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Questions tagged [cities]

For questions relating to settlements as centres of population, incl. their history and development.

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Greek names of cities of Persia

I know that some cities and places in Iran and Afghanistan have historical Greek names. Like Persepolis. Where can I find those names and their meanings?
user65616's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
45 views

How were cities administered in the Middle Byzantine Empire (641-1081)? [closed]

So I have found something about urban administration of cities in the Roman Republic and the feudal kingdoms. But how were cities administered in the Middle Byzantine Empire? Did they have Imperial ...
Aldarion Telcontar's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
237 views

How were streets lit at night, before street lights were invented? [closed]

For example, how were the streets of ancient Greek cities and of ancient Rome lit at night? I suspect that street lights as we know today didn't exist in ancient Greece and Rome, so there were other ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
219 views

Is there any documented evidence that these three North American cities were named due to the locations of their namesakes?

Two years ago, I was studying an online atlas of the world and I happened to notice that there are three cities located in North America which have a geographical similarity with three cities located ...
user57467's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
139 views

Is there an example from Classical antiquity of mixing up cities based on their names?

Is there an example from Classical antiquity of mixing up cities based on their names? Say, an army landed at the wrong town, or a traveler gave wrong directions, based on the names. That last part is ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 2,175
2 votes
1 answer
208 views

Are the dimensions of bricks used in Sumerian monuments like the great Ziggurat of Ur the same as in the Indus Valley Civilization?

We know there were extensive trade ties between the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and that of ancient Sumer. I'm curious if there were cultural transmissions of engineering ideas too. The Indus ...
rd108's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
3 answers
179 views

When a wattle-and-daub construction was demolished, how did they recycle or dispose of the materials?

In the medieval age, when a wattle-and-daub building had to be demolished, did they recycle the materials? Especially the logs of the frames, these seem to be prime targets for reuse. This article ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
746 views

Where and why did the colourful houses of Bristol start?

Bristol has a reputation for rows of colourful terraced houses, like those on Clifton Terrace: Nobody seems to know where and why is started: Nobody’s entirely sure when or why houses in the ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
204 views

Has capital penalty ever been a municipal-level decision?

I am curious whether municipal-level courts have ever had the authority to impose the death penalty. The sources I have been able to find that deal with the present-day world all discuss it as a ...
adam.baker's user avatar
  • 2,316
5 votes
3 answers
714 views

Why are the capitals of central Asian countries right against the borders?

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and (until 1997) Almaty, Kazakhstan are capital cities that are nestled up tight against borders, with ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
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0 answers
125 views

Are there any in-depth accounts on the history of the so-called 'city name statues' phenomenon?

A few years ago, Amsterdam had a big collection of statues consisting of letters that spelled 'I amsterdam': The letters were removed because a majority the city council associated them with ...
Max Muller's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
512 views

Was there a town called Munich in Jackson County, Tennessee?

According to a patent called Eye-protector for chickens, it was patented by Andrew Jackson, Jr., a citizen of the United States, residing in Munich, in the county of Jackson, State of Tennessee. To ...
Pichi Wuana's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
151 views

Were medieval city states like Venice and Milan feudal? [closed]

I know they had lots of powerful factions and families, but Venice, for instance, was a republic, no? And Rome was a theocracy. If they were feudal, how did their respective governments work in a ...
aah123's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why do old townhouses sometimes have a flat, windowless, undecorated wall on one side?

In Oslo, I notice that many townhouses built around the turn of the twentieth century just have a large, undecorated, windowless, completely flat wall on one side. Here is an example. This building ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
75 views

Was there a forest in Armenia (around the city of Ani) between 961 and 1045?

Recently I discovered the existence of the ancient city of Ani (Armenia) which was "one of the world's largest cities, with a possible population of circa 100,000." between 961 and 1045. See ...
gagik's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Are there historical statistics about the number of market towns?

As a way to understand changes in the middle ages, I want to know the development of market towns. Particularly, I am looking for the increase in their number, organised by country and period (e.g. ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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57 votes
2 answers
7k views

How was law enforcement handled in large US cities before professional police?

