77

Art does not exist in a vacuum, but is rather only one part of the historical record. Just as people comment on our modern standard of beauty today, so does early modern writers on theirs. Fortunately, Baroque art dates from a recent enough period that the historical record is extensive. For example, a 17th century commentary on a Van Dyck portrait of a ...


35

First I would say that during the medieval period the demand for books was much lesser than after the books became comparatively cheap after Gutenberg. The key here is the expense a quickly worn out woodblock presents that could only be used for one page. Whereas you already mentioned the crucial innovation for European book printing Gutenberg is known for: ...


26

It seems like this was the 'polite' gesture of greeting in ancient Sumeria, and is actually the meaning of a Sumerian phrase for greeting: She faces in the direction of the cultic activity, her right arm bent at the elbow, hand raised before the face, in a well-known gesture of pious greeting, comparable to those depicted in presentation scenes, ...


25

A lot of the paintings were commissioned as portraits, why would people pay for themselves to be depicted in an ugly way? Wealth nowadays is associated with a slim, tanned, and shaped body because those are traits of people who have enough free time, and money to achieve it. In that period, it would be the reverse, being more on the fat side would require ...


25

These are Polish Army Uniforms, starting around 1919. Unfortunately the main wiki pages show no Uniforms of the times. To my knowledge, these types of zig-zag collars (Polish only, but translates well to English) were in use sometime after 1918 until 1939 and are also unique to the Polish Army. Other photo collections, without dates show the simularity of ...


13

Q How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty? Do we really? We don't. The anthropological constant to be observed is: "women are considered 'attractive' if: young and healthy" (both more or less relating to fecundity; Whether socio-biological, evolutionary, or just cynical): Differences in the historical record ...


12

I think the best examples are provided by post-WW1 emancipation of women in some Muslim countries. The most salient episodes are Turkey (where Mustafa Kemal made women abandon hijab by requiring that prostitutes wear them) and Iran (where police removed hijabs by force). The result was that by 1970-ies women wore miniskirts and were going to colleges in ...


11

There is this, from the Talmud (Sanhedrin 19a) - bold is a translation from the original, non-bold is the interpolated explanation: And Rami bar Abba says: Rabbi Yosei instituted an ordinance in Tzippori (Sepphoris, northern Israel) that women should converse in the bathroom, because of the restrictions on women being secluded with men. Since the public ...


10

Umhlanga A ceremony in which everyone dresses up, very colourfully, but curiously without any special attention to covering up any part of the breasts. Reed Dance ceremony, is an annual Swazi and Zulu event. In Eswatini, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to ...


9

I found this quote: “Based on the preceding calculations, a family of five would require an estimated 200 ha of habitat from which to gather animal and plant food. This estimate is based on an ideal ecosystem, one containing those wild plants and animals that are most suitable for human consumption. Researchers report that, in fact, modern-day hunter-...


9

Zambia - Kankanga Dance This dance focuses very much on the breasts and is a coming of age celebration. It is practiced among the Ndembo, Northwestern Province. Scott D. Taylor in Culture and Customs of Zambia writes: This was referred to in English as the "breast dance"... This dance is described in some detail by the anthropologist Edith Turner in ...


7

This question probably can't produce anything but opinion-based answers, but I'll take my shot. I would say two factors are at play here: First, the lauding of extravagant praise on an "alien" system was often used by classical-era writers as a method of criticizing flaws in their domestic system. Tacitus' Germania is a typical example of this. Athens ...


7

According to this BBC article: Breakfast as we know it didn't exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn't really eat it, usually consuming only one meal a day around noon, says food historian Caroline Yeldham. In fact, breakfast was actively frowned upon. "The Romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal a day," she says. "They were ...


6

Question: What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria? The library at Alexandria was said to be one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. At it's peak the Library contained between 40,000 and 400,000 manuscripts, (scrolls) and employed more than 100 staff to maintain the collection. While it's true that ...


6

Partial answer In fact, the earliest printing technology wasn’t for written text at all. There are silk fragments from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) in China that have flowers printed on them using a woodcut illustration. Woodblock printing, aka xylography, can be used for printing words as well, but it has a number of downsides: it’s hard to create ...


