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58

If you look only at the numbers, then Israel was bound to lose the war of course. The Arab countries had far more soldiers and they also had better/more equipment (the Soviet Union supplied them well). This view leaves out a number of important factors however: Surprise: By launching a preemptive attack Israel took the Arab countries by surprise which ...


37

The Egyptians, along with Syria and Jordan, had worked up a plan to attack Israel a couple of weeks prior to the actual war. Apparently some recently declassified documents confirm that the Egyptians had planned to launch bombers against Israel to take out their airfields and other strategic military positions. They had also deployed a number of tank units ...


28

As Wladimir noted, the precise "vs" analysis is impossible since it depends heavily on what kind of armor, weapons, tactics, training and commanders both infantry and cavalry have, as well as economics of society (which heavily influences these things for the cavalry which is a lot more expensive to equip/train, especially heavy cavalry). Also, it's ...


25

Lemme have a go at this. Its rather ironic that you bring up the Fourth Crusade as it is quite probably the reason Constantinople was lost to Christianity in the first place. Taking place in 1204-5 it was supposed to go to Egypt to fight there the Ayudid sultan who controlled the Holy Land but through a disastrous chain of events it got sidetracked into ...


23

In 1948, the Arabs attacked first. A few hours after Israel became an independent country, most of the Arab countries of the region invaded. But that's just the 1948 answer. Local Arab and Jewish militia forces had been clashing for years. A few months earlier (in 1947) bombings and shootings had increased to the level of a civil war. Jews were being ...


21

The short answer to your question is that the general avoidance of consuming pork meat is not unique to Islam, and dates back at least roughly to the ancient Egyptians. The oldest confirmed evidence of pigs domesticated and kept for pork meat come from Hallan Cemi in Southeastern Turkey from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork appears ...


18

This seemed to have come from Persia's freedom from the Qajars and some nationalism on the part of Germany during WWII influencing the Shah's decisions. So it was originally changed in 1935 and not 1979, unless you are only referring to the Islamic Republic addition, which was done at the Ayatollah's will, more than likely. The name of the country in ...


18

During the last one hundred fifty years or so, the concept of Zionism, the desire of the Jews to run their own state in their historical biblical territory, become prevalent. Theoretically such a state would be free from the periodic persecutions Jews have suffered since the diaspora while living in other people's countries. This resulted in a large number ...


17

This may sound unintuitive, but a new kingdom could not be trivially proclaimed. Calling yourself a king has very little meaning if it isn't recognised by anyone else. For maximum acceptance by your peers and subjects, therefore, your new kingdom had to be properly constituted by the lawful authorities. In the case of Latin Europe during the High Middle ...


15

The most important thing for an outsider to understand is that Syria, while ethnically nearly 90% Arab, is made up of a rather large amount of religious minorities. Like most middle-east states, its borders were set up by Europeans during the colonial era, and really paid no heed to any actual cultural boundaries. Only about half the population is Sunni ...


14

Italian author Lucio Russo in his book "Forgotten revolution" argues that a large part of the scientific knowledge of Hellenistic world has been lost. I find his arguments very convincing. Exact sciences in the modern sense of this word originated in Ptolemaic Egypt and other Hellenistic states, and reached very high degree of development. Few first class ...


13

Jews had traditionally been a wide-ranging people. They had centers in Europe, Asia Minor, and even India. (When Thomas went to India in 52 AD, for example, he did so in part because there was already a thriving Jewish community.) Starting in the 50s and 60s AD, many Jews were already being run out of the Israel (think Masada and all that). In 125 AD, ...


13

In 1974 the PLO adopted what is called "The Ten Point Program". It is a program that outlines a phased plan for liberating all of Palestine. Liberating here means liberating it from Israeli rule. Obviously once all of Palestine has been liberated that means there is no Israel at all. If we take this at face value, that means that any compromise you make ...


13

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


13

Summary Nothing is known beyond the official drive the Jews into the Sea rhetoric, and nothing definitive will probably be known. Nothing is Known Most countries do not publish their unfulfilled plans, and, even when they do, there is no good way to ascertain their authenticity. This is especially true for the Arab states in question, which were at the ...


