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5
votes
3answers
1k views

How did shells, bones, and other trinkets work as currency?

One often hears stories about civilised and pre-civilised societies using shells, bones, and other trinkets as currency. How exactly did this system work? Taking the example of shells, did they have ...
17
votes
8answers
18k views

How common are major cities not built by abundant water?

When you look at the biggest cities in the world, they all tend to be built on a major body of water, either a coast, a large lake, or a major river. This made sense in ancient times, as abundant ...
7
votes
2answers
525 views

When were the different stories of Hindu gods written?

I'm a Hindu by religion. And I really respect my religion like I respect others. But from my childhood, I'm listening a lot of stories about Hindu Gods and Goddess which are interrelated to each other....
0
votes
2answers
363 views

Has the accounting services industry ever been disrupted in the U.S.?

What is the most-radical example of a disrupting service / model in the accounting business services industry? What I mean by disrupted is that someone has at some point taken such a radically ...
6
votes
3answers
496 views

Natural born citizen

From what I understand, the so-called "birther movement" in the US asserts that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president of the USA because he allegedly wasn't born in the US and therefore is not ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

What was the exact time of announcement of Indian independence?

Unanimously, India achieved its independence on 15th August 1947. Of course, to say the exact time would be, a bit difficult. However, what time did they begin to address the nation to announce its ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

What was the first emergency management agency in the world?

Given the impending landfall of Hurricane Sandy I wondered what was the first established emergency management agency akin to the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency?
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of cloth did Genghis Khan use in his armor?

Genghis Khan the king of the Mongolian Empire used a specific kind of cloth material for his military fatigues. This cloth material worked as an armor and was an advantage for his soldiers to win ...
1
vote
1answer
354 views

What area of Los Angeles does this historical map depict?

What area of Los Angeles does this historical map depict?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

When did the first organ transplant operation occur?

Is it in 800 AD or 1800 AD. Was it done in Rome? Was it done in India? What was the name of the surgeon?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Are the Ramayana and Mahabharatha exaggerated stories or pure fiction?

I would like to know the opinion of historians on the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. I can accept that they are excessively exaggerated and glorify people as Gods, but are they totally fiction? Do we ...
0
votes
4answers
611 views

Were scientists in Ancient Egypt Egyptian, or were they from other regions?

Do we have knowledge of any scientists of Ancient Egypt? If yes, were they originally from Egypt, or were they from other regions such as Europe, North Africa or Asia? Any examples?
2
votes
2answers
309 views

Is there any history magazine like “Foreign Policy” for politics? [closed]

I'm a college student. I'd like to read a history magazine (online preferred) that relates to History in the same way that "Foreign Policy" relates to Politics or "The Economist" relates to Economics. ...
5
votes
3answers
519 views

Why were the Merovingians so reviled?

I'm interested in the state of the Frankish kingdom at the time of the Merovingian peak, before they were deposed. I have heard hints of lavish lifestyle, but I take this to be much the same way ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What were the consequences of the bankruptcies of the Spanish Empire?

During the reigns of Charles V and Philip II Habsburg, the Spanish Empire had to declare bankruptcy several times. What were the consequences of these events? Did, for example, some of their assets ...
3
votes
1answer
603 views

Which battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of USA?

Which significant battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of the USA? Considering his leadership and contribution to this war he was catapulted to the White House.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Where the did the concept of “smear campaigns” originate?

In the US political system there have been campaigns against and for certain candidates, and this goes back to the first Presidential Elections, where both sides used to have editors of newspapers ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Which city was attacked by Nazi-German war flights in India during WW2?

Nazi-Germany ran a bombing raid over India, in WW2. Which city was bombed, and what effect did it have? i.e how many casualties were inflicted, was transport closed down, or was there other damage to ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Did most pants in the late 1800s have plackets at the ankle?

Recently, while at the New York Public Library, I spotted this painting: In it, Charles Astor Bristed is, in his youth, sporting pantaloons that appear to have a placket from ankle to knee. Did all ...
66
votes
9answers
16k views

Why did the USSR give Crimea to Ukraine?

In 1954 Soviets transferred Crimea from Russian Soviet Republic to Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Why is this strange? The whole act, at least officially, was meant to be "a gift", a token of friendship....
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Was the US Navy larger in 1917, and if so, why?

Following the recent discussion in the third US Presidental Debate about the size of the Navy, there actually seemed to be a good discussion buried in there. How does the US Navy compare to its ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Was the French philosopher Pierre Bayle a Calvinist believer or an atheist?

European Enlightenment: The 17th century's most read philosopher produced sharp and honest literature. Yet until today the question seems to be unanswered where he really belonged (Bayle enigma).
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the Moors and Arabs, “Muslims,” who invaded Europe, ie “Spain,” help the evolution of civilizations of Europe? [closed]

Were the Muslims viewed as barbarians similar to the Mongols, and as a people who only specialized in war? Or, were Muslims advanced enough to teach Europe scientific advancements? Did they invent any ...
3
votes
0answers
421 views

Why are there so many depictions of pre-Christian gods built in Medieval and Renaissance Rome? [closed]

I wonder why Church officials not only allowed but also endorsed and paid for depictions of pre-Christian gods. Examples include Pietro Bracci's Oceanus, which was funded by the Pope, and multiple ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

In the United States government, has there been cases that electoral colleges don't vote for the candidate the majority of their state voted for?

