10
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1answer
192 views

Republican thought in the Middle Ages

I wonder if there were any books written in the Middle Ages that argued the case for a republic versus a monarchy. On the opposite side we can find Dante's De Monarchia (and probably many others) who ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Was Cossack cavalry ineffective relative to other troops?

I know that some people in Europe very much admire Russian Cossack cavalry and think it is very effective. But in Russia there was a proverb that one hussar is equal to two cossacks, one dragoon is ...
9
votes
1answer
508 views

Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

What autonomy did Bosnia lose when it was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908?

Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878 by forcing the Ottomans to leave after 400+ years of dominion. So I understand that Bosnia then became a territory of Austria-Hungary. In 1908, ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
9
votes
3answers
247 views

Token status of the Mughal throne

The Mughal power began to decline after death of Aurangzeb. Within 30 years of his death, Mughals lost most of their South Indian possesions. New states were established by 3 prime nobles, Sadat Ali ...
9
votes
1answer
272 views

What kind of crew members did ancient artillery teams consist of?

According to what I understand from Pieter's answer to the question "Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?", he said that since 2,000 years ago until now, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How were diplomats and their staff's treated when World War II was declared?

This could be a large and varied subject so i will restrict it to the 20th century and give two instances. In Sept 39 after Poland was invaded the British diplomat in Berlin handed a note to the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
9
votes
5answers
603 views

Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?

Does anyone know of any battles where war elephants played either a major or decisive part in the victory of whoever had them? As far as I know, they were mostly used for the fear factor and were ...
8
votes
3answers
261 views

Why was the capital of Poland moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1595?

This question is a follow-up to the question Why did Poland keep Warsaw as its capital instead of returning it to Krakow in the 20th century? In particular: Now as for Warsaw becoming the ...
8
votes
3answers
194 views

What evidence is there that English Political divisions from the 1600s are replicated in American politics today?

This post makes the claim that American political divisions today have their roots in English political divisions from the 1600's. For example: East Anglians, the core of the Parliamentarian ...
8
votes
1answer
348 views

Indian account of the Battle of the Hydaspes River

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How did Aztec armor and weaponry match up to the Spaniards?

If you discount the germs and the gunpowder, how did the average Aztec warrior match up against the average Spaniard facing him? As I understand it European metallurgy was considerably more advanced, ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
571 views

How Many Members of US Congress Have Died While In Office?

As best I can tell, Leo Ryan of California is the only U.S. Member of Congress murdered while in office. He was killed by members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978. What I'm looking for are how ...
8
votes
4answers
786 views

Was Russo-Polish of 1919-1920 a war of independence?

What evidence is there to call the 1919-1920 conflict between Poland and the Soviet Union a "war of independence"? As for a definition of independence, I would say it is a full political, legal, and ...
8
votes
1answer
992 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?
7
votes
1answer
323 views

What happened to the French royal navy during the french-revolution?

Similar to my other question about her colonies I am interested in knowing what happened to the french royal navy of the period. Some ships must have been at sea and only learned the news as they ...
7
votes
3answers
245 views

How historical are early Chinese (Shang dynasty and earlier) dynastic records?

Early Chinese dynastic records look like actual history in some places (in particular the exact dating of reigns, back to and including the Yellow Emperor). Elsewhere, there is clearly a lot of myth ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

Who were the “tyrants” that Charles Martel “crushed”?

The second chapter of Einhard says: It was this Charles that crushed the tyrants who claimed to rule the whole Frank land as their own, and that utterly routed the Saracens, when they ...
7
votes
1answer
365 views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What were the key differences between United States' and Indian revolutions?

The Thirteen Colonies and Indian subcontinent were two of the most significant colonies of the British Empire, yet the former was able to gain independence via a rebellion relatively early on, whilst ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

Why did Christopher Columbus think he had arrived near Japan?

This question came to our mind as a long discussion in chat between some users over ELU including me and we thought to post the question here. Wikipedia states he thought he had arrived Japan. In ...
7
votes
4answers
416 views

Inquiry into the nature and roots of the temporal power of the Roman Catholic Pope:

The Roman Catholic Pope is head of both the Roman Catholic Church: "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church", and a head of state: "Sovereign of the Vatican City State". Official list of Papal titles ...
7
votes
3answers
415 views

How did it happen that countries and cities got different names in different languages?

I wonder why a single city's (or country's) name is different in various languages. To me, city and country names are somewhat similar to a person's given name, and it doesn't seem right to call ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline [closed]

I am writing a blog post about knowledge banning, either by state censorship or by self-imposed censorship, like the US Comics Code Authority of the 20th century. My focus is moral censorship, ...
7
votes
1answer
366 views

What was the first assassination/murder recorded on film?

Was it the murder of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What was President Jimmy Carter's role in the Iranian Revolution?

Iran was a friend to the USA until Carter traveled to Iran and immediately afterwards Iran faced revolution. Khomeini went to Iran from France. On November 4, 1979, an angry mob of young Islamic ...
7
votes
2answers
404 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

Who was the first member of the United States Senate to resign?

Who was the first member of the United States Senate to resign? How many times has it happened? Where might one find a list of resignations of senators? (My tentative guess was Moses Robinson of ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
6
votes
4answers
800 views

How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
6
votes
2answers
274 views

How/why did Plzeň become the “armourer” for Austria-Hungary?

In 1938, Nazi Germany coveted (the modern) Czech [Republic] in large part for its Skoda Works which produced something like one-quarter of the arms and ammunition used by the Third Reich. From what ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why have major sporting events been held every 4 years?

Many major sporting events are held every 4 years such as the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, Rugby World Cup, etc. I've had a look around and I've yet to find an answer ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
6
votes
1answer
401 views

Who gave Charles the Bold his nickname and why?

I am talking about the Duke of Burgundy here. Wikipedia has a tantalizing footnote (n. 1): Charles le Téméraire is more accurately translated in English as "the Rash", but the English speaking ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

What did sectionalism have to do with the American civil war? [closed]

I've been writing an essay for school and I've been wondering what did sectionalism have to do with the American Civil War? Does sectionalism include the Missouri Compromise and the breaking away of ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
531 views

What are the archaeological evidence for the Aztec's use of entheogens?

A recent Skeptics question, Was honey used preserve psychoactive mushrooms in the ancient past?, caught my attention and I came upon the Wikipedia article on the Aztec use of entheogens. The article ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
6
votes
2answers
347 views

At what point did mapmaking begin to accurately reflect what we now know about the earth?

Looking at maps through the ages, it is apparent that maps have become closer and closer to representing the locations and shapes of the Earth's features with increasing accuracy over the centuries. ...
5
votes
2answers
575 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...

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