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1d
comment Why did leaders not respect diseases in their campaigns?
...and of course the British epithet of "Limey" goes back to a period during the 19th century where their navy was using limes for this purpose. They turned out to be much less effective than the lemons. Again, this goes to the fact that they didn't really know what about the lemons was fixing the problem until quite recently.
1d
comment Why did leaders not respect diseases in their campaigns?
@StuartAllan - Different, but related. The Mosquito theory is a subset of germ theory. If you were still a believer in Miasma theory, from your perspective both were part of the same wrong thing. I'd suggest reading David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas, which has a very nice chapter or two about this oddly anachronistic miasma attitude public officials and engineers clung to at the time. (Although you'll need to skip through a lot of tedious stuff about the French failures beforehand).
1d
comment How were books published in Ancient Greece?
I'd like an example too (full disclosure: I've already upvoted this. Its a good answer). I know the Epistles I mentioned all start out that way, but they are letters, so one would expect that.
Apr
28
comment What is the origin of language?
Actually, I don't think the study of anthropology has any answer for this either. Its an inherently cross-disciplinary issue, and I'm not sure there ever could be a more appropriate stack for a question on the origin of human language than this one.
Apr
28
comment What is the origin of language?
I'd consider trying to answer it, but I'm afraid I have no clue what you mean by "Can we get a direct method in...".
Apr
27
comment What are exceptions to the hypothesis that “climate determined ”regional“ loyalties in the U.S. Civil War”?
@Oldcat - That whole generation grew up w/o A/C. I'll turn this around and say that if you can't imagine it being worse, you don't spend much time further south. Cincinnati might "regularly" get that high, but the average high there in the summer months is only 87. Only 90 in August would be a cold wave where I live. 100+ for at least a week or two is expected every year, 110+ is not abnormal, and a few years back we had a week over 120.
Apr
27
comment Has there ever been a war between members of a personal union?
Yeah, I'd say the "legitimacy" angle should probably not be played up so much in this question. Ultimately legitimacy was often decided on the battlefield.
Apr
27
comment Death by candle
The Great Chicago fire of 1871, which killed around 300, was popularly attributed to a knocked-over candle or lantern. That may not be true, but fires in cities have always been an endemic problem, and one would imagine untold amounts of them were started by careless use of a candle or lamp.
Apr
26
comment What are exceptions to the hypothesis that “climate determined ”regional“ loyalties in the U.S. Civil War”?
@Oldcat - I wouldn't normally pipe in on that, but as an Okie with inlaws from Cincinnati who visit every summer, I'm intimately familiar with the difference in climate. When they come in August, they act like they're vacationing on the planet Venus.
Apr
26
comment What are exceptions to the hypothesis that “climate determined ”regional“ loyalties in the U.S. Civil War”?
@Oldcat - Ummm...no. The southernmost Ohio city (Cincinnati) is nearly 10 degrees (F) cooler on average than Tuscaloosa, AL (chosen more or less at random) in the summer, and more than 15 cooler in the winter. Their rainfall is similar in the summer (Tuscaloosa still gets more), but Tuscaloosa gets nearly twice as much rain in the winter too. So Cincinnati gets only 76% of Tuscaloosa's yearly rainfall.
Apr
22
comment Did Heisenberg undermine the German atomic bomb by deliberately hiding his expertise from the Nazis?
I happen to own a copy of the out of print Joe Bob Goes to the Drive In, which I was once offered a startling amount of money for. Joe Bob Briggs might also claim he's been blacklisted (actually he used the word "killed"), but I suspect they just couldn't sell enough to justify the cost of another print run. I'm a big believer in Hanlon's Razor.
Apr
22
comment At what point were there the most current and former US Presidents alive?
If I could, I'd give you an extra half a vote up or so for working out the actual odds mathematically.
Apr
21
comment Why did English become Lingua Franca of the modern world?
@ssc - "EU" isn't a country (with a single predominant language) like the USA is. The NAFTA area is actually still larger (in terms of population and GDP) than the EU is. Not all of that area speaks English of course, but not all of the EU area doesn't speak English.
Apr
21
comment Why did England and Portugal cheap out on the Battle of Aljubarrota?
You got an upvote from me just for finding a reason to use the markdown "spoiler" tag on the History stack
Apr
21
comment Clan allegances
@MarkC.Wallace - I think this particular part of Scottish family tradition can be said to be objective. Either most everyone did it that way, or they did not.
Apr
21
comment Who considered themselves as “Prussian”?
@OlePetersen - Holstein got the "honor" of joining Prussia due to the fact that they had a very convenient succession crisis that Prussia used to start the wars that got them most of the rest of NW Germany.
Apr
20
comment “The signal on the Zibby is dead” - what is the meaning of “Zibby”?
The only thing I love more than this answer is the appropriateness of the user name of the answerer.
Apr
20
comment Does a reputation for cruelty to PoWs give a tactical advantage?
There's also the tit-for-tat issue. Wars generally contain more than one battle, and next time it may be you who has to surrender. So its in your own personal self-interest if the standard MO is leniency to the defeated. This was no small consideration. One WWII pilot reported that his commanding officers threatened to personally shoot down anyone caught shooting at a parachuting airman. This led to this famous incident.
Apr
19
comment How can we be sure that a certain historical claim is true and accurate?
A good example of this in action is the (now disputed) story of the Viking Blood Eagle. For detractors, it fails on all above accounts. It was never reported until long after Christianization (where presumably they had an interest in playing up the brutality of heathens), and all references trace back to only two original sources.
Apr
19
comment Where did the phrase “Great Divergence” come from?
Interesting thing about that wiki is that in its list of possible causes, it doesn't list the printing press, which is obviously the ultimate cause. ;-)