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30 votes
5 answers
38k views

What is the difference between the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages?

Is there any difference between the "Middle Ages" and the "Dark Ages"?
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
21 votes
3 answers
8k views

Where did the term "Middle Ages" come from?

Where did the term "Middle Ages" come from? Who was the first known person to use that term?
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Where was the Japanese surrender signed on Okinawa in June 1945?

On the 21st of June, Japanese defences on the southern fringe of Okinawa collapsed. The following day General Mitsuru Ushijima and chief of staff Isamu Chō committed suicide. Colonel Yahara was denied ...
RedBlueThing's user avatar
  • 2,964
14 votes
2 answers
915 views

Was the Granny Smith Apple the first green skinned apple widely propagated?

In my hometown (Eastwood NSW, Australia) we annually celebrate the Granny Smith Apple, which is assumed by many to be the first green apple widely propagated. How true is it that it was the first ...
going's user avatar
  • 902
19 votes
1 answer
480 views

What was the Mantineian form of government and what praise did it receive?

In his comparison of the Roman form of government with those of other states, Polybius mentions Mantineia as having one which had been praised by almost all historians. However, he does not go into ...
lins314159's user avatar
  • 4,589
11 votes
4 answers
579 views

What is considered to be the pivotal battle between Caesar and Pompey? [closed]

Caesar and Pompey's forces battled with one another on numerous occasions during the Fall of the Roman Republic. What is the earliest battle that is commonly accepted as the one where it became clear ...
Chris Bunch's user avatar
  • 1,273
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Language of Franks vs later French

I am reading that before the 8-9th(10th?) century, Franks were a Germanic-speaking nation. How it is possible to explain that in later centuries their language became a totally different Latin-...
Andrei's user avatar
  • 848
9 votes
1 answer
635 views

Australian towns / cities with Aboriginal names

Why were many Aboriginal names kept for town and place names in Australia including one of the first cities Parramatta: As a settlement developed, Governor Phillip gave it the name "Rose Hill" (...
going's user avatar
  • 902
209 votes
34 answers
189k views

Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

During World War 2, Hitler was fighting a war with Great Britain and her colonies, but while fighting that war, he attacked the Soviet Union even though they had a non-aggression pact. Everyone knows ...
Massimo's user avatar
  • 2,343
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why was the Irish War of Independence in 1918 successful when other revolts failed?

In a nutshell, what events, occurrences, or mishaps took place that allowed the Irish to win the war of Independence over what could arguably be the most powerful nation of the time, when they were ...
canadiancreed's user avatar
52 votes
13 answers
28k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
Harley Holcombe's user avatar
71 votes
8 answers
28k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in colonization,...
canadiancreed's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

Where are Genghis Khan's Mongols?

In the 13th century, Mongol hordes invaded most of the known world and Genghis Khan's nobles had strong legacies to rule in China, Iran and Central Asia in the the following centuries. What about the ...
Dagvadorj's user avatar
  • 908
34 votes
6 answers
14k views

How did people travel to remote islands like Easter Island?

Easter Island is extremely remote, being thousands of kilometers from its nearest neighbor. How did people get there safely, and how did they even know it was there?
Harley Holcombe's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why was the Western Front so static in World War I?

Once the German advance was halted, neither side could seriously advance for two years. This seems like an extraordinarily long time. Why didn't anyone succeed at going around the trenches or striking ...
Harley Holcombe's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
834 views

Did President Kennedy really cut 100,000 government jobs during his presidency?

In Michel Crozier's book, La crise de l'intelligence, he states that during John F. Kennedy's presidency about 100,000 government jobs were terminated. Is this figure accurate? Where can I find any ...
Paweł Dyda's user avatar
31 votes
8 answers
9k views

Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
Dagvadorj's user avatar
  • 908
10 votes
1 answer
733 views

What particular watershed events led to the War of the Roses?

