10
votes
1answer
937 views

What were Greek and Roman sails made from?

I have found that Vikings used sails made from wool: http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/research/maritime-technology/woollen-sailcloth/#.VctQLvlVhBc But can anyone tell me what the sails of ancient ...
14
votes
2answers
313 views

What was lost when the British burned the White House in 1814?

Dolley Madison saved state papers, Washington's portrait, and silver from the White House before it burned (source), but what was left behind and lost? Were there other would-be famous items taken or ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania, and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
13
votes
1answer
522 views

Instances of Jauhar around the world

Is there any evidence that the practice similar to Jauhar existed in places other than India? It seems like a pretty effective way, however brutal it may be, to escape slavery, rapes and imprisonment ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Are there any historically significant volcanic eruptions that predate Akrotiri?

Specifically, any that occurred after the first civilizations developed, but before the Minoan eruption on Santorini (Thera/Akrotiri). (Approx. 3500 – 1600 B.C.)
3
votes
1answer
200 views

How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
2
votes
1answer
477 views

Who said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words”?

I saw the following quote: "Watch your thoughts, They become your words; Watch your words, They become your deeds; Watch your deeds, They become your habits; Watch your habits, They become your ...
7
votes
1answer
335 views

Cultural history of Saudi Arabian rulers' uniform beard style?

Why is it that all Saudi Arabian rulers and princes, both of the present and past generations, apparently wear the same style of chin beards? (Yes, they wear the same styles of headdresses as well.) ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the symbolism behind the Sauser family crest from Sigriswil, Switzerland?

I received a letter that included a photo copy of an old b&w photo of this medallion or sign with no explanation of what it is or what it was used. I understand it is something that was ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

How many samurai warriors were there during the Sengoku period?

I was trying to estimate the number of warriors who were part of the samurai class. I am mainly interested in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trying to search for that, I came across this. It states ...
2
votes
3answers
451 views

What factors contributed to the United States having a larger proportion of Jews than other British colonies?

Related but more broad question: Why is such a large percentage of Jewish population worldwide in USA According to Wikipedia, the United States has a higher proportion of Jews than Canada, Australia ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views

What are the ancient origins of the Medicine Ball?

Seeing this question about the oldest known exercise equipment, I remembered a scene from I, Claudius when Tiberius is working out with a medicine ball, so I thought that might be a good candidate. I ...
4
votes
1answer
563 views

Archers laying on their back, was it real?

I saw a movie called "The Hero" from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In one scene, many of the Chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What type of provisions would seafarers use in the med-19th century?

What was the composition of seafarers provisions in the mid-19th century? What types of items would they have taken with them for a long trip? For example - for just travelling on a light trip from ...
9
votes
4answers
642 views

Why has there only been one dynasty in the history of Japan?

I'm kinda surprised that there's been only one dynasty (Yamato) in Japan up until now, unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at ...
8
votes
5answers
550 views

What does a “boat crimper” do?

Working with Census data and other 19th century sources, I occasionally come across the occupation of "boat crimper." I can't figure out what these boat crimpers do. Based on the definition of ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What was the contemporary popular opinion of the Anglo-Irish Treaty?

After the Irish War of Independence (also known as The [Black and] Tan War), the Irish and British signed a treaty in 1921, which created the Irish Free State and started the process of gradual ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Did the division between East and West Germany coincide with cultural boundaries?

I understand that at the conclusion of World War II, Germany was divided into East Germany (under the Soviet Union) and West Germany (under the Western powers). Prior to the division, was there any ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

War Guilt Methodology: Was Germany solely to blame for WWI? [closed]

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles places the blame of the war solely on Germany and her allies. This is the quote: The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Diaries or writings of Cathar Perfecti in 12th Century France

The Cathars were a Gnostic sect of southern (Languedoc) France in the 12th Century. "Perfecti" were individuals in the sect who followed the most extremely austere lives, renouncing worldly pleasures ...
5
votes
2answers
119 views

What would be used to write things in 15c in Europe

What sort of pens/quills would be used? Would paper, cover and bindings be readily available?
5
votes
5answers
353 views

What kinds of WW2 POWs were treated best?

We all know that the harshest attitudes were toward Jews overall, and maybe Russian POWs in German concentration camps too. Conditions for German soldiers who were held as prisoners in USSR were also ...
11
votes
2answers
357 views

What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed rundown of UTC's sales ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

How was Mao Anying killed?

Mao Anying, the eldest son of Mao Zedong, was killed in action by an air strike during the Korean War. There is the abstract from wikipedia: Mao was Peng Dehuai's secretary and Russian translator ...
39
votes
11answers
7k views

When were swords last used in European warfare?

