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13 votes

How widespread was the Arabic Language in Syria before Islamic conquest?

To address Mark C Wallace's point, being ethnically Arabic and speaking the Arabic language are not the same thing. Arabic people existed long before the language we now call Arabic developed, albeit ...
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8 votes

Did German aircraft operate off Lebanon in 1941?

I have tracked down the Dahl quote from Going Solo: We had nine Hurricanes at Haifa and the same number of pilots, and in the days that followed we were kept very busy. Our main job was to protect ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Why did the Byzantines not try to recover Syria during the war between Ali and Muawiya?

Because they had just lost the battle of Masts to Muawiya bin abu sufyan in the previous year (655). The emperor Constans II was almost killed. And notice, when the pressure from the East was ...
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8 votes

Did former SS-member Alois Brunner advise Syria on organizing it's Intelligence Service?

What counts as evidence? The internet is full of stories about him. But much relies on news outlets and personal accounts of spies or people fed by such agents. It's all fishy. When did he die? ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What words were obliterated from the Great Colonnade at Palmyra?

This is the most prominent of the inscriptions on the Grand Colonnade in Palmyra. It is a bilingual inscription dedicating the column in Greek and Palmyrene. The Greek portion of the inscription is as ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Why did Syria intervene in favour of the Maronites during the Lebanese Civil War?

Syria is controlled by Alawites who follow a specialized, somewhat secretive religion. This religion is often described as "shiite muslim," but that is a gross oversimplification. The Alawites have ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Did the Palmyrene Empire actually own territory beyond the Euphrates?

The Roman Empire had extended beyond the Euphrates since the second century CE. The Roman province of Mesopotamia had been established by the Emperor Septimius Severus in c 198 CE. (Technically, one ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Syria operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank?

PzKpfw V "Panther" Tank 1944. Source: Wikipedia Short Answer As Samuel Russel pointed out, the Panzer Mark V was a complex and unreliable platform, requiring serious support logistics. This made it ...
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6 votes

Why didn't Syria operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank?

Because the weapons system ill-suited the need: Perhaps the most telling observation of the French experiences with the Panther is their response to concerns of Chinese armor in Indo-China.  When ...
5 votes
Accepted

What did the Musa Dagh monument look like?

It looked like a relatively small shrine: (src: The Monument in Musa Dagh) According to one "Musa Dagh" site. Caveat: The picture is uncredited and lacks almost any context. How reliable the ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What was clothing in ancient Palmyra like?

SHORT ANSWER In general, people in Palmyra dressed either in the Parthian style or the Greco-Roman style; sometimes these styles were mixed. DETAILED ANSWER An important trading centre which ...
4 votes
Accepted

What is the historic validity of "Nothing is real; everything is permitted" as the Assassins' motto?

AlexNGU1 responded to my question on another site and I think they explained it quite well: As something the Ismailis said? Pretty well none. A version of it appeared in the works of Silvtre de Sacy; ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Why was Caliph Suleyman disliked by the noted generals in the Umayyad army?

Other than Suleyman's notorious short temper and tendency to keep grudges against people who caused offence whether real or imaginary, With further reading, it looks like that It wasn't Suleyman that ...
  • 8,153
4 votes

How did Muhammad bin Qasim die?

I am no expert on the topic, but I know Arabic and I have access to sources in Arabic (but disclaimer, I am a Sunni Muslim, so my sources are "Wahhabist" sources, and I do not agree with that ...
  • 140
4 votes

What is the historical name(s) for area between Syria and Mesopotamia?

Wikipedia seems to be saying that that entire area up to the Euphrates is considered part of Syria (or "Greater Syria" if you prefer). You are correct that the English name for this particular desert (...
  • 113k
3 votes

How widespread was the Arabic Language in Syria before Islamic conquest?

Greek was the language of the ruling elite and Aramaic (or "Syriac") was widespread among the peasantry. However, Arabic was also widely spoken throughout Greater Syria, since there were ...
3 votes

Why did Syria intervene in favour of the Maronites during the Lebanese Civil War?

The Maronites were themselves divided and some elite families engaged in Mafia style gang-wars to control valuable smuggling routes. Suleiman Frangieh - not only a notorious Maronite war-lord and Gang ...
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1 vote

What do I need to know about Syria's history to understand the 2011-2012 uprising?

Off the top of my head, things to learn in order to understand the pretext of the current Syrian civil war: Religions: Sunni Islam Alawi Islam Christianity Druze Ethnicity: Arab Kurds Palestinians ...
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