What were the key events that led to the War of the Roses occurring in England during the 15th century? Was there any particular event that was the tipping point?
canadiancreed's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
17k views

Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
RedBlueThing's user avatar
  • 2,964
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Who gave King Richard I the title Coeur de Lion?

When King Richard I went to the Holy land during the Third Crusade, he was given the title coeur de lion (French for lion heart). Who gave him that title? I Imagine that it was a French person.
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

What did Tacitus write about Nero and the Great Fire of Rome 64AD?

I have always been fascinated by the history of ancient Rome and this is one of the topics I always wanted to know a little bit more about. The rumor about Nero himself giving the order to burn down ...
GNi33's user avatar
  • 1,164
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

When did the Knights Templar dissolve and why?

The Knights Templar were a medieval chivalric organization within the Roman Catholic Church. When did they dissolve, and what ultimately led to the dissolution of the Templars?
Seth Rogers's user avatar
  • 2,240
30 votes
6 answers
4k views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
user avatar
97 votes
12 answers
62k views

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
Jay Riggs's user avatar
  • 1,081
36 votes
3 answers
3k views

What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president, 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...
DForck42's user avatar
  • 1,398
28 votes
2 answers
523k views

How many troops died on D-day?

How many troops (allied and axis) died at Normandy beach on June 6th, 1944? I've searched all over the internet, but can't find an accurate number.
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
38 votes
8 answers
14k views

Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?

There are accounts that British Prime Minister Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler because he just didn't want Britain involved in a war at that time. Others also argue that Chamberlain was naive and ...
Seth Rogers's user avatar
  • 2,240
16 votes
1 answer
5k views

German Government branches during World War 2

During World War 2, what government branches, if any, existed in Germany? I've always heard about the Third Reich and Hitler, but I never heard about the rest of the government.
DForck42's user avatar
  • 1,398
21 votes
2 answers
836 views

How do Friedman and Bernanke's explanations about the causes of the Great Depression compare?

I know that both Friedman and Bernanke wrote papers (or books, in Friedman's case) about the cause of the Great Depression. How do their points of view compare and contrast?
Aarthi's user avatar
  • 411
43 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is there any proof that Robin Hood existed?

Is there any written proof/documentation that Robin Hood ever existed? Did he ever get arrested and got his name written in the prison books or something like that?
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
17 votes
8 answers
10k views

When did the Holy Roman Empire collapse?

In the 1500's, the Holy Roman Empire was a relatively powerful country. By the mid 1800's, it seemed to be superseded by in importance by its states. When did the unified "Holy Roman Empire" really ...
user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who, if any, in JFK's inner circle argued against the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion?

Political discussions leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion are a notorious example of 'groupthink' and the failure of a committee in coming to a well-informed decision. Accounts of the decision-...
Seth Rogers's user avatar
  • 2,240
20 votes
5 answers
30k views

What events led to the fall of the Zhou Dynasty during the Warring States period?

The title above is fairly broad, so more specifically, what specific events led to the Warring States period experienced towards the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty in ancient China? As the lineage ...
Sorcerer Blob's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
20k views

When did steel first appear? [closed]

When in history do we first have record of steel being used as a material? I am also interested in both its initial purpose and when it was first used in weapon making.
Christopher Rayl's user avatar
36 votes
7 answers
21k views

What language(s) were spoken within the Holy Roman Empire?

What language(s) were considered the primary language for the Holy Roman Empire? Were there many different languages spoken due to the many different regions?
Daniel's user avatar
  • 3,537
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1?

What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1? The Eastern Crisis pertains to problems posed by the decay of the Ottoman Empire. Primary among these problems ...
JFW's user avatar
  • 585
26 votes
5 answers
889 views

How would you accurately use older British currencies when writing a story?

For writing a story set in the Napoleonic Wars era, how should one use the currencies accurately? I read in novels they use currencies like shilling, pound, guinea, sovereign, four (or six-, etc) ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
  • 6,885

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