Questions tagged [europe]

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

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6
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3answers
6k views

Why did European writers and artists continue to depict the Moors as being black skinned, even though they were mostly Berbers and Arabs

The Moors were foot soldiers of the Ummayad dynasties of Syria who crossed the straits of Gibraltar into the Iberian peninsula. Later in that period, two new dynasties emerged: the Almoravids and the ...
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3answers
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What did the people of the Middle Ages call their period?

It's clear that Middle Ages is a term from the Renaissance. My question is: What names did scholars use during the Middle Ages for their own period? Well, of course Middle Ages is a single name for ...
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3answers
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Was rape common in Europe during the Middle Ages?

I recently read an article (in Norwegian) claiming that rape was much less common in the Middle Ages than what is commonly believed and, more specifically, that it was much less common than what is ...
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2answers
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Why was fellatio considered so horrible during the XIX century in Europe?

The mentioned sexual practice was extremely frowned upon during that period, basically only prostitutes were to do them and even in this case, only with huge amounts of received money, that, in the ...
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3answers
11k views

What does Russia want in Chechnya?

I have heard that Russia has been fighting with the Chechens on and off for about 300 years, occasionally losing control and reconquering. What exactly does Russia have to gain by retaining control of ...
4
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1answer
234 views

What have been the major milestones in the creation of state literacy policies?

There have been times as literacy was not obligatory. So, many people were not able to read/write in their mother tongue, but it was just normal. Today, most people are literate, and this is a result ...
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2answers
348 views

Which EU countries insisted on unanimous voting for trade deals?

Question prompted by this tweet by Jo Maugham in reaction to a HuffPost article: Humiliating, really, but if we leave the EU we'll have to brown-nose every single one of the Member States: ...
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0answers
47 views

What were the most popular destinations for British and American tourists on the Continent in the period 1880-1900?

How common was English and American travel to the Continent of Europe between 1880-1900? By businessmen, families, debutantes, honeymooners, politicians etc.
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1answer
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How were the borders of small European principalities maintained or secured?

With shifting boundaries, enclaves, exclaves, and alliances, how were the territorial extents of small principalities or duchies maintained, for example in the Holy Roman Empire or German ...
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4answers
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If the heir to a Kingdom is called Crown Prince, what is the heir to a Duchy called?

Just like the title said. What a heir to a hereditary Duchy is called? (as opposed to someone appointed by a King). I mean a Duchy where the Duke inherited his title to his son/daughter. Since the ...
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2answers
494 views

Why don't Americans claim English ancestry? [closed]

Through a lot of American Movies and TV shows, and also my personal experiences of interacting with people in America, I know that most White Americans are informed of their European ancestry, and are ...
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1answer
368 views

In which East European country in the 1990s 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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1answer
2k views

Did the Hanseatic league have any involvement with Jews?

Did the Hanseatic League have any policy toward or involvement with Jews?
99
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13answers
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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 ...
40
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2answers
6k views

Why didn't Europeans before Gutenberg print with woodblocks?

Before the invention of the printing press and movable type (and some related innovations) by Johannes Gutenberg, books in Europe were generally only reproduced if someone copied them by hand. In ...
6
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1answer
224 views

How was the Pandidakterion organised?

How was the Pandidakterion organised? Wikipedia:Pandidakterion states that the Pandidakterion lacked 'corporative structure'. I do not understant exactly what the corporative structure is and how was ...
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2answers
223 views

How could wells back in the day work? [closed]

One of the many things that have confused me all my life is the concept of wells. I get that somebody, long ago, discovered that there's sometimes/often water in the ground, once you dig deeply ...
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2answers
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Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
4
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1answer
268 views

What nationality was “Egbert Van Kampen”?

If you google a bit about the mathematician Egbert Van Kampen, almost all sources you'll find claim that he was born in Belgium in 1908. Does anyone have any reliable sources about this person's ...
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7answers
185k 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 ...
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2answers
4k views

Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
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6answers
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Who would have a good or fair command of Latin in medieval Western Europe?

This answer to this question states Latin was the language of diplomacy in medieval Western Europe, but this does not imply that royalty or nobility themselves knew Latin: it would suffice that a few ...
11
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1answer
710 views

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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4answers
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Did New Imperialism differ in nature from earlier Imperialism?

In Wikipedia, there is an article about New Imperialism, which refers to the territorial or colonial expansion during 19th-20th century. The article also says that the qualifier "New" is to contrast ...
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2answers
638 views

Did healers in medieval Europe use moldy bread in poultices for wounds?

