Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

27

During the 1830s and 1840s. In the twenties dueling was still common. From 1815 to 1830 Castlereagh, Canning, and Wellington were responsible in turn for the government of England, and they all fought duels. In the thirties dueling died out under the pressure of public opinion, and in 1844 the amended articles of war stated that any officer who fought a ...


25

The main storyline to Lucian's Αληθή διηγήματα (2nd century CE) is the war between the people of the Sun and the people of the Moon over colonization of the Morning Star. As you can probably imagine from the satire's topic, several alien life forms are mentioned. Here's a quote describing the narrator's encounter with Endymion, King of the Moon: We ...


23

They probably got away with it because it was not illegal to drink alcohol. In fact, the Prohibition outlawed only the "manufacture, sale, or transportation" of alcoholic drinks. No mention of consumption, which remained substantial (~50-80% of "normal"), was made in the Prohibition amendment. After one year from the ratification of this article the ...


22

Because they believed their infant would have a better chance of surviving in the desert. The child mortality rate from disease and malnutrition in Arab settlements was horrendously high, and it was believed that sending the child into the healthier environment of the desert increased the child's chance of survival. - Gabriel, Richard A. Muhammad: ...


18

The practice of drinking beer instead of water was because people noticed that you would get sick less. Why was not understood until the 19th century, with the advent of modern bacteriology etc. Since we now understand that it's non-clean water that makes you sick, clean water is a high priority around the world. Clean water is always cheaper than beer, so ...


15

Caring for the old and infirm goes far further back than the historical record. Remains have been found in multiple neanderthal sites of individuals with old injuries that would have made them unable to fend for themselves. The best known example was a neanderthal found at Shanidar Cave I who had evidence of multiple deformaties and old partially healed ...


15

Basically, you've given the answer yourself in the question: handwatches were a very rare thing in Soviet Russia at the time and it is small wonder that they became the soldiers' favourite trophy, especially since handwatches were highly portable and could be kept by the soldier himself. As to why handwatches were so rare in Russia - well, that was a ...


15

"In the medieval ages, peasants used to drink beer instead of water because the plain water wasn't safe to drink... Why did this practice emerge in some countries but not others?" One really good reason is this -- it's not true in the first place. It's a myth, and a very common one. People didn't use spices to cover up the flavor of spoiled meat, either! ...


14

Very interesting. I found this explanation on geneology.about.com: In earlier times, a marriage bond was given to the court by the intended groom prior to his marriage. It affirmed that there was no moral or legal reason why the couple could not be married and it also affirmed that the groom would not change his mind. If he did, and did not marry ...


13

This is not a complete answer because your question is actually a huge topic with many possible approaches. Birth is ethnicity My personal view on this is that, long ago, at a time when the nomadic way of life was the rule, nations did not relate to geographical origin but rather to birth. The etymology of various IE languages is very clear on this: ...


12

"Nationalism" as a term in its modern definition Regularly being referred to as an author of remarkable influence on the terms nationality and nationalism in their modern recipation is Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803). In his work Ideas for the Philosophy of History of Humanity (1784–91), he is at least one of the first to claim that human societies ...


12

In medieval France at least, the occupation of apothecary was severely restricted by law and required a licence to be lawful (such licences appeared first in Montpellier in the 12th century, probably under the influence of the then famous academy of medicine established there then spread in the rest of France). These licences typically incorporated a ...


11

Actually, for a brief span of seven years there was such an army (or, strictly speaking, a corps) - the Palmach, founded in 1941. Its officers wore no special insignia (and in fact, there were no ranks in the usual sense, only command-titles such as "platoon commander"), got the same pay as the privates - and ate together with them. This all makes a lot of ...


11

Basically it was an unenforceable law, and much of law enforcement saw no need to bother trying. There are several factors you have to consider here: Prohibition was never really that popular. In fact, its likely that a majority of the country was against it when it passed. Prohibition was particularly unpopular in large cities. The above factors meant ...


10

From Maid-of-all-work: Historically many maids suffered from Prepatellar bursitis, an inflammation of the Prepatellar bursa caused by long periods spent on the knees for purposes of scrubbing and fire-lighting, leading to the condition attracting the colloquial name of "Housemaid's Knee". It was a common condition caused by the hard physical labor ...


