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194 views

Who was Ahmad al-Barbir al-Tarabulusi, and did he write about an old number-based middle-eastern joke about homosexuality?

While reading the book From one to zero. A universal history of numbers by the French historian Georges Ifrah I came across a retelling about an old joke about homosexuality but I cannot find any ...
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140 views

Looking for information on “Schwartz Toy Mfg. Corp.” and products

I found a stuffed animal in my attic of a masked mouse with a label having "Schwartz Toy Mfg. Corp." on it. The spelling differs from FAO Schwarz, and I can't find much on Google except a few sites ...
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459 views

What is the history of the “surrender” gesture?

The surrender gesture seems to be obvious to us - you drop your weapon, put your hands up and maybe drop to your knees or even prostrate yourself. But were those gestures universal across the globe ...
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224 views

Are there any sources on the Tempestarii?

The Tempestarii were weather mages in the Frankish Empire Recorded and were recorded on by Agobard of Lyons. I read the text he wrote on them but I cannot find other texts on them that go into more ...
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78 views

Is the Prologue to Eunuchus the earliest recorded defense of literary fair use?

In Eunuchus by the Roman playwright Terence, there is a prologue penned for the explicit purpose of justifying the author's reuse of existing characters. In a section, the author identifies some ...
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325 views

What was the average day like for a 15th century English peasant or agricultural Labourer?

Because I live in a major urban American city of nearly 500,000 (Colorado Springs), I am finding it difficult to wrap my head around the idea of medieval subsistence agriculture. I am particularly ...
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177 views

Christmas trees - real or fake? When did the U.S. Christmas tree consumer begin preferring artificial trees to real trees?

Source: National Christmas Tree Association via Statista. Background Our family was watching (again) A Christmas Story last night, and during the scene where the Old Man is bargaining to purchase a ...
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65 views

Which ship took Tolman to Kamchatka?

William Tolman was reportedly a mechanic from New England who got to Petropavlovsk on a whaling ship in 1813. Somehow he stayed behind and lived his whole long life in Kamchatka. None of the sources ...
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88 views

Did Spanish priests fight in South America?

I have been reading up (vi Wikipedia) on El Dorado and the Spanish and English expeditions through South America. It seems pretty clear that there were Priests and Scholars who would accompany ...
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176 views

Samurai blade honing during wartime

I was wondering, regardless of the type of blade, how did samurais keep their blade effective when they are away from any sharpening tools / professionals. Coming from daily using a Japanese chef ...
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403 views

Are there recommended practices for writing about oppressed peoples?

This question is about responsible historiography. History as written by winners tends to devalue and misrepresent the experiences of subordinate groups (see Textbooks: Zinn People’s History; Labour: ...
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80 views

Did Constantine I of Cilician Armenia usurp the throne or did he rule legitimately?

The accounts concerning four brothers who became Kings of Cilician Armenia towards the end of the 13th century tell a tale of murder, usurpation and treachery, but who betrayed who and when is far ...
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97 views

Were adobes often built on shellmounds?

Adobe was the principal construction material used in the arid north of Mexico. In wetter parts the adobe was subject to water damage: rain ate away its exposed surfaces and softened the ground on ...
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614 views

Is it true that the Jewish people signed O instead of X at Ellis Island?

I was trying to understand the etymology and history for the word 'kike'. With discovering some stuff on the Internet. After searching on many sources, I found out that Jewish people on Ellis Island ...
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1k views

What evidence is there for the severity of Roman scourging before crucifixion?

Something I'm curious about is the severity of scourging ancient Romans inflicted on their victims before crucifixion. Numerous religious/Christian websites suggest that it was quite severe, and ...
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172 views

Are Emil Ludwig's “Talks with Mussolini” reliable?

In 1932 Emil Ludwig interviewed over several days Benito Mussolini and then published with Mondadori publishing house the result, as the book Talks with Mussolini. After having approved the draft with ...
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179 views

What is know about Baal Hammon's Vegetal Crown

What more is known about the Vegetal Crown of the Carthaginian chief god Baal Hammon? I've searched for more information about this particular motif but can't find any. Obviously it can be thought ...
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193 views

Why was Wang Zhiming apparently pardoned, unlike other Christian victims of the Cultural Revolution?

