22
votes
2answers
1k views

How did cities operate in medieval times?

Modern fiction is often filled with fantasy versions of the Middle Ages, from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, and everything in between, but how did the reality of this trope operate? There ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Was there an assassination attempt against Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae?

I watched Frank Miller's 300 last night with my girlfriend, and after the movie ended she mentioned the assassination attempt against Xerxes would have been a great plot element for the movie and that ...
4
votes
0answers
141 views

Is one of the causes behind the cultural atmosphere surrounding the Scopes trial, and the concepts about family, “children are the future”? [closed]

To start, I noticed that during the peak of the American eugenics movement (1920-1929) that anti-evolutionary bills and eugenical bills were being passed in the same 37 states (well, just about), ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

Qin's use of the number six

Writing about the Qin's ascent to power, John Keay in his popular history book China: A History mentions: He [Shi Hunagdi] himself wore black, while his troops in black armour issued from ...
4
votes
4answers
781 views

Why were ancient cities protected by walls?

I know the obvious answer to this question is "for protection"! But I would imagine that for a wall to be justifiable in terms of costs, attacks must have been fairly frequent. If the attacks were so ...
10
votes
1answer
503 views

What are the historical reasons for the conventional map orientation?

North is traditionally shown upwards in maps, although there isn't any physical reason for it - compass needles point parallel to magnetic field lines. Showing south as up would be just as legitimate. ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the problems archaeologists face in deciphering Indus Valley writing?

From this link on Indus Valley writing, I came to know that: The first Indian script, developed in the Indus Valley around 2600 B.C. is still undeciphered. Thus, it is still not possible to fully ...
-1
votes
1answer
276 views

What should be historically correct costume of Doctor Faust?

What should be historically correct costume of Doctor Faust corresponding to the epoch, described by Goethe? I encontered with several pictures of Faust in the Internet, but they differ very much. ...
5
votes
1answer
433 views

Why did the the US House of Representatives stop reading George Washington's farewell address on his birthday?

In January 1862, during the American Civil War, thousands of Philadelphia residents signed a petition requesting the Congress to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Washington's birth by reading ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

Why was the movement for Austro-German unity less successful than that of Italian unity? [closed]

Primarily, I am looking at the differences between say, the movements for German unity and that of Italian nationalists. The record shows that the people of Austria had accepted without much ...
19
votes
5answers
806 views

Recognition of Palestine?

What was Palestine before, if not a country? Could you give me some history on this? Also, the recent recognition of Palestine as a country in the UN could have far reaching implications. Are there ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

Is the Sri Lankan Civil War really over?

I was wondering whether the Sri Lankan Civil War, which officially ended, would technically considered to be still ongoing, since there are still clashes going on to this day. Would this classify as a ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

What was the basis for the Nazis to support various ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union and elsewhere over the majority populations? [closed]

What was the reason for the Nazis to support certain ethnic minorities over the majority populations in the conquered territories? For example, they supported Crimean Tatars against the majority of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the ancient Jewish pantheon?

I have read that before the invention of monotheism, the Jews worshipped multiple gods of which traces remain in various texts. So I wonder whether it is possible to reconstruct it and what the gods ...
18
votes
8answers
16k views

How do Tamahagane, Damascus, and Toledo Steel compare?

Has a comparison been made of the qualities of Samurai (Tamahagane), Damascus and Toledo steel (rather than the swords)? I've seen claims for each being better than the others. If it's on topic, I'm ...
8
votes
4answers
904 views

Who are the modern descendants of the Khazar people?

The Khazars where a people who built an empire centred North of the Caucasus Range, between the 7th and 11th centuries. They are not at all mainstream (at least in Europe), even though, defeating the ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

What process have countries followed when creating constitutions?

Countries that have been led by an individual (through a declaration, revolution, war, ...) have constitutions heavily influenced by that leader, for better or worse. History has shown that simply ...
11
votes
5answers
622 views

What are the safeguards in the German constitution of 1949 against dictatorship?

In the constitution of 1949 Germany ensured that chancellors could not endow themselves with additional powers, eliminating the chance of a repeat of Hitler's 1933 episode. What were these steps?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Did Hitler receive any honours outside Germany?

From this article in The Telegraph: In a move designed to remove an embarrassing link to Germany's past Dulmen town council voted to revoke the honour its predecessor once bestowed upon Hitler. ...
8
votes
3answers
789 views

Why was cricket's popularity in USA a casualty of Civil War?

"Cricket was by far the biggest sport [in the USA] in this period," Tim Lockley, an expert in American history at Warwick University, told the Guardian in 1999. "Then the civil war started in 1861, ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

What were the animals on the Coat of Arms of Edward IV of England?

(Asked after reading this answer in SciFi&Fantasy SE): I think that whole Stark (York) and Lanister (Lancaster) feud is reference to War of Roses. Both houses descended from house Plantagenet ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

Were there Samurai equivalents in Korea or China?

Considering that the Samurai class had its distant roots in Chinese political structure, did China or Korea have a similar warrior class?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

What was the reason for Soviet troops to withdraw from Yugoslavia in World War II?

For all these countries that the Red Army entered (Poland, Romania, part of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary), the procedure was straightforward. Once the Soviets beat the Germans they become de facto ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Alexander the Great destroy a city to demonstrate his ability to reign?

I've always been fascinated by the figure of Alexander the Great, due to his achievements even though he was really young at the time. There is an episode that I've heard about his early life which I ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How did Greece avoid the Soviet sphere of influence?

