Questions tagged [cultural-history]

Culture, from the Latin "to cultivate", references both the combined experience of a population and the works created by them. Thus culture is ultimately a combination of societal mores and taboos, historical memory, attitudes, and a people's contributions to literature, stagecraft, painting, sculpture, and other forms of art.

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How did the Crimean war change British society?

Background: My summer reading goal is to get a handle on Europe from 1850-1914, with a strong focus on the British Empire, and within that a focus on England. So far, I've seen multiple historians ...
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Why are women banned from Okinoshima island in Japan?

Okinoshima, a sacred Japanese island that just got World Heritage listing, is a place where men are expected to walk around naked that is off limits for women. Why are women not allowed on it? This ...
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Was it common practice for men to kiss on the lips in 1920s USA?

I recently watched a documentary about Eugene Debs, which included film of his release from prison in 1921. I was surprised to see that many of the men present greeted him by kissing him on the lips. ...
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Which company offered this aircraft interior in the 60s?

I found this image on LinkedIn post. This was economy class back in the 1960s. [...] I'm not sure whether it's fake or not. Was there a company that offered this aircraft interior in the 60s? If ...
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How did the Mongol Nomads' System of Raiding and Trading Work?

I've read (in a source I no longer remember) that the Mongol tribes of the Steppe, like some other cultures, had this habit of raiding each other without it being seen as an act of war. More ...
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How did Victorian British conservatives resolve the tension between valuing tradition and spreading empire?

I've started reading about British Victorian politics, and I have a question about an apparent tension in Victorian conservatism. I'd like to get a better understanding of it so I can have a framework ...
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Is the enforcement of Hijab wearing for Muslim women a recent occurrence?

Is the practice of mandating that a Muslim women wear some form of a Hijab or Burka a recent occurrence? In that, has the practice always been alive and well, or have countries like Saudi Arabia and ...
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Are the Egyptians the only ones to have carved the dead's biography on the coffin?

I know that Egyptians did it. (See Hornedjitef's coffin) It is very interesting to me that they carved a biography on the coffin that was to be buried - not to mention that it was the inner coffin, ...
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Why do people say, “Alexander the Great conquered the world?”

In many books, articles, or even in folktales, whenever Alexander III of Macedon (referred to as Alexander the Great) is mentioned, it is said that he conquered the world. Even some historian say that ...
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What is the difference between a culture and a civilization?

This is my first question on this site. So, I just hope I would be helped here. As used by historians, what is the difference between a 'civilization' and a 'culture'? I used Google to find some ...
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How is it determined what Culture is Period/Dynasty/Civilization part of?

I'm trying to make a fairly complete history for a con world and I'm looking at historical groups to make the history more realistic and I noticed something... At some point the names of these groups ...
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Has Any Real-World Culture Actually Included a “Life Debt” Tradition?

A common trope in fiction is the "life debt," wherein two characters become "bound together by a bond of oath" because one has saved the other's life. We consumers of media have seen this concept of ...
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How did society regard identical twins in the 17th century in Europe?

How did society react about and approach identical twins in Europe, mainly around the 17th century?
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In ancient Rome what could 'childhood innocence' save a child from being punished for?

The "Innocence of a child", you know, that thing that lets curious little kids sneak onto the white house lawn and not immediately get shot or whatever. In ancient Rome (lets say during the republic ...
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Are there any historical examples of possible alternatives to the “Nuclear Family”?

The nuclear family we see today is basically the smallest most regular social structure. Others exist like the company or the church, but at the end of the day most people ether live alone or within ...
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When in history did people start seeing a girl's breasts as being inherently sexual? [closed]

In our modern culture we always seem to take for granted the fact that girls are expected to cover their breasts, with the (sometimes...) only real exception being breast-feeding, in which case the ...
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Was arson prominent in the Kingdom of Hawaii?

Gast and Conrad's book about Francisco de Paula Marin's life in Hawaii contains entries from his journal. Several mention incidents and fears of arson, never ascribing responsibility: 30th Jany [1810]...
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Had there been a significant physiological difference between the Vikings and the Europeans (around the 11th century)? [closed]

Everyone who has seen the show The Vikings surely noticed that the Nordic men are far more muscular and much bigger. Is there a genetic difference that was making them better fighters or had they ...
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When did furniture become common in the homes of most people in the British Isles?

When did they (regular people, rich people, etc.) start using stools and benches in the British Isles? My question is about daily life, not just the earliest archaeological finds. Specifically, I'm ...
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How and why did limerence come to be idolized as it is in modern Western society? [closed]

Limerence - the involuntary, infatuated state that has been romanticized as love. Before you read in, the basics of my question have to do with the historical forces that have shaped the modern ...
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What's the oldest monomyth?

What is the oldest example of the Joseph Campbell's monomyth (AKA: Hero's Journey) story structure ? I know about Homer's Odyssey (circa VII BC). Are there any older examples ?
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When did “cultural appropriation” become a concept?

Acts which nowadays are called cultural appropriation have been going on for a long time in the US, at least since the 19th century. But when did certain behaviours start getting labelled in the US as ...
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What is the history of stay at home moms?

I am interested in learning more information regarding the history of family structures, specifically as relates to stay at home parents. The only data I can really find is from the late 60s until ...
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Was there an ancient cult of worshiping one's own reflection?

