Questions tagged [europe]

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

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To what extent did the Jewish tradition of debate influence the development of Classical Liberalism in Europe? [closed]

Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism ...
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Why was there a reference to the Battle of Hastings in Harper Lee's novel?

I am unfamiliar with details of European history; how is the Battle of Hastings relevant to the historical background in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird? Chapter 1, Paragraph 4: Being ...
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What was the name for the region before it was “the Balkans”?

I'm working on a project set in the 15th century as the Ottoman Turks made forays into the West. I'm looking for an appropriate term for the region bordered by Anatolia, Romania and Bulgaria to the ...
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1answer
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Can anyone help me identify this Coat of Arms?

Can anyone help me identify this coat of arms? As far as I can identify, there are 2 Lion Rampant regardant. A Pelican in her nest, a crown, a shield with stars. It is on a small galleried tray that I ...
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5answers
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Which European Languages are not Indo-European?

I saw this question asked on Twitter today. At first blush it seemed like an easy reference question, but I can't find any place that actually has this spelled out in one place. I ended up having to ...
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Is the depiction of the Stirling Castle Knight historically accurate?

For some reason BBC depicted him with a shaved head. I was wondering if it is historically accurate for a 700 year old English nobleman to have a shaved head?
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Should the Great Schism of 1054 be taken to be 1204 (or 1182) instead?

It seems that 1054 wasn't such a big deal: forty years later Pope Urban and Emperor Alexios were on such good terms that a crusade was initiated to save Constantinople and the Holy Lands; even in 1136 ...
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6answers
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Are there any accounts of everyday life during the Black Death?

How did everyday life looked like for people living during the Plague? I'm mostly interested in trying to understand things from the point of view of a regular person living in Europe. For example, I ...
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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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5answers
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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 ...
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How did the Druids learn the Greek language by the time of Caesar's campaign in Gaul?

In Latin class, we are translating parts of Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. One thing that struck me as odd is how Caesar describes the customs of the Gauls, especially in Book 6, where he ...
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1answer
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During the Middle Ages, how many people could fishing feed?

I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age. But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher? I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea ...
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Who was the oldest woman to give birth in the Medieval Europe that we know of?

In 1166, Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II of England, gave birth to the future King John when she was at least 42 years old (it is more likely she was 43 or 44). Eleanor of Castile, wife of ...
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1answer
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Can you help identify this European military uniform?

This picture was found in the possessions of a great-aunt who immigrated from Volhynia, Russia to Canada around 1908. My family is ethnically German, and many of the Volhynian Germans originally came ...
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What are the origins of knife and fork language etiquette?

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...
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How did the European public school system originate?

Are there any good sources for learning about the history of education in Europe? I am particularly interested in learning about the origins of the public schooling system, as it seems they should ...
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Why did Britain, not the Netherlands, create the greatest overseas empire?

The usual answer is that control of the sea trade was wrestled by Britain in a sequence of fierce Anglo-Dutch wars 1652-84. However, one can easily make the case that the Dutch won in this conflict. ...
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How many people were killed by Protestant Inquisition style tribunals? Asking for references/estimates

It's relatively easy to find estimates for the number of people killed by the Catholic Inquisition; one just needs to check the Wikipedia page, regardless of the doubts on the true numbers. However, ...
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Has a reenactment of the firing of a carcass projectile ever been filmed?

From a Scientific American blog, on a "carcass" round: an explosive mortar shell (developed by the French) wrapped with incendiary material, this round was fully engulfed in flame after ...
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4answers
549 views

Why did Western democracies sign the Munich Agreement?

Why did Western democracies sign the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany when they knew the nature of Nazi regime? What did they want to obtain by signing this agreement? In 1938/1939, two pacts/...
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7answers
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Did Europe experience forest deficits prior to 19th century?

I would like to understand if there were issues with forests in Europe prior to 19th century and, if so, what were the reasons behind them? Two versions that I have are overusing forests as the ...
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How did private property work in medieval France?

Were you required to purchase a land deed to get permission from the ruler of the area, or could you build wherever you wanted? If the latter is how it worked throughout Europe for the most part, I ...
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In which East European country in the 1980s did people put their TVs in front of windows and turn them facing outside?

Years ago, I read an article about the period during which regime changes happened in Eastern European countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was mentioned in the article that, in one of ...
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Why are most of the world's oldest buildings in Europe and not in the Fertile Crescent?

Looking at the list of the world's ten oldest surviving human constructed buildings, many are in Europe while the oldest building in what (with a generous interpretation of the concept) could be ...
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2answers
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Why was silage only invented in the 19th century?

