7
votes
5answers
682 views

Was Christopher Colombus Polish?

A Polish friend of mine stated that Colombus was of Polish heritage. Claims are made that he was a Polish immigrant to Italy, and that he came from a disgraced noble family in Poland. ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Do we know of other examples of modern Utilitarian/Poltical 'cannibalism' (as defined by Carlyle), besides the French Revolutionaries and the Nazis?

Thomas Carlyle - The French Revolution, A History: Chapter 3.5.VII: One other thing, or rather two other things, we will still mention; and no more: The Blond Perukes; the Tannery at Meudon. ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Why did former Yugoslav republics dispute the legal successor of Yugoslavia?

In Wikipedia's article for Yugoslavia: One of the seven successor states was also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) until 2003. The FRY aspired to be a sole legal successor to ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Was the painting of men's nails a rare practice in the mid-20th century?

I came across the following description of Hermann Göring after his capture in 1945 in Elizabeth Borgwardt's A New Deal for the World (On Google Books): The impression of a dissolute voluptuary - ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What devices used computer-like programs in industrial era?

As possibly some of you remember early computers had very small human-machine interface and coding programs was done by cards like this one: or a tape like these: This invention of controlling ...
9
votes
1answer
206 views

Did hanging tyres from Mostar's bridge help at all to protect it?

At various points (e.g. 00:14) in this BBC documentary on Mostar's Stari Most (Old Bridge) you can see dozens of car tyres hanging from the bridge prior to its destruction in the Croat-Bosniak ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

What role did Fourcroy play in Lavoisier's execution?

Wikipedia is very sketchy and hazy on this subject: By his conduct as a member of the Convention, Fourcroy has been accused of contributing to Lavoisier's death. Baron Cuvier, in his Eloge ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did a lot of major cities around the world obtain obelisks?

I am just wondering the significance of this. There is a large one in Washington DC and an old Egyptian one in New York. They have them in France, England, Spain, Canada, Australia etc. Wikipedia has ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why have major sporting events been held every 4 years?

Many major sporting events are held every 4 years such as the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, Rugby World Cup, etc. I've had a look around and I've yet to find an answer ...
23
votes
10answers
6k views

Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

In the context of Ancient Egypt, what could “Priest of On” mean?

Was there any city or deity or ruler in Ancient Egypt named On (in Hebrew pronounced "own")? I'm trying to understand what might be the source for the reference in Genesis 41:45: And Pharaoh named ...
4
votes
3answers
589 views

Did Great Britain benefit economically from the loss of America?

I have been told by many acquaintances that the loss of the thirteen colonies actually BENEFITED the UK. Their claim is that the UK no longer had to pay for the colonies' defence and administration ...
6
votes
0answers
142 views

Were there any other systems which resemble the complex election procedure for the doge of Venice

I was fascinated by a passage in Thomas F. Madden's Venice: a New History describing the complex process used to elect the doge of Venice. This process is explained briefly here: Wikipedia: Doge of ...
8
votes
2answers
591 views

What became of the French Revolutionary Religion and Calendar?

During the height of the French Revolution, there was a complete revamping/retooling of French culture and religion: A new calendar based on the metric system and marking the significant events and ...
2
votes
1answer
395 views

Why did post-colonial Arabs fail to advance in science and technology? [closed]

Why did post-colonial Arabs fail to advance in science and technology? For example, Israel was much younger than Egypt, but, it become a world leader in science and technology. What factors ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Why has Hainan been so little fought over?

There are two really substantial islands off the coast of China, namely Taiwan (Formosa) and Hainan. Whereas Taiwan has been occupied, colonised, renamed and fought over for the last 600 years, Hainan ...
6
votes
1answer
282 views

Was there public resistance to Queen Hatshepsut's reign in ancient Egypt?

Queen Hatshepsut ruled as pharaoh over ancient Egypt from 1479-1458 BC. From what I can tell, she was a highly successful pharaoh, both in wartime activities early on in her reign and later in ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Germany lose World War II when/because “kill ratios” started moving “against” her?

In the first major action between the Germans and Americans, at the battle of Kasserine Pass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Kasserine_Pass, the Germans inflicted casualties against ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?

I've heard the claim that the current Chinese calendar was introduced some times around 2637 BCE by Emperor Huang Di. Apparently, written records date back to about 4,000 years ago and before that the ...
6
votes
2answers
564 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
7
votes
2answers
194 views

What happened to sacrificed animals in ancient Greece?

I was wondering, what happened to animals that were sacrificed in the ancient Greece. For instance, when Pythagoras created his theorem he made a 100 oxen sacrifice. Was the sacrifice considered a ...
4
votes
5answers
863 views

How did ancient mystery religions impact Christianity?

I recently learned about the existence of mystery religions while listening to lectures by Robert Garland about Daily Life in the Ancient World. Wikipedia seems to imply that the mystery religions ...
6
votes
2answers
262 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

It is said that Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he ...
2
votes
0answers
143 views

Is there a timeline showing the various (known) religions and their birthdates? [closed]

I'm trying to establish origins for the worlds major religions, but eager to research some minor ones as well. I am hoping to find a correlation between several religions based on the timetable of ...
8
votes
2answers
266 views

Why was a 10-year old kid appointed consul?

This guy was appointed consul in the Eastern Roman Empire in 491 when he was 10 (ten) years old. As far as I know this was a rather irregular proceeding - I don't recall other cases where children ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

How prevalent was pork in Arabia before Arabs conversion to Islam?

