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.

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Best children's books on the history of Ancient Rome?

I am looking for a book about the history of Ancient Rome for my upper-elementary school child who loves history. I would prefer a book with the following features: A "chapter book" with ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
127 views

What was at the start of Early Roman codices?

What was on an early Roman codex before the actual text of the author? For example, we have the title, author, copyright notifications and other publication information. In contrast what would you ...
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9 votes
1 answer
447 views

How significant was the literary loss due to WWII?

From the Wikipedia list of libraries damaged during World War II, I learnt that millions of books stored in libraries were lost from bombings and intentional destruction by the Nazis, especially in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
504 views

What does this source "IAA iii" mean? Which book?

I've been reading a book about Genghis Khan by Frank McLynn and, going through its notes, I saw sources where I couldn't find anything about it, i.e. what publication was referred to. I want to find ...
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1 answer
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What irreplaceable manuscripts were lost in the burning of Jaffna Public Library and what history did they contain (and subsequently lost forever)?

Context The burning of the Jaffna Public Library was a case of ethnic biblioclasm and cultural eradication of Tamil history. At the time of its destruction, the library was one of the biggest in Asia, ...
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5 votes
0 answers
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What method was used to create book illustrations in late 1800s/early 1900s?

There were (and are) many processes for producing printed images that were used in the 1800s, mostly variants of engraving, etching and lithography. Early books used woodcut images, which are usually ...
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0 votes
1 answer
119 views

History of nations - books

I'm not a historian at all but would be interested in reading not-too-technical (accessible and "enjoyable" for non-historians) books about a "global" history of nations; or maybe ...
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Have any palimpsests been found in medieval Icelandic (saga) literature?

Old Norse mythology and history are mostly known through Icelandic medieval parchements. Have those been found to include palimpsests, like medieval parchement in Europe has?
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3 votes
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How do art historians study the transactions of art merchants?

My question is the following: I would like to ask how to frame a research paper about transactions of art merchants and their transcription from the accounting book to a research paper. I would like ...
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7 votes
1 answer
429 views

Is there a WW2 European bomb damage atlas?

For London there is a comprehensive and accessible (and readily available) atlas of damage done during the Second World War by German aerial bombing. Are there similar atlases available for Europe, ...
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1 answer
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Where and when is this dragon watermark from? [closed]

I'm doing some historical research on a manuscript. I'm having trouble finding where this watermark is from however. Watermark: I'm very sure the watermark is a dragon type watermark from a printer ...
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2 votes
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Which "Wonders of the World" book does Malcolm X refer to in his autobiography?

In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, he references reading a book called "Wonders of the World". He lists no author or publisher. A Google search for "Wonders of the World book" ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Were there any missing opera actresses in Paris between 1881 - 1910?

As you might have guessed (or maybe not), my question was merely risen by the mystery of the Opera Ghost, from the Phantom of The Opera written by Gaston Leroux. I have been all over the internet in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
160 views

What are some well-researched books about ships during the Age of Sail? [closed]

I have tried to find well researched and detailed books, but all I seem to be able to find are books about model ships or fiction books about sailors. As a layman, I’ve entertained the idea that I ...
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2 votes
0 answers
147 views

What's the meaning of the title of Manstein's book, 'Lost victories' - missed victories or victories won in vain?

I recently shot through Manstein's Lost victories in its English translation and am curious as to what is the precise or intended meaning of its title. The original German title is Verlorene Siege, ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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How did pagination come to be used?

I've been gathering some information around the history of printing and noticed that the Gutenberg Bible did not feature page numbering. It makes sense pagination was not used then, even if it might ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why did typesetting allegedly "make it difficult for illegal copiers"?

From the Wikipedia article Typesetting One significant effect of typesetting was that authorship of works could be spotted more easily, making it difficult for copiers who have not gained permission. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
403 views

Good books on Kievan Rus era? [closed]

Title pretty much self explenatory. Im a student myself (but not of history), and I am looking for a good book on the period that is not too heavy, but gives good coverage for early east Slavic ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
156 views

Which historic figure does William Bolitho refer to with "The greatest adventurer that ever lived ended as a nervous, banal millionaire"? [closed]

Context: It was said in 12 Against the Gods which was published in 1929.
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8 votes
2 answers
365 views

How did philosophical and scientific knowledge in Christian Europe in 1085 compare to the body of knowledge contained in the library of Toledo?

In 1085, Moorish Toledo was conquered by Alfonso VI. According to prof. Robert Sapolsky (he is a primatologist and neurobiologist, but usually all information he gives is very reliable), at the time ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Were women allowed to study at the Library of Alexandria?

The closest thing I've been able to find on the topic was in relation to Hypatia, the mathematician, who was born centuries after the library was burned. Is there a list of known people who studied at ...
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What are some sources on college life in the second half of the 19th century USA

Could someone please direct me towards books (diaries, memoirs...) on college life (particularly dental colleges) in the USA in the second half of the 19th century (particularly 1870s)? Thank you!
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where can I find a scan of the translated "De re militari" in Bulgarian?

De Re Militari was translated into English, French and Bulgarian before the 15th century. Where can I find a scan of the Bulgarian translation?
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28 votes
6 answers
8k views

Why is the 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What are the key Syriac pieces of literature?

There is very little info on the web about Syriac, but it sounds like it might have some hidden gems. I am looking here for the most detailed resource I've found. Wikipedia doesn't offer any insight ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the Aztec/Nahuatl Syllabary incomplete? [closed]

I am looking at this: Why is it not complete? Obviously they must not be able to find these glyphs, but what exactly does that mean? Where did they find these existing glyphs anyways? Are they ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Were any works completely lost during the Nazi book burnings?

When the Nazis rose to power, they began a campaign of burning books deemed incompatible with the Nazi ideology. During these book burnings, were there any works that were completely lost? By "...
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1 vote
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Book (and/or podcast) recommendations for providing a historical & cultural context for Sichuan?

A couple friends and I plan on taking a tour in the southwestern region of China, specifically Sichuan & Yunan, around spring of next year. I find that it always makes the trip more engaging and ...
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2 votes
0 answers
202 views

Which book about risk of war over time draws conclusions contrary to Pinker?

I thought I recently read about a book arguing that trends in warfare, when you use the right statistics on the right timescales, do not show a clear decline over time. The book was characterized as ...
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8 votes
1 answer
199 views

Where was the Barberini psalter created?

Would you know where the Barberini psalter was created? I have checked the on-line sources and cannot find the answer (maybe I have overlooked it?) It was created in the 11th century. The obvious ...
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7 votes
1 answer
158 views

How did the educational curriculum (books) flow from grade to grade in the 1800s?

I'd like to understand how educational curriculum (book choice/material) progression worked during the 19th century within the United States and perhaps even abroad. We frequently hear of people only ...
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56 votes
15 answers
13k views

Are there any important biographies of nobodies?

Biographies usually cover interesting people who said and did notable things. I'm curious about lives notable just for their contexts: the stories of unremarkable people in historically remarkable ...
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52 votes
8 answers
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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, ...
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1 vote
3 answers
348 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 ...
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30 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
815 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 quote from the article from the part about Digital Typography by Donald Knuth: For another, the book is, well, charming. Donald's ...
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5 votes
1 answer
343 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 ...
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1 answer
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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). ...
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1 vote
2 answers
502 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, ...
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11 votes
1 answer
611 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
268 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 ...
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8 votes
6 answers
949 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
160 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
207 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) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
170 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
74 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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
269 views

What do these symbols & annotations in medieval and related texts mean?

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)...
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1 vote
1 answer
95 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 ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
264 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 ...
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