Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

What were the criteria for class ranking at West Point prior to the Civil War?

I was watching Grant on The History Channel last night, and it was mentioned that Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class, while Grant was in the middle*. They also made a point of pointing out ...

united-states military 19th-century  
asked by T.E.D. 23 votes
answered by Pieter Geerkens 36 votes

Why did the film "The Longest Day" have the "cricket" training scene if the Allies received no intelligence about the hedgerows in Normandy?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's book "Citizen Soldiers" and he says that the allies had no intelligence about the high hedgerows in Normandy. This shocked me, because I remember clearly the scene in ...

world-war-two movies  
asked by Thom 11 votes
answered by sempaiscuba 18 votes

When and how did classical mythology subjects start to appear in art in medieval/Renaissance Europe?

All early medieval Europe art objects I am aware of are either about the Christian subjects or about the history (chronicles etc.). Classical mythology was obviously known in Europe before, see e.g. ...

middle-ages renaissance greek-mythology  
asked by Yulia V 7 votes
answered by Brian Z 4 votes

How did China deal with the Black Death during the second plague pandemic?

As far as I know, Europeans quarantined people. Sometimes neighbors sent food, and some people checked and marked houses infected by the Black Death. Sometimes corpses were burned in a mass pit, and ...

china medieval-china black-death  
asked by Li Jun 7 votes
answered by Mark C. Wallace 11 votes

Do these 18th century maps correctly depict Ottoman sanjaks in Wallachia, north of the Danube?

Note: I am editing this question constantly, because after posting it I have realized that there are more maps involving the same description, beside Homann's of 1720. (That doesn't mean that they are ...

ottoman-empire maps romania border bulgaria  
asked by cipricus 7 votes

How, where and when did Lily Pettigrew die?

Lily Pettigrew (born Lilian Pettigrew, on 25 Feb 1870, in Portsmouth in the UK) was a famous artist's model in turn-of-the-century London, alongside her equally famous sisters Hetty and Rose. She is ...

20th-century 19th-century britain art brazil  
asked by chancellorofpaphos 7 votes
answered by Brian Z 7 votes

How would an early German medieval market have looked?

I am trying to find sources on how a medieval German market would have looked. Any artwork (painting, wood carving, wood print) would be perfect, but even just a description would already be great. My ...

middle-ages germany sources early-medieval 10th-century  
asked by Vladis Becker 7 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Why does the United States keep using "old" date representations and imperial system, while being in the minority?

Other than the US (and a few other countries), the vast majority of countries use International System of Units (SI). Celsius temperature scale. DMY or YMD date format┬╣. 24-hour clock when written┬▓. ...

science calendar  
asked by Athari 88 votes
answered by David Hammen 68 votes

Why did the Germans use the Enigma machine rather than the far superior "Lorenz" cipher machine?

Basically, the only good thing about the "Enigma" cipher machine was its name. Other than that, it was grossly inferior to the "Lorenz" one, apparently only used by some of the main, top-ranking ...

world-war-two technology  
asked by Daphne Kantor 47 votes
answered by John Dallman 110 votes

Why didn’t Japan attack the West Coast of the United States during World War II?

In the early months of World War II, the United Stated spent several millions of dollars to fortify the West Coast against possible Japanese attack, going as far as to stretch a gigantic submarine net ...

united-states world-war-two contemporary-history north-america washington-state  
asked by George A. Solodun 58 votes
answered by Rathony 97 votes

What factors led to the rise of political parties in the United States?

I know that at the time the Constitution was drafted partisan political parties did not exist, not in the way that we conceive of them today, and George Washington did not have a political party. ...

united-states 18th-century political-history political-party  
asked by ihtkwot 6 votes
answered by MichaelF 3 votes

Did the ancients or other pre-industrial civilisations engage in unsustainable practices?

A popular rhetoric we hear regarding sustainability is that modern life after industrialization and arrival of plastics and hydrocarbon fuels have led to environmental degradation on Earth and our ...

ancient-history industrial-revolution industrial-history  
asked by Whirl Mind 130 votes
answered by Danila Smirnov 73 votes

Previous examples of large scale protests after presidential elections in the US?

After the elections there were many news reports of large-scale, mass protests throughout the US, for example: ...

united-states election protests  
asked by user17915 39 votes
answered by Timothy 83 votes

Why is late Russian Empire associated with Byzantium while having little in common with it?

I have started reading the book A people's tragedy by Orlando Figes about the Russian revolution. I am no historian, however having read a few pages I have a few questions about the repeated ...

russia roman-empire byzantine-empire book  
asked by Sinusx 24 votes
answered by Tom Au 10 votes

Can you answer these questions?

Can the Notitia Dignitatum help identify colors for Late Republic/Early Imperial Roman Shields?

Traditionally Hollywood has showed us red shields for the Legions, but of course Hollywood only pays historical fact-checkers to say they have one, not to do what the fact-checkers say! The actual ...

roman-empire warfare roman-republic  
asked by Dario Quint 3 votes

Did Averroes really try to bury light in an attempt to create gold, or was that invented by Victor Hugo?

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo relates a story that supposedly Averroes buried light in order to create gold from it, as, according to him, gold is light, but that it would not be for ...

science philosophy islamic-history islamic-hispania  
asked by user1675016 3 votes

Can anyone find the Cartier designs for the unmade Baroda Crown of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III?

This video, The Great Indian Crowns, featuring Jewellery Historian and Author Rene Brus, mentions a 'Crown Project' at the 14:23 mark. It was a 1930s project to make a crown for Maharaja Sayajirao ...

india jewelry  
asked by Johan88 2 votes
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