It seems to me that east of Italy / Germany all of Europe was in the Soviet sphere of influence, with the blatant exception of Greece. I'm sure that the long coast made access to Western influence ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

What were the origins of democracy?

I realize that many people say that Athens is where democracy started, but is there any solid proof that it was the first? On Wikipedia, it is stated that: there is evidence to suggest that ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

In what year was the conquest of the Incas completed?

Following my other post about the Inca and Francisco Pizarro, I would like to know a simple fact: What year was the conquest of the Incas completed?
5
votes
4answers
95k views

Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing month with roman numbers

I got an old wall clock. I'm not at all a clock expert and I would like to know more about its real age. It has a date engraved in its wood: 18/III 07. I assume that this is finishing-date and 18 is ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How was Israel able to build a powerful military within days of the formation of the state?

The State of Israel was formed in May 14, 1948. I guess the first Arab-Israel war broke out in the same month of the same year. Israel won the war decisively. The question is not "How did they win ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Oldest known international sporting event

We know that modern Olympics are very popular international sporting events. What is the earliest known (documented) instance of an international sporting event? Let us define an international sports ...
8
votes
0answers
132 views

What was the societal wealth demographics when the major pyramids were built? [closed]

All this talk about wealth distribution (1% of US Citizens etc. etc.) got me wondering about the wealth distribution in other periods of history when - let's call them - great edifices were built. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How did the Tutsis win the civil war in Rwanda after 70% of them had been killed?

I read an assertion that as high as over 70% of Rwanda's Tutsis were killed in the Rwanda genocide. Yet immediately after the genocide the anti-government Tutsi rebel group NPF successfully defeated ...
3
votes
1answer
641 views

What is so special about the location of Mexico City?

Since 1325, the area we know today as Mexico City has held some sort of cultural or historical bond. The bond is so strong that, no matter what, no matter how bad a shape the country gets, they ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How come Incas believed that the Spanish were the incarnation of their “thunder god”?

I have recently been studying Francisco Pizarro and his domination over the Incas. I watched a clip called "Guns, Germs, and Steel". It was quite interesting, how Pizarro dominated the Incas with only ...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

Has the US Congress's power to declare war been rendered superfluous by recent conflicts?

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the Congress of the United States formally declared war on Japan. After Germany declared war on the United States, the Congress then formally declared war on ...
3
votes
0answers
131 views

Were there prehistoric interaction between Caucasian and Asian people? [closed]

Are there any documented instances of prehistoric interaction between Caucasian and Asian people? Do archeological sites such as Xiaohe Tomb complex imply there were?
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Where can I find information about prior Israel/Gaza conflicts? [closed]

The recent fighting between Israel and Gaza has me wondering about prior conflicts that came before this one. Is there a bipartisan source detailing prior significant conflicts between the two ...
2
votes
0answers
131 views

Credibility of “Mao: The Unknown Story” [closed]

I was reading a controversial book, Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, and found it quite biased. However, they cite a variety of sources to back up their information. Therefore, I ...
2
votes
0answers
125 views

What are laws regarding corruption in China, and how effective are they? [closed]

I'm wondering how effective the government is at keeping corruption to a minimum, the laws regarding corruption, and how corruptible the police are. I'm fine with either information on a specific ...
2
votes
0answers
153 views

Did the The Fiend/Monster with 21 Faces produce mass hysteria in Japan?

According to the Wikipedia entry of the Monster with 21 Faces (also named as "Fiend" in some sources), it started just after the very publicized Glico Morinaga case and it ... captured the ...
7
votes
3answers
522 views

How many people were affected by the Golodomor [Famine-Genocide in Ukraine]

How many people were affected during the famine? Are there any sources for Soviet records on the Golodomor?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Underground Tunnels in New York City and Boston

Where are the underground tunnels built by masons in New York City and Boston in 1760's~1780's? Do they exist till our present day?
31
votes
4answers
3k views

No speed limit on German highways - why?

I wonder what are the historical circumstances that led to lack of speed limit on German federal Autobahn network. There is an advisory 130 km/h limit, but it is not mandatory one nor obeyed ...
4
votes
4answers
751 views

General Sherman's March to the Sea [closed]

When historians look back on General Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea" what conclusions do they draw about his campaign? Do they interpret the evidence as indicating that Sherman's march did ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Was the UN critically involved in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Is there any evidence to show that the Cuban Missile Crisis was scaled back because of the actions of UN personnel acting in their UN role? The topic came up recently about precedent for UN having ...
4
votes
3answers
526 views

What was the name of Delhi during the period of Akbar ruling in parts of India?

Jallaudin Akbar ruled some parts of India. During his empire he had Delhi (Modern day state) as his capital, but it was known by some other name. What was the name that was used for the capital ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Instances of the UN defusing serious crises

One of the reasons why the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis did not escalate into a war was due to the diplomacy of Adlai Stevenson in the UN. Are there other instances where the defusing of a serious crisis ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Chart of total gold in possession of humans

Where can I find an approximate chart of total mass of metallic gold in possession of humans by centuries starting with Neolithic? I also would like to see this detailed by civilization/culture.
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Who invented and marketed the first “clip on” headphones?

Headphone style terminology seems dodgy at best, but I'm trying to determine what company first sold this style of headphone in the US: I've seen them variously described as "on the ear," "clip on" ...

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