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Questions tagged [book]

For questions about books and related artifacts, events, or places such as scrolls, bookshelves, libraries, etc. Questions can be about a specific book or about the broader history of books.

17
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5answers
2k views

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was “so bad it's good”?

The concept of media that is enjoyable because it's incompetently executed is a big market nowadays. Movies probably have the biggest examples (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Troll 2, The Room, Samurai Cop, ...
1
vote
2answers
243 views

What is the history behind Library of Congress becoming/being the world's biggest library?

What is the history behind Library of Congress being the world's biggest library? It is rather new because USA is a rather young country. One would expect some library in Paris or London, or maybe the ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Historical figures book or audiobook [closed]

I enjoy abbreviated readings about history. Is there a good book or even an audiobook that contains some of the major historical figures throughout history for adults. Even if it's a person per ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of a knight fighting a snail in medieval book illustrations?

Someone sent me this really weird picture of a medieval illustration. It depicted a knight fighting a snail, and was basically a viral snarky commentary about how weird medieval ideas were. I tried ...
13
votes
1answer
373 views

Was Donald Knuth the first person to typeset a book using a computer?

I came across this article, which recommends a few books. Below is a quite from the article from the part about Digital Typography by Donald Knuth: For another, the book is, well, charming. Donald'...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Are there any books solely about the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul?

I am very fascinated by the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul (the Arabic wiki-page on this subject is very interesting, though it starts with a lengthy description of the condition of Franks) and I am looking ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Has Matéo Maximoff's book Die Ursitory been translated to English?

I've been unsuccessfully searching for a book called Ursitory by Matéo Maximoff. From what I have gathered so far, it seems to only be available in German (Die Ursitory) and in French (Les Ursitory). ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

What are canonical sources about fifth century BCE Athens?

I am looking for a history book on fifth century BCE Athens, preferably with emphasis on culture and the daily lives of the Athenians. I found recommendations of books about Ancient Greece in general,...
5
votes
0answers
169 views

What's this flag flying on a fort at Kodiak, Alaska?

Naval captain Yuri Lisianskii drew a harbor scene in Alaska about 1805. It was engraved in England for an edition of his book. (High-res version) In the image, from left to right, there are flags ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

What were John Milton's daily reading habits?

In a college course on John Milton, I believe I remember the professor saying that Milton had an extremely rigorous daily reading schedule, something like one hour of Greek and two hours of Hebrew ...
5
votes
6answers
482 views

What is the earliest known book / novel trilogy in literature?

Having recently finished (again) The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I wondered what is the earliest known book / novel trilogy in literature? (Yes, I know J.R.R. Tolkien wrote LOTR not as a trilogy but as ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

What kind of book is “Evangelium de transitu Mariae”?

The heir to the throne only appears in a book closely related to the Acts, the Evangelium de transitu Mariae, under the name Abdan, a short form of Abdagases, as the coins call him. Source What ...
-1
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1answer
64 views

Where can I find high-resolution images of these Sumerian tablets

I've looked around quite a bit and couldn't find them. Looking for sketches, and a bonus images of the tablets, of the following Sumerian documents: Kesh temple hymn (maybe that is in here, not sure) ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Are there any images of old italic or runic inscriptions online?

Wondering if there are any museums or universities or anything that have any examples of either: Old Italic script Runic script I don't think there are any books in these scripts, but it seems there ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

How is a tablet transcribed?

Wondering how a tablet is transcribed, or how it could be transcribed in the modern digital world. For example, the tablets in the first two images below. I am particularly interested in: How long it ...
9
votes
2answers
119 views

Some clarifications on text annotations on Medieval and related texts

Looking at some texts and not sure what these symbols mean in these few cases. Wondering if one could just list off real quick what the purpose is of the symbols or patterns (like the spacing patterns)...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What these footnote like symbols are in Aristotle's Metaphysics on Perseus

Here It looks like this: [980α] [21]...ἄνθρ...[25]...τοῖς δ᾽...[980β][21]...[981α] [1] καὶ δοκεῖ ... φησὶ Πῶλος, ἡ [5] δ᾽ ἀπειρία ... ἐστίν: [10] ... I get that the 980α and the like are section ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Emanuel Lasker write a book declaring that Germany had to win World War I if civilization were to be saved?

