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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34
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4answers
4k views

What is this symbol in a financial record from Wisconsin, USA, in 1860?

I am trying to read some records about wages in Wisconsin in 1860 (the data is from the Social Statistics schedules of the Decennial Census). I cannot read the record from Milton, Rock County, ...
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 ...
24
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3answers
4k views

Did the Vikings use horses in battle?

We are currently working on a project which purpose is to depict the Vikings through a digital card video game and we are in the process of researching which cards to put into the game. We have some ...
23
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1answer
546 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 ...
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Which lost historical documents, when uncovered, led to the most substantial revisions in historiography?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 ...
21
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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 ...
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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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 ...
19
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2answers
562 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
1k 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 ...
18
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5answers
9k views

What is the origin of the lake tank image that has become a meme?

This image, the template for the "Panzer of the Lake" meme, depicts a soldier from an unknown nation looking at what appears to me to definitely be a Panzer. However, no-one seems to know the origins ...
16
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1answer
2k 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
1k 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.
15
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2answers
2k 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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4answers
22k 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
6k 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
501 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
7k 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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3answers
3k 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, ...
10
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2answers
2k 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
3k 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
314 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
478 views

What evidence do we have to claim the Ancient Romans kept African grey parrots as pets?

The book Birds: Myth, Lore and Legend by Rachel Warren Chadd and Marianne Taylor states: [...] The Ancient Romans, who kept both Rose-ringed Parakeets and African Greys (Psittacus erithacus), ..., ...
9
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3answers
603 views

How accurate is Stone's “The Trial of Socrates”?

I have stumbled upon I.F Stone's book "The Trial of Socrates" at a huge discount, and as someone who developed an interest in history and philosophy I took it. When I came home and read some ...
8
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1answer
482 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
249 views

What is the source for John Adams Sr. writing about Hamilton taking blame for Washington?

I know I read a while ago one of John Adams' writings about how people were generally discontented with Washington during the latter years of his administration, but expressed anger towards Hamilton ...
8
votes
1answer
200 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
544 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 ...
8
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1answer
347 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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1answer
815 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 ...
8
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0answers
329 views

What is the source of “the three most useless things in the world are the Great Wall, pyramids, and the Yamato”?

I watched 'Naval Legends: Yamato' yesterday, and it included a phrase that was attributed to the crew of the ship: "The world's three most useless things are the Chinese Great Wall, Egyptian ...
7
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2answers
2k 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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1answer
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
881 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
votes
1answer
206 views

How would an early Medieval German market have looked?

I am trying to find sources on how a medieval German market would have looked. Any artwork (painting, wood carving, wood print) would be perfect, but even just a description would already be great. My ...
7
votes
1answer
382 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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3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
270 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
votes
1answer
389 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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0answers
232 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
votes
3answers
760 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
159 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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1answer
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
692 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
260 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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0answers
117 views

Are there any sources supporting the claim that Jews were less affected by epidemics?

There is a common thread that Jews historically suffered less from epidemics because of Jewish ritual requirements of cleanliness. E.g., Wikipedia - Perceived Jewish immunity has 3 weakly supporting ...
5
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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 ...
5
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4answers
2k 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 ...