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31

Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? In general, it is a relatively new trend of the last few centuries, and many old cultures have/had no such concept or tradition. Keep in mind that surnames in many cultures are a relatively new trend. There was no name to drop upon marriage if you didn't ...


29

The First World War is often identified as a turning point in men's hair length. Prior to the war, both men and women commonly kept long hair, at least in western societies (and the Far East). This became problematic during the Great War, where armies encountered severe hygiene issues fighting in the trenches. Under the unsanitary conditions of the front, ...


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 ...


26

There is some truth to the claims, but the numbers are extremely prima facie distorted. Especially since they are (apparently) given in terms of "households", with no immediately obvious method by which such figures were fitted to a preconception "estimated" calculated[Note 1]. Even if his numbers are accurate however, they do not necessarily reflect the ...


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: ...


20

This modern tradition has its roots in the First World War, when Japan entered on the side of the Allies following the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Japan's entry carried an initial, overt goal of restoring the German Kiautschou Bay Concession to Chinese sovereignty. The Siege of Tsingtao, the administrative centre of the German concession, ended in the ...


19

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 ...


18

Movies portray people as having separate beds to get around strict censorship laws which were derived from old religious traditions. In reality, there have been many such movements for and against sleeping together, and it appears to have gone in and out of style through the ages.


16

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 ...


16

Not really. Generally speaking, most European women since married in their early to mid twenties, to men in their mid to late twenties. The age gap for the commoners, i.e. the vast majority of the population, were typically not large. Unfortunately the question declined to define how much younger is "much younger" supposed to mean, but most Europeans ...


15

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 ...


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

Short Answer: Jewish southerners did not differ from other white southerners in their rates of slave ownership. Long Answer: Because the U.S. Census does not record religious affiliation, all figures regarding Southern Jewish ownership of slaves are necessarily imprecise estimates. As best I can tell, Duke gets his "40%" figure from a study by Malcolm ...


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: ...


13

"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 ...


12

Short answer: no. In general, nobody got "rides" in the ancient world because there were no rides, everybody walked for the most part. Carts were only used to carry cargo, not passengers. You would not want to try to ride in a cart because they had no suspension. Try this: get in a wheelbarrow with a wooden (or iron) wheel (not a pneumatic wheel) and have a ...


12

Just as I was posting that question and looking for a tag, I saw social-history appear as a suggestion. Sure enough, Social History describes what I am looking for: Social history, often called the new social history, is a broad branch of history that studies the experiences of ordinary people in the past. I have recently started reading the English ...


11

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

Sati were supposed to be voluntary. Since it was offensive to the sentiments of the Mughals, its rulers such as Akbar the Great explicitly banned involuntary sati. On a superficial level, therefore, most these women were not resistant to committing sati at all. In fact, the Mughals expended a great deal of effort trying to convince women applying for ...


10

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 ...


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 ...



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