In a Song of Ice and Fire, injured characters are frequently given a poultice made of, amongst other things, moldy bread. We drowned the wound with boiling wine, and closed you up with a poultice ...
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6answers
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Why did the person in charge of a principality not just declare themself king?

I don't understand the concept of principalities, why wouldn't you just call yourself king? The job description appears to be exactly the same. When England was ruled by the Saxons we had a bunch of ...
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0answers
142 views

How did Adam Worth make sure his crooks didn't keep what they stole?

I'm currently reading through the The Life and Times of Adam Worth and as much as I'm fascinated by Adam Worth and his mastermind for 19th century crime, there is one thing that the book fails to ...
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0answers
213 views

How did Roman law change between Justinian and Basil II?

What were the ways in which Roman law changed between under the rule of Justinian I (with his Corpus Juris Civilis and the rest of his Legal Order) and under the rule of Basil II? I am interested in ...
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2answers
500 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?
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0answers
48 views

Are there scholarly sources for Eastern European Revolutions of 1989-1990?

Are there scholarly works on these changes that are highly regarded and relatively apolitical? It's of course very easy to find politically charged interpretations of these events, but, 30 years on, ...
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7answers
9k 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 ...
18
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5answers
7k views

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
157 views

Are there factors which caused the printing revolution to begin in Europe in 1450 and not some other place some other time?

The printing press was a big deal. It brought a communication revolution and led to the development of larger collective consciousnesses. What I am refering to the printing revolution is the ...
55
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5answers
69k 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 ...
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1answer
127 views

Was the Iron curtain actually present at the time of the Fulton speech?

On March 5th, 1946, Winston Churchill said in his Sinews of Peace speech that From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. At the end ...
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5answers
967 views

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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2answers
914 views

What is this stick that William III of England/Orange is holding in this portrait?

While looking at a bit of Dutch history, I saw William holding a stick in this portrait. I looked for a description of the portrait on another site and it only says: This autograph portrait is a ...
9
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2answers
827 views

Why did Stephen II of Blois (father of King Stephen of England) abandon the First Crusade in 1098 knowing how much he would lose by doing so?

Having taken the crusader’s vow and raised an army of thousands, why did Stephen II of Blois forsake the enormous prestige associated with crusading and risk shame and accusations of cowardice by ...
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1answer
193 views

Who is this particular inventor from XIX century?

I came acros with the following description about a certain inventor from XIX century: An illustrious 19th-century European character who amassed an immense fortune thanks to his more than three ...
6
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1answer
142 views

What were the dates & details of assassinations in Vienna, Austria of Bulgarian defectors Veselin Stoyov, Peter Niezamov, and Ivan Kolev (circa 1974)?

Anna Zechenter of the Institute of National Remembrance in Krakow, Poland has written an article entitled "KGB Poisons" which discloses that the 1974 kidnapping in Denmark of Boris Arsov, a Bulgarian ...
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1answer
216 views

How were the beds in which privileged man in medieval Europe slept? [closed]

I think it is correct to say that for all medieval Europe time the basic peasant, worker bed was a cold stone floor or at most a mattress made out of straw. I wonder how and on top of what powerful ...
5
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2answers
219 views

How were precise hand drawn illustrations copied between the 16th and 20th century in Europe?

What were the methods used to copy detailed illustrations for distribution throughout the period between 1500 and 1900 (excluding photography)? I'm particularly interested in techniques common in ...
17
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1answer
3k views

What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
7
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1answer
462 views

Were women banned from entering the castle of Trakai?

According to legend, Vytautas the Great banned women from entering the Trakai Island Castle under penalty of death. I read it in Russian, it is called "The Horse of knyaz Vytautas". The plot is ...
18
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1answer
460 views

How much did it cost to buy a ticket on the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul in 1914?

I'm trying to find out how much it cost to travel on the Orient Express in its heyday. Was it a luxury for the rich, or something middle-class people could reasonably afford? To be concrete: how much ...
14
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4answers
20k views

When Adam Smith discusses “corn” to what crop does he refer?

In "The Wealth Of Nations", Adam Smith discusses the price of corn in ancient times. Apparently, books such as "Chronicon Preciosum: or An Account of English Money, the Price of Corn and Other ...
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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?
4
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0answers
188 views

What uniform is my great great Cossack 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 ...
2
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1answer
382 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
477 views

Why did so many ruling European families hold on to Catholicism during the Reformation?

If Protestantism favored secular power over religious authority, why did the Habsburgs, the Valois, and other secular ruling families hold on to Catholicism? Was it a matter of faith?

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