Questions tagged [sources]

For questions regarding primary and secondary evidence that allows us to draw conclusions about historical happenings. Use this tag for requests for analysis of specific sources. More general questions on how historians study sources should be tagged with historiography.

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28
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3answers
3k views

Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

Do we have any surviving texts or references to texts with Romano-Celtic authors and how common were 'non-Greco-Italian' (I'm not sure of the best term for that) authors? Specifically within the Roman ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Which lost historical documents, when uncovered, led to the most substantial revisions in historiography?

I have this romantic idea about the lost writings of Epicurus that perhaps somewhere at the bottom of the Aegean Sea there still lies a ship sunken in Ancient Greek times with copies of the ...
22
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1answer
424 views

What did Zhang Zuolin say after his train blew up?

Zhang Zuolin was an early 20th century Chinese warlord of Manchuria. He was fatally wounded by the Japanese Army on June 4, 1928, using a bomb laid beneath tracks where his armoured train travelled ...
20
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7answers
2k views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost? [closed]

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
20
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3answers
1k views

Historical/legendary/mythological accounts that turned out to be true

Reading Herodotus' Histories, one is often baffled by passages like (3.102): {102} [...] Indians [..., of the North] make expeditions for the gold. For in the parts where they live it is desert on ...
19
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2answers
530 views

The riddle of Marco's Millions

The question is asked in the context of theories about the use of 'millions' or 'milioni' in association with Marco Polo and the reason for the use of the word as the Italian title for his book, known ...
18
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3answers
919 views

What are the most comprehensive historical references for ancient India?

India is referenced in many ancient Greek and Persian sources, but these are often fragmentary. Which sources (if any) exist which describe ancient India in detail? Since ancient can be interpreted ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Is there a historical source that might explain why so many countries use 35 as a minimum age for the president / the highest office person?

Reading the list of presidential qualifications by country I have noticed that in many countries the minimum required age is 35 (some countries raise it to 40). I am wondering if there is any ...
16
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1answer
1k views

What (primary) sources are there on the life of female slaves in Classical Greece, more specifically Athens?

Since there was often a difference in what jobs male and female slaves were respectively made to work in (and there even being one exclusive to women, being a wet nurse), I was wondering whether, for ...
16
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1answer
925 views

How common was banditry in 16th & 17th century Great Britain and Ireland?

I want to know about highwaymen and thieves and brigands who preyed on travellers. so, I am not interested in other organised criminal gangs such as smugglers or urban thieves.
13
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4answers
17k views

Are these remarks by Napoleon on Jesus genuine?

The German edition of Wikiquote contains the following alleged words of Napoleon (in translation): I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes Rivers?

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
13
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2answers
5k views

How do historians deal with Historical Bias?

A while ago while watching Crash Course World History, John Green mentioned how Alexander the Great died from the flu despite many people from that time claiming that he died in battle (because this ...
12
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3answers
452 views

Who compared giving women the vote to giving cows the vote (& in what context)?

I recall hearing (in History class) that when women were campaigning to get the vote, some (powerful?) people suggested that if women were given the right to vote, you might as well give the vote to ...
12
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1answer
6k views

Did Hongwu Emperor flay 5000 women, and why?

On Wikipedia, there is a snippet that reads: The Hongwu Emperor flayed many servants, officials and rebels.[5][6] In 1396 he ordered the flaying of 5000 women.[7] The problem is that the second ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What is the source for this Leonardo Da Vinci quote?

"Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world."  Where exactly does this Leonardo Da Vinci quote come from? Was it part of a larger paragraph - if so ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Can a source be considered 'primary' if it is not written by an eyewitness and partly based on another source?

The example I have in mind is Luke's Gospel, but the question is not about that source in particular, I'm interested in the terms 'primary' and 'secondary' in the technical sense they would be used by ...
10
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1answer
307 views

What is a good, authoritative source on the history of Tibet?

I'd like to know more about this topic as people often discuss it with me. What is a good book for me to read to gain a better understanding of Tibetan history?
9
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1answer
2k views

The most awesome army: 80 men left and 81 returned. Is it true?

On this wikipedia page, I read the funny story of the Lichtenstein's army, which should have at least earned the title of the "most friendly army in the world". I am not a historian, and I have no ...
9
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1answer
331 views

In Studying the peoples of pre-Roman Britain, what are our primary reference sources?

Where do we get our information on the people's of pre-Roman Britain?
8
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3answers
2k views

Did a German plane really land in Moscow in 1941 May?

I just read this small Wikipedia page about a 1941 Purge of the Red Army. There is something rather shocking: In May, a German Junkers Ju 52 landed in Moscow, undetected by the ADF beforehand, ...
8
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1answer
263 views

How do historians deal with inconsistencies?

Suppose we have some large, long event whose description is made up of thousands of documents, artifacts, testimonies, and photographs. If some document is (or some are) found to be forged, if some ...
8
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1answer
178 views

What was the primary source Brugsch used to argue for Egyptian monotheism?

There is a theory held by some that Ancient Egypt had a degree of monotheism (A certain Emmanuel de Rougé even going as far as saying, in 1839, "The Egyptian religion is a pure monotheism, which ...
8
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1answer
627 views

Visit of Greek philosophers to Rome in 155 BCE

In 155 BCE a delegation of three Greek philosophers arrived in Rome on a political mission (to negotiate the settlement of war fines). During their stay they succeeded in raising Greek philosophy to ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Did John Wesley pray because he had not been persecuted in three days?