12

There are no magic recipes to win a war. Caesar's tactic was new and surprising, it demoralized the attackers who were certain of their superiority. But this only works once - once that tactic was known it was no longer effective. Note that this wasn't the only reason that Pompey got defeated, it is probably even more important that Pompey's behavior was ...


12

It was quite likely due to European scholars referring Arabic texts. These texts often drew inspiration from Eastern (esp. Indian and Chinese) works. However, the Arabic authors (for some reasons I am not aware of) did not properly attribute the works and therefore, European mathematicians may have thought of zero's origins as being Arabic. But, of course, ...


12

There are only approximately 20,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, which is about 0.026% of the total population. I would not say Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran in terms of the total population. The only way Zoroastrianism can be said to be strong in Iran is because it has the second-largest Zoroastrian population after India (~69,000). See List of countries by ...


12

The short answer to your question is that the ancient Seleucia and the Medieval Seleucia are in fact two different cities. The original Seleucia was built in 305 BC as the first capital of the Seleucid empire, as you found in your sources. This city was built on the western bank of the Tigris and was ultimately abandoned in 165 AD, when it was destroyed by ...


12

Decided to do some research to try to provide an answer to this question. I found three documented cases where an Arab leader used the term "Drive Jews into the sea" or talked about large scale massacre. I also mention a court case that seems to indicate that Nasser never used that term himself, nor did any other Arab leader make genocidal statements prior ...


11

While other posters have addressed the issue in regards to the wider region, none have addressed the issue in regards to the Syrian citizens. They have mentioned the different Syrian religions so I won't go back over that. The current Syrian ruling family (I am referring to the Assads, not the Baath) is known to be a brutal torturer. Early in the uprising ...


11

Following the First World War the Middle East was divvied up between the French and British under the Sykes-Picot Agreement. At this time it was expected that oil would be fond near Mosul in Iraq, although no exploration had yet been done to confirm this. In expectation of oil being found there, the French and British reached an agreement (in the Sykes Picot ...


11

There were plenty of European revolutions which led to terrible casualties and not much democracy, both before and after the French revolution. The Hussite wars. The English revolution of 1688. The German revolutions of 1848/49. The Paris commune of 1870. The revolutionaries simply tried again, or they faded away when conditions changed.


10

The Serapeum is actually a smaller "branch" of the original library, formally part of the Temple of Serapis. The temple was converted to a Christian church by Theophilus around 390 AD, and it appears this is the reference you have noted above. This "branch" was not actually destroyed, but there is no doubt that many documents were destroyed during the ...


10

The question as it was posed is not entirely accurate. The Sephardic Jews are, rightly, the most famous Jewish community of the Ottoman Empire. However, in Istanbul, you could find synagogues and associations belonging to Ashknazi immigrants from Europe. These were all pre-Zionist immigrants from, if memory serves, Russia. In fact, there was a power struggle ...


10

Here's my proposition, basically it's just a set of Caucasus characteristics making this region especially interesting. By which we mean: there're numerous languages, 3 distinct language families, characteristic just for this region. My first point is, language diversity / fragmentation is normal for regions without a strong state / commerce / any unifying ...


10

Jordan's borders today are roughly the same with the borders of the Emirate of Transjordan. Transjordan's borders were first officially formalized in November 1925, with the Hadda Agreement between the United Kingdom and Ibn Saud. They were slightly redefined in 1965 with bilateral agreements between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The unusual shape of the borders ...


10

What Arab plans can be inferred from three classes of sources: (1) Pre-war statements to the Arab population with promises that all would share in the booty of Jewish property won by the Arab Legion armies, (2) changes in Ottoman land ownership laws following Jordan's annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem Here are some statements from Arab books and ...


10

This is because the English word for the country of Jordan is ultimately derived from the biblical Hebrew word for the Jordan River, not from the modern Arabic name for the country. After World War I, the region was made a British protectorate called Transjordan (as Pieter Geerkens points out), although English use of "Transjordan" predates the ...


10

The flag is known as the Black Standard of Muhammad. There are many variants of the flag, and as far as I can tell the variant used by ISIS is original, but other variants have been used by many groups before. The flag can either be a pure black flag, or it may have the Shahada ("There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.") printed on it ...



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