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Questions tagged [europe]

It is the second smallest continent, forming the Western extension of Eurasia.

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58
votes
17answers
17k views

What were the reasons for the Renaissance / scientific revolution in Europe?

One of the common reasons given for the Renaissance and the subsequent scientific revolution is the rediscovery of classical works by scholars in Europe and the social change that the study of those ...
4
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1answer
976 views

How long would it take a Victorian to travel from central Germany to the UK?

Specifically from Lauscha in 1862, does anyone know how extensive railways were then?
61
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6answers
21k views

Why are the German and French languages so different?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is the following: During and before the period of the fall of western Rome (roughly 400 AD), the Franks and the Alemanni were tribal people who moved around a ...
32
votes
2answers
5k views

How did cities operate in medieval times?

Modern fiction is often filled with fantasy versions of the Middle Ages, from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, and everything in between, but how did the reality of this trope operate? There ...
-3
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2answers
1k views

Which European nation had the most kings in the 18th century? [closed]

Which European country had more kings than any other in the totality of the 1700s?
52
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4answers
61k views

Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
99
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13answers
24k views

Why China was able to unify and not Europe?

If you look at a map of China through the ages, you will usually find (from about the Han up) a huge mass representing China. On the other hand, you look at a map of Europe, and you'll usually see a ...
103
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7answers
40k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
36
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3answers
4k views

Who is this young 'Prince'?

The photo below was found in an envelope among a bundle of family photos which were recently handed down on the English side of my family. Aside from the photo itself, the only clues are as follows: ...
33
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9answers
18k views

Where did Medieval Europe's gold come from?

Medieval Europe processed copious amounts of gold into religious artifacts, jewelry and of course gold coins, as evidenced by the large number of those that survive to this day. Given that today, no ...
23
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5answers
6k views

How long did it take for a diplomat to travel between Berlin and Vienna in the 1770's?

I was reading the Wikipedia entry for the War of the Bavarian Succession, and it said (my emphasis): For some historians, the War of the Bavarian Succession was the last of the old-style Cabinet ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Why Europe became more developed although metal was first discovered and used in Asia/Africa? [closed]

Copper was first discovered and used in Middle East. Iron was first discovered in Egypt. What were the factors that allowed the development of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations (the father of ...
26
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2answers
12k views

When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe?

In the ancient greek world male homosexuality was common and didn't attract the same scorn as it did even 100 years ago. So 2,000 years ago, it was acceptable, and 100 years ago it was unacceptable. ...
16
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4answers
2k views

What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?

I once saw a documentary that discussed a discovered possible "round table" but wondered how "pie in the sky" this possibility was as well as just how much/how little evidence is there for any ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
12
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3answers
2k views

What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century?

I have been reading about European history in the XII century and I am finding out that several of the modern day languages hadn't yet evolved to what they are now: Langue d'oïl was still being used ...
7
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1answer
431 views

What 17C protocol left a princess standing whilst commoners sat?

I am reading WILLIAM AND MARY by John Van Der Kiste 2008, 2011, in which he relates William III's reluctant plans to remarry after Mary II's death. This was to ensure the Protestant succession after ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Based on historical experience what would happen if/when the USA/EU fell? [closed]

In this video the guy talking mentions that when empires fall. Governance tends to become more local and smallscale(warlords, feudal lords etc) because threats tend to become smallscale and local. And ...
12
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3answers
3k views

What was the life expectancy of a Medieval European monarch?

Inspired by Who is the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?. What was the life expectancy of monarchs during the middle ages in Europe? Preliminary research showed According to ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Why couldn't bastards inherit titles?

Why were bastards historically not able to inherit nobility or monarchy from their parents? What about being a bastard made one unfit to rule? For example William IV of the UK was succeeded by his ...
7
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3answers
506 views

Under European feudalism, were the distribution of armies (vassals and fiefdoms) based on a coherent idea?

The context is High Medieval, (c. 1001—1300). The concept of feudalism is as understood in Europe. I'm not looking for an answer to cover all European empires or dynasties during this period -- which ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How did people categorize each other in the middle ages, how did racism work? [closed]

I'm interested in the european high middle ages, about the 12th-13th century. I'm trying to understand how people sorted each other. Nowadays, some overlapping categories people use would be: ...
2
votes
1answer
264 views

The history of toys: Who invented the first porcelain dolls?

I've been reading about the history of toys online, as part of a personal project. One thing that surprised me was that every article I've found lists porcelain toys as having been invented by ...
95
votes
7answers
166k views

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

The featured image of the Wikipedia page for the Black Death is a gif showing the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe. There are a few places where the plague never spread to, including the ...
88
votes
9answers
23k views

Did medieval scholars believe the Earth was round?

