114 votes
Accepted

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

Poland wasn't actually "spared", it was merely less affected than the rest of Europe. That graphic is incorrect (or rather, incomplete), since a substantial number of both Poland and Milan's ...
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  • 95.9k
49 votes
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What did people in 13th century England know about Greek mythology?

Quite a bit, actually. Graeco-Roman mythology was a significant part of the education curriculum. Much of the educated elite would have been broadly familiar with ancient Greek mythologies through its ...
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  • 95.9k
44 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

It sounds like you are talking about the transition from Romanesque/Gothic painting styles to Renaissance styles. This is a big topic in Art History (or at least was when I took it back in the '80's). ...
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31 votes

What did people in 13th century England know about Greek mythology?

The Nun's Priest's Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: Lo heere Andromacha, Ectores wyf, That day that Ector sholde lese his lyf, She dremed on the same nyght biforn […] He wente for to ...
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29 votes

What are the primary sources for the Mongol sack of Baghdad?

The source containing the most detail is probably al-Ḥawādit̠ al-ğāmiʿa wa-l-tağārib al-nāfiʿa fī l-miʾa l-sābiʿa, a local history of Baghdad under Mongol rule. It was previously attributed to the ...
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28 votes
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What is the technical term for a head on head battle?

The basic circumstances of a battle depends on the readiness of the two sides to give battle at that time and place. When neither side is prepared, and both armies arrive piece-meal and assemble as ...
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28 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

Anything other than photo-realism makes you 'angry and confused'? That's sad. You're missing out on enjoying a whole lot of good stuff! Early pictorial art was often allegorical rather than strictly ...
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25 votes

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

There are three types of plague, Pneumonic, Bubonic, and Septicemic all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. People infected by fleas get the bubonic form of the plague. However, if ...
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23 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

There's been some perspective around for a long time. Look at this ceiling, from "The Vergilius Vaticanus" dated around 400 C.E. And here's a Chinese painting from around 1000 CE showing a ...
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  • 331
22 votes
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What would have been the carrying capacity for 11th-13th century backpacks?

The historical answer is pretty much the same as the answer that you got on RPG - it depends on the type and construction of the pack. These ranged from simple cloth bags designed to be worn on the ...
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17 votes
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How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

In this period, the Mongols had a nominal strength of around 100,000 to 130,000. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, Ghengis Khan had an army of 105,000 strong by A.D. 1206. This number ...
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16 votes
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What are the "ancient liberties" of the City of London?

Here's a lengthy recent paper entitled "Liberties and Customs of the City of London – Are There any Left?", that seems to answer the question in great detail and with lots of citations: http://www....
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12 votes
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Were there any naval engagements during the Mongol invasions of Japan?

Japan did have naval forces at the time, and they probably fought the Mongolians a few times. The samurai Takezaki Suenaga, a gokenin from Higo in central Kyūshū, was a veteran of both wars. To ...
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11 votes
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Did Thomas Aquinas's correspondent James of Tonengo become bishop of Vercelli?

Sort of, but he was not recognized by all the electors, some of whom elected another candidate. I can find no evidence that he was ever confirmed as bishop by the Holy See. In short, it's complicated.....
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10 votes

What would have been the carrying capacity for 11th-13th century backpacks?

These guys in Nepal carry loads up to about 85kg per porter. The "backpacks" are actually wooden frames for weaved baskets, held together with ropes. This technology was already widely available much ...
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9 votes

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

ANOTHER EXPLANATION REGARDING POLAND IS THAT IT HAD A LOT OF JEWS, PARTICULARLY IN URBAN SETTINGS; NOW, WHY WERE Jews Less Affected? And even if Jews died at a lesser rate, it can be attributed to ...
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  • 101
9 votes

Why, apart from religious reasons, might someone in thirteenth century England give land to a Church?

I offer this only because no one has yet provided a more informed answer. A few centuries earlier, writing in the early Eighth century, St Bede complained in his 'History of the English Church and ...
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  • 5,347
8 votes

What did people in 13th century England know about Greek mythology?

The Iliad, the most important of Greek Mythology, in ancient times was at the center of western education. Children in Greece prior to the Roman expansion started learning with the Iliad, and the ...
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  • 7,212
7 votes
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What was the average size of a guild in 13th century Europe?

This is a difficult question to answer because towns were of different sizes and the size of a guild depended on what kind of guild it was. For example, an association of bakers would have a lot more ...
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7 votes
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When were the first mosques established in Constantinople?

According to this article, there are letters to and from a mosque in Constantinople in the 10th century. with speculation it was built for merchants from Muslim countries, as well as for dignitaries, ...
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7 votes

What is the technical term for a head on head battle?

The "Braveheart" movie was inaccurate in its depiction of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It showed the Scottish army standing in open field, awaiting an English cavalry attack, and thrusting their ...
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  • 103k
6 votes
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What is the evidence supporting the story of Padmavati saving her honour by self-immolation?

Rani Padmavati is a very popular character, but to call her a historical character will be misleading, and wrong, based on evidences so far. History is based on written sources. Now, there can be a ...
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  • 124
6 votes

Why, apart from religious reasons, might someone in thirteenth century England give land to a Church?

This is an example of frankalmoin, a type of feudal land tenure where land was given to the church free of any military, religous or secular service. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankalmoin The ...
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  • 109
6 votes

What are the "ancient liberties" of the City of London?

The following paper is a pretty detailed treatment: Liberties and Customs of the Port of London Note that the spiritual precursor to the Magna Carta was the Charter of Liberties issued by Henry. ...
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  • 37.2k
5 votes

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

One factor to consider also is that Poland had a much smaller population than western Europe. Around the time of the Black Death, the Polish population was something like 2-3 million, while the French ...
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  • 1,345
5 votes

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

It seems that there is a correlation between exposure to and surviving the plague and a genetic predisposition against infection with HIV that has a prevalence in Northern Europe that is not observed ...
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  • 51
5 votes

When Genghis Khan took power, what was the population of Mongolia?

According to the Atlas of World Population History (by McEvedy and Jones), it was about 800,000. ... the demographic base was of the same order of magnitude about 800,000 when in the 13th century ...
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  • 110k
5 votes
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Alexander Nevsky's helmet

TL;DR Alexander Nevsky's helmet hasn't yet been found. There are two helmets often (mis-)attributed to Nevsky: The Helmet of Yaroslav II (Vsevolodovich), shown in Sergei Eisenstein's epic drama „...
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  • 1,016
4 votes

Why didn't the knights of Western Europe drive the Moors out of Granada in 1212 when they invaded Iberia?

In order to actually keep the territory they won on the battlefield, and to move on further south, the Christians would have to take the castles and fortified towns in the area (as was mentioned in ...
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4 votes

What is the reason of Mongol Empire success conquering that huge territory?

The success of the mongolian army was built on more factors: size: as it mentioned, an army with 100.000 people wasn't small at all. Take note that the population of Holy Roman Empire (today: Germany,...
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