Has there ever been a case where electoral colleges vote for someone the people didn't vote for during an election for president of the United States?
8
votes
1answer
267 views

Megafauna extinctions

If you have read Jared Diamond's works, you already know the question. There is a coincidence between planetary scale climate change, human settlement and megafauna extinctions. From giant kangaroos ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Is there a known society without cult of love? [closed]

Was there ever a society in which sex was viewed either as a functional necessity, duty before the gods or pleasure without any admiration of love?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Middle east and North africa population during the high middle ages

I am looking for this information everywhere, but I can't seem to find the population of anyone else but the Europeans during the middle ages. We know that the population of the European countries ...
24
votes
8answers
7k views

Why did Austronesian/Polynesian people not colonize Australia?

Australia hosted aboriginal populations since prehistory. However technologically advanced civilizations (in comparison) lived nearby, in Indonesia, Polynesia and New Guinea. Why was it not colonized ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Material Basis of the Golden Age of Bohemia

On a recent visit to Prague I was much impressed by the city's beauty and the number and splendor of its historic sites, such as Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge (a bit further afield Karlštejn ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

What was the value of the spice trade during the age of exploration?

One of the initial motivations for the Europeans in sending exploration voyages was to find cheap spices. To be worth such expensive and risky mission, spices must have been worth a lot and must have ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why were there “hussars” all across Europe?

From what I read, hussars are originally a cavalry forces in Medieval Hungary. But then it became a class of light cavalry that were in service in many European nations, and during the Napoleonic wars:...
16
votes
5answers
13k views

Why do Spaniards have their lunch and dinner so late?

I've been reading about it and many sites explain (unconvincingly, for me) that the reason why Spaniards currently have lunch around 2 and dinner around 9:30 is because during the 40s (after the civil ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Understanding what these reference shortforms represent [closed]

In the book "Giordano BRUNO His Life and Thought" by Dorothea Waley Singer, chapter 7 references often have a form of 18 Doc. Ven. XV. or 49 Docc. Rom. XX, XXI. How do I decipher their meaning?
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Microsocial behaviour 500 years ago in western societies

Not sure how to formulate what I want to ask, so please advice if I should change the question: looking at microsocial behaviour today, we follow a lot of informal rules, practices and typical ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

Do onsen geisha still exist?

Japan's most famous geisha are from Kyoto, Japan's former capital and still a major cultural capital of Japan. But I've also heard of onsen geisha, far away from the big cities, who are at the bottom ...
11
votes
1answer
75 views

Was the Church of St Simeon the Elder at Aleppo built while Simeon was still alive or decades after his death?

I recently read in Diarmaid MacCullochs 'A History of Christianity' that the pillar dweller and hermit, Simeon had a church built around him, almost like a "living exhibit in a Christian zoo". However ...
8
votes
2answers
952 views

To what extent was China unified?

Earlier this week, I asked the question, why was China able to unify and not Europe? I was given some very good responses that made me wonder, how unified was the government China. After all, it was ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the purpose of the bridge to the Russkiy island? [closed]

Russky bridge is a bridge to a sparsely populated Russky island in the Far East whose construction started in 2008 and completed in 2012. It is the world's largest cable-stayed bridge, the 1104 m long ...
16
votes
3answers
848 views

Any precedents of U.S. presidents having served in other government roles after the ends of their terms?

Are there any precedents for U.S. presidents having served in other official government roles after the ends of their terms. Conceivably they could become ambassadors or Supreme Court judges, for ...
19
votes
2answers
8k views

How did Columbus calculate the size of the Earth?

Eratosthenes' calculations of the size of the Earth were very precise and very accepted during Columbus' time. Still, Columbus was convinced that the world was significatively smaller and that getting ...
100
votes
13answers
26k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Were the (early 17th C) arrivers/colonists to North America (USA) outcasts from European societies?

I have heard that early pilgrims for 'the new world' (North America / USA) left because they were indigent and had no support in their homelands. I have also heard that some were criminals or ...
8
votes
3answers
663 views

What language was the Charter of Liberties written in?

While researching my answer for the What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century? question I came upon the Charter of Liberties, or Coronation Charter, issued by ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century?

I have been reading about European history in the XII century and I am finding out that several of the modern day languages hadn't yet evolved to what they are now: Langue d'oïl was still being used ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

Has the resignation of a political leader in a Westminster style parliament ever forced an election call?

So reading about the premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty abruptly quitting his post, and there's many people wondering if there will have to be an election to replace him. While there is some precedent ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What laws of war existed before the modern international treaties and conventions?

Were there laws governing the rules of conducting war before modern (20th century) international treaties and conventions such as the Geneva conventions? For example, were there rules regarding the ...
5
votes
1answer
577 views

Did liberalism in the USA degenerate into something more totalitarian than liberal? [closed]

I'm not US resident, so that's a real question rather than pre-election discussion. Where I live liberalism never seriously changed meaning in public debate (yet) - it is still more or less faithul ...

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