We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
78

If you look only at the numbers, then Israel was bound to lose the war of course. The Arab countries had far more soldiers and they also had better/more equipment (the Soviet Union supplied them well). This view leaves out a number of important factors however: Surprise: By launching a preemptive attack Israel took the Arab countries by surprise which ...


74

Africa Slavery is an ancient universal institution, which appeared independently in all cultures and societies which reached a certain level of productivity per capita. Early hunter-gatherers did not have it because each tribe member could barely sustain himself, so there was no incentive for slavery, but agriculture provided ample opportunities to exploit ...


56

The Ottoman Empire was not an Arabian empire, but a Turkish one. So they had no reason to uproot their capital from Turkish lands and move it to an Arabian region. In addition, Constantinople Istanbul was way better than Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad at everything. It had a strategic position on the Bosphorus Strait, and was also close to Europe, which ...


47

The Egyptians, along with Syria and Jordan, had worked up a plan to attack Israel a couple of weeks prior to the actual war. Apparently some recently declassified documents confirm that the Egyptians had planned to launch bombers against Israel to take out their airfields and other strategic military positions. They had also deployed a number of tank units ...


44

Italian author Lucio Russo in his book "Forgotten revolution" argues that a large part of the scientific knowledge of Hellenistic world has been lost. I find his arguments very convincing. Exact sciences in the modern sense of this word originated in Ptolemaic Egypt and other Hellenistic states, and reached very high degree of development. Few first class ...


40

Lemme have a go at this. Its rather ironic that you bring up the Fourth Crusade as it is quite probably the reason Constantinople was lost to Christianity in the first place. Taking place in 1204-5 it was supposed to go to Egypt to fight there the Ayudid sultan who controlled the Holy Land but through a disastrous chain of events it got sidetracked into ...


33

As Wladimir noted, the precise "vs" analysis is impossible since it depends heavily on what kind of armor, weapons, tactics, training and commanders both infantry and cavalry have, as well as economics of society (which heavily influences these things for the cavalry which is a lot more expensive to equip/train, especially heavy cavalry). Also, it's ...


29

In 1948, the Arabs attacked first. A few hours after Israel became an independent country, most of the Arab countries of the region invaded. But that's just the 1948 answer. Local Arab and Jewish militia forces had been clashing for years. A few months earlier (in 1947) bombings and shootings had increased to the level of a civil war. Jews were being ...


29

Decided to do some research to try to provide an answer to this question. I found three documented cases where an Arab leader used the term "Drive Jews into the sea" or talked about large scale massacre. I also mention a court case that seems to indicate that Nasser never used that term himself, nor did any other Arab leader make genocidal statements prior ...


29

Location: it is a strategic point, the central point for which Black Sea trade must pass. If you are under siege and you have a fleet, you can get supplied indefinitely; if the enemy assaults the walls you can flee to the Asiatic mainland. To illustrate this point, think how much did the Byzantine Empire did resist while being just that city. And even then, ...


29

The short answer (unfortunately but unsurprisingly) is that we can't be sure. However, the currently most accepted theory would appear to be that the walls were for flood control, but there are other views and there is no clear consensus. The tower, on the other hand, has been associated with the summer solstice, among other things. THE WALLS The most ...


26

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


24

The short answer to your question is that the general avoidance of consuming pork meat is not unique to Islam, and dates back at least roughly to the ancient Egyptians. The oldest confirmed evidence of pigs domesticated and kept for pork meat come from Hallan Cemi in Southeastern Turkey from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork appears ...


23

What Arab plans can be inferred from three classes of sources: (1) Pre-war statements to the Arab population with promises that all would share in the booty of Jewish property won by the Arab Legion armies, (2) changes in Ottoman land ownership laws following Jordan's annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem Here are some statements from Arab books and ...


23

They weren't in fact far apart at all. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the Achaemenid Empire, which encompassed Israel. Its actually even closer than this map implies though. In the period of time that a large amount of the Hebrew scriptures were first being written down, a large part of the Jewish nation was living in exile (slavery) in Babylon. ...


