9
votes
2answers
143 views

When was grass seed first imported specifically for aesthetic reasons?

Wikipedia states that the term lawn dates to no earlier than the 16th century, and that in early 17th century Europe the concept of a closely cut lawn was born. I understand that certain luxuries were ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

What are the social preconditions for division of labour, when compared in different emerging civilizations?

I would like to know if historians/economists/sociologists agree on the preconditions required for division of labour in ancient and/or earlier societies. Are there any common preconditions and ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Can you recommend a book on the French Revolution? [closed]

I pray this question doesn't get closed as too subjective. This is a site on history for goodness sake. What could be a more subjective topic?? Anyway, What i'd like is a recommendation of a book on ...
5
votes
1answer
431 views

What role did Jews play in the Punic Wars?

There were Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean at the time of the Punic Wars? What role if any, did jews play in these wars?
18
votes
1answer
391 views

What was the scale of eroticism in Byzantine theater?

When reading the texts of saint John the Chrysostome i found a very severe criticism of theater because of 'nude harlots' that could be seen there. I have also read some fragments of Procopius' Secret ...
5
votes
2answers
846 views

What is the basic structure of British Politics?

This is obviously an extremely broad (but answerable!) question, and I honestly don't know where to start and have no knowledge whatsoever about the topic. Basically I would like to know how the ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Did loot from the 4th Crusade turn up in interesting places?

The horses of St. Mark were taken to Venice. Are there any other objects that are known to have turned up elsewhere?
6
votes
1answer
248 views

Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?

In the Old West, many railroads went through Indian-occupied areas. Are there any documented instances of the Indians ever sabotaging the railroads? Please provide dates and circumstances where ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

What kind of wood was the standard decking for Aircraft Carriers in World War 2?

I know that both Japan and the United States used wooden decks on their WWII Aircraft Carriers. Was there a specific, "ideal" standard type of wood that was utilized by either country? If so, what ...
4
votes
1answer
603 views

Was “Death Traps” by Belton Y. Cooper historically accurate?

Was the WW2 memoir "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper historically accurate?
11
votes
2answers
129 views

Which is the first culinary book ever written?

I strongly believe that food is a fundamental part of a country's tradition, so which is the first culinary book ever written?
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Where can I find the text of “Ecerinis”?

This is a play from the 14th century (reportedly "the first secular tragedy written since Roman times") relating the tale of Ezzelino da Romano and written by one Albertino Mussato. Is there an online ...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

Arab population of Palestine pre-1880

It is known that the population of Palestine increased greatly between, say, 1880 and 1948. Apart from Jewish immigration there was also considerable Arab immigration (partly related to the economic ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

When were the lictors abolished?

I wonder when the institute of lictors was abolished in the Ancient Rome? Who was the last emperor to have lictors as companions?
0
votes
1answer
246 views

What is the source of the Senate-as-saucer story?

A famous (though perhaps fictional) simile often quoted to point out the differences between the House and Senate involves an argument between George Washington, who favored having two chambers ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Can the University of Bologna be considered the first university in the world?

There are usually two different opinions: the first group considers the University of Bolgona to be officially the first one, some others instead claim that there might have been other groups of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why wasn't Monaco unified with France?

Why wasn't Monaco unified with the Kingdom/Republic of France during the unification? I understand France used to be a very decentralized kingdom with many areas ruled by vassal or smaller rulers, and ...
7
votes
3answers
226 views

Is there any country where the founder of the nation is no longer respected?

Founders of nations are often known as the "Father of the Nation". These people are charismatic leaders who have gone through hardship in creating a nation for the independence of their country, and ...
18
votes
2answers
325 views

Which lost historical documents, when uncovered, led to the most substantial revisions in historiography?

I have this romantic idea about the lost writings of Epicurus that perhaps somewhere at the bottom of the Aegean Sea there still lies a ship sunken in Ancient Greek times with copies of the ...
2
votes
2answers
447 views

What explanations have been given as to why the Jews were not killed in Italy?

Jews were mass murdered in Germany during World War II. Why did the same thing not happen in Italy?
7
votes
1answer
877 views

What kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars

I would like to know which kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars on both sides, there is not wery much information around.
5
votes
3answers
276 views

Absolute rulers who voluntarily resigned their power

I am looking for examples of absolute rulers who voluntarily resigned their power. To get the ball going, here are two from Roman history: Sulla Diocletian. Chandragupta Maurya Jigme Singye Wangchuk ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Which Confederate State provided the most troops in the American Civil War?

Of all the states that elected to secede during the American Civil War, which one had the largest number of citizens who actually fought for the Confederacy? I would also be interested if anyone could ...
4
votes
1answer
766 views

How much did helping the American Revolution cost France?

I recall reading somewhere that the expenses of the war were ruinous for France and that the gains didn't offset them, this being one of the causes that forced Louis XVI to convene the Estates ...
1
vote
6answers
169 views

What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants

Historically, the name "Persia" has been applied to southern Asia to disassociate that land from the people who inhabit it, who called themselves Aran. Similarly, the name "Palestine" has been applied ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Why did the start of the Roman consular year move?

