All Questions

17
votes
2answers
1k views

How would slaves have addressed their masters in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Rome, slaves addressed their masters as Dominus or Domina (male or female, respectively). Would the slaves (or servants) of Ancient Greece have used a similar title, or would they have ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

How widespread was astronomy in prehistoric times?

There is evidence in many parts of the world that people were able to accurately predict the summer and winter solstices thousands of years ago. For example, Newgrange in Ireland and the Pyramids in ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

What unique personal experiences contributed to the formation of Mao's brand of Communism?

Political scientists cite his personal attributes and exposure to the proletariat as synergistic in the formation of his doctrine. What particular experiences in Mao Zedong's formative years ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Sun Tzu's “Art of War” influence Napoleon's philosophy of war and strategy?

The "Art of War" by Sun Tzu is to my knowledge one of the most important and oldest books (besides Clausewitz, Machiavelli) about the philosophy of war and military strategy. Were historians able to ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the earliest evidence of contact between Ireland and Egypt?

There is a folk tale of an Egyptian princess in Ireland around 1700 BC. Is there credible evidence of early contact between the two places?
21
votes
5answers
19k views

Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
12
votes
3answers
624 views

Why were there civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia, but not in Slovenia or Macedonia?

It seems that during the breakup of Yugoslavia there were civil wars during speakers of the (then officially) same language - Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, but not, e.g., between Serbs and Slovenians. ...
6
votes
2answers
206 views

How besieged was Leningrad after Operation Iskra?

Wikipedia's timeline for the siege of Leningrad is a little puzzling. It has: 12–30 January 1943: Operation Iskra penetrates the siege by opening a land corridor along the coast of Lake Ladoga into ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why did the Dutch, French & British acquire minor colonies in South America?

We know that South America was partitioned between Spain and Portugal in the early days of empire when Spain and Portugal were the major powers. Later, in the 19th century, when Spain and Portugal ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Why was Caesar at the Rubicon?

«Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος» (anerriphtho kybos, lit. Let the die be cast) was attributed by Suetonius to Caesar when it was reported that some legionaries cross the Rubicon. Why did Caesar move to the Rubicon ...
4
votes
1answer
311 views

What precipitated the Meiji restoration?

What other factors, apart from Commander Perry arriving at Edo, precipitated the Meiji restoration?
19
votes
3answers
2k views

When and why was the samurai class abolished?

I am aware the Emperor Meiji abolished the Samurai class during the reformation. Why did he do so? How was it enforced?
14
votes
1answer
447 views

Why did Meiji consider switching from Japanese to English?

During the Meiji restoration, the Emperor sought to switch Japan's national language from Japanese to English. Why was that? Why, ultimately, was it unsuccessful? The Role of English and Other ...
10
votes
1answer
246 views

Were there originally seats in the elevators in the Eiffel Tower?

There were seats drawn on the blue print for the tower. Today there are no seats. Were they fitted and then taken out or were they never installed at all?
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What led to the creation of Belgium?

Why was Belgium created as opposed to grouping the Fracophone Walloons and the Dutch-Speaking Flemish with their respective linguistically similar neighbor countries; France and the Netherlands?
8
votes
2answers
444 views

What was the significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question in the 19th century?

As the title states, what was the specific significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question (Denmark and Prussia arguing over contested lands bordering the two nations) as it directly relates to German ...
14
votes
2answers
202 views

Why was Iceland not a part of the Danish-Swedish deal in Kiel in 1814?

In the Treaty of Kiel of 1814, Norway was essentially given from Denmark to Sweden as a "sorry we were on the other side", but Iceland was not a part of this deal at all. This is in spite of the fact ...
10
votes
5answers
994 views

What new technology/tactics allowed the breakthrough of the trenches in WW I western front?

Reading the answers to this question about WW1 Western Front, it appears that breaking through the trenches was a very difficult task to do. How did the Allies finally make it? Was it the invention of ...
20
votes
3answers
480 views

First evidence for replacement of barter trade by local abstract currency?

What were the first local currency systems in history we have detailed information on? I dont think it was gold/silver or other hard to produce materials. Probably these became more important ...
9
votes
7answers
361 views

First evidence of intercontinental or cross-cultural trade?

Probably this happened several times and maybe even failed and broke up in different regions. What hints and proofs do we have of the earliest succesful intercontinental trade relations? I assume ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Why was the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959) ultimately successful?

Communist revolutions have been attempted across the world - what were the primary reasons that the Cuban Revolution succeeded while others failed?
28
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the factors that caused the new world civilizations to be less technologically advanced than the old world?

Assuming they started at the same point (maybe the split of the continents or the migration of the first "Native Americans" to the American continent), why did the Old World end up developing faster? ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did Saladin show kindness to Richard I?

