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
171 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
203 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
62 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
570 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
86 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
673 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
399 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
172 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
113 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
236 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
476 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
761 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
843 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
88 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
280 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
205 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
546 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
771 views

Effectiveness of Cossack cavalry

I know that some people in Europe very much admire Russian Cossack cavalry and think it is very effective. But in Russia there was a proverb that one hussar is equal to two cossacks, one dragoon is ...
0
votes
3answers
254 views

What was the practical reason for East Germany to reunify with West Germany?

Why did the East German government decide that they should join the West? Was it their economical decline, political turmoil or anything else?
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
5
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
258 views

Did the Gallic army besieged in Alesia conduct itself well when expecting relief?

During a Gallic revolution against Rome, a Gallic army of some 80,000 men took shelter in the fortress town of Alesia, where they were besieged by some 50,000 Romans under Julius Caesar. (His army may ...
9
votes
2answers
215 views

How and why did Charles XII Get to Poltava?

The decisive battle of the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia was the battle of Poltava. That's located deep in the Ukraine, southeast of Kiev, between Cherkassy and Kharkov. That seems ...
-4
votes
1answer
245 views

Why did the British control Hong Kong over 99 years? [closed]

There is different version why British Empire took control over Hong Kong. Britain helped China to eliminate pirates in South China Sea. As a sign of appreciation China give control of Hong Kong to ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

What were the relative contributions of oral & literary education in 5th century BCE Athens?

I've read an article about Plato's Academy and how knowledge was spread in Athens in the middle of 5th century BCE. It was thought that knowledge was spread through speaking (orally). But some ...
2
votes
0answers
336 views

How did Churchill and Stalin intend to translate the percentages in the “Percentages agreement”?

In "percentages agreement", Stalin and Churchill allegedly divided Southeastern Europe to sphere of influences of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. According to Churchill's account quoted by ...
7
votes
0answers
213 views

Were there any battles in Continental Europe that were decided by “peasants with pitchforks?”

I can think of one such battle in the British Isles; the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 in Scotland. In that battle, a 14,000-man English army despoiled a bunch of "homeless" vagrants on their way to ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

When did the incident happen when bounty on rats led people to farm rats?

Sorry for the title but don't know how to phrase it exactly. I once read an article about a period (in France I think but I'm not sure) when the cities were growing and people strted to have issues ...
-3
votes
1answer
281 views

Are there other ancient human rights (surely in its ancient consept) documents like the Cyrus Cylinder (c. 500BC)? [closed]

Wikipedia says: "The Cyrus' Cylinder gained new prominence in the late 1960s when the last Shah of Iran called it "the world's first charter of human rights".[90] The cylinder was a key symbol of ...
6
votes
2answers
127 views

Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the same rule?

Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the rule of the same empire? It should have been Mongol Empire, I suppose. How long has it lasted?
13
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Why did Alexander found or rename a number of places after himself?

According to Wikipedia, Alexander founded or renamed each of the following places after himself: Alexandria, Egypt Alexandria Arachosia, Afghanistan; now called Kandahar (a contraction of ...
8
votes
6answers
443 views

What advantages have motorized infantry enjoyed over standard infantry besides speed?

My understanding is that motorized infantry have greater combat value than "standard" infantry (foot soldiers armed with rifles, or perhaps machine guns), over and above their greater mobility. Do ...
3
votes
0answers
99 views

Did the Indo-Greeks play a crucial role in promoting Buddhism?

Did Buddhism become a widespread religion primarily due to the political support of the Indo-Greek rulers of India who favored it in opposition to Jainism?
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Why have Polish kings been such a “mixed bag?”

"Mixed bag" is an American term that might be translated as "apparently random." I'll date the question from the mid-16th century Union with Lithuania until 1795. During this time, there was a French ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Battle of Seattle [closed]

The "Battle of Seattle," a large civil protest that led to sporadic rioting in 1999, is commonly portrayed as influential in the sociology of Western activism, and in the contemporary history of ...
5
votes
2answers
387 views

Why was nude male art so acceptable, popular and officially supported in Germany?

The origin of today's question is cracked.com. In the article, 2 independent examples of naked male art (sculpture) is present: Sculptures in the "Third Reich Art" exhibition (plus this and this) ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What was normal attire for Hindu kings in the 15th century?

I was reading through "A History of India" by John Keay when I came across a few paragraphs which talk about Hindu kings' attire (or the lack of it) in the 15th century. Travellers like Ibn Battuta, ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

To what can we trace the idea of “civic responsibility”?

Can the sense of "civic responsibility" (i.e. the individual sense of participation and duty towards the construction and maintenance of a public order, and its enactment), be traced historically as ...
7
votes
1answer
73 views

Is there any way to historically consider the cultural severity on a disease or impairment? (specifically during the Roman Empire)

I'm looking to find how certain diseases or impairments were viewed during the Roman Empire (circa ~50AD) by the Roman culture prior, during, and after that time. I'm mainly looking for physical ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

How was the dynamics of a naval battle in the 17th century?

I'm curious about the "mechanical" aspects in the course of a naval battle in the 17th century. To explain better, here are some questions whose answers would provide a text-answer explaining the ...

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