10
votes
2answers
412 views

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom?

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom? I'm separating the two in case a castle was besieged unsuccessfully most recently.
12
votes
2answers
343 views

Did the bounty on bin Laden ever get paid?

Osama bin Laden famously had a $25m bounty for action or information leading to his killing or capture. Was this ever paid out following his killing in May 2011? If not, how was the money budgeted for ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
2
votes
0answers
227 views

Did it make sense for the Roman Empire to build a great wall? [closed]

Both Roman Empire and Han dynasty had to defend their northern boarders against powerful enemies, so both of them had the motivation to build a great wall along their northern boarders. Roman Empire ...
-1
votes
1answer
126 views

Mnemonics for centures or any other longer periods, like Zodiac signs other than Chinese? [closed]

I would like to have compatible mnemonics to remember historical dates. "Compatible" means it should not be my own mnemonics, but something, related with old cultural and historical symbols, like ...
31
votes
5answers
9k views

What was the religion of the Arabic people before conversion to Islam?

What was the dominant religion of the Arabic people when Prophet Muhammed started the Islamic religion?
12
votes
2answers
559 views

How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
10
votes
1answer
807 views

What's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve?

With the new year right around the corner, I got wondering: what's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve? How did it become such a global trend? Where did this trend originate ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Did Herman Melville write the “textbook” chapters of Moby Dick?

In Moby Dick there is a long chapter that is meant to be an excerpt from a textbook on whales. Did Melville compose that or was it actually copied from a textbook on whales?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the latest publications demolishing the Aryan invasion/migration theory?

Recent findings in archaelogy and related fields have led scholars to replace "invasion" with "migration" in the "Aryan invasion" theory. E.g. Romila Thapar in this edition of The Penguin History of ...
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Identifying a ship in Sydney Harbour

I am trying to identify the ship in this picture in order to date the photograph. The writing on the back says it is "Aquatania" (sic) but when I search for that name on the internet the Aquitania has ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Did any of the 50 Destroyers swapped for bases with Great Britain in 1940 sink any Axis military vessels?

In 1940 the United States traded fifty mothballed WW1 Destroyers to England in exchange for land rights in areas of the British Empire. Were any of those fifty ships credited with sinking an Axis ...
-2
votes
2answers
440 views

Searching for a very powerful Indian sword [closed]

This question is about history of India. I have heard that a gentleman of Indian origin living in London did research on Indian history for 16 years and then he wrote a book, in his book he mentions ...
9
votes
1answer
234 views

Jewish diaspora in the late antiquity

Is it possible to estimate the distribution of Jews in the variety of cities they settled in the aftermath of expulsion from Palestine by Adrian in 135 AD and in the following few centuries of the ...
9
votes
1answer
229 views

Did the more experienced hoplites fight in the front or the back of the phalanx?

I have heard two conflicting ideas with regard to phalanx fighting formations, both from respectable history shows. One source indicates that the more mature/experienced men fought at the front ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the last public school to desegregate in the US? And when?

What was the last public school to desegregate in the United States? What was the date of completion for that schools desegregation?
1
vote
0answers
131 views

What broad changes to “world thought” happened in the 6th and 5th centuries BC? [closed]

The 6th and 5th centuries BC saw the appearance of a remarkable number of philosophers and thinkers all over Eurasia whose influence continues to this day: Socrates (470 - 399 BC), "father of ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

When were country of origin labels (e.g. Made in France) introduced?

I am interested in knowing when, where, and by whom "country of origin" labels (e.g. "Made in France") were first used on consumer goods.
7
votes
1answer
274 views

What class / type of ship was the “Dragon” from Rotterdam c. 1732?

I am attempting to determine the class, size, features, history of the British ship "Dragon" c. 1732 that was known to arrive in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732 with 173 men, women and children ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Comparison of naval fleet strengths during the Napoleonic wars

Do we have knowledge on the number of vessels in the armadas of the various belligerents of the Napoleonic wars? Information on the types of boats, captured vessels, and sunk vessels will also be ...
7
votes
1answer
415 views

Where is (or was) Project HARP's Yuma Arizona space gun?

I found myself reading about Project HARP, the High Altitude Research Project, which was a project funded to explore the possibility of creating high speed guns that could essentially replace certain ...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Was breaching the Yellow River dykes Chiang Kai-Shek's Mers-el-Kebir?

In 1938 Chiang Kai-Shek's nationalist opted to breach the dykes of the Yellow River to flood the area in front of the Japanese advance and thereby slow down their enemy and protect the the key city of ...
3
votes
1answer
861 views

Did the Great Wall of China help cause the fall of the Roman Empire?

I recently came across a saying that "Rome fell essentially because China built the Great Wall" (to protect itself against the Xiongnu people, if I remember correctly) in a lecture series on peoples ...
1
vote
1answer
506 views

How did Asian Americans manage to become richer than an average American? [closed]

By "richer" I mean higher median income. Large-scale immigration of Asians to the United States began in the 19th century. In the beginning, most of them were poorer than an average American. ...
4
votes
1answer
743 views

Did Goebbels really say “Truth is the enemy of the state”? If so, when?