Why did Saladin, when Richard the Lionhearted was sick with a fever, send him a gift of fruit? Or when Richard's horse was killed in battle, he sent a steed to be led to his camp?
17
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages?

Is there any difference between the "Middle Ages" and the "Dark Ages"?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Where did the term “Middle Ages” come from?

Where did the term "Middle Ages" come from? Who was the first known person to use that term?
5
votes
3answers
329 views

Where was the Japanese surrender signed on Okinawa in June 1945?

On the 21st of June, Japanese defences on the southern fringe of Okinawa collapsed. The following day General Mitsuru Ushijima and chief of staff Isamu Chō committed suicide. Colonel Yahara was denied ...
10
votes
1answer
325 views

Was the Granny Smith Apple the first green skinned apple widely propagated?

In my hometown (Eastwood NSW, Australia) we annually celebrate the Granny Smith Apple, which is assumed by many to be the first green apple widely propagated. How true is it that it was the first ...
15
votes
1answer
167 views

What was the Mantineian form of government and what praise did it receive?

In his comparison of the Roman form of government with those of other states, Polybius mentions Mantineia as having one which had been praised by almost all historians. However, he does not go into ...
10
votes
4answers
234 views

What is considered to be the pivotal battle between Caesar and Pompey?

Caesar and Pompey's forces battled with one another on numerous occasions during the Fall of the Roman Republic. What is the earliest battle that is commonly accepted as the one where it became clear ...
8
votes
2answers
297 views

Language of Franks vs later French

I am reading that before the 8-9th(10th?) century, Franks were a Germanic-speaking nation. How it is possible to explain that in later centuries their language became a totally different ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Australian towns / cities with Aboriginal names

Why were many Aboriginal names kept for town and place names in Australia including one of the first cities Parramatta: As a settlement developed, Governor Phillip gave it the name "Rose Hill" ...
81
votes
27answers
18k views

Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

This has always bothered me. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad... and it's also a well known fact that every European country which tried to invade Russia has ...
10
votes
4answers
592 views

Why was the Irish War of Independence in 1918 successful when other revolts failed?

In a nutshell, what events, occurrences, or mishaps took place that allowed the Irish to win the war of Independence over what could arguably be the most powerful nation of the time, when they were ...
35
votes
9answers
6k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
43
votes
7answers
5k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in ...
15
votes
3answers
924 views

Where are Genghis Khan's Mongols?

In the 13th century, Mongol hordes invaded most of the known world and Genghis Khan's nobles had strong legacies to rule in China, Iran and Central Asia in the the following centuries. What about the ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

How did people travel to remote islands like Easter Island?

Easter Island is extremely remote, being thousands of kilometers from its nearest neighbor. How did people get there safely, and how did they even know it was there?
15
votes
3answers
936 views

Why was the Western Front so static in World War I?

Once the German advance was halted, neither side could seriously advance for two years. This seems like an extraordinarily long time. Why didn't anyone succeed at going around the trenches or striking ...
13
votes
1answer
256 views

Did President Kennedy really cut 100,000 government jobs during his presidency?

In Michel Crozier's book, La crise de l'intelligence, he states that during John F. Kennedy's presidency about 100,000 government jobs were terminated. Is this figure accurate? Where can I find any ...
14
votes
2answers
563 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

What particularly watershed events led to the War of the Roses?

What were the key events that led to the War of the Roses occurring in England during the 15th century. Was there any particular event that was the tipping point?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
12
votes
2answers
229 views

Who gave King Richard I the title Coeur de Lion?

When King Richard I went to the Holy land during the Third Crusade, he was given the title coeur de lion (French for lion heart). Who gave him that title? I Imagine that it was a French person.
15
votes
3answers
465 views

Nero and the Great Fire of Rome 64AD

I have always been fascinated by the history of ancient Rome and this is one of the topics, I always wanted to know a little bit more about. The rumor about Nero himself giving the order to burn down ...
19
votes
2answers
580 views

When did the Knights Templar dissolve and why?

The Knights Templar were a medieval chivalric organization within the Roman Catholic Church. When did they dissolve, and what ultimately led to the dissolution of the Templars?
23
votes
5answers
655 views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
55
votes
11answers
11k views

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
18
votes
2answers
498 views

What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...
11
votes
2answers
89k views

How many troops died on D-day?

How many troops (allied and axis) died at Normandy beach on June 6th, 1944? I've searched all over the internet, but can't find an accurate number.
29
votes
7answers
4k views

Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?

There are accounts that British Prime Minister Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler because he just didn't want Britain involved in a war at that time. Others also argue that Chamberlain was naive and ...

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