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10
votes
1answer
542 views

Did ancient people regularly suffer from colds?

It seems that most people suffer some kind flu or a cold each year, particularly throughout winter. Did ancient people tend to regularly suffer seasonal sickness such as colds and the flu?
62
votes
12answers
16k views

Have there been any countries that voted themselves out of existence?

I'm interested in countries that voted themselves out of existence because they believe that joining another country is best for them (see e.g. world government). For example, say New Zealand votes to ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Where did poor London women give birth in the latter half of the 19th century?

I have a personal reason for asking this question. I'm researching my family tree and I have some ancestors who lived in Mile End Old Town, London between 1850 and 1900, but gave birth in Mile End New ...
43
votes
2answers
11k views

Why was “leaping into the river” a valid trial outcome to prove one's innocence?

The second law of the Code of Hammurabi states: 2 If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What were the types of currency used in ancient Mesopotamia?

I noticed there were several types of currency mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi. Shekel, Gur, Gerah, Ka, Mina. When you take into account that some of them could be weight measurements and could be ...
2
votes
1answer
392 views

What alphabet is this?

I found this inscription on a Croatian island (island of Cres), on a tombstone. There were other inscriptions with this alphabet in that very cemetery. I never saw this alphabet before though. What ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

What caused the increase in world population rate around 1700's?

I'm looking at a chart of world population from 10,000 BCE to modern times. It appears the world population rate rose sharply somewhere around the 1700's (and maybe a tad bit earlier): I'm confused ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Did Cao Cao really say the greatest traitor resembled an honest man?

The greatest traitor has always resembled an honest man and the greatest falsehood comes across as truth. Righteousness and evil cannot be discerned by their appearance. People have ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

How much were lottery prizes taxed in Soviet Union?

I was a bit surprised to learn from this YouTube video (about Lottery in Soviet Union) that lottery of the kind where you had to guess like 6 numbers out of 49 or so existed in Soviet Union since ...
4
votes
0answers
124 views

What medals is my Cossack Great Grandfather wearing?

The man in the centre with the medals and the moustache is my great great grandfather. Ive been trying to figure out what Medals he's been wearing, I know he have 4 crosses of st George on the left of ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

Why did Chrstianity spread so easily? [closed]

Looking around the world, Christianity has spread to practically every corner. Christians are everywhere from South America to Australia to Korea. Even with Christian missionaries going all over the ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Is there a population density map of pre-Columbian South America?

I have found such maps for North America, e.g. this one: But never for the southern continent. The goal is a broad overview. How many Lokono were there, compared to the Mapuche (and the Cree for that ...
4
votes
0answers
71 views

Are these two images of Juan Diez Porlier or Francisco Espoz y Mina?

This sketch and this miniature clearly derived from it occur on the web in several places as both an image of Francisco Espoz y Mina and Juan Diaz Porlier. Both were well known and recognized ...
3
votes
0answers
173 views

Why do China and India have such huge populations? [closed]

Assuming growth is constant in all locations (which I know it's not), I don't see why China and India are so populous. Europe has a slightly larger land area than China, but it's population is ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

When did London newspapers start to use typewriters in their offices?

I'm a French journalist writing a book, whose main character of is also a journalist working in the 1890's, but I lack some background. I wonder when typewriters started to get used in British ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Would newspapers in 1890 London have printing presses in their offices?

For a story I'm writing, taking place in London around 1889/1890, I'd like to know if the main newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Chronicles, who had their offices in Fleet Street, ...
8
votes
3answers
744 views

Why has English become the global language?

I love the English and English. I am truly fascinated by the expansion of the English language across the globe. According to linguists all languages are great and unique. If it is a fact, why ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

Why was Constantinople (almost) always the capital of the Byzantines? I understand they did not have Rome under their control until the AD500's, but is there any specific reason why the Byzantines ...
5
votes
0answers
116 views

How many Me Bf 109 were produced in Czechoslovakia during WW2

It is known fact that Czechoslovak factories(or at least Avia) produced Messerschmitt Bf 109 during WW2. After the war ended, they for some time continued production, called Avia S-99 and when engines ...
9
votes
1answer
247 views

Can anyone find an image of Henry Bolingbroke's Sovereygne Feather Seal?

Henry IV of England used a "remarkable seal" with two tall feathers (around the shield, helm and crest), each entwined with a garter which had his "favorite and significant" motto "SOVEREYGNE" written ...
27
votes
2answers
5k views

Was Rosie the Riveter sourced from a Michelangelo painting?

The Russian Wikipedia page states that an art from Michelangelo is a source of inspiration for Rosie the Riveter arrwork. My own impression is this looks indeed like that, there are many similarities....
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Who are these people in this satirical cartoon of the Congress of Verona?

Who are these people in this satirical cartoon of the Congress of Verona? Alternative images, click for details: Three men in military dress sit around a rectangular table - a fourth man has stood ...
7
votes
0answers
150 views

Did the German ship SS Hansa (former Albert Ballin) continue her journey to the West after 30 January 1945?

Looking for refugees or families of refugees who were on board the Hansa on January 30th 1945 when she left Gotenhafen with the Wilhelm Gustloff. I am trying to find out what happened to the Hansa ...
72
votes
1answer
12k views

What drugs were used in England during the High Middle Ages?

It's well known that alcohol was brewed and drunk throughout the Middle ages in England, but I wonder what is known from archaeological evidence and contemporary sources about what other drugs were ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any writings by blinded and/or exiled Byzantine emperors?

Several Byzantine Emperors were deposed and subsequently blinded and/or exiled by their successors. Are there any extant texts authored by any of these deposed emperors?
2
votes
1answer
237 views

How many crew for the LT vz 38?

