10
votes
1answer
889 views

Austria and Iron Curtain during Cold War

Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech from 1946 contains the following famous passage: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the ...
6
votes
1answer
909 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
995 views

What are the French gains after the American Revolutionary War

Did France gain anything significant (territories or other concessions) at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War? I tried to look up for it, but what I found were very minor (Senegal in ...
2
votes
0answers
144 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
390 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
133 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
2answers
1k views

Status of merchants in feudal Europe

What was the status of merchants during the feudal age in Europe? Did they, like peasants, serve/have allegiance to certain land owning lord? If yes, do they have different status or privileges from ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it true that medieval villages didn't have names?

Recently I've read a certain book about the Middle Ages that has been quite popular with laymen but is held in utter contempt by professional medievists. In fact, I hadn't known the book's reception ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What type of workers were there who built the pyramids in Egypt [duplicate]

What type of workers were there who participated in building the Pyramids. What were they called and what was their role? Also, what sort of treatment did they get?
6
votes
2answers
521 views

What other war crimes trials besides Nuremberg were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
6
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
416 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
452 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) ...
6
votes
3answers
856 views

Have there been any efforts by the countries of Europe to restore their monarchies?

Have there been any effort, polls, referendum in Europe (especially Eastern ex-communist countries) to restore deposed monarchies, like in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.? Most Monarchies were deposed ...
4
votes
2answers
163 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
2answers
1k views

Were servants killed and entombed in Egyptian pyramids?

I remember reading somewhere that along with the earthly possessions of the pharaoh, their favorite servants were also killed and entombed inside the pyramids. Is this true?
7
votes
2answers
587 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
134 views

How were the British and French Mandates in the Levantine area involved in WWII?

We all know the role of Egypt as a British protectorate at the time in WWII and the many battles fought in there. My question is, what is the role of the other British and French possessions in the ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

What was the civil weapons legislation under Hitler?

Was possession of weapons prohibited, encouraged, allowed to members of some organizations, or what?
5
votes
2answers
245 views

What was the reaction of Western Communist Parties to Kruschev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin?

I am also curious about the reactions of left-leaning intellectuals (aka "fellow-travellers").
-1
votes
2answers
313 views

Was Edward VIII of England forced to abdicate? [closed]

I wonder whether Edward VIII was forced to abdicate due to his pro-Nazi views or his romance with Wallis Simpson? I know that some politicians urged him to abdicate but was there something more ...
11
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Mayan calendar coinciding with winter solstice

It appears that all anyone has been talking about is the end of the world, misinterpretations aside (at least I hope so) my understanding that this is simply the end of an age of the Mayan calendar. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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?
8
votes
1answer
251 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?
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Scientists who became major political leaders [closed]

What examples can you find of these? I want the list to include people who satisfy two criteria: (a) Major political leader = king, president, prime-minister, very senior cabinet minister, mayor of ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

When did USA start to help developing countries?

In 2006, the United States government gave $23.53 billion in overseas development assistance. When did these programs start?
13
votes
2answers
230 views

How does Nigeria stay together?

My naive mental picture of Nigeria - the second largest economy in Africa - is as follows: A Muslim North scratching out a living in the Sahara desert A nominally Christian South making money on the ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Who is responsible for the partition of Palestine?

Who is responsible for the partition of Palestine? What governmental bodies or individual governmental actors were the driving force behind the action? If there were non-governmental actors that ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Is there any story about a King who make promises to his sons or general to stay in power? [closed]

I recall there's a story somewhere from history (possibly Chinese history) which tells the story of a powerful man, be it Emperor, King or general that mislead his princes or successor to believe that ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

Were any California presidios conquered?

During the Spanish and Mexican eras in California, there were five presidios in the region: San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, and Sonoma. Were any of these ever conquered, taken ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the origin of the “wheat and chessboard” legend?

The "wheat and chessboard" fable describes a geometric problem that is often quoted in stories about the invention of chess. According to Wikipedia, the main theme of the fable is: When the ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Was Churchill a poor HR manager?