Emanuel Lasker, the second chess world champion, was a very interesting person. I read here that During World War I, Lasker […] invested all of his money in German war bonds. At the end of ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

Regional dominance of Sitka library

The Russian-American Company's directors were in St. Petersburg while its Chief Manager lived and worked in Sitka. The library there held "more than 1,200 books, valued at some 7,500 rubles. More than ...
9
votes
3answers
261 views

Since when and why do some academic publishers use, prefer or enforce endnotes instead of footnotes

When reading academic books of a certain size the usage of endnotes in those is killing me and my productivity. That is practically part of the definition: Footnotes are notes at the foot of the ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Published History of Harvard [closed]

Is anyone aware of a modern, single-volume published history of Harvard University? There seem to be numerous such histories for Oxford and Cambridge (admittedly, older institutions) but I haven't ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

How long did it take to bind a book in 13th century England?

I am looking for information on the time it took for the construction and binding of books in particular, not the writing or copying of them. So, considering that the material is ready to be bound, ...
5
votes
2answers
886 views

How reliable is a Maya codex facsimile?

I've found an online copy of William Gates' reproduction of the Dresden codex written in 1932. Some websites say that his reproduction is rather too stylistic to be a reliable facsimile of the codex. ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

Who sold this book in London in the 1930s?

Several years ago, I purchased a copy of A.W. Wheen's English translation of Erich Maria Remarque's Three Comrades (published, as best as I can tell, sometime in 1937 by Hutchinson & Co. of London,...
0
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0answers
89 views

Are there any major library fires reported for the middle ages?

With nearly all books made from parchment, I wonder if anything combustible was around after papyrus was phased out and paper not in use yet.
4
votes
1answer
494 views

How were documents written in Plato's time?

I'm writing an essay at the moment and I rather thoughtlessly wrote down that they used books. But it seems to me that this might not be the case and that books might be a relatively new invention. ...
9
votes
4answers
876 views

What was different about the “right” (recto) side of papyrus sheets compared to the other side?

Usually only one side of papyrus sheets was used to write on in classic antiquity. What is the difference between the two sides of a sheet, and why would you write on "recto" only?
0
votes
1answer
282 views

What books Napoleon Bonaparte used to read? [closed]

I am interested to know the books that Napoleon Bonaparte had read,and perhaps make a list about it. According to a Quora's answer, Napoleon had read: Rousseau - La Nouvelle Héloïse, the Social ...
4
votes
6answers
438 views

How, if at all, is published pseudohistory publicly addressed by scholars and academia?

To start of I would like to make it clear that I am not a historian or academian of any kind. I'm only interested in history as a hobby. I was just browsing to buy an audiobook in area of Ancient ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Why did German troops perform this parade near Szászház, in September 1916?

I'm reading "Last Night of Love, First night of War" by Camil Petrescu. In the book, the author says that when the Germans fought against Romanians in front of Szászház village, before the fight, the ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

British Diplomat's Guide to the Balkan Races

Reportedly (from a source I cannot recall) the British had a very "interesting" guide about the Balkans. It had a sort of cheat sheet to the peoples around that area, with the stereotypical ...
13
votes
2answers
372 views

Who titled the works of Aristotle?

I had always assumed that Aristotle titled his own works. But under the Wikipedia article on Metaphysics, it gives an alternative explanation for the origin of the work's title: Subsequent to the ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Was there a particular area of Victorian London in which bookshops were concentrated?

I see that there were many booksellers in Victorian London. Was there a particular area that hosted "respectable bookshops", in the manner that Petticoat Lane was a centre for Victorian clothing?
2
votes
2answers
197 views

Earliest use of Renaissance Era innovations in Islamic countries & culture?