I have seen a claim in some English online encyclopedias claiming that LT vz. 38 was originally supposed to have a crew of 3 and only after it fell into hands of Nazis was it changed to 4. However, I ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Can someone clarify Livy's argument in Book 21, Chapter 19 of Ab Urbe Condita Libri?

Can someone clarify the following passage from Book 21, Chapter 19 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri? [This is the translation of Rev Canon Roberts, taken from the Perseus website] This ...
1
vote
0answers
128 views

What branch of service and rank is this 1860 photo?

This is a cabinet photo taken by Kelley's in New York, but we are having a difficult time identifying his branch of service and rank. Any leads to this genealogical effort would be greatly appreciated!...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

Do historians agree that wars break out because of miscalculations? [closed]

I am not a historian and have always been curious as to really why wars break out. I find it unthinkable how people can decide to kill each other in big numbers and cannot just resolve all matters ...
2
votes
2answers
299 views

During the Soviet era, were people charged with crimes able to hire lawyers of their own?

Recently, I watched HBO's mini-series Chernobyl where the accused were brought for justice. But I was wondering why there was no lawyer for them.
-2
votes
1answer
204 views

What are some instances of professional army funding being stolen in full?

It feels like with large empires using professional armies for distant provinces, especially during classical or medieval times, funding of those armies were most likely to be bottlenecked by small ...
-1
votes
1answer
126 views

Gregorian dating in the Julian time period?

William Penn wrote about his friend and my 9th great grandfather, Cuthbert Hayhurst, dying in 1682. I have seen the letter in Penn's writing. How is it that he dated the death in 1682 when the ...
6
votes
0answers
157 views

How long did it take to buy a house in 1870?

I'm interested in how long it took to carry out major transactions in the nineteenth century compared to today. On the one hand, I expect there was less formality; on the other hand, less information ...
7
votes
1answer
156 views

When did coal replace firewood in early America?

From the perspective of early colonists in America, it makes sense that firewood was initially easier to collect, but that as demand grew there was a transition to coal, which was more abundant. ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

How were large monetary transactions conducted in medieval Europe?

Recently, I have read in the news about a large hoard of Norman coins in England being found. Apparently, all of these coins were silver pennies. And then it occurred to me that small silver coins ...
5
votes
1answer
354 views

What did the battle order of a deployed Roman legion look like?

I am currently reading Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". In Volume 1, he describes - from a high level - the daily discipline and activites of a Roman legion, the recruitment etc. etc. ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Could British India have realistically allied with both Afghanistan and the Punjab?

In his book The Return of a King, historian William Dalrymple is strongly critical of British policy toward Afghanistan prior to the disastrous invasion of 1839. He implies, quoting the British envoy ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.?

We know that the Roman Empire became a Christian state. Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.? What punishment was prescribed (if it was illegal)? If it was punishable, who could ...
-2
votes
3answers
287 views

Which, if any, successful invasions have been planned by one person without relying on specialized experts?

10 years ago, I read the following quote A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a ...
1
vote
2answers
339 views

Vietnam war: did infantry really have to clear the way for tanks as depicted in “Full Metal Jacket”? [closed]

In the Stanley Kubrick movie "Full Metal Jacket" a soldier being interviewed tells the reporter that his platoon's job is to pave the way for the tanks because the army doesn't want its tanks to run ...
-3
votes
2answers
159 views

How was the black death spread? [closed]

When discussing the black plague, many historians believe it to be the bubonic plague transmitted by fleas on rats. I was wondering if there are any competing theories to what caused this mass death.
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Where is it recorded that Spartan common meals were followed by a recounting of noble deeds?

I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference. In On Manly Courage: A Study of Plato's Laches, on page 57, the author implies that Spartan common meals were followed by the recounting ...
-1
votes
3answers
499 views

Has a sniper ever disabled a tank?

In theory, a sniper can disable a tank. shoot out the gun sight shoot out the driver sight wait for crew to open the hatch because they can't see shoot the crew Has this ever happened? The snipers ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

Did Romans keep tax records of individuals in Palestine around Jesus' lifetime?

This question in Christianity.SE asks how would Jesus write his name in civil records. This answer denies (based on the lack of positive evidence) that Jesus ever wrote his name in a civil record. ...
31
votes
4answers
8k views

How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

Most villeins were bound to the manor and not allowed to move elsewhere. But what happened when the population grew? The size of the manor remained the same didn't it, so how did they keep up with the ...
5
votes
0answers
128 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

If this question is better suited for a more aviation-oriented forum, please let me know. During World War II SOE agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the RAF. This ...
1
vote
1answer
337 views

Why is the Harappa (Indus Valley) civilization considered one of the six independent cradles of civilization?

In addition to the proven Sumerian presence in Harappa, all its crops originates in the Fertile Crescent or Far East, which proves that they have been influenced by foreigners since the Neolithic ...
66
votes
4answers
12k views

Did ancient peoples ever hide their treasure behind puzzles?

I just saw the film Dora and the Lost City of Gold, in which there is a somewhat meta running commentary over whether so-called "jungle puzzles", intellectual challenges typically requiring explorers ...
3
votes
3answers
589 views

When and why have the Neo-nazi view of Slavic peoples changed?

Hitler's views on Slavs were unambiguous. He considered them to be Untermensch and wanted them exterminated so that Germans could take their place. For more on Hitler's hostility to the Slavs, see ...
5
votes
1answer
492 views

What was the extent of France's material support during the American Revolution?

Though it is a recognised fact that French support for the American revolutionaries was vital for their success against the British empire, the exact details are less clear. The most obvious source ...

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