3
votes
1answer
103 views

What does 'half-decked' mean?

I'm reading Washington Irving's Life of Christopher Columbus, where he writes: Two of them were light, half-decked caravels; the Santa Maria, on which Columbus hoisted his flag, was completely ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Was the French philosopher Pierre Bayle a Calvinist believer or an atheist?

European Enlightenment: The 17th century's most read philosopher produced sharp and honest literature. Yet until today the question seems to be unanswered where he really belonged (Bayle enigma).
1
vote
1answer
247 views

Which battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of USA?

Which significant battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of the USA? Considering his leadership and contribution to this war he was catapulted to the White House.
13
votes
2answers
386 views

How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?

Several years back Turkey barred some French companies to participate in one of its arms procurement tender. Turkey doesn't allow French military air-crafts or ships to pass its territorial space. ...
7
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What are the contributions of Professor Hans List?

Considering his academic titles, what are the contribution of the automotive engineer, Professor Dr Dr h.c.mult. Hans List? What did he invent? I could not find anything except a brief obituary.
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Is this absolute timeline correct? [closed]

I always thought it put things into perspective if, instead of the Gregorian Calendar, we had a kind of "absolute" timeline, going all the way back to the big bang, as well as we can define it as of ...
10
votes
1answer
198 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
519 views

What happened to Mao Zedong's first wife?

Reading Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow, I noted that Mao Zedong was married four times. His first wife gets only a passing remark in the book. She was called Luo, she was some 4 to 6 years older ...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

What was the first recorded use of Aerial Weapons in warfare?

Fighter planes were popularised by their extensive use in WWI. What Aerial weapons were used before that period (if any)? What is earliest recorded use of Aerial Attacking and what was the technology ...
10
votes
2answers
718 views

What was the cultural background of Burgundians?

In the Middle Ages there was a big country in Europe between France and German kingdoms, Burgundy. What language did they speak there? Were they more German or French in origin?
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? [duplicate]

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? Expansionist policies don't count although use of debt as a justification would be interesting.
12
votes
2answers
346 views

From where does the superstition about Friday the thirteenth originate?

There are several interesting stories about this, but what historical information do we have that would indicate the correct one?
7
votes
1answer
225 views

What aternative locations were considered for the United Nations?

When reading up on the United Nations on wikipedia, I noticed that Navy Island near Niagara falls was being considered at the time of the groups creation for it's location. I'm wondering what ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What did the end of the western front look like at the Swiss Border?

After the German advance was stopped at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the race to the sea (and also to the swiss border) began with both sides trying to take as much ground as they ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any historical evidence of boiling oil being poured on attackers?

A typical modern scenario of the medieval siege was the throwing of oil on the attackers from ramparts. Oil was really expensive so why waste it on attackers? Most commonly the items thrown were ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Has mercantilism ever been successful?

Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming ...
7
votes
1answer
869 views

What was the status of specialized workers during the Roman times?

It's obvious that people in the Senate or people with political power would be considered of higher status, while ordinary plebs, such as farmers, would have a lower status. However, where exactly ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Chinese Hundred Schools of Thought and Ancient Greek Philosophy

As a beginning student of Chinese I am also learning a bit more about Chinese history. As such I am more-and-more impressed by the quality of thought that has been left behind by Chinese philosophers ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Has the resignation of a political leader in a Westminster style parliament ever forced an election call?

So reading about the premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty abruptly quitting his post, and there's many people wondering if there will have to be an election to replace him. While there is some precedent ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

What really happened to the Maya civilization?

Are there any reliable sources that explain the "disappearance" of the Maya? I am highly skeptical about the following account as it states that the cities were destroyed by the war when in actual ...
1
vote
2answers
213 views

How is Gaddafi viewed outside the West? [closed]

It seems to me that Gaddafi is viewed in the West only as a lunatic dictator. However, after a naive investigation about his life I have realized how a complex figure he was. We know most of his ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Was the Zimmerman Telegram a ruse on the US or a way of Germany to incite Mexico to declare war on the US?

