10
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
5
votes
3answers
333 views

When did the Commonwealth of England start being considered a Republic?

For instance, it was under the absolute rule of a person (Cromwell), and after his death the rule is passed to his son. When was it classified as a republic, as opposed to a monarchy? Was that before, ...
9
votes
1answer
325 views

Was there an export industry of papyrus from ancient Egypt?

While researching the orphism question I came across a mention of the Derveni Papyrus. While its content is highly interesting, I got curious as to how a papyrus showed up in 4th century BCE Macedonia ...
17
votes
3answers
470 views

Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive writes Two tablets found at Senkerah on the Euphrates in 1854 date from 2000 BC. They give squares of the numbers up to 59 and cubes of the numbers up ...
9
votes
1answer
178 views

Typical fortifications around major cities in the 18th century

I came across this map of Vienna in 1769 (the city was then capital of the Hapsburg empire), i.e. almost a century after the major siege and battle of 1683 and almost a century before final removal of ...
5
votes
1answer
764 views

What was the reason for the Ottoman invasion of Otranto?

In 1480, the Ottomans invaded Otranto and briefly occupied it. However, it didn't seem that the city was strategically important or held particular value to the Ottomans, nor did they seem to follow ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

British way in construction of AFV

Why have British tanks not changed very much? The USA have moved from the VSS, VVSS, HVSS (Lee and Sherman) suspensions to the torsion bar suspension (T26 and Patton family), USSR - from twin bogies ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
143 views

Did genocide occur in the Football War?

In the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras, the El Salvador claimed that genocide had occurred in Honduras. However, was anybody actually prosecuted for these actions, or were these claims ...
7
votes
1answer
206 views

How big were the biggest elections during the ancient era?

According to this question - Why did non-monarchic rule meet with so little success in ancient China?, elections in the ancient era were mostly conducted in city-states, due to feasibility, logistical ...
7
votes
2answers
569 views

Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" ...
26
votes
6answers
814 views

Why didn't the silk road run north of the Black Sea?

I have read many times that the only way for Europeans to get to China, or vice versa, was through Anatolia and Persia. This gave Istanbul an advantage in throttling trade, as well as Mesopotamia and ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

What does the forward “Bullnose” of a Bailey Bridge that is under construction look like?

I read an excellent book titled "First Across the Rhine: The 291st Engineer Combat Battalion in France, Belgium, and Germany". In it, they describe some of the many functions that are performed by a ...
6
votes
5answers
352 views

Historical examples of significant no man's lands between states in perpetual conflict

What are some historical examples, if any, of large-scale (say > 10000 km squared) "no-man's lands" between states in perpetual conflict? These states would be mutually hostile, firmly divided ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is Thailand considered an Axis power in WWII?

I read a Wikipedia article about military history of Thailand and it left me a taste of anti-Thai bias. It is known that Thailand in 1940 (after the fall of Paris and establishment of Vichy ...
12
votes
1answer
715 views

How many hours per day did a Sumerian farmer sleep?

I wonder about the life-styles of the inhabitants of ancient civilizations. As a particular case, if we consider the era of Sumer, what are the significant diversities compared to rural life today?
8
votes
1answer
480 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
342 views

Emigration restrictions in history

In the 20th century many states restricted the capacity of their populations to emigrate. Most famously, Churchill described the variety of emigration, financial and political restrictions in Central ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What happened to the French gold at Martinique during WW2

I am curious as to what happened to the gold stored on the island of Martinique by the French during WW2, I know that the French controlling the island switched sides a few times, and that there were ...
5
votes
1answer
177 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?
13
votes
2answers
716 views

What are the reasons of the ethnical fragmentation of the Caucasus?

While investigating on Albania, I kept finding peoples I never heard of before. Notwithstanding my vast ignorance, this was systematic to the point that I started investigating. Take a look at this ...
12
votes
2answers
163 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?
10
votes
1answer
478 views

Did the Romans melt down looted golden objects or did they keep them intact?

The most famous such object is, of course, the Menorah which is reported to have surfaced up later in Constantinople via Carthage, so it seems to have been kept intact. But I am wondering if there ...
0
votes
2answers
535 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
290 views

What was the Julian Calendar aligned to?

I understand that the Julian Calendar was introduced to align the length of the calendar to the tropical year, i.e. make the average year 365.25 days long. However, what I'm still trying to figure out ...
6
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
702 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
45 views

Which of LBJ's fellow representatives were less active than him in the House?

In the first book of Robert Caro's series on Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, he observes that in his time as a member of the House of Representatives, LBJ had introduced only 5 bills of national ...
2
votes
2answers
740 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?
6
votes
1answer
743 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?
7
votes
2answers
120 views

Georgia's Ruling by O. Henry

O. Henry's 1900 story, "Georgia's Ruling", http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/ohenry/bl-ohenry-georgia.htm describes a dire social problem related to the USA land laws and the "land ...
7
votes
2answers
450 views

What literary or philosophical works did the ancient Egyptians have that have influenced ancient civilizations or the modern word?

We all know of the Roman and Greek literary and philosophical works which still resonate to this day and read by many. As a an ancient and long old civilization, what works of equal importance do we ...
7
votes
2answers
393 views

Orphism's alleged influence on Christianity

I've read in Nils Johan Ringdal's delightful but ill-footnoted Love For Sale: A World History of Prostitution that the apostle Paul was influenced by Orphism when he set out to weaken women's roles in ...
13
votes
2answers
338 views

What is the earliest reliably dated event exact to the year?

How far does reliable counting of the years reach into the past: with the help of dating methods? using only primary sources?
9
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

What was the role of the Soviet Navy during WWII?

Most books of WWII speak of the naval battles of allied and axis powers during the war, but none about the Soviet navy. The soviets had an active fleet at the time, why did it not engage the Germans ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
586 views

Early medieval urban development

Does anybody know of research papers or academic resources that study the full development and growth of medieval cities? I mean, from village stage to city stage. Or maybe cities did not develop that ...
21
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Was any significant percentage of Mongol army infantry?

Mongols of Khan's time are generally considered to be a cavalry army, which makes sense logistically, given the width and speed of their military maneuvers. But is there historical evidence of Khan's ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Why wasn't San Marino unified with Italy?

Why wasn't San Marino unified with the Kindom of Italy during the unification process? Were there plans or efforts at the time to unify the two states? Did either government at any time try to annex ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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
1k 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
1k 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
168 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
517 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
168 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...

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