Wang Zhiming is a particularly famous Christian martyr of the Cultural Revolution in China – he is one of ten martyrs of the 20th century to have a statue above the Great West Door of Westminster ...
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136 views

Who issued the passports for travel to Russian America?

Employees of the Russian-American Company were supposed to have seven-year passports to travel from Russia to the Company's colonies. Officials endeavored to stay in compliance, though it's clear that ...
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91 views

What is the oldest known depiction of Isis with wings?

Some of the oldest known references to the goddess Isis are inscriptions, like the Pyramid texts. However, I have been interested in the visual depictions of the Egyptian gods and how they change ...
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108 views

What was this security screening process in Swiss airports, circa 1970?

Following the advice I got from the user Semaphore I would like to split my original airport security question into separate parts and go into a bit more detail in regards to what I would like to know ...
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217 views

Why did the US give up the portion of Vancouver island below the 49th parallel but insist on keeping Point Roberts?

Point Roberts remained US territory because the Americans insisted on maintaining the strictest interpretation of the Treaty of Oregon, even though it was pretty much useless being a tiny exclave. But ...
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461 views

In what contexts did male friends kiss in Europe in the 1700s?

In Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, there's an scene where the title character's mentor, Captain Grogan, is gunned down by French troops. As he lies dying he asks Barry to "kiss me, my boy, for we ...
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226 views

Guadalupe Victoria's imprisonment

In 1821 Agustín Iturbide formed a ruling junta for newly independent Mexico that excluded his prominent fellow revolutionary officers. Near the end of 1821, Iturbide imprisoned several that may have ...
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117 views

Pyramidal marae on one of the Pacific islands

About 10 years ago I saw some information on the Web that an ancient pyramid-like structure (marae) existed on one of the Pacific islands, but was demolished in the end of 19th century. There was even ...
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218 views

USA membership pin - possible to identify?

The attached picture shows what is believed to be a membership pin. Is it possible to identify the organization? The pin is from the USA and dates from the period 1890-1914. A possibility is that it ...
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84 views

How was the Order of the Golden Fleece involved in the trial of Egmont and Hoorne?

Egmont and Hoorne, both Knights of the Golden Fleece were arrested by the third Duke of Alba, put on trial, found guilty of high treason, and executed. As knights of the Golden Fleece, they called ...
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160 views

What regiments of the British East India Company were in southeastern India in the late 1790s?

I have been researching ranks and positions that existed in various regiments and civil branches of the British East India Company during the late 1790s to early 1800s. Those aren't as hard as finding ...
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102 views

Is there a name for analyzing historical societies based on who murders who?

When I was in college mumblety years ago, I had a professor who mentioned an interesting idea I'd like to learn more about. While discussing the society of the Roman Empire, she mentioned in passing ...
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104 views

Is there a list of bills in the reign of George III & onwards?

I am researching the history of trackways, canals mines and railways from the reign of George 3rd through to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. Is there a list of all bills presented to Parliament ...
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82 views

To what extent were Jinnah's statements and speeches before 1938 recorded? Have they been digitized?

Jinnah's speeches and statements from the 1938 Patna conference onwards are well recorded, and are available relatively easily. But Jinnah maintained an active political life even before that, and his ...
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170 views

What is this book about the Avar and Khazar Turks from the early 20th century?

I came across a book on the internet that connected the Avars to the Khazars. It was written sometime during the 1920's-40's, I think the mid 20's, by a European scholar. It never became popular. This ...
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144 views

How was city cleaning financed and organized in the late 19th century?

This answer about usage of horses contains a brief description of the situation of New York. Are there examples where city cleaning was done by firms or was the communal government responsible for ...
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119 views

Textual organization

I was interested to see just now that the Dead Sea Scroll fragments (e.g. this one) have clear spaces delineating the words. Whereas we have, with the Hebrew Bible at least, an idea of where the line ...
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558 views

In what period were signature rubrics used?

