10
votes
2answers
223 views

What led Extremadurans to take a leading role in the conquest of Spain's territories in the Americas?

According to Wikipedia, other sources, and politically-incorrect stereotypes the majority of the famous conquistadors were from the present-day Spanish autonomous community of Extremadura: Hernán ...
13
votes
2answers
351 views

What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture?

Vikings didn't have horned helmets as is often depicted. Where can I find accurate representations how vikings and viking society looked?
5
votes
0answers
77 views

How did Pancrace Royer die?

Pancrace Royer was well known French harpsichordist who published a book in 1746. He died in 1755, but I can't find the cause of death (would probably be easier if I knew French). Does anyone know of ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any evidence that the Catholic Church slowed innovation during the Middle Ages?

I often hear that the rate of innovation was very high during ancient times in Greece and the Roman empire. I've also heard that the rate of innovation was reduced once the Catholic Church gained ...
9
votes
1answer
203 views

In Studying the peoples of pre-Roman Britain, what are our primary reference sources?

Where do we get our information on the people's of pre-Roman Britain?
10
votes
2answers
152 views

Buying/Renting/Leasing houses during history?

I was wondering about something. After the last financial crisis, many people have talked about not buying a house, but renting one, and they made it sound like a "new" idea. So what was it like ...
7
votes
1answer
200 views

Why did Austria cede Venetia at the end of the Third Italian War of Independence?

Looking at the wikipedia articles, they seemed to be winning (the Battle of Custoza and the naval battle of Lissa), and the war against Prussia was already finished. So why did it still cede Venetia ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Mongolia split in two when they declared independence?

When Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Empire in 1911, part of it stayed under Qing control. This is the part known today as Inner Mongolia. But even before their independence, there were ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Real-life examples of finding long-lost treasure?

Whether it's Indiana Jones, National Treasure, or the latest Dan Brown novel, popular culture has fallen in love with the idea of finding long-lost treasure, preferably in some elaborate underground ...
10
votes
2answers
322 views

Approximately what was the short-term economic loss to Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War being lost?

Is there any research that shows what the economic impact was to the British economy stemming from the 13 Colonies obtaining independence? It could be either a narrower estimate of purely tax losses ...
11
votes
1answer
126 views

Was there any connection between the Ottonians and Benedictines?

The Ottonians and Benedictines were expanding across Europe around the same time. However, other than in Rome they didn't have much overlap. I've heard references in some history and medieval ...
4
votes
3answers
349 views

What was the first confirmed use of black powder to blow stuff up in war (in China and in Europe)?

In this SciFi SE answer to "Can we date the technology in the Lord of the Rings movies?" , I made a statement that I wasn't able to research as fully as I'd have liked, and therefore would like a ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

How much tax did Romans pay?

According to this guy The Jewish rebellion in A.D. 66 that ignited the war with Rome was by no means inevitable. Judaism was a legal religion in the Roman Empire, and Nero's own empress, Poppaea, ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

What kind of heavy horses did the Manchu use?

My friend told me that the Manchus would link 4 horses together and fight. Yufei then cut off the horses feet and won anyway. Is this true? Where can I learn about 4 horses tied together?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the definitive biography of James Madison?

I'm in the early stages of a project whereby I want to read a biography of each US President. Can you point me towards the best such biography on James Madison? I'd like something that covers his ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Credible historic description of how the daily life was for the middle-class during the financial crisis of 1929 [closed]

I am trying to find out how life could change for the middle-class today if we had a high-impact financial crisis. Please help-me / let me know if this question could be rephrased better.
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What was the actual value of tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party?

I'd like to know 2 or 3 of the following 3 metrics: Actual value in the currency of the time (yes I realize that there were local currencies and in general FX concept was... hard to do). NPV ...
11
votes
8answers
315 views

Is there a confirmed historic record of using “non-standard” live animals for military purposes?

Is there a confirmed historic record of using "non-standard" live animals for military purposes? To clarify, the following doesn't count due to either being standard or non-military: "Standard" ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How well can cavalry fight infantry?

In the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar's infantry won by throwing their spears at the horsemen's faces. So how come in Battle of Zama and many other battles, including the battle where Khalid ibn ...
3
votes
3answers
819 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 ...
-5
votes
2answers
575 views

When did polygamy start becoming illegal? [closed]

Anyone knows when the greek/roman (or anyone else) start prohibiting polygamy and why?
7
votes
1answer
575 views

How do war elephants fight?

Do they just run breaking phalanx? Do they pull their front food and then crush enemies below? What do elephants do? Or are the fighters on top of it just shoot arrows?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any research explicitly contradicting facts in Suvorov's “Icebreaker” book series claiming that Stalin intended to attack Hitler in 1941?

Viktor Suvorov is a somewhat famous ex-GRU spy who defected and wrote a series of books. The most (in)famous and sensational were a series of books on World War II, starting with "Icebreaker", which ...
4
votes
2answers
344 views

Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
5
votes
2answers
931 views

About Naval Formations?

