Questions tagged [middle-east]

The Middle East typically refers to the region stretching from the northern part of eastern Africa all the way to Pakistan. The region is centered around the Arabian peninsula with the Persian Gulf being the critical component of the region.

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7
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2answers
314 views

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 are in Europe while the oldest building in what (with a generous interpretation of the concept) could be called the ...
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1answer
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Why does the Balfour declaration refer to Palestine, as opposed to the Land of Israel or the Holy Land? [closed]

The Balfour Declaration states that His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to ...
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What was the reason the Maronites lobbied for a state of Greater Lebanon?

I'm currently reading A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered (1988) by Kamal Salibi. In the first chapter he argues that it was initially the Christian minorities of historic ...
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What method(s) where used to date cuneiform as being as old as 3200 BC?

If anyone could provide the source(s) too that would be great
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420 views

Who is the most recent (non Bush) father son pair who have invaded the Middle East?

Disclaimer: This is NOT meant to incite political debate. I am looking for a historical answer. Presidents George H W Bush and George W Bush both invaded the Middle East. Before these two, what ...
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7answers
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Does the Ottoman Empire count as a colonial power?

Their role in the Middle East and North Africa was pretty similar to that of the French and British, who succeeded them. The French and British rule of their areas is generally called colonial rule, ...
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7answers
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What was Palestine before, if not a country?

What was Palestine before, if not a country? Could you give me some history on this? Also, the recent recognition of Palestine as a country in the UN could have far reaching implications. Are there ...
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0answers
716 views

Which is the Historical Khorasan [closed]

The word Khorasan finds mention in many ancient texts pointing to a place in Middle east to Afghanistan . The question is what were the boundaries of the historical Khorasan which parts of the Middle ...
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6answers
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What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria?

Of course we'll never know for sure, but do historians have some reasonable ideas about what knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Serapeum of Alexandria, when it was destroyed by the Decree ...
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1answer
231 views

What did the ancient Eastern world think of the ancient Greeks?

The opinions of the Greeks the Eastern world which notably included the Persians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Indians and Egyptians are known to all. They elaborated at length through their literature ...
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1answer
186 views

What was Asir's role in the Arab Revolt?

The Arab Revolt against the Ottomans is portrayed as being primarily a Hejazi phenomenon but I have read (briefly) that Asir, a territory between Hejaz and Yemen revolted first and the Sherif of Mecca ...
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Who was Ahmad al-Barbir al-Tarabulusi, and did he write about an old number-based middle-eastern joke about homosexuality?

While reading the book From one to zero. A universal history of numbers by the French historian Georges Ifrah I came across a retelling about an old joke about homosexuality but I cannot find any ...
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Was early Mari Sumerian or multicultural?

Mari was a multicultural Semitic and Sumerian city in central Mesopotamia. Despite its rich history during the historical period, I have found almost no discussion of the earliest period. This was ...
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2answers
894 views

Why didn't the Christian kingdoms in Hispania participate in the crusades? [closed]

I have read in the history of crusaders that Catholic kingdoms in Europe including England and France and Holy Roman Empire participated in the crusades but not Spain, any clear reason for that? ...
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1answer
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Israel/Palestine: Who really attacked first in 1948?

That is when Israel declared independence? Were the Jews hungry for land and started kicking Arabs out, or did the Arabs attack first, or is it sort of a mixed bag?
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Did Arab policymakers have plans for the Jewish population, in case of victory in 1948 War?

Presumably the Arab goal in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war was to defeat Israel. Total victory would probably mean the total control of the whole Mandatory Palestine, which at this point already contained ...
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2answers
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What was the function of the walls of Jericho?

The walls of old Jericho have been dated to around 8000bc. This is thousands of years before the nascent civilisations of Babylon and Egypt built similar fortifications and thousands of years before ...
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0answers
345 views

What is this Crimean Gothic Symbol?

As there aren't any archaeology or anthropology stack exchanges, this seemed like the best place to ask. What is this symbol and its history in the West? —Mangup-Kale, Crimea (Cross clearly added ...
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1answer
242 views

How did Tunisia's revolution (and Arab Spring) begin?

I am asking because the most cited reasons are not that convincing: The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi: He was neither the first nor the last to self-immolate himself. Poverty: Prices more than ...
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11answers
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Is it true that slavery was endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa previous to the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

Stefan Molyneux claims in The Truth About The Crusades that: Islam dominated slave trade between the 7th and the 15th century, while the Christians entered the market of human flesh much later - ...
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10answers
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Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources first before invading Soviet Union?

Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources instead of Soviet Union? Or at least invade Middle East first to secure the resources needed for sustained military operation? I understand Hitler ...
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2answers
649 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 ...
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1answer
176 views

The Abbasid ransom for the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad)

The Black Stone (Al Hajaru Al Aswad, popularly called Hajar Aswad) of the Kaaba in Mecca was stolen in 930 AD by the Qarmatians, and was returned 23 years later in 952 AD for "a huge" ransom paid by ...
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Economic aftermath in Europe and the Middle East of the Black Death

The following excerpt is from Blinkist's summary of The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan: Europe after the plague was an altogether different place. The population had fallen dramatically, but this ...
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1answer
262 views

How did contemporaries view the Byzantine Empire during the 11th century?

I'm curious about how the Byzantine empire was viewed by contemporaries during the Middle Ages (11th century). By contemporaries, I mean the other powers of the era, such as Western European countries,...
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4answers
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What is the origin of the Arabs in pre-Islamic Yemen and Arabia?