The key problem in the delegation of authority is to match the delegatee's character and experience with the tasks appointed to him/her. I got an impression that Churchill's record in this field is ...
16
votes
0answers
190 views

When did songs extolling leaders of companies go out of fashion?

When recently visiting Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA I came across an exhibit called "Songs of the IBM". It's from 1930s and has a song called "Ever onward" which extols then IBM ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

What exactly was the Philby Plan?

From what I gather it was some sort of idea for an amicable settlement between Jews and Arabs in Palestine and somehow involved Ibn Saud. Weizmann and Churchill apparently supported it but Ibn Saud ...
7
votes
1answer
91 views

Were any of the early settlements in America attacked from the sea?

I have a textbook which describes various considerations colonists made in selecting sights for settlements. For example, it says that Jamestown was too swampy, so there were many mosquitoes and ...
8
votes
1answer
999 views

Why was record keeping forbidden in Ancient Sparta?

in Ancient Sparta, record keeping and any kind of written history was forbidden by law. (src: http://history.stackexchange.com/a/5966/332 ) What was the rationale for such a law?
-2
votes
1answer
188 views

How do we derive information for civilizations from periods before record keeping? [closed]

Civilizations record their history, but how do we derive information for periods before record keeping started? How much do we know for that era of human civilization?
3
votes
1answer
181 views

What is the original variant of the “Charles V Dominating Fury” statue?

The statue "Charles V Dominating Fury" by Leone Leoni is known in two variants, in one the emperor is naked, in the other he is armoured. I wonder which variant is the original?
6
votes
1answer
345 views

Were non-pharaos under “no incest” marriage limitations in Ancient Egypt?

It is a well known fact that in ancient Egypt, it was not unknown for a Pharaoh to marry his own sister. As such, I have 2 questions (about pre-Alexander/Ptolemaic times): How common/uncommon was ...
16
votes
1answer
779 views

Did “droit du seigneur” actually exist in medieval Europe?

Droit du seigneur, also known as "jus primae noctis" (right of the first night), was the supposed right of a feudal lord to sleep with his serfs' brides on their wedding night. Was it actually ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How was armour rusting in the rain handled throughout history?

Various sources (ex) state as one of the biggest advantages of non-metal armours, that they did not rust in the rain. However, a knight would have a squire to clean and oil his armour every evening. ...
8
votes
2answers
146 views

What is the current consensus on the origins of the Brahmi script?

There seem to be two hypotheses about the origin of India's Brahmi script: It developed either from the Aramaic script or the Indus Valley script. Is there any scholarly consensus regarding which of ...
17
votes
2answers
323 views

How does Göbekli Tepe fit into the current picture of society development?

Göbekli Tepe is a huge archaeological site in Eastern Turkey, currently under excavation (make sure you click on "Pictures"). It is one of the oldest architectural complexes in the world, possibly the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Las Vegas located where it is?

Anybody know the history of Vegas and basically why that location was chosen as the main hub for gambling, hotels, and entertainment given that (at that time) it was pretty much a random desert in the ...
9
votes
1answer
299 views

Toyotomi Hideyoshi threatened to exterminate all Japanese foxes unless he heard from the god Inari. What was the aftermath (if any)?

Quoth Wikipedia: the 16th-century leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi wrote a letter to the kami Inari: To Inari Daimyojin, My lord, I have the honor to inform you that one of the foxes ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Legendary visits by Alexander the Great

There is a story about Alexander the Great visiting Jerusalem. This story is not supported by other sources, as far as I know, and so is probably not literally true (it may well reflect some ...
7
votes
1answer
297 views

What were the conditions that Peter Stuyvesant found when he arrived in America?

I have been studying Peter Stuyvesant recently, and would like to know two things about him and New Amsterdam: What were the conditions that he found when he arrived in New Amsterdam? By this I mean ...
6
votes
1answer
225 views

What was the first assassination/murder recorded on film?

Was it the murder of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand?

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