Though the title may be vaguely broad, I have two specific things in mind I wanted to ask about. While I was recently considering the cultural and technological advancements of Europeans in the ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Have any opinions by Fanny Allen of her father's book on theology survived?

Fanny Allen was a daughter of Colonel Ethan Allen of the Continental Army, noted for taking Fort Ticonderoga from the British by surprising them while they slept. (Or General Ethan Allen if you like; ...
10
votes
1answer
324 views

Which college president nearly finished a book in 1914 that argued that there would be no more wars?

In 1954, Presbyterian theologian Gordon Clark published a brief essay in which he criticized the moral optimism of the pre-WWI era. He included the following intriguing tidbit: In the summer of ...
0
votes
1answer
164 views

Are there any universally accepted or non-Abrahamic based books in history that have mentions of longevity of prophets?

Reading from here and Genesis 5 we see that there are mentions of longevity among prophets: Adam – 930 Seth – 912 Enosh – 905 Jared – 962 Methuselah – 969 Noah – 950 Shem – 600 Eber – 464 ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Recommended electronic versions of old public domain US history textbooks?

I realize it's common practice for historians use primary sources, but what I want is some old US history schoolbooks pre-copyright, say 1700-1900. Something high-school level or higher (i.e. not for ...
-3
votes
1answer
165 views

Was Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Suess really banned? [closed]

Many say that Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss was banned for reasons of early marxism. Is that true?
22
votes
2answers
3k views

When did books first become affordable to the general population?

Gutenberg certainly had a great impact on the availability of books, but his printing press didn't help bring books into the hands of the poor. The price of books dropped from thousands of days worth ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there a difference between original 1768-71 and 1968-71 facsimile of 1st edition Encyclopaedia Brittanica

I was browsing a second hand book store and stumbled upon a 1968 facsimile of the 1768 1st edition Encyclopaedia Brittanica. I am aware that a facsimile is an exact replica, but I still assumed that ...
2
votes
1answer
336 views

Why did manuscript production increase rapidly?

What are the reasons for the significant increase in manuscripts being produced during the later medieval era? Was it due to improving financial conditions, or were there technological advances that ...
9
votes
1answer
529 views

How accurate is the book “Rifleman Dodd”?

I recently borrowed a Napoleonic war era book titled Rifleman Dodd, by C.S.Forester. It was a entertaining story set in Portugal in the years 1810-1811. I'm wondering if the book is a work of fiction ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Should you be pedantic about the clerical errors you see in a History reference book? [closed]

I'm currently studying History in a distance learning school where the primary mode of instruction is through online delivery of academic materials called modules. My concern is that most of these ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Was *Green Eggs and Ham* really banned in China from 1965–1991?

The Wikipedia article on Green Eggs and Ham states that the children's book was banned in China in 1965 for its "portrayal of early Marxism", and that the ban was lifted in 1991. The citations for ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Tocqueville and the phrase “The great experiment”

The line "The great experiment" has become famous for being used by Tocqueville for describing the birth of modern democracy in America. It is supposed to be in the last paragraph of the first chapter ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

A book collating world events? [closed]

I saw on a TV programme a couple of years ago, about a book that would be updated every few years highlighting all kinds of significant news and happenings from around the world. I seem to remember it ...
25
votes
4answers
9k views

How were books published in Ancient Greece?

Suppose I'm a contemporary of Aristotle, living in Athens, and I want to write a book on, say, philosophy or mathematics. I suppose I would start by writing out a complete manuscript on some form of ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Where are the ancient books now?

How did books like Gorgias or Republic survive to these days? Where were they found or how were they preserved so well for the centuries when antique philosophers were rejected as atheists? And are ...
2
votes
2answers
298 views

How many words were written before Gutenberg [closed]

Suppose there was a library containing all books ever written before Gutenberg. I exclude books that have been lost, but include books that have survived only in copy. How many total words were in ...