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36 votes
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Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

"Islam influence"? "Italian Renaissance was caused by Islamic influence?" Of course these statements are incorrect. There was some influence of SCIENCE which was cultivated by ...
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32 votes

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

The two claims are not incompatible. There was certainly a very large Islamic influence on the Italian Renaissance. Many classical texts are largely known to us through transmission via the Islamic ...
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32 votes

Did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral?

All things considered and with perfect hindsight, did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral? No. While the popular impression is that Germany had to &...
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31 votes

How did the Allies achieve air superiority on Sicily?

To begin with, when the air campaign ahead of Operation Husky (the campaign that culminated with the invasion of Sicily) began, the Allies already had a significant numerical superiority over the Axis ...
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18 votes

What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

Florence, Milan, Venice, and Genoa were the most important city-states of Renaissance Italy. This distinction is the chief attribute shared by these four cities. Of course, that's a bit of an ...
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18 votes
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World War 1: Why did Italy not fight until 1915?

The core of the Triple Alliance was Germany and Austria-Hungary who promised to protect each other against attack by any third party. Italy was an "adjunct" member, who promised and was ...
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16 votes

Did Mussolini know that Hitler was going to attack Poland?

Mussolini learnt about the German intentions first as did most other countries, by diplomatic reports from his ambassador in Berlin and similar sources; alarmed, in early August 1939, Mussolini sent ...
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14 votes
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Help identify Venetian headpiece

The masks of the Venetian carnival are based in the characters of the Commedia Dell'Arte, a sort of improvisational theatre born in Italy during the 15th century. The top photo is a volto (a generic ...
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13 votes

In 1861, few Italians spoke Italian?

The claim is true if we take "Italian" as meaning modern standard Italian. At the time of Italy's unification, what we know today as "Italian" was more of a literary language than a vernacular one. ...
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12 votes
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Is the story about Mussolini and Oliver Hardy apocryphal?

SHORT ANSWER The story isn't true. It most likely stems from an inaccurate account by the English writer A. N. Wilson. It is also possible that Wilson's version has been 'blended' with a piece of ...
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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

How did the Medici originally get into finance?

Cosimo di Medici inherited a thriving "banking" business from his father Giovanni, who was the "Fred Trump" of the family, with Cosimo being like the current President of the United States. Most ...
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10 votes
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Teaching of Mathematics in Italy and in Germany in the fifteenth century

tl;dr This is not a real story but an illustrative description, probably invented in the 1930s. The first Indo-Arabian numerals came to Europe in the 10th century. They had a hard time at first. In ...
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9 votes

Rulers' titles in Middle Age Italy

As T.E.D. already mentioned, titles were tied to the territory, and mostly didn't change unless a feudal lord higher up in the "foodchain" granted one of its vassals a higher title (it usually came ...
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9 votes

Why was Italy unified under the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and not under a stronger state?

There was no stronger state. Kingdom of the Two Sicilies at the time was ruled by a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. These were foreigners, Spaniards in particular. There was no affection for ...
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9 votes

What are the flags in this Yellow Peril Cartoon from Italy?

I see three flags: Left center appears to have 3 vertically oriented stripes, with a dark stripe closest to the staff; based on @Justcal 's comment, this is probably France. Center right which is ...
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8 votes
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Why did the Tripartite Pact take so long to sign?

This is answered in the Wikipedia article lede: The Tripartite Pact was directed primarily at the United States. Since the US finally entered WWII in late 1941, the pact can be considered very early, ...
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8 votes
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Are the Swiss flag and the flag/coat of arms of Piedmont related?

Short Answer: The Swiss and Piedmontese coats of arms and flags might both possibly, repeat possibly, have originated as symbols of loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire. Long answer: Flags and coats ...
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8 votes
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How much debt did Italy remit Germany in the London Debt Agreement?

Short answer: there is no short answer. It depends on a lot of factors, legal opinions, and definitions. We might look at an initial agreement, and get a number. But that number is difficult to ...
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7 votes

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

There is an element of truth to what your friend told you. Civilization, so to speak, as manifested by the Italian Renaissance was sparked by a Spanish influence, however, the transfer was largely ...
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  • 37.2k
7 votes

Was the Italian campaign a strategic mistake?

Sorry to drag up this post from 2014 but I am looking to reinvigorate it based on a Research Paper that I am in the middle of writing. I have no desire to theorise on what could have happened but ...
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7 votes

What does this Italian soldier's 1930’s uniform tell us about his job and rank?

The collar badge specifically appears to be that of the Italian 17th Infantry "Acqui" Motorized Brigade. An infantry unit named Acqui operated from 1831 to 1871, again from 1881 to 1926, from 1939 ...
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7 votes
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Why was the War of the League of Cambrai such a hot mess?

There were three major players in Italy: 1) France 2) Spain/Holy Roman Empire (HRE) (treat them as one unit since one man, Charles V, ruled both, and 3) Venice, the "local bully." The first stage of ...
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6 votes

Was the Italian campaign a strategic mistake?

The Italian campaign, while it diverted German troops from the Russian front, also diverted landing craft, troops and other resources from the Allied buildup to invade France, delaying that event into ...
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6 votes

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

France was the (potential) ally most immediately at hand. Piedmont had been allied with France (and England) in the Crimean War against Russia, and while England could not provide immediate help, ...
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  • 103k
6 votes

Why does Brazil have many more Italian descendants than the U.S. or Argentina when the latter two received more Italian immigrants?

Pure speculation: 1) Possibly Italians immigrants in Argentina and the US tended to mostly marry other persons of Italian descent. So most second generation Italian immigrants would combine descent ...
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  • 16.8k
6 votes

Teaching of Mathematics in Italy and in Germany in the fifteenth century

A German merchant of the fifteenth century asked an eminent professor where he should send his son for a good business education. It is clear that this story is made up by the author for ...
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  • 37.3k
5 votes

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

Lets not get over zealous here in bashing Islam. Yes Islam played a great role in "our" renaissance. Science survived due to the Islamic civilization. they invented our numeric system, the zero, ...
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5 votes

Italian History from 1870-1913: Why did Italy have such a hard time becoming a "Great Power" like Germany?

Compared to the Great Powers, Italy had two important disadvantages: 1) she started later and 2) she was smaller. No Great Power had both those disadvantages. Italy had about the same land area and ...
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  • 103k
5 votes

Can the University of Bologna be considered the first university in the world?

So I think these kinds of questions are problematic since they rely on a very specific definition that seems to exclude other traditions. As an easterner I find such claims in Wikipedia that the ...
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