A rubric is a flourish embellishing a signature; it's both decorative and a security feature. At least with regard to European languages, signatures are still used but rubrics were, as far as I can ...
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215 views

Did any American political party have a legal personality anywhere at any time? Did it ever lapse?

After the War of Independence, some institutions such as the Bank of the United States were granted legal personality by the state or federal authorities. Of course, some of them ceased to exist (inc. ...
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187 views

Determining the importance of Helmut Kohl's role in the German Reunification

A week ago, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl died. Now some of the orbituaries in common newspapers pick up again the debate on what Kohl's role was in the German Reunification, during which he ...
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277 views

With what frequency was stoning applied in the Muslim world before the Ottoman empire?

The Wikipedia article Rajm says: At least a couple of sources (Sadakat Kadri, Max Rodenbeck) have noted that while popular in the abstract, rajm has been infrequently applied in Islamic history. ...
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182 views

In Spain after 1492 what were relations like between converted Jews and converted Muslims?

Is it possible that there was a closeness between the two communities of new Christians or conversely, did they deliberately avoid each other to dispel any concerns Spain might have had about the ...
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146 views

Death sentences in Spanish California

Ynocente Garcia, in his recollections (the "Garcia Hechos"), described Ignacio Rochin, a man executed for murder in 1795 in Santa Barbara. Garcia continues: "a young orphan ... was also executed with ...
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164 views

Around 1640s, at what time did people eat Christmas dinner?

To my knowledge, in the past, people used to go to bed earlier; usually at sunset. My question is, around 1640s, when candles were used to light the interiors of buildings, at what time of day did ...
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149 views

Do we know of any literature before Greek philosophy that discusses the properties of a living thing?

I have been reading up on the first written works of literature leading up to philosophy as we understand it today. I am having a hard time to establish a clear time-line which leads up to the ...
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525 views

Why did Spanish kings repeatedly split their kingdoms between their children upon death?

In the middle ages, Christian-held Spain were split into different kingdoms and realms. Before the eventual unification by the "Catholic Monarchs" (Ferdinand II and Isabela I), other kings have ...
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154 views

How much of a symbiotic relationship was there between the Renaissance and the Printing Press?

Both the Renaissance and the Printing Press are dated to be around the 14th century. While the first Printing Press was in 1436 (Johannes Gutenberg), the Renaissance is also supposed to start around a ...
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104 views

Birth date of Adi Śankaracharya

When was Sri Ādi Śankaracharya born exactly? In Wikipedia and elsewhere there have been controversial dates, one claiming a birth in the 5th century B.C. and another around A.D.730-780. Why is there ...
4
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149 views

Did each clan in Sengoku Japan have a specialty or distinctive way of war?

I know that the regions of Iga and Koga bred soldiers that excelled at guerilla warfare, The Takeda cavalry, The Otomo and Oda for their guns. Were there other daimyo who were known for the way they ...
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121 views

Where can I find a list of students expelled from university in Nazi Germany?

I'm looking for a place to research the names of students expelled from university in Nazi Germany, from 1933 to 1936. The reasons for expulsion would be being under suspicion of some anti-Nazi ...
4
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131 views

Why has mechanized mining never developed in Congo?

Lack of infrastructure has often been cited as one of the main reasons for the conflicts in eastern Congo. The mining areas are hard to reach, mining work is done by hand and simple, makeshift tools ...
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210 views

What happened to Dirk Willems' family after his martyrdom?

From Wikipedia Dirk Willems was a Dutch martyred Anabaptist who is most famous for escaping from prison, turning around to rescue his pursuer —who had fallen through thin ice while chasing ...
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330 views

Status of Women in Ancient Egypt

Having read this article, is it fair to say that women in ancient Egypt had something of legal equality with men? The article seems to generalise between Old and New Kingdom eras, but I would like ...

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