ruinous for Louis XVI's France, ...
13
votes
3answers
282 views

Were British fears of Russia using Afghanistan as a staging post for an invasion of India unfounded?

I know that "The Great Game" was originally concerned with Russian-British competition in Central Asia, but my question is was this competition and British fear founded on anything? My understanding ...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...
9
votes
4answers
554 views

Which European countries did not have a revolution in the aftermath of the French Revolution and why?

The French Revolution of 1789 initiated revolutions in a number of European countries, replacing the idea of a monarchy with the idea of a republic built on enlightment ideals. Which European ...

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