Are there any sources about an ancient cultic worship of one's own reflection (in water)? Have historians found any evidence of such a phenomenon? The idea is found in some early Jewish commentaries: ...
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When and where arose the first civilization?

I'm reading a bit about early human history, and was asking myself when and where the civilization showed up. First of all, Ancient Egypt came to mind, and I figured out that this civilization ...
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Can someone explain the joke that killed Chrysippus of Soli?

There are a number of versions of how Chrysippus died, one of which says he drank some overproof wine while another says that he died of laughter*. Apparently, he died laughing at his own joke. The ...
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How old does an event have to be to be considered 'History'?

As I grew up, I advanced in my History classes until I graduated from high school in the year 2013. The problem is, I was only taught about events that happened until one or two years after World War ...
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Who wrote that Americans believe their values are universal values?

I remember reading this statement (or something very close) years ago: Americans believe their values are universal values, which is the most American value of all. Who wrote this? I want to say ...
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What did men wear at night in the Middle Ages in Europe?

The question: I'd like to know how did people, especially males, used to dress while sleeping in the Middle Ages in Europe. I suppose the nightwear changes both according to the exact time period and ...
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Term for one culture having a large influence over surrounding cultures?

Is there a somewhat established term for one culture (not state) having a comparatively large influence over surrounding/neighboring cultures? I’m not talking about the volitional political or ...
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When did disabilities begin to become recognized? [closed]

I know that even to this day disabled individuals are often discriminated against and are treated unfairly. At what point in time, were disabilities first understood at a broad societal level? What ...
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What was the ancient Greeks view on people of African descent?

I am interested in sources (reference author, work, paragraph/fragment) describing the view ancient Greeks held about people of African descent. By that I mean those whom they called Αιθίοπες (...
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When did the first electronic body modifications take place?

I have recently been reading about a variety of body modifications ranging from a simple tattoo or ear ring. This led me to wondering about the history of body modification. I tried to ask this as a ...
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How Did the Mongol Empire Get So Big?

Undoubtedly, the largest empire in the existence of human history was the Mongol Empire, once a hodgepodge of warring nomadic tribes from Central Asia before banding together under the banner of ...
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Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War?

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War? Or were there times where there wasn't such a fear? Possibly during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente, or ...
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What were normal bathing habits in Cairo in 1798?

In the old western world we did not bath much after the fall of the Roman Empire. I was wondering if that is the same for the population in Egypt in around 1798. This leads me to 2 questions 1) Did ...
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When did people start believing aliens are abducting cows?

I think all of us must have seen the following scene in a film, or read it in a book: It is night, and there are cows standing in a field. All of a sudden, a flying saucer appears, and starts to beam ...
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Were major foreign films allowed in the USSR?

I'm thinking of really major films that came from Hollywood, like Star Wars, Back to the Future, Planet of the Apes, etc. Were these allowed to be shown in the USSR? Did they have to wait for ...
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Why does Romanian culture have Latin influences?

Romania is located between Bulgaria, Serbia on one side and Ukraine/many Slavic countries on the other. Romanian is however a Romance (Latin) language, and not Slavic. They don't use the Cyrillic ...
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Who are the 20th century painters on this t-shirt?

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
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India and Egypt: What enables a culture to endure? [closed]

What traits exist in Indian Hindu culture to allow it to persevere to the present day that did not exist in Egypt from ~3100 BCE to ~30 BCE? EDIT by Alex: What destroyed Egyptian civilization? ...
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Has being a single mother been always stigmatized?

Being a single mother was obviously a big economic disadvantage. And in the times when the Christian church morality dominated every day life, being a single mother was obviously a proof of a sin. But ...
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Is the swastika in The Great Gatsby anti-semitic?

In the Great Gatsby, in Chapter 9 Fitzgerald writes that Nick visited Meyer Wolfsheim and that he was in an office with a door marked "Swastika Holding Company." The Great Gatsby was written between ...
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History of native cultures in America

What are some of the risks of relying on their accounts when studying the history of Native cultures?
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Was there a reason Hitler saluted differently to everyone else?

When people think of the nazi salute, the hand is generally out in front, around 45° palm down. Sometimes it would be lower, which I think reinforces that it's a "palm open and down" gesture: ...
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Are there any sources which talk about the experience of attending a 15th/16th century fencing school?

I'm interested to know of any material which describes the experience of being a student at a medieval period fencing school e.g. once which may have been run by a Master teaching in the Lichtenauer ...
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Where can I find an English translation of 'Il Fioretto della Bibbia'?

I am currently reading The Cheese and the Worms, in which the author (Carlo Ginzburg) frequently cites a works of the apocryphal gospels titled Il Fioretto della Bibbia, an Italian translation of a ...
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Has there been any culture where men typically have longer hair than women?

Most discussions of gender differences in hair length seem to argue that men have had "long" hair in many cultures (such as the answers to "When and why did having long hair become associated with ...
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How did French people greet in 1400? [closed]

How did French people greet in 1400? In particular I'm looking for french expressions that a peasant like Saint Joan of Arc could have used to greet a friend.
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Isn't the current trend of young, unmarried, women living at home merely a reversion to older practices? [closed]

The trend of Millenials "boomeranging" home, or never leaving in the first place is much-reported-upon, and much lamented, here, for example. Is this a new trend, or merely a reversion to pre-WWII ...