22

The question as it was posed is not entirely accurate. The Sephardic Jews are, rightly, the most famous Jewish community of the Ottoman Empire. However, in Istanbul, you could find synagogues and associations belonging to Ashknazi immigrants from Europe. These were all pre-Zionist immigrants from, if memory serves, Russia. In fact, there was a power struggle ...


22

This seemed to have come from Persia's freedom from the Qajars and some nationalism on the part of Germany during WWII influencing the Shah's decisions. So it was originally changed in 1935 and not 1979, unless you are only referring to the Islamic Republic addition, which was done at the Ayatollah's will, more than likely. The name of the country in ...


21

Two more factors: The Ottoman Turks considered themselves to be the successors of the Roman Empire. Before they captured Constantinople, their territory was known as the Sultanate of Rum. After capturing Constantinople, Mehmed II called himself the Caesar of Rome (Kayser-i Rum). Constantinople had been the capital of the Roman Empire for more than a ...


19

Jews had traditionally been a wide-ranging people. They had centers in Europe, Asia Minor, and even India. (When Thomas went to India in 52 AD, for example, he did so in part because there was already a thriving Jewish community.) Starting in the 50s and 60s AD, many Jews were already being run out of the Israel (think Masada and all that). In 125 AD, ...


18

During the last one hundred fifty years or so, the concept of Zionism, the desire of the Jews to run their own state in their historical biblical territory, become prevalent. Theoretically such a state would be free from the periodic persecutions Jews have suffered since the diaspora while living in other people's countries. This resulted in a large number ...


18

In 1974 the PLO adopted what is called "The Ten Point Program". It is a program that outlines a phased plan for liberating all of Palestine. Liberating here means liberating it from Israeli rule. Obviously once all of Palestine has been liberated that means there is no Israel at all. If we take this at face value, that means that any compromise you make ...


18

That seems highly unlikely. The invention of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent was roughly 10,000 years ago, principally in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley system. The people living there when the historical record opened spoke a language unrelated to any modern language. Kurdish is an Indo-European language, of the Western Iranian branch. About 5,500 ...


18

Islam dominated slave trade between the 7th and the 15th century, while the Christians entered the market of human flesh much later - 1519 to 1815 is the period of Christian slave trading. It is incorrect to say Christians were not involved in the slave trade before or after this era. He appears to be referring to the Atlantic Slave Trade, and ...


18

If you look at the details of the oldest buildings on your list, all of them are built from fieldstone or minimally-shaped quarried stone. Further, the building materials were either found on-site or transported a relatively short distance. Most of the Fertile Crescent, and particularly Mesopotamia, does not have access to these building materials. ...


17

The most important thing for an outsider to understand is that Syria, while ethnically nearly 90% Arab, is made up of a rather large amount of religious minorities. Like most middle-east states, its borders were set up by Europeans during the colonial era, and really paid no heed to any actual cultural boundaries. Only about half the population is Sunni ...


17

There are only approximately 20,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, which is about 0.026% of the total population. I would not say Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran in terms of the total population. The only way Zoroastrianism can be said to be strong in Iran is because it has the second-largest Zoroastrian population after India (~69,000). See List of countries by ...


17

This may sound unintuitive, but a new kingdom could not be trivially proclaimed. Calling yourself a king has very little meaning if it isn't recognised by anyone else. For maximum acceptance by your peers and subjects, therefore, your new kingdom had to be properly constituted by the lawful authorities. In the case of Latin Europe during the High Middle ...


16

It is worth pointing out that Germany would always have been at a huge disadvantage in a war of attrition against the USSR, they have vastly fewer people, smaller industrial base and tactical depth. Even if they had the resource wealth of the whole Middle East and Africa they would have run out of men in a year or two. What mattered more was trying to ...


16

China did not participate in the voting as it has a long-standing policy of not participating in votes on resolutions of which it does not approve. The reasons for not participating or abstaining: the Chinese have been reluctant to use their veto power, opting instead for abstention and non-participation in votes. In this way — typical of Beijing’s ...


14

There are no magic recipes to win a war. Caesar's tactic was new and surprising, it demoralized the attackers who were certain of their superiority. But this only works once - once that tactic was known it was no longer effective. Note that this wasn't the only reason that Pompey got defeated, it is probably even more important that Pompey's behavior was ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible