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History newsletter

Top new questions this week:

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

The featured image of the Wikipedia page for the Black Death is a gif showing the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe. There are a few places where the plague never spread to, including the ...

middle-ages poland disease  
asked by TenthJustice 31 votes
answered by Semaphore 40 votes

Do Real Roman and Greek warriors have big muscles and six-pack abs like in the movie?

When watching movies like Spartacus (2004), Gladiator (2000), etc, I often see Roman or Greek warriors have a lot of big muscles and six-pack abs. What about real Roman and Greek warriors in real ...

asked by Tom 24 votes
answered by Chantola 29 votes

How far were women able to advance in the Gestapo?

I'm trying to write a story happening during World War 2, and I'd like to include there a female Gestapo agent/interrogator as a main character. However, I've been searching and I can't find evidence ...

ww2 