In the news lately in the USA there has been a lot of talk about defunding or abolishing police. Its been claimed by some that US police forces have their root in slave-catching, and are thus ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
42 votes
2 answers
10k views

Have American urban rioters ever looted residences?

The current (summer 2020) occurrences of looting and rioting are targeting stores and businesses, so I am wondering if houses and apartments might potentially become targets at some point. In previous ...
Betterthan Kwora's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
453 views

How were cities administered in the early Byzantine Empire?

First of all, I would just like to note that I am not looking for an answer concerning Constantinople, but rather how other cities were governed (e.g. Thessaloniki, Adrianapole, Nicaea, Smyrna, ...
5ar's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
454 views

Why were the cities of the Eastern European Plain founded much later than those elsewhere in Europe?

As site on which to found a city, Moscow seems to have a lot going for it. It's surrounded by fertile farmland - Russia produces more grain than the United States - it's located on a watercourse which ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
791 views

Is there a database of ancient/current names of cities?

I am working on map of Ancient Etruscan civilization and I can't identify the exact location of Spica city. Based on minimap from Wikipedia page about Etruscan civilization, the city should lie about ...
Ladislav Naďo's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why are the historical large cities in the southern US not the large cities in the South today?

When you think about the large and prosperous cities in the historical Southern United States, you think of cities like Charleston, Richmond, Savannah, and New Orleans. However, when you look at the ...
C.J. Jackson's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
2k views

When did the number of motor driven vehicles surpass the number of horse driven vehicles in Paris, London, Berlin?

What exact year (or the closest approximation) did the number of motor driven vehicles surpass the number of horse driven vehicles (including the single horseman) on the streets of Paris?
exebook's user avatar
  • 315
1 vote
1 answer
208 views

What were the main centres of population in South America in 1500 AD?

I'm especially interested in the areas outside the Andes, but a general overview of known sites of urbanisation in the continent in that era would be great. Edit for clarification: Various articles ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
564 views

Are there examples of cities planned for urban combat that actually experienced it?

I was under the impression some cities are built to make urban combat more of a mess than it already is. Specifically they are built to have bad sight lines, confusing routes for the enemy and planned ...
Max Young's user avatar
  • 213
4 votes
5 answers
804 views

Is there any example of one country devastating a third? [closed]

My question comes from a video game I am playing: I am playing Austria, in Napoleonic wars. I am fighting France as main adversary, but I just captured and looted Bavaria and Saxony, two little ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,800
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

What's the point of fortified castles inside fortified cities?

In the Middle Ages, people built highly fortified castles for royalty inside cities that were already fortified by walls. What was the reasoning behind that? Were they made to protect royal families ...
Ivan Yurchenko's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the reason for wider streets in East Germany? [closed]

I heard* that in the GDR towns were planned so that most streets were wide enough for tanks to get through - in order to be able to fight the people more easily if they should rebel (even though it ...
Kjara's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
5 answers
745 views

Where were there growing economies in dark age Europe, excluding Iberia and Constantinople?

Question: Were there major places where the economy grew, inversely to wider situation, in the late Roman Empire and dark age Europe, c. 350-950? The examples that I can think of are Venice and the ...
John Dee's user avatar
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-4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Were there any ancient civilisation that functioned without currency or bartering? [closed]

As required here is how I define the terms used in this question: • money/currency: is something that has little use to the individuals (such as metal coins) but has a commonly recognized value the ...
WaterBearer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
355 views

Which European towns or cities are architecturally most similar today to how they would have been in 16C-17C?

Which European towns or cities are architecturally most similar today to how they would have been in the 16th and 17th centuries? A different way of asking the question: which contemporary European ...
John's user avatar
  • 29
1 vote
0 answers
245 views

Did the Designers of Teotihucan have an advanced understanding of Acoustics?

Teotihucan was one of the most impressively built and planned cities in ancient and world history. It is approximately 30 miles South of Mexico City and was founded around 200 BC/BCE-(though its ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
464 views

How and why did Aleksotas became part of the Russian Empire in 1864? [closed]

I am interested in Hermann Minkowski and, according to Wikipedia, he “was born in Aleksotas, a village in the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire” in 1864. Wikipedia also says that ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
151 views

How was city cleaning financed and organized in the late 19th century?