Prior to America's entry into WWI the Zimmerman Telegram was one incident that helped push America to declare war against Germany and join the Allies, while Mexico never fought against the US was this ...
7
votes
3answers
402 views

What is the origin of the English Ship Building Philosophy?

I was reading an article on the Vasa the ship built under command of King Gustav Adolf, the ship sank during its launch on August 10, 1628. Part if the article mentions that the ship was somehow ...
4
votes
3answers
527 views

Did the roman conquerors have directives/guidelines to either integrate or assimilate foreign tribes/folks?

It is likely that Romans made no distinction between today's terms integration and assimilation. They did everything that was necessary for the expansion of the Roman empire and worked from ...
0
votes
1answer
876 views

Zoroastrianism and Hinduism [closed]

Zoroastrianism and Hinduism have close resemblances. For example Both the religions worship fire god, Both have religious languages are sound alike. Both Teachings agree that Ahura/Asura and ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Was the IMF complicit in destroying the Romanian economy?

Wikipedia claims that despite the unprecedented growth of Romanian industry and food and production at the rate of 22% per year, Romania experienced serious shortage of food and petrol in the late 80s ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

What post 18thC countries rulers escaped to a remote/separate region and hung on while the country collapsed under revolution?

Other than Taiwan/China, what other countries had revolutions where the ruling party/rulers escaped to a remote area or region and held onto power as a country/government while the rest of the country ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Are parts of the Sphinx older then 5000 years?

Are parts of the Great Sphinx of Giza older then 5000 years? There was a controversy about this question 15 years ago which I didn't find conclusively proven or debunked.
15
votes
3answers
1k views

In what ways did the rise of a true middle class in Europe during the late 19th century become apparent?

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were very transformative for Europe with the rise of a real middle class. Typically before this the middle class was more of a bourgeoisie and not the middle ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

What was the first emergency management agency in the world?

Given the impending landfall of Hurricane Sandy I wondered what was the first established emergency management agency akin to the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What factors contribute to the fact that only a handful of countries manufacture aircraft jet engines? [closed]

The USA (GE, Pratt & Whitney), Russia (NPO Saturn, Klimov), France (Snecma) and the UK (Rolls Royce) are the only countries that have aircraft jet engine manufacturers. What factors might ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague?

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Where did the Romans store their cash?

In the era before banking was invented, where did wealthy Romans store their cash? The emperor probably could store it somewhere in the imperial palace thanks to the Praetorian guard, but what about ...
16
votes
1answer
447 views

Did the Romans pour wine down wells for health purposes?

I've heard some kind of story that after the Romans would conquer a new village or city, they would pour wine (or other alcohol?) down the wells to kill the bacteria and make it safe for future ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

What was the origin of the Classical Antiquity culture?

I many times heard a version that the advances of the Ancient Greek culture were in fact borrowed from Egypt or the Middle East. I will not buy this. Classical Antiquity civilization had a lot of ...
4
votes
4answers
834 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
133 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
1answer
2k views

Ancient and medieval canteens (water-bottles)

Nowadays, water-bottles, aka canteens, are routinely issued to soldiers who serve in warm climates. Was it the case in ancient times? In the Middle Ages? The case I have in mind is the Battle of ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
739 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
516 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. ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why were universities created in the 11th-12th century?

I am specifically interested in information related to: the University of Bologna, the University of Paris, and the University of Oxford. From what I have been able to find so far universities were ...
-1
votes
1answer
295 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
873 views

What goods did Germany trade during the Weimar Republic, and with whom?

What countries were trading with Germany during its pre-Nazi Weimar Republic era (1919-1930), and what goods did they trade? I've read a few references that just broadly state that Germany had no ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What was the first spy agency?

Who started the first official spy agency in the world? By spy agency, I mean a dedicated team under the control of a ruler, who specialize in intelligence gathering and counter espionage. Something ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What did the Romans do for Judea?

I watched The Life of Brian and I heard this quotation: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers. Reg: Yes. Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers. Reg: All right, ...

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