9

The concept of praying to the Roman Gods as well as to whatever local deity did mean that the Republic then Empire could assimilate a lot of cultures. After all, they were always worshuiping the same gods, and now they can have access to all the good things that Rome provides -- see Life of Brian's "What did the Romans ever do for us?" speech. Even when the ...


9

To an extent the answer depends on what you mean by 'medieval times'. The answer in 800 is very different from 1400. However, I'll have a go for the later medieval period, post Normanisation around 1100 until 1500. The idea that Scotland in the late medieval period operated under some sort of 'clan system' is not true. 'Clan' is really just another name for ...


9

Latin was indeed the lingua franca of the period, and very, very few people could read or write. There just wasn't a lot of reason to be able to do so; paper was not introduced to Europe until the 1200s, so before then if you wanted to write anything down you had to go through the painstaking process of creating a piece of vellum or parchment for what it was ...


9

It certainly was condemned in the late Middle Ages. The Oxford English Dictionary has this delightful quotation, dated to circa 1450: "Pike not þi nose; & moost in especial..to-fore þi souereyn cratche ne picke þee nouȝt." In other words, "Don't pick your nose, and especially, don't scratch or pick in the presence of your sovereign."


9

I would say, Voltaire, Micromegas (1752). It describes a creature from one of the planets orbiting Sirius, who visits Solar system, befriends some guy from Saturn, and they both visit Earth. Of course it is always difficult to prove that something was the first, so let someone give an earlier reference.


9

For the most part, church and celestial events. In particular, midsummer and midwinter and the equinoxes were both easy to detect and were important events, at least in the colder climates of Europe. One problem with this approach was that the Julian calendar, which was used pretty much everywhere during the middle ages, by the 1500s had gotten seriously ...


8

This legendary self-sufficiency isn't quite as it seems. From Colonial days, almshouses (aka poor houses) and orphanages were around to look after those with no family although this tended to be uneven in application and quality of care. While many of these were affiliated with a church, some were operated by state and local governments. People also ...


8

A recent report by USAID offers a brief but insightful view on some of current research on 'Youth Bulge' hypothesis. Some of the key take-away are: The common thread across the latest research is that youth bulges alone do not cause conflict. Rather, when unstable politics and social deterioration are combined with large numbers of disadvantaged young men, ...


8

During WWII the US military was heavily segregated. Most black soldiers served in support roles such as truck drivers and stevedores. There were some combat black combat units such as the Tuskegee Airmen and 761st Tank Batallion. A notable exception occurred during and after the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Faced with a shortage of replacements ...


8

Yes, sort of. Illiterate people could "sign" using hand prints, which is a reasonably reliable biometric (totally anecdotal, but my university's experience was <10% false identification) that's a bit easier to authenticate by the naked eye. Prints of the finger (more than just the tip) could also be authenticated based on feature such as lengths between ...


8

Scholars have noted that pre-agricultural societies often have more egalitarian gender norms than agricultural societies. This had led to theories that agriculture led to the development of inegalitarian gender norms, because it privileged men's body strength. A more refined version of thesis was first posited by Ester Boserup in "Woman's Role in Economic ...


8

In his momentous study L'origine des systèmes familiaux, Emmanuel Todd notes that, to the best of a rather sparse archival knowledge, first, the status of women in Eurasia in the 5000BC-1500CE interval seems to historically follow a lowering trajectory, second, this lowering trajectory seems to proceed in a top/down fashion and, third, the adoption of ...


8

Keep in mind that most of China was controlled by local warlords (or Imperial Japan) throughout much of this period. A lot of the time there wasn't much of a "under the Republican government" to speak of since they were effectively ruled by regional strongmen. However, generally speaking, women (particularly those from literati families) experienced a ...


8

I believe Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sum, both published posthumously in 1657 and 1662 respectively, precede both Swift's Gulliver's Travels (published 1726, amended 1735) and Voltaire's Micromegas of 1752. Arthur C. Clarke credits Cyrano' books with: being the first ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible