75

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 ...


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

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 Anatolia from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork ...


30

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

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

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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


20

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. ...


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

Your question touches on the problem how one would prove any historical fact when there is no living (and credible) witness or modern forensic analysis. Look at the sources, consider who wrote them, consider who would benefit from forging them, consider if multiple different sources give a coherent explanation. There seem to be fragmented non-Islamic ...


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 ...


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 ...


17

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 ...


16

Actually, some of the oldest known man-made structures are in the Fertile Crescent (FC). The list in your question purposefully excludes sites like Göbekli Tepe, Tell es-Sultan, and Tell Qaramel, each in the FC, on the basis that they're not "recognizable standing buildings". As such there's inherent bias in the source you cite to exclude sites that have ...


15

You are quite correct that the linguistics of the situation shows such association is nonsense. The two writers in question appear to have both been primarily active in the 1800's. Obviously, the state of the art in Historical analysis has advanced some in the intervening 2 centuries. In particular, it wasn't until the late 19th Century that Indo-European ...


14

It's hard to answer this ("What was Palestine before, if not a country") in a format that's not encyclopaedic, but I'll try some snippets: No there was never a country/nation called a "Palestine". More specifically about the name: it was a name given by Roman Empire to the territory they occupied and conquered from the Israel in the first century AD (the ...


14

Summary Nothing is known beyond the official drive the Jews into the Sea rhetoric, and nothing definitive will probably be known. Nothing is Known Most countries do not publish their unfulfilled plans, and, even when they do, there is no good way to ascertain their authenticity. This is especially true for the Arab states in question, which were at the ...


14

I am going to do something apparently silly, and answer my own question. That's because the question is not originally mine, but by a user named Maria BI. She asked this in Skeptics stackexchange, and people there voted to migrate it here (which seems reasonable; it is a question about History, after all). But then the question was closed here (and so much ...


13

The answer to how Israel won the Six Day War has filled numerous books and cannot be done justice in a short-form resource like this. At best, one can only give a summary in this space, but even the summaries that came before mine have given short-shrift to some key factors. Obviously, air superiority ranks first. The Israeli Air Force's success at ...


13

Where to start? Starting from the forced exchange of population between Greece and Turkey in 1923, you will find no shortage of examples, some of truly unbelievable scale. Among the most prominent ones are population transfer and Russian settlements in the former USSR (considering the brutality of the regime, I think it is beyond dispute that these satisfy ...


13

This is because the English word for the country of Jordan is ultimately derived from the biblical Hebrew word for the Jordan River, not from the modern Arabic name for the country. After World War I, the region was made a British protectorate called Transjordan (as Pieter Geerkens points out), although English use of "Transjordan" predates the ...


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