I have read the following story many times: John Wesley was riding along a road one day when it dawned on him that three whole days had passed in which he had suffered no persecution. Not a ...
7
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2answers
606 views

Are there any written records of Norse mythology dated prior to Christianization?

As I understand it, most of what we know about Norse mythology is based on texts written in sagas by Christians in the late Middle Ages. Do we have any contemporary accounts of Norse mythology from ...
7
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1answer
520 views

What is the origin of these WW1 “official history” maps?

I'm looking for a source, preferably the original atlas or set of documents in facsimile, for the following WW1 maps (and their siblings): I've only found these fragments, reproduced on the Web and ...
6
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1answer
973 views

Did Napoleon III reserve a special set of aluminum cutlery for special guests?

Slate (2010): the minor emperor Napoleon III reserved a prized set of aluminum cutlery for special guests at banquets. (Less favored guests used gold knives and forks.) I see the above claim (or ...
6
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1answer
264 views

Where can I get information used to make Soviet economic plans?

One kind of information used by Gosplan to create plans was a list of commodities and relationships between them, i.e. what things were required to produce other things. I managed to find higher ...
6
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1answer
350 views

What evidence is there that Alfred paid the Danes to leave Wessex in 876?

The Danes struck at Wareham in 876. Alfred made peace there with Guthrum, and there was an exchange of hostages. However, the Danes broke the peace and during the night they killed the hostages and ...
6
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1answer
364 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
6
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0answers
212 views

What were the primary sources for interrogation of US soldiers in 1943 Tunisia?

Edwin Palmer Hoyt's Hitler's War contains this passage: In January General von Arnim's army in Tunisia had enjoyed considerable success in limited actions against the Americans. The Germans had ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Source of the Napoleon “God/Devil/immortal” quote

I heard in a history lecture (I don't know who the lecturer was) the following quote about Napoleon: Some say he's God (an angel?), some say he's the Devil, but everyone agrees he isn't mortal. ...
5
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3answers
674 views

Did West Russia really have a rock shortage in WW2? And if so, what was the cause?

I have a previous question that led to this one. There is an article talking about German rail activities in Russia during WW2, and it also talks about the state of the Russian rail network to begin ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text?

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text? I'm not looking for a translation, rather, I need to have the typographics normalized. ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Are there any extant original first-century manuscripts of any of Josephus' works?

It has been claimed that there are no surviving originals of any of Josephus' works. I have not found any help through Google, and so I wonder if anyone can give me any information about this, along ...
5
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1answer
618 views

How is it known that Phidias used the golden ratio in the Parthenon?

I can see it is widely accepted he did, so there must be some source backing this up, since no work of his has survived (except for a vase in Olympia with the inscription "I belong to Phidias"). What ...
5
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1answer
224 views

Where did the names of these Tyrian kings come from?

Wikipedia gives a whole list of the kings of Tyre and basically cites as its source Josephus Against Apion, Book I, §18) in the name of Menander of Ephesus, a historian who wrote about Tyrian history (...
5
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4answers
1k views

What are the oldest primary sources of recorded history in China?

There is for instance Sima Qian, according to Wikipedia the first Chinese historian, who wrote the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) in 109 BCE. But does this primary source still exist, or do ...
4
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1answer
546 views

What does the abbreviation “adhib.” mean in historiography or archival science?

What does the abbreviation adhib. mean in the context of historiography and archival science? Remarks. This question is not about the meaning in medicine. This is easy to look up. Of course, ...
4
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1answer
255 views

What was the de facto rule by which the imperial title was transmitted in various Chinese dynasties?

I seek to find information about which rules or trends - if any - applied in Chinese imperial succession during different dynasties. I found this source, but I can’t get access and what I see in the ...
4
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3answers
325 views

Were the Pechenegs at some point Manicheans?

I've seen it hinted in some places the Pechenegs were at some point Manicheans, often contrasting against the Bogomils in the Balkans, Paulicians in Armenia and other Manicheans in Central Asia, ...
4
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1answer
4k views

PANDA Source Analysis

In History at school we learnt the PANDA method to analyse sources, to test for bias and authenticity. Purpose - What is the purpose for which the source was created? Was it to convert people to a ...
4
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0answers
2k views

Was a copy of Bobadilla's report on Christopher Columbus really found in a Spanish archive in 2006?

As claimed in The Guardian A transcription of the document is apparently available on JSTOR here, the section "Pesquisa Del Comendador Francisco de Bobadilla". I cannot read Spanish and otherwise ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

I have recently been reading into the European Middle Ages, where one of the challenges is the limited sources available. I have often seen seen this described as a source bias towards the elite ...
3
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2answers
509 views

Does Jewish history record Jesus's saying “I am God” or similar utterance?

I came here searching for a question regarding ancient Jewish rabbis view regarding Jesus. Are there any Jewish sources or authoritative ancient texts that show that Jesus never claimed divinity (...
3
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5answers
5k views

Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
3
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3answers
196 views

Can I get my hands on a translation of Ahmad ibn Fadlan's manuscript?

I have read a couple of fiction novels, based on the renowned manuscript. But is an English translation of the actual Arabic text available online?
3
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2answers
468 views

Why was Abane Ramdane killed?

The Wikipedia entry about Abane Ramdane says: The National Liberation Front (FLN) had killed him because he was supposedly creating a cult of the individual rather than the collective ...
3
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1answer
166 views

Where to find Cixi‘s 1865 decree dismissing Prince Gong?

Zhang Rong‘s Cixi biography titled »EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI: THE CONCUBINE WHO LAUNCHED MODERN CHINA«, Chapter 6, Loc 1365 on kindle claims: Without the rigid etiquette, she realised, Prince Gong was ...