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Sep
26
comment What factors enabled Europe to conquer almost the whole world?
Interesting to note that Columbus was likely inspired by a religious book, "The Voyage of St. Brendan" where an Irish Monk looking to become a "green martyr" (self-exile in the name of God) sailed West, and found land across the ocean. Columbus was something of an idiot, and 1) believed the book was a factual account and 2) thought the land Brendan found was India. So the printing press had a direct influence on the discovery of the Americas.
Sep
25
comment Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?
The combination of brawny and brainy is pure fantasy. Utterly ahistorical. The grunts would team up to do the heavy lifting, the guys on horseback would tell them what to lift and where and how to point the thing, the same as it was with Napoleonic artillery. Napoleon's artillery corps certainly wasn't an elite corps of hulking mathematicians, but they were very well drilled in the teamwork required for efficient artillery maneuver and deployment.
Sep
23
comment What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?
Religious literature should not be mistaken for documentary evidence. In addition, the Rig Veda was not committed to writing until the 4th century CE, and the oldest surviving texts only date to the late middle ages.
Sep
11
comment How good were Confederate resupply capabilities during the Gettysburg campaign?
@T.E.D - Maybe not, the Union forces could take it in ways the Confederates couldn't begin to imagine. The Iron Brigade! Inept officers squandered this until Grant took over, and Southern commanders mistook poor leadership for poor morale too often... I don't think a bayonet charge would have impressed anyone in the ranks fighting for the North.
Sep
9
comment Why didn't Alexander invade India?
Empires with massive armies dismissing Alexander's puny forces were kind of a thing during his conquest - The Nandans were ripe to be toppled by a competent general, and that's just what Chandragupta did not long after. What saved them from Alexander was their neighbor - Porus was an above-average strategist and a great statesman.
Sep
6
revised What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?
Grammatical change for clarity
Sep
6
revised Did Germany lose World War II when/because “kill ratios” started moving “against” her?
deleted 18 characters in body
Sep
6
answered Did Germany lose World War II when/because “kill ratios” started moving “against” her?
Sep
6
revised What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?
Disability and Disabled are the current terms used by academics in place of "handicapped"
Sep
6
answered What do written sources say about disability in early civilisations?
Sep
4
comment Why did the Romans incorporate and rename the Greek pantheon?
@Eugene Seidel - I love using Wiki as a source. It's kind of weak-sauce in providing a clear answer here, though - the incorporation of Hellenistic religion into Roman religion is an interesting topic glossed over on the wiki pages for Hellenistic Religion, Roman Religion and Roman Mythology. It's got me chasing various sources, at anyrate. Apparently early Christian scholars were aware of this through the now-lost works of Varro? Interesting stuff.
Aug
30
reviewed Approve suggested edit on How did the Falasha make contact with Jews outside Ethiopia?
Aug
30
comment How did St Sebastian become a gay male icon?
@DVK - Religious rationale for the affinity came after the publishing of the etching... if anything, his story is aimed at heterosexual women. Good looking soldier, shot full of arrows for his faith, secretly nursed back to health by a beautiful woman of the same faith. All the hallmarks of a historical romance novel.
Aug
29
reviewed Reject suggested edit on Who invented the first flag?
Aug
29
comment What would a Norseman in the early 11th century have worn as daily clothing?
Let me note here that heavy wool is a very effective material for extreme cold - it insulates even when wet, and wicks moisture away from the wearer. Garment company "Filson's" sells wool clothing meant for winter activities outdoors that's popular with outdoorsmen in the Upper Midwest and Canada, every bit as cold as Scandinavia. Wool in this context does not equate to a wool sweater or suit jacket.
Aug
21
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Is the claim that Hitler came to power democratically justified?
Aug
20
revised How did St Sebastian become a gay male icon?
added 2 characters in body
Aug
20
revised How did St Sebastian become a gay male icon?
added 270 characters in body
Aug
20
comment How big was the kapa trade out of Hawaii?
To clarify, tapa cloth was used for patching sails - not as durable as canvas, but it's hard to find cotton in the middle of the Pacific. Trying to run down an online source for this now...
Aug
20
answered How did St Sebastian become a gay male icon?