Thus quoth wikipedia: The first day of the consular term changed several times during Roman history. It became 1 January in 153 BC. Question is: why? (And what is the source, since wiki is ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

Why was Stalin so opposed to genetics?

He violently persecuted genetics. Why? Here is one notable example: Vavilov repeatedly criticised the non-Mendelian concepts of Trofim Lysenko, who won the support of Joseph Stalin. As a ...
7
votes
4answers
520 views

Who are the modern descendants of the Khazar people?

The Khazars where a people who built an empire centred North of the Caucasus Range, between the 7th and 11th centuries. They are not at all mainstream (at least in Europe), even though, defeating the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How many Russian people did Tsar Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) kill?

Ivan's rule was full of contradiction, success and failure. Was his rule bloody? How many Russian people were killed by him?
2
votes
0answers
134 views

What are some of the Egyptian pyramid building theories? [closed]

What were some of the theories of how the Egyptian pyramids were built? I know about the one about placing logs under the stones to move them into place, but what are some other theories? Will there ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

What's the story behind Christmas?

Looking at this question I see the tradition of Christmas presents, but where did the tradition of Christmas itself come from? Also, what's with the Christmas tree and Santa (or Kris Kringle)?
5
votes
1answer
118 views

What was the currency in use in Palestine shortly before and during WWI?

Wikipedia lists the following Ottoman currencies: Akçe, Para, Kuruş, Lira, Sultanî, but I would like to now which were prevalent in actual use (or, rather, uses). Also, such a variety suggests that ...
6
votes
1answer
733 views

How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so it is effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be a ...
3
votes
3answers
730 views

In Battle of Zama, how did Hannibal's use of war elephants lead to a Roman Victory?

Why did Hannibal attack with elephants from the front? Why not from side? Also why did the elephants just keep walking through the small gap? Why not wreak havoc in the middle of Roman troops? (like ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

Did Roman military require uniform weapons?

It seems to me that weapons were quite expensive in ancient world. At the same time there could be much of captured and imported weapons available. So did the Roman military prohibit use of captured ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

When and how did people begin to consider slavery immoral?

Consider this: In the ancient world, murder and theft were prohibited. However, slavery was ubiquitous and considered normal. AFAIK, nobody thought of it as immoral, though probably some called for ...
15
votes
3answers
373 views

What is the evidence to claim that political order in ancient Rome was sufficiently different under “kingdom”, “republic” and “empire”?

Traditionally the following stages are counted for the political order of the Ancient Rome: Kingdom Republic Empire (subdivided into Principate and Dominate) The "kingdom" is usually regarded as ...
3
votes
2answers
300 views

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture?

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture? Wikipedia: Hipster, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the ...
7
votes
2answers
680 views

When was “diablo” first used to refer to the Devil?

I'd curious to know how and when the word diablo came to mean the Devil. In Luc Ferry's A Brief History of Thought, he states: The devil is rather one who, spiritually speaking, does everything ...
11
votes
5answers
755 views

Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?

I've read in a few places that American soldiers during WWII (meaning men who had actually seen combat, not rear echelon troops) preferred light comedy or romance movies to the sanitized propaganda in ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Anomaly in drawing of the Great Pyramid by National Geographic

In the chart below, which comes from this page, there is a gray outline of another shaft and room behind the Queen's chamber description text. Does anyone know anything about this room or where it ...
1
vote
4answers
553 views

Correlation between capitalism/democracy and communism/dictatorship?

Some people often equate capitalism with democracy and communism with dictatorship, is this necessarily true? What are good examples and counter-examples of these associations? Should kingdoms etc. ...
11
votes
3answers
461 views

What historical conditions (culture, technology, events, etc.) contributed to China's current lead in population?

If their growth rate was comparable to the rest of the world over the past several millenia, then was it only a matter of having a "head start"? (If so, then how did this initial condition come to ...
4
votes
2answers
729 views

How did the Chinese Self-Criticism work in practice?

During the Maoist era often "enemies" were put through "self-criticisms" where they needed to note where they were in error and how they strayed from the party. I've seen multiple records of this in ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

What was the civil weapons legislation under Hitler?

Was possession of weapons prohibited, encouraged, allowed to members of some organizations, or what?
6
votes
2answers
452 views

What happened to the Imperial Byzantine Family after the collapse of the empire?

After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, what happened to the Imperial Byzantine family? Did they later establish other smaller kingdoms? Do any European Royal family trace their ancestry to them ...
2
votes
1answer
643 views

What is the secret behind the economic success of ROC(Taiwan)?

Even though the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) is not a member of the United Nations, it has been economically successful. What is the secret behind the economic success of it then?
9
votes
1answer
232 views

Were there weapons that a private citizen could not legally own in 1789 in the US?

For example: a canon, certain types of muskets etc... Were there laws for whether women or freed slaves could not own specific weapons?
5
votes
2answers
487 views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
10
votes
1answer
131 views

“Year without a summer” 1816 effects on Africa

I have found quite a bit of information on the farming and societal effects of the volcanic eruption of Mt Tambora in 1815, but they all talk about North America, Europe and Asia. I wondered if there ...

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