This answer about usage of horses contains a brief description of the situation of New York. Are there examples where city cleaning was done by firms or was the communal government responsible for ...
giftnuss's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
537 views

Why are U.S. Northwestern metropolitan areas set back from the coast?

Why are U.S. Northwestern metropolitan areas (cities) set back from the coast? Everywhere in the U.S. major cities tend to sit close to coasts, because this is optimal for trade. Major continental ...
syre's user avatar
  • 223
3 votes
1 answer
303 views

What is the oldest example of conurbation?

Georges Roux, in his book Ancient Iraq (Third edition, p. 68), says that The city of Uruk was born of the coalescence of two towns 800 metres apart: Kullaba, devoted to the sky-god An (or Anu), ...
James Cook's user avatar
  • 1,661
9 votes
2 answers
654 views

What jobs were available for migrants from the country to Rome?

I've read that the during the late Roman republic and early empire there was a great migration from country to urban living. Historians estimate in peninsular Italy 15%-20% of the population lived in ...
Random's user avatar
  • 3,668
3 votes
1 answer
462 views

History of eponymous cities

Alexander the Great founded many Alexandrias. Following his example, the Diadochi and the Epigoni did the same: Antigonia, Demetria, Lysimachia, Seleucia, Antiochia, Cassandreia... This trend seems ...
Brasidas's user avatar
  • 3,179
3 votes
1 answer
309 views

Is Chicago the most regularly laid-out city that has ever existed? [closed]

The World Series is being broadcast on TV and before going to a commercial the network treats us to a view from the blimp or drone or something flying over Chicago at night, and the regularity of the ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did Pre-Columbian Americans not build city walls?

The question At the time of the European invasions after 1492, the most technologically advanced cultures in the Americas had progressed to about the same stage as the Bronze Age in the old world. ...
0range's user avatar
  • 2,706
13 votes
6 answers
4k views

Was any city/town/place named "Washington" prior to 1790?

It is pretty common knowledge that Washington, DC was named after the United States' first President, George Washington, and founded in 1791. However, is there any other place, in the United States, ...
Skooba's user avatar
  • 383
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Were bicycles widespread in the Soviet Union?

In the Soviet Union, did most people own a bicycle? Were streets crowded with bikes? Or was there a shortage of bikes? What was the price of bikes and were they affordable? The time period I'm most ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 17.3k
41 votes
7 answers
13k views

Why aren't there major cities on the Atlantic coast of France?

I see Bordeaux and Nantes, but they are a short ways inland. The U.S. has several like New York, Boston, Miami, Charleston.
don57's user avatar
  • 427
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why wasn't the Free City of Lübeck ever restored?

There is a long history of free imperial cities having extra privileges within the Holy Roman Empire. Many cities in contemporary Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy were former free imperial ...
Bregalad's user avatar
  • 5,316
2 votes
1 answer
212 views

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3?

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3? What were the changes at the time?
theszak's user avatar
  • 29
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was the relatively most populous city in history?

Which city did, at a given time, have the largest percentage of humanity living in it? I think that it's probably Imperial Rome, which is said to have reached a million inhabitants, at a time when ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why is Toledo not the capital of Spain anymore? [closed]

A few hundred years ago Toledo was the capital of Spain. Back then, Madrid was a small town with a relatively small number of citizens. What is the reason that Toledo is not the capital anymore?
Yair's user avatar
  • 149
2 votes
0 answers
40 views

Ratio of commerce to residence in preindustrial towns

Is there any research that has attempted to estimate the ratio of commerce to residence, or of shopkeepers to residents in other trades, for preindustrial towns? Or are there old census sources where ...
palazzo's user avatar
  • 29
27 votes
16 answers
14k views

Why didn't the Greeks or Romans have an Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain in the 18th century. The precursor to the Industrial Revolution was the Enlightenment. This occurred when European scholars rediscovered Greek and ...
Razie Mah's user avatar
  • 5,985
16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why is such big density of churches in medieval towns?

If we look at Old Towns of European cities, we can see that there are many churches in them. Of course, it is reasonable as religion was very important in lives of the medieval people. However, ...
Voitcus's user avatar
  • 7,151