There seems to be almost a consensus that the medieval belief on flat earth is a myth. Wikipedia even has a whole article dedicated to this subject, and the general argument is that the "flat earth ...
47
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7answers
12k views

Why did Europe not see Roman-era numbers of men participating in battles until the 17th century?

Typical decisive battles in Roman times involve 4+ legions - around 20,000 men + auxiliaries giving a total of about 30,000 men, on the Roman side only. Battles in even the late middle ages and early ...
41
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1answer
3k views

What were the acceptance criteria in universities of medieval Europe?

Did they have entrance tests? Were certain groups officially banned from entering? How much did one have to pay? Did they have scholarships for talented studends? How these criteria differed between ...
18
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11answers
6k views

Why were people from the Asian Steppes able to militarily dominate Europeans on a repeated basis?

From the Huns through the Mongolians, why were nomadic people from the east able to create such havoc in Europe? Was it an endless 'first mover' advantage with horse domestication? Was it a higher ...
30
votes
3answers
22k views

How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
29
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7answers
5k views

Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Why is Europe so cluttered with countries? [closed]

There are much more countries with smaller area in Europe than any other continent. Why is that?
11
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2answers
1k views

Did the Romans see Africa as a black continent? Was there a perception of a divide between Africa and Europe?

Nowadays the Western world perceives Africa as the continent of the black people and hence a standard African person as a black individual. How did the people in the Roman empire perceive the African ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

Did anyone in Europe predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
21
votes
5answers
14k views

What were shoe soles made from in previous ages?

Today, nearly all commercial footwear has a sole made of either rubber or plastic with rubber-like qualities. It's a great material for the job, but it comes from a tree that's native to the Americas,...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

Who was the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?

After a lot of googling, I'm still not sure about this. Finding the longest reigning monarchs is easy enough, but I'm less sure about the one who lived the longest. A good candidate would appear to ...
14
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2answers
16k views

How much faster were the printing presses than hand writing?

How many times faster were the printing presses, which gave Europe an advantage over other continents in term of access to knowledge, compared to copying of books by hand?
12
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5answers
19k views

What caused the decline of the Spanish empire?

What caused the gradual decline of the Spanish colonial empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? A post I read claimed that the Spanish overestimated their wealth, and my teacher pointed ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
26
votes
1answer
5k views

What was the Seven Years War called at first?

When the Seven Years War broke out, obviously they had no idea how long it would last. What did Europeans call this war at first? I know that in the North American Theater, it was called the French ...
26
votes
4answers
21k views

Why wasn't San Marino unified with Italy?

Why wasn't San Marino unified with the Kindom of Italy during the unification process? Were there plans or efforts at the time to unify the two states? Did either government at any time try to annex ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How common was it for monasteries to attack other monasteries in the early medieval period in western Europe?

Recently, I saw this passage in M & H. Whittock, ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg’ (referring to Ireland) of the 113 attacks on monasteries between 795 and 820, only twenty-six were carried out by ...
18
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3answers
846 views

What exactly happened with beer and Leeuwarden in 1487?

On the history page for the day July 24th at Wikipedia, one of the events listed as happening that day is: 1487 – Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against a ban on foreign beer. This ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Why was France given such a lenient peace after Napoleon was defeated?

For two decades revolutionary France had attacked and conquered many nations in Europe. Millions were killed. But when the allies finally defeated France, the peace was very lenient. France didn't ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Could a nobleman's land be enclosed within another noble's land?

In medieval (in the broadest sense, I'm not thinking of a specific decade) Europe, lands were split up amongst noblemen, and these noblemen had a hierarchy. Barons are lesser than earls which are ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How did people apply for university in the 18th century?

Universities have been around for a while. I am reading a book called Frankenstein. One of the main characters, Victor Frankenstein, attends the University of Ingolstadt in Germany. Now, it makes ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Light cavalry in medieval western Europe?

What sorts of light cavalry were there in high (1300s) medieval western Europe (England and France)? I mean more like non ranged troops. I know that all soldiers likely owned a horse for transport, ...
8
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7answers
3k views

Is this theory on origins of modern-day Romania plausible?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...
14
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2answers
672 views

Are there any existing foreign language teaching texts from the Ancient Near East?

The various cultures of the Ancient Near East spoke a wide array of languages and we know that there was plenty of communication between cultures. We even have a language like Akkadian that served as ...
11
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2answers
770 views

Did Hungarian Army ever use Crescent banners?

I was reading about Battle of Mohi between Mongol Empire and Kingdom of Hungary. The Wikipedia contains this artistic depiction of the battle: The cavalry on left hand looks like Mongols while ...
11
votes
1answer
845 views

Who is this, probably royal, teenager?

This photo was found in the same envelope as a photo of the Prince Imperial, Louis Napoleon, (recently identified on this site by Evargalo). The photos (seven in all) were recently handed down on the ...