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Aug
13
comment Which religion was the first monotheistic one?
@TylerDurden: In its early forms it's usually described as monolatry rather than monotheism. It didn't deny the existence of other gods, just that YHWH was supreme amongst them.
May
13
comment Unemployed people in ancient Rome
It was slightly means-tested in the early days, insofar as the lines were long and generally the non-poor were unwilling to spend the time.
May
13
comment Gap between poor and rich in the Roman Empire
@user1477388: By living off the bare minimums. Housing was much cheaper because it wasn't built to today's standards (or size). Energy use was many orders of magnitude lower. Transportation, for the poor, was exclusively by foot (in fact the defining point of being upper class, eques, was access to horses). Etc. Today's lower classes (to say nothing of middle class) are better equipped than the Roman upper class.
Apr
11
comment What is the best historical example of conflict between two cultures with differing levels of technology?
@Evicatos: Of course they took an improved design for the gladius from the Spanish -- they already had gladii long beforehand, just shorter and narrower. (I'm sure you knew, but a clarification for others seemed in order.)
Apr
10
comment What were Hiroshima and Nagasaki known for prior to World War II?
During the war, but before the bomb, Hiroshima was largely known as a safe haven. Not sure about before the war, though.
Apr
10
comment What is the best historical example of conflict between two cultures with differing levels of technology?
But Afghanistan is hundreds of years behind the West -- surely more of what this question is asking for?
Apr
10
comment What is the best historical example of conflict between two cultures with differing levels of technology?
Did you mean Afghanistan? Iraq wasn't that far behind the US, maybe ~50 years tops.
Oct
25
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
@T.E.D.: I think it's The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia; Vol. IV: A Selection from the Miscellaneous Inscriptions of Assyria by Rawlinson "assisted by" Smith.
Oct
25
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
At some point I'll try to make sense of the inscriptions themselves and see if I can interpret them as squares and cubes.
Oct
24
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
I see the plate in question (on p. 105 of the site) but I'm not sure it's what we want. There are lots of tables of square roots, but this quote is about a table of squares and cubes, not a table of square roots.
Oct
23
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
Nothing on the table of contents suggests anything mathematical unless you count the hemerology of 32-33, though it might be on one of the undescribed fragmentary sections: 21, 23, 24, 27-30 as I read it.
Oct
23
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
Thank you! It looks like the cuneiform book is online: echo.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/ECHOdocuView?url=/permanent/library/… , I'll check it out.
Jul
18
comment How did ancient mystery religions impact Christianity?
There were a great many mystery religions, not just the gnostics. Mithras, Bacchus, Isis, the Eleusian Mysteries (as Mark mentions above), IOM Dolichenus (a syncretic combination of Baal and Jupiter), Magna Mater, Sol Invictus, and so forth. To the Romans, the worship of Iesus Nazarenus was just another mystery religion.
Jan
11
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
Nice tablet. But surely not a list of 59 squares or 32 cubes -- that looks like a single problem, so I don't think it's one of the tablets. But nice information, and +1 for that.
Jan
10
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
(+1, of course, for a good answer to a hard question.)
Jan
10
comment Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?
Hmm, right place and roughly the right time of discovery. But I thought Plimpton 322 was newer than 2000 BC? But perhaps they got that wrong.
Sep
2
comment How much has U.S. currency inflated since 1792?
I did an in-depth comparison maybe two years ago, comparing the median US income from ~1970 to the present day using the CPI-U vs. SS's inflation numbers. The SS inflation figures had the value of the ~1970 median income at something like $150,000 in present dollars, while the CPI-U had it as about $50,000. Compared to the present median income of ~$50,000 you ask whether the median income from 40 years ago would buy you (1) roughly the same as today, under the CPI-U, or (2) roughly three times what it would buy today, under SS. (My analysis was more complex but those are the basics.)
Aug
31
comment Why are the democracies of France, Israel and India rated “Flawed Democracies”?
The EIU scored the US pretty close to how they scored France, with the US toward the bottom of "full democracies" and France toward the top of "flawed democracies". France scores the same or higher than the US in two out of their five categories: 'electoral process and pluralism' and 'civil liberties'.
Aug
31
comment Any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?
I think that the consensus opinion on iron vs. bronze is that the former is just as good and much less expensive to produce, not that iron is actually better than bronze. Iron allowed armies to move from elites fighting elites to vast armies composed of people who could never afford bronze armor.
Aug
30
comment How much has U.S. currency inflated since 1792?
I didn't make any claims about the meaning of consumption bundles, only that it's factually incorrect to claim that the "purpose of CPI inflations is to indicate the long term cost of labour to capitalists". As for the SGS chart, it's quite wrong (thus my downvote to and comment on T.E.D.'s answer).