For thousands of years in the Northern climates mankind had to slaughter a large proportion of their livestock due to a shortage of winter fodder. What prevented mankind from using silage/haylage ...
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Why were the Soviets better at replacing their lost men and material? [duplicate]

Battle of Kursk is considered a Soviet decisive victory, no doubt it was the last major German offensive at the Eastern front. But why so? Casualties indicate the Soviets suffered 1 million ...
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Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on The Dark Ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
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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: ...
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2answers
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Did religious names catch on before or after the use of last names?

Last names are interesting. Once upon a time, people had only first names, until growing populations and ostentatious royals started a trend of including a second name, most commonly either patronymic ...
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3answers
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How were border controls implemented in Western Europe in the 1970s

I'm interested in how reality of crossing country borders in Western Europe looked like in early 70s. Focusing specifically on traveling by car, train and on foot. I have found a bit of information ...
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Can you identify this European uniform or awards?

This is my great great grandfather. I am having trouble identifying the uniform. It should be from around 1860-1890 ish. It would be from a German speaking country. The story that was passed down was ...
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What uniform are these gentlemen wearing?

What uniform are these four guys wearing, and what medal is the central guy wearing? Possibilities are likely something Austro-hungarian or Romanian, possibly around 1900. Bonus question: what are ...
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Were there any monarchs of England or the United Kingdom who were not technically first in the line of succession? [closed]

Pretty self-explanatory. Who (if anyone) became an English/UK monarch without being the actual heir to the previous monarch (due to wars, coups, etc.)? Bonus points for circumstances.
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What were common types of clutches used in water and wind mills?

What were common ways of engaging or disengaging machinery (Clutch?) in wooden drive trains of wind and water mills of the 1700’s and 1800’s?
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Was the Napoleonic era cavalry armour effective against firearms?

During the Napoleonic wars in Europe, many heavy cavalry units still retain the use of armours, for example, French Carabiniers-à-Cheval below, How effective were these to protect the cavalryman ...
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Was the Great Freeze of 1709 predicted?

The year when King Charles XII of Sweden was advancing towards Moscow during the great Northern War was exceptionally cold. This winter was not calculated by Sweden and Charles had to escape to the ...
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What uniform is my Cossack great great grandfather wearing?

The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a Cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really ...
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1answer
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Did the Roman government attempt to hide the collapse of the empire? [closed]

Did the late Roman government lie about the borders of their empire? Has this ever been argued by Roman historians? This question is different from this one. Michael Kulikowski refers to the Notitia ...
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8answers
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What is the most number of times someone has become leader of a European country?

Among monarchs, Henry VI (1422 to 1461, 1470 to 1471) and Edward IV (1461 to 1470, 1471 to 1483) both ruled England on two separate occasions. Hethum II of Armenia went one better, ruling three ...
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Were the Islamic Caliphates (Umayyad and Abbasid) and the Mongol Empires truly as benevolent as they are portrayed?

My history textbooks insist on the same idea: these empires were religiously tolerant, allowed trade to flourish, and improved the quality of life for the subjects. On the other hand, all the ...
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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 ...
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What factors accounted for the pattern of caranvanserai across Eurasia? [closed]

This is a question we had in an AP World History test last week: I was able to answer (c) correctly (improvements in sea navigation and technology caused more and more people to transition from land-...
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What did the Gauls look like during the 1st century BC? [closed]

Right around the time of the Roman conquest of Gaul, contemporaneous accounts describe the Gauls as having looked like beasts or savages, with thick knotted cloaks and unkempt long hair and beards. ...
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What percentage of Jews were in “finance” (money-lenders) throughout Middle Ages?

The stereotypical image of a Jew in Middle Ages (and the portrayal of them) was of course "the money-lender". From Ivanhoe's Isaac of York, to Shakespeare's Shylock, to "Проклятый жид, ...
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What did European people of the 5th century AD eat during spring and what was the availability?

It is commonly believed that winter during that age was a period of starvation, with very limited means of procuring food. If the above is true, what did the commoners (peasants, serfs, etc) have to ...
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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 ...
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Was frequent bathing for personal hygiene in medieval Europe common or not?

The usual narrative: No bathing There is a frequently debunked claim that medieval Europeans did not bathe. Occasionally, the claim is connected to pandemics of the era and extended to the idea that ...
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What is the name for the very first Polish state likely established around 966 by Mieszko I through baptism of Poland?

In the year of likely around 966, Mieszko I united all of the tribes occupying a part of today's western Poland through Christianization of it, therefore making Poland an official sovereign state (at ...
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1answer
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What criteria are used to determine the popularity of Medieval European rulers?

It is relatively common to see certain monarchs described as "popular" while others are "unpopular". It confounds me as to what specific evidence has been used to determine this, ...
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Did 12th century French nobles really sleep in the great hall of the castle? [closed]

I've been on so many sites and each one seems to tell a different story. Some say that nobles had their own bedrooms (evidenced by the fact that castles had bedrooms) but I have also seen people say ...

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