One of the most famous so-called quotation attributed to Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels is: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The ...
4
votes
3answers
531 views

Did Franco consider Hitler a “son of the Catholic Church” who “died while defending Christianity”?

Did Francisco Franco, who established Catholicism as the State religion of Spain, consider Hitler a "son of the Catholic Church" who "died while defending Christianity"? If so, why? Hitler acted ...
-3
votes
1answer
285 views

What responsibility did Golda Meir have for the Yom Kippur war?

I read in the book "The Iron Wall" by Avi Shlaim, there was a description of the Yom Kippur war that happened due to Golda Meir's insistence on keeping parts of Sinai and not trading them to Egypt ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the Germans get homes again after WWII?

After a large number of homes were destroyed in the war, how did the average German become a homeowner again? I know about the Marshall Plan, but this question does not refer to how the economy in ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How old was Bagoas when he met Alexander the Great?

And what was the ethnicity of Bagoas? As I know, there were many different people's and tribes, that populates Achaemenian Empire. And also there was extended slave trade with foreign nations.
6
votes
2answers
238 views

Communist resistance groups in the Nazi German military

In a recent newspaper article about a Jewish man concealing his identity in Norway during the five years of Nazi German occupation, a reference is made to a "secret Communist group" among German ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How was security on the Silk Road between China and the West maintained?

From the 2nd century BC to the beginning of the 15th century the Silk Road (or more correctly roads, as there were alternative routes) was the primary trade route between China and the West. One ...
8
votes
1answer
838 views

How large were the East India Company armed forces?

The British East India Company maintained an armed force large and competent enough to subdue and control Mughal India, but just how large was it? How comparable was it to contemporary national ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Did collective punishment of families occur during the French Revolution?

In his classic work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens suggests that family members of those sentenced to death by the various tribunals were themselves targeted for ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

The land of gold described in Genesis

Genesis 2:11-12 describes a land called Havillah, where there is very good gold. Were there historical attempts made to locate this land, and what do we know about such expeditions if they did exist? ...
1
vote
1answer
309 views

How did Pocahontas die?

The Wikipedia says the following about the death of Pocahantas: In March 1617, Rolfe and Pocahontas boarded a ship to return to Virginia; the ship had only sailed as far as Gravesend on the ...
10
votes
2answers
344 views

The effect of the Panic of 1837 on financial/banking policy

Were there any direct or immediate financial/banking policies made because of this recession? I've read that a combination of factors helped get America out of the Panic, but it never mentioned a ...
8
votes
1answer
640 views

What was the summer uniform of the streltsy?

The Russian streltsy (shooters) of 17th century are usually depicted in winter uniform wearing fur hats and dress. What was their summer uniform?
8
votes
2answers
287 views

What is the largest overnight depreciation?

What is the largest overnight currency depreciation? How large, which currency and when? When examining historical records of currency depreciation, it is helpful to have a better understanding of ...
4
votes
2answers
297 views

Was “the modern cocktail” intended to mask the foul taste of Prohibition-era liquor?

I have long suspected that what we know today as a "cocktail" was invented to mask the taste of bad liquor. Indeed I've found several unsupported assertions to this effect online, generally pointing ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views

Were there any Frankish/French kings who probably had no extramarital sexual relations?

I was listening to Dan Carlin's podcast about the start of Merovingian dynasty, and he made a snide quip about the early Merovingians (starting with Clovis) and even Carolingians not exactly being ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

French revolution: the source of the conflict in the meeting of the Estates General

In the article on the French Revolution Wikipedia says: "The Estates-General convened in the Grands Salles des Menus-Plaisirs in Versailles on 5 May 1789 and opened with a three-hour speech by ...
-4
votes
2answers
145 views

Were Jefferson and Madison Jacksonians?

Were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Jacksonians? They were founders of the Republican or Democratic-Republican Party, and many Republicans left the party to support Jackson and then found the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How did New York become the financial hub of America?

Why did New York become the financial hub of America, rather than one of the other big cities?
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Why was only the Silver medal awarded for music at the 1932s Olympics?

At the 1932s Olympics, Chzechoslovakian composer Josef Suk won the Silver medal in the music category: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Suk_(composer) I'm wondering why no gold or bronze medal was ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Is there any information about Soshandukht or her father?

This is mentioned on Wiki's page about the Sassanid dynasty Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. Bahram V's ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What was the most accurate map of the world before artificial satellites?

How accurate were the maps before the invention of artificial satellites? What was the most accurate map of the Earth before satellites?
4
votes
3answers
504 views

Why did Thomas Jefferson almost lose the 1800 presidential election to Aaron Burr?

As the question asks, why did Thomas Jefferson struggle to win the 1800 presidential election against somebody like Aaron Burr? I would think that, even in his time, Jefferson would have been ...
20
votes
2answers
742 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
485 views

Have wartime conditions traditionally decreased or increased consensual sexual activity in the young?

In joshbirk's Answer to the question Hogwarts: So why aren't the kids doing it? he claims that wartime atmosphere would decrease sexual activity in the students: Towards the end of the series / ...

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