Specifically, I'm interested in the last documented occurrence of swords (of any sort) being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare. That is, when did any European or ...
-4
votes
1answer
82 views

What are we to consider Japanese Americans held in Concentration Camps in WWII [closed]

I claim that the Japanese Americans forced into concentration camps during WWII are POW'S. I don't see this violating the definition of POW: ...
3
votes
0answers
196 views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
21
votes
5answers
989 views

Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
-1
votes
2answers
90 views

What did the technologies of von Braun and other members of the Third Reich contribute to America's lead in the race to moon against Russia?

Wernher von Braun was lead constructor/technologist for the Apollo missions, and provided his knowledge about rocket science, which he used/learned during WW2 when constructing the V2 (along with some ...
4
votes
2answers
158 views

In the late 18th century, would any of the southwestern area of Germany used Franks instead of their own currency?

While looking up family history I found an old German marriage document which specified a dowry of "1000 Franks." With that, the families in question were from the Suggental/Waldkirch area in what is ...
4
votes
3answers
306 views

Was it Bismarck who said: “He who is master of Bohemia is master of Europe”?

Did Otto von Bismarck say the following?: He who is master of Bohemia is master of Europe
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Where can I find a reliable method of translating English to Ancient Egyptian? [closed]

Having no prior knowledge of the language I am working on a project that requires me to name things using languages similar to ancient Egyptian. So far I have been using this website: ...
3
votes
3answers
13k views

Does Japan have the legal right to have its own army or navy?

After WW2 Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary would be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the legal right to ...
10
votes
2answers
174 views

What institutional precursors enabled labor unions to emerge in the United States?

What institutions and organizations existed in the United States before the structured and recognizable labor unions formed as a visible sign of organizations to come? How did these predecessor ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

Where does the employer / employee deference, subservient relationship come from? [closed]

I'm interested in understanding where the deep seated social and psychological(?) feeling of subservience between employee and employer came from. For example Deming and others would advocate more of ...
17
votes
9answers
17k views

Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?

Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the ...
32
votes
10answers
6k views

Has anyone ever named a war after their own country or faction?

An interesting conversation has come up on the Science Fiction and Fantasy SE site. I will try to summarize it as briefly as possible. Someone asked a question about the second Star Wars prequel. ...
10
votes
4answers
665 views

Did any armies systemically favor axes/hammers over swords?

In fantasy literature there are plenty of examples of cultures (such as the Dwarves of Lord of the Rings) who favor axes or hammers above swords in combat. Did any historical army follow that ...
4
votes
9answers
3k views

Why did Germany not attack Turkey during WW2?

Most of us might have heard something about the Geo-strategic position of Turkey. She connects two continents to each other and provides a bridge between the relatively advanced Europe and the ...
11
votes
2answers
704 views

Were there any pilots that declined to carry out the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Were there any pilots that refused (or politely declined) to take part in the operations of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," knowing the destruction these would cause? Similarly, were there any scientists ...
23
votes
7answers
10k views

Where did the Gaels originate?

The origin and spreading out of the Celtic peoples is a topic shrouded in mystery, at least to my mind. While the Germanic migrations occurred during the late Imperial Roman period and Early Middle ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Pinpointing the date of a globe

I'm trying to calculate the date a globe was produced, using as a source its features, i.e. the names of the nations, the borders, the capitals, anything else that could have changed with time. This, ...
11
votes
5answers
542 views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From ...
1
vote
0answers
136 views

How do we compare historical empires on these statistics?

I see three criteria here: I'm wondering which historical empire was the most long lived, largest, most populous, and represented the largest percentage of world population. Who controlled the ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

“Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin.” [closed]

[Source:] Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin. Would someone please explain the history behind Baron Acton's quote above? For instance, ...
8
votes
2answers
481 views

Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement?

Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement? It seems like a simple question, but on further examination it is a challenge to discern. The ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Did Russia declare war on Prussia before its invasion of that country on August 7, 1914?

I was looking through some lists of war declarations from the first World War and I did not see any declaration of war by Russia on Germany or Prussia. The Russian army did invade Prussia on August 7, ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

In Ancient Rome, did certain citizens lack any obligations of service or duty? [closed]

municipal (adj.) [...] from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Which was the last pitched battle fought by Western powers? [closed]

If we define a pitched battle as a fierce military engagement on close combat on the ground between two armies at war. Both intending on fighting the other and not retreating or escaping before ...
12
votes
1answer
454 views

Are there examples of well known medieval battles with very little archaeological evidence?

When I was researching the history of The Battle of Kulikovo (битва на Куликовом поле), I was struck by the seemingly complete dearth of available archaeological evidence at the site of the battle ...

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