6

There is a vast amount of literature covering the period you are interested in. What follows is but a small sample, but it should set you on your way. The following ancient sources cover 5th century BC Athens. They are not specifically about the daily lives and culture of Athenians but there is much to be gleaned from them. Plutarch's Parallel Lives, ...


6

The history of tea, the meal, or teatime is indeed rather short compared to the English obsession of trading with it. Afternoon tea, that most quintessential of English customs is, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively new tradition. Whilst the custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and was popularised in England during the ...


6

Europe In Europe from roughly 1550 to 1700, it was considered fashionable to bare breasts up to the nipple, a style called décolletage, which caused inadvertent but frequent "wardrobe malfunctions". This played off the double function of the breast in the 17th century: its task in feeding children was seen as sacred, but with the growing distaste for nudity,...


6

I'll answer this with a firm, clear, "yes and no." First, in an important sense the question answers itself: for a shift to be seen as large scale, it will usually have to be big enough that it can't be reversed. If it can be reversed, then history will probably look back and say that it was just a small movement that ultimately failed. (Can you really ...


6

The earliest evidence of a footrace may well be from Sumer around 2000 BC. You may also want to consider the Sed festival in Egypt which dates back to before 3000 BC and which involved the pharaoh having to complete a race after ruling for 30 years, this in order to prove his fitness to continue to rule. Sumer Sumerian documents also record that some of ...


5

Magical practices are either historical or fictionalized. The former are mixed up with religion, as you noted, and will show a lot of regional and epochal variation. The latter have already synthesized and refocused, but don't generally come with footnotes and historical justifications. For example, the magic system in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ...


5

Well, according to this peer-reviewed academic research eating three meals a day is a product of the Industrial Revolution. Until about 1800 people in England ate 2 meals a day. And lunch is the latest addition, but a 1755 dictionary described it as an amount of food you can hold in your hand, rather than a meal at a specific time.


5

I do not have a answer about your quote, just an issue about the definition which may help or not. What I find strange in your quote is that it is not clear that the heretic must have been catholic before, or at least believe generally in Christ. Jews also may have beliefs or opinions based on or derived from Scripture, but they can not be heretics. St ...


5

Doing some research, the only Aboriginal writer I could find who has written about Aboriginal History (Capital H Western-style history that is) is Bruce Pascoe, in his book on pre-colonial Aboriginal agriculture Dark Emu; admittedly it appears that the book uses evidence from records and journals of early Colonial explorers so this may rule it out for you. ...


5

It is indeed difficult to find with a simple web-search reliable information about a scientifically mostly discredited idea, that nevertheless still enjoys enormous popularity in esoteric circles. Such a configuration seems to dominate the search algorithms. The French search term lapidaires is equally contaminated with very modern explanations about crafts ...


4

Most countries I know have 4 meals: Breakfast, Lunch, a small afternoon meal or Snack and Supper. Please note that most of these countries have influence of Spain, Portugal and in my particular country, Italy. So you could say most of Latin countries (both from Americas as European) have 4 meals, not 3. Furthermore: in my country (Argentina), there's a book ...


4

When a foreign dignitary was on a State visit the host was responsible for the security of the visitor. This was guaranteed by providing a military formation to do so and this was usually really inspected by the visitor. Today Americans – for example – do not trust this old tradition and provide their own security (largely). But it is still a part of the ...


4

The name "Hannibal" (the Carthaginian general) means "grace of Baal". Hannah (the Hebrew name, Phoenician is also a Semitic language) means 'grace' in the sense of 'gift from God'. As the Carthaginians descended from Phoenicians, one may consider their religion at least as direct development of Phoenician Baal worship, even if specific details or names may ...


4

Just prior to the start of WWII, Nazi Germany managed to use lots of induced street violence and fake stories about German unification supporters being suppressed to take over Austria without themselves firing a shot, and then used fake stories about ethnic Germans being oppressed and abused to do the same thing with the defensible western portion of ...


4

The standards for inter-gender relations appear to be a deep cultural thing. As such, it tends to go hand-in-hand with language family, which means the root of the differences probably go back to a time when pretty much everyone was operating in the Mesolithic ("Stone Age") Indo-European cultures tend to a strict one-to-one marriage, with offspring from ...


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