Genetically speaking, who are the pre-Islamic Arab tribes who lived in Yemen and Arabia in many centuries B.C. closest to? Where did the first Arab settlers in Yemen come from? I know that Arabs claim ...
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1answer
118 views

Is the Lebanese town of Nabatieh related in any way to the ancient Nabatean Civilization?

Was Nabatieh in South Lebanon founded by the Nabateans of North Arabia(ex: Petra). If anyone finds some information on it, could you also please share the source so I can learn more about my ancestral ...
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1answer
153 views

is Ubaid 0 actually related to Eridu and Ubaid I-IV?

Most sources state 5400 B.C. as the beginning of the Ubaid period. The Ubaid period is further divided by them into Ubaid I-IV. Wikipedia lists Tel El Oueili (6500 B.C.) as "Ubaid 0", thus placing the ...
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1answer
540 views

Is David Graeber correct to assert that patriarchy did not exist in Sumeria?

In Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber incisively claims that As we’ll see, there is reason to believe that it is in such moral crises that we can find the origin not only of our current ...
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1answer
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Why didn't China vote in UNSC Resolution 344?

According to this Wikipedia article, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 344 in 1973 with 10 votes from non-permanent members and 4 abstentions from the permanent members France, ...
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1answer
479 views

Is there any record of ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
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1answer
255 views

Did the US threaten a nuclear strike to defend Israel in 1973?

Did the US threaten a nuclear strike to defend Israel? In 1973, America and Russia Almost Fought a Nuclear War over Syria Soviet leaders were shocked by the American response. "Who could have ...
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1answer
326 views

What was clothing in ancient Palmyra like?

What is known about what people used to wear in the city of Palmyra during the third century AD? Was it more similar to Roman or Persian fashion of the period?
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Why didn't the Arab states industrialize?

Why didn't the states of the Arabian peninsula industrialize around the time that Europe and East Asia did? Was it simply a lack of accessible natural resources? Why not import coal?
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336 views

Sources of iron in the middle east

In the time around 7th century AD, the use of swords and shields was common in the middle east. They should've required iron for that. They didn't know much about smelting. So, how did they get the ...
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2answers
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Did Nabataean traders use linen, or cotton, for their sails?

While studying the Arab and African sea trade along the Red Sea and points south, I read an article on Nabataea.net that reads It is thought that originally sails were woven from coconut of palm ...
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Did Muslims swear by “the beard of the Prophet”?

In Western historical fictions, Muslims (from the Middle East) are often depicted to swear by "the beard of the Prophet". "By the beard of the prophet, we will not offend you; but unless you ...
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Why didn't the European Christians take back Constantinopole?

Constantinople was the focal point for the Fourth Crusade. The Christians lost and Constantinople went to the Ottoman Empire. Then, the European Christians became stronger and went about colonizing ...
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2answers
549 views

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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International mail in the early 1900s

I am currently studying Middle East Political history and have come to some correspondences between British diplomats and Arab leaders. The dates on these outgoing correspondences are 14 July 1915, ...
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1answer
315 views

US Israeli relations before and after the USS Liberty Attack? [closed]

Average total aid between the United States and Israel over years given inclusively. $ 60 million dollars annually 1949-1958 $ 73.4 million dollars annually 1957-1966 $ 1 billion dollars annually ...
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2answers
978 views

How did early Judaism and Zoroastrianism influence each other, if they were so far apart?

I've been reading, from various sources, fairly vague and hand-wavey claims that Zoroastrianism and early Judaism influenced each other (and that both were influenced by Atenism). Looking at ...
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4answers
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From Twitter: When did Islamic literacy fall behind?

This morning I found this interesting question from verified Twitter user Iyad el-Baghdadi. Transcription: Question to experts (and good researchers). My impression is that parts of the ...
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0answers
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Were the Hashemite kings of Iraq and Transjordan considered foreign?

The British gave two sons of Sheriff Husein (of Mecca) rule over the new political entities of Transjordan and Iraq after WWI. They were both born in the Hijaz (now in West Saudi Arabia), not the area ...
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1answer
856 views

Jerusalem 1187: How did ethnicity impact Saladin's army?

This is intended to be the first (and longest) of a series questions about the Siege of Jerusalem in 1187. It was originally one massive question, but the community rightly recommended that I break it ...
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7answers
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How well can cavalry fight infantry?

In the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar's infantry won by throwing their spears at the horsemen's faces. So how come in Battle of Zama and many other battles, including the battle where Khalid ibn al-...
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3answers
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What do “zones of influence” mean, according to the Treaty of Sevres after WWI?

After its defeat in World War I, European powers partitioned the Ottoman Empire, annexing some of its territories, and setting up other territories as their "zones of influence". What do the zones of ...
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1answer
226 views

Were Moses & Abraham historical figures?

History is not my area of specialization. I am curious to know about the historicity of Moses and Abraham from the viewpoint of modern critical scholarship. It would be great if references are ...
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1answer
386 views

Jerusalem 1187: How would Saladin's army have laid siege to the walls?

BACKGROUND In fall of 1187 Saladin's "12,000 professional cavalrymen [and] 30,000 volunteers" arrived at Jerusalem and began a two week siege, assaulting the walls with towers, arrows, rocks, and ...
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1answer
411 views

Language used on a dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, ca. 1700-1750

Could anyone guess what language is used in the sign made on this dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, and dated approx. 1700-1750? A fellow translator asked if I knew, and naturally I ...