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3

In medieval times (and even in modern times) taxes were highly irregular and varied from place to place. In many instances a "tax" was really just a robbery. For example, in England since Domesday the most omnipresent "tax" was what was called the "hearth tax". The way this originally worked is that Norman soldiers went from village to village and visited ...


2

It seems that there is a correlation between exposure to and surviving the plague and a genetic predisposition against infection with HIV that has a prevalence in Northern Europe that is not observed in Southern Europe: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/10/4/l_104_05.html


5

Obviously this varies considerably by location as well as occupation and social standing - I'm afraid 'peasant' covers a wide array of people. I'm more familiar with the English diet than anything on the continent, but by far the bulk of their sustenance came in the form of pottage. Basically throw whatever green things you are currently getting from the ...


2

When I traveled Krakow last month, the tour guide explained Black Death affected less in Poland because they had life style sanitizing dishes with vodka.


3

One factor to consider also is that Poland had a much smaller population than western Europe. Around the time of the black death, the polish population was something like 2-3 million, while the French population was about 14 Milton or even higher. It's common sense that disease spreads easier in higher population density areas, especially when hygiene was ...


12

There are three types of plague, Pneumonic, Bubonic, and Septicemic all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. People infected by fleas get the bubonic form of the plague. However, if the bacteria reaches the lungs, it becomes pneumonic plague which is more virulent spreading via person to person by coughing then no rats are needed since the ...


53

Poland wasn't actually "spared", it was merely less affected than the rest of Europe. That graphic is incorrect (or rather, incomplete), since a substantial number of both Poland and Milan's population did in fact die of the plague. Their death rates were only "low" in comparison to the rest of Europe - if it happened today, it would be horrifying to us. ...


-1

No rats. Endemic plague only persists in areas infested with rats, which occurred in urbanized areas of Europe, because people were throwing garbage into the streets. In well-kept countrysides there was no plague, because there was not enough rats. Poland was an agricultural country centered around manors, not large cities, hence no rats. Note that to be ...


5

@Felix's answer is the key, but there is also the secondary fact that medieval warfare tended to be more highly specialized than the classical. The increased emphasis on heavy cavalry meant a lot more emphasis on a very 'expensive' form of soldiers: ones who needed more training, supplies and support staff than either barbarian tribal levies or big masses of ...


3

At the time both England and France recognized the authority of the Church. Were there any attempt at having the Pope invited to adjudicate the succession amiably? At first the pope tried to arbitrate the dispute, but it didn't go anywhere. A few years after the war began, the English King Edward III allied himself with Emperor Louis IV, who named Edward ...


4

You have confused the very real changes that occurred to the borders over the 170 years from roughly 1520 to 1700 with the concept that the borders were vague throughout that time. That span of years encompasses both the Thirty Years War in Germany, the Eighty years War of Dutch Independence, the War of the League of Augsburg, and several smaller conflicts. ...


1

You have to boil water to maker beer, in Medieval times they didn't realize that boiling the water was what killed the pathogens and made the water safer to drink. So today, boiling the water is cheaper than making beer. Developing countries water is in more danger of chemical contaminates, which boiling will do nothing.


1

The Holy Roman Empire, as an "empire", did not have a territory of its own. It must be understood in the context of feudalism: a number of princes/kings/bishops/whatever were tied, through sworn allegiance, to the elected Emperor. In a way, we can say that the Empire extended exactly as far as these constituent elements extended. On the other hand, the ...


-4

The duchies and principalities in the Holy Roman Empire were those whose leaders swore fealty to both the emperor and the pope. These leaders were called "prince electors". All the states ruled by prince electors were considered part of the Holy Roman Empire because they had sworn oaths accordingly. The "boundaries" are simply the collection of states ruled ...


5

I like to visit old castles and am lucky enough to live where there are quite a few. If the old gate is still there you can see it was often covered in sheet metal. Some castles has skins stretched over the gates and would wet them to stop them catching fire. The doors were often set back inside the doorway so it wasn't easy to shoot at them. Fire arrows ...


12

Short answer is, they weren't, not specifically. The siege of Sion (the castle in Bohemia) is thought to have been decided by the gatehouse being burned down, but there the entire gatehouse structure was wooden rather than just the gate itself, and it took several months of bombarding the entire castle with fire arrows. In general, protecting your gate from ...