What are the differences between the "line ahead" and "line abreast" formations in naval warfare? Which is more likely to lead to the (advantageous) of "crossing the opponents' T" (or being crossed)?
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Is Germany responsible for World War I? [closed]

Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. What's their "moral" justification? Is it just, you lose so just agree with this or did Germany do something to start ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

How much armor did elephant units wear?

I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants. Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Are there any independent historical records of ancient Persia allowing freedom of worship for the Jews?

Starting from this claim that the king of Persia respected the Jewish' God. http://niv.scripturetext.com/daniel/6.htm The only surviving text is the Jewish text. Are there independent sources of ...
9
votes
1answer
204 views

What historical situation is comparable to what Europe is currently facing?

I know that this question might get closed, but I will try it, nevertheless. The reason why I am so interested in broad comparisons of historical situations with current ones, is because I believe ...
6
votes
4answers
535 views

Does Grant's use of attrition tactic support his reputation as a general?

In 1864, General Ulysees S. Grant began the "final campaign" against Richmond using a war of attrition. That's because of the Union's 2-to-1 numerical advantage against a qualitatively superior ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

Did the Gallic army besieged in Alesia conduct itself well when expecting relief?

During a Gallic revolution against Rome, a Gallic army of some 80,000 men took shelter in the fortress town of Alesia, where they were besieged by some 50,000 Romans under Julius Caesar. (His army may ...
8
votes
1answer
221 views

How Did Modern Weapons Change the Dynamics of City Fighting?

In medieval times, an attacking army that had breached the walls/outer defense of a city, could enter it and overrun the defenders at relatively little cost. A major modern exception was the battle ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these ...
9
votes
3answers
645 views

What Are the Dynamics of A “Forced March?”

In the "Art of War," Sun Tzu opined that if you put your army on a forced march of a certain speed, you will lose one-third of your troops along the way. A rough rule of thumb was that an army would ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Why do people (governments) hang on to the idea of East and West?

The Idea of "East and West" was originated in the (nowadays Middle East) during "Trojan" times. The meaning of "East and West" changed since then but the "Western" governments (and by default, Eastern ...
2
votes
1answer
601 views

What Were the Main Causes of World War One? [closed]

It would appear that the very root of the cause of WWI was the assassination of the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. To me, this is an incredibly odd reason to start a world war. Was the war as ...
7
votes
1answer
310 views

What cultures have had a lasting effect on Sicilian culture?

Considering that Sicily has been inhabited by multiple empires/peoples native Sicilians/Italians tribes and communes Greeks (partially) Carthaginians (partially) Romans Ostrogoths (very briefly) ...
3
votes
1answer
938 views

How was the literacy rate of Americans impacted by the establishment of public schools?

I've heard that people in the United States were mostly literate before Government took over education and literacy rates have been on the decline since. I haven't been able to find any proof of this ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

How beneficial were war bonds to the US during WWII

I've been watching classic cartoon shorts from Disney and Warner Brothers. So many devoted time to encouraging Americans to buy war bonds. Did money collected from war bonds amount to a significant ...
12
votes
2answers
719 views

Did the Egyptians understand the importance of the brain?

I remember hearing recently that new research has suggested that the ancient Egyptians did not view the brain as a useless organ, and had a reason for disposing of it in the manner they did. I can't ...
15
votes
1answer
466 views

What happened to all the french guillotines?

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How unfavorable were the terms of Germany's “surrender” in WW1?

The First World War ended when an armistice was signed between the Germans and the Allies. At that point, while Germany had no realistic hopes of winning the war, they had no enemies within their ...
4
votes
1answer
502 views

Is there a Greek myth of Poseidon “dating” his daughter in the form of a dolphin? [closed]

On Saturday Night Live, there was a skit in which Greek god Poseidon said that he took the form of a dolphin and raped his daughter. Do we have literary or other evidence for such a myth? It might ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
12
votes
3answers
910 views

How did former Spanish colonies in the Americas become so fragmented?

If we only consider countries that are connected by land, there are 16 Spanish speaking countries in the Americas, totaling 11,301,072 km2 in area. That's only slightly larger than Canada (9,984,670 ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Who discovered cancer in mummies?

Who was it that was responsible for the discovery that there are mummies found with cancer as the stated cause of death? And which Pharaoh or Pharaohs was it found in?
7
votes
1answer
180 views

What is the source of the error regarding the origin of the number zero?

What is the source of the historical error that the zero was from the Middle East and not where it is really from, namely India?
12
votes
5answers
420 views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
2
votes
2answers
621 views

Did JFK win the presidential election by fraud? [closed]

Based on sources such as Chicago Tribune, Encyclopedia Britannica, Slate Magazine and many other books, it is said that JFK's father played a significant part in making him president. In the book, "If ...
1
vote
2answers
332 views

Best books on the politics behind WWII [closed]

What are the best books on the politics leading up to and during World War 2? Thanks Edit: Just wanted to add that I just realized that reading biographies of the people involved with the politics ...

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