Before Islam and its prohibition of pork, was it a commonly eaten food? Or was it already prohibited by other religions/cultures? Or was it a kind of uncommon food, which was then prohibited? We also ...
7
votes
1answer
354 views

Who won the wrestling match between Lincoln and Jack Armstrong?

According to a site whose name is "Muscles of Iron", the above picture shows Lincoln after taking down “champion” Jack Armstrong at the general store in New Salem, 1831. On the page where the ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

What was Hitler's attitude towards the Aryans of India?

Considering some of the questions/questioners that have cropped up recently on this site, what was the Nazi attitude towards India and specifically the Aryans of India? Did Hitler consider them to be ...
3
votes
2answers
868 views

Did any major European country stay neutral during the Napoleonic Wars?

During World Wars I and II, many countries managed to stay neutral, like Spain and Switzerland. Was there any major country (e.g. not a city-state or a micronation) that did the same during the ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

When did Rome recognize the Christian church as a judical person?

It is known that since Augustus new collegiums (judical persons) could be established only by the senate's decree. It is known that under the late empire the church operated as a collegium. As such, ...
1
vote
0answers
103 views

What was the role of the college of consuls in Ancient Rome?

Wikipedia says: By law, only three persons were required to create a legal collegium; the only exception was the college of consuls, which included only the two consuls. I wonder what was ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

Why, during the Spanish reconquista, did King Ferdinand not take over Portugal?

After unifying Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon through marriage, Ferdinand I proceeded to conquer Grenada, and almost unify the Iberian peninsula, but left Portugal alone. Is there any satisfying ...
7
votes
3answers
625 views

Were Puritans Prudes or Progressive?

I have recently encountered two independent assertions that Puritans were not prudes like I and most of society think they were. Either society's view of Puritans is revisionist, or the two sources I ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an example of Egypt recording defeat?

Some defenders of the Torah's historical accuracy respond to a lack of evidence for the exodus from Egypt with the claim that Egypt simply didn't make records of its negative events. For example, ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

What was the influence of dead people on Johnson's 1948 election victory?

It has been alleged for years that Johnson captured his Senate seat through fraud, but the book, "Means of Ascent,", by Robert A. Caro, goes into great detail to tell how the future President overcame ...
5
votes
1answer
448 views

Why do people still leave flowers at the Temple of Julius Caesar?

I visited Rome recently and did an audio tour through the Colosseum and Roman Forum archeological sites. In the Roman Forum there is the remains of the Temple of Caesar, where Julius Caesar was ...
1
vote
1answer
297 views

Do there exist busts/statues of all the roman emperors until the fall of the West?

I recently visited the impressive Hall of Emperors section in the Capitoline museum in Rome. I had assumed that it would display busts of all the emperors of Rome, but in reality it was obvious that ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
5
votes
1answer
282 views

In what language was the first zionist congress in basel in 1897 held?

In what language was the first zionist congress in Basel held? Was it Yiddish, Hebrew, German, English? Where there translators?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

When did Hinduism forbid overseas travel?

Reading a comment made on this site, I saw something very curious: Why not blame it on the ancient Hindu belief that traveling overseas pollutes a person irredeemably, thereby stunting the growth ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How effective were longbow archers against plate-armored infantry?

It is quite common knowledge that longbows most likely did not penetrate the plate armor worn by the French chevaliers at Poitiers and Agincourt. However, how effective were these longbows in ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Did the Dutch carry out trials for collaboration with the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies?

After the Second World War, the Netherlands tried Dutch citizens for acts of collaboration with the German occupation. Did they do the same (as the UK did on a limited scale in India and other areas ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Napoleon ever say «On s'engage et puis… on voit»?

Lenin in his "About our revolution" cites Napoleon as saying «On s'engage et puis… on voit». Loosely translated that is, "One jumps into the fray, then figures out what to do next", or "You commit ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What evidence supports the claim that Shivaji's father was Muslim?

Professor James Laine wrote a biography of an Indian historical figure named Shivaji. The book was outlawed for a number of years but later the Supreme Court of India unbanned it. There are various ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why was the 1944 surrender of 20,000 Germans on the Western Front remarkable?

I remember very well those days last September when we first heard the rumor that General Elster would surrender to the 99th Division, no one would believe it. "20,000 German troops and their ...
6
votes
1answer
570 views

Why has SACEUR exclusively been an American officer?

After reading this BBC article about the new SACEUR, General Philip Breedlove, United States Air Force, it occurred to me that SACEUR has always been an American officer. Supreme Allied Commander ...
12
votes
1answer
225 views

White on Polish coat of arms

The Polish coat of arms is an eagle on the red field (background): In Poland it is always said that it is a White Eagle. This is mentioned in current Constitution (translated by me): Art. 28. ...
9
votes
1answer
185 views

What can be said about conditions of slaves owned by George Washington?

I remember hearing a PBS documentary make a claim that the babies of slaves on George Washington's Mount Vernon went naked in winter. I have been trying to verify, or even get a good citation, for ...
5
votes
2answers
198 views

When has a military force used their own people as human shields?

I am looking for instances/examples (and sources) throughout history of times an army used it's own people as a buffer between itself and an opposing force. While it is fairly common for an army to ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Did Thomas Paine really give up book royalties?

I heard on a podcast the claim that Thomas Paine apparently gave up on his book rights so that his writings would circulate more widely. However, I tried to find sources for this claim but was unable ...

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