9

This seems more like a technical question than a historical one, but anyway, "splash some oil and throw a torch" will not burn down a large door or any large piece of wood for that matter. Starting a fire requires a certain amount of heat, so you need a large mass of flammable tinder to get something started. The larger the door, the more tinder you will ...


-3

The "middle ages" are anything between the collapse of Rome (400 AD) to its re-emergence in Rennaissance Italy (1400). Rennaissance means "rebirth". The "dark ages" are the period in the middle ages which were relatively undocumented. This would definitely include 400 AD to 700 AD, and some extend it to 900 AD. The "viking period" is 700 AD to 900 AD. Some ...


1

The Karaim and Tatar communities in the vicinity of Trakai date from the time of Vytautas. The Karaim spoke a similar language to the Tatars, but they weren’t Muslims, instead they professed a heterodox version of Judaism. These people may have worked as castle guards, and they seem to have regarded Vytautas as their patron and protector. There are a ...


9

The legal situation was not as clear as the question assumes, because neither of the reasons cited were valid at the time. While people often apply Salic Law to the dispute in 1328, this is ahistorical - Salic Law had long been defunct by then. Royal succession was not fixed in legislation, but instead shaped by customs that had evolved over the centuries. ...


2

For Charlemagne's feelings about being crowned emperor, I quote from The Civilization of the Middle Ages by Norman F Cantor, chapter six "The Making of Carolingian Kingship": On Christmas day, 800, as Charlemagne rose from prayer before the tomb of St. Peter, Pope Leo suddenly placed the crown on the king's head, and the well-rehearsed Roman clergy ...


3

Logically, if armor made archery obsolete, then why would you bring back archery knowing that it can just be countered again with armor? Moreover, that arrows could be stopped by armor while bullets couldn't pretty strongly argues archery was essentially uncompetitive with guns. What others said about archers training makes sense too, I'm just saying the ...


5

There's a lot of very good answers already; but I'd like to add on to what @Schwern has said from a Japanese perspective. When the musket was introduced in Japan in the 16th century, it quickly overtook archery in terms of importance. This is despite the fact that archery remained (and remains) a culturally important and valued skill among the samurai. ...


4

Schwern had a lot of very good points, but there are other factors as well. siege warfare. Most of the battles in 17th and 18th century were sieges, where at least one side was fortified. Bows and crossbows have to be aimed relatively high to shoot at longer ranges. This means both that it's easier to protect against them with a simple wooden roof, and ...


1

There was one man who carried a longbow into battle in World War II. Jack Churchill once shot an enemy German soldier with his longbow. He was also known to carry a Scottish broadsword into battle. Have a read of the Wikipedia article.


3

While there are various differences between the tactical properties of bows, crossbows, and 18th Century firearms, I would say that they were not clear enough that anyone contemplated training large units of archers as a military alternative. However, I think that your thinking that there were certain advantages of archery at some point is theoretically ...


8

One often missed factor is that arrows are delicate and require skilled fletchers to make them. The English invasion of France under Edward IV in 1475 required two years lead time producing enough arrows to supply his troops on campaign. Also the logistics of transporting arrows is problematic. A sheaf of 24 arrows takes up considerably more space than a ...


7

There have already been some good explanations, regarding relative ease of use for muskets, as well as less training required to use, but I have not seen two constants of campaigning considered: Rain and Disease. Gunpowder and bowstrings both need to be kept dry. On a bow this was possible by unstringing it, and tucking the string somewhere relatively dry. ...


5

One of the answers is the effect of Muskets and bayonets on Cavalry. An crossbowman needs someone else with a pole arm to protect him from cavalry. Formed infantry with muskets and bayonets can defend themselves from cavalry charges. Together with the Musket's higher rate of fire and greater stopping power at shortish ranges that tips the balance well in ...


77

Yes, a trained archer can probably put more effective shots on an unarmored target than a trained musketman of the 18th century. The problem is that word trained. Consider that most nations in the 18th century did not have a standing army. Men were called up, served their time, and left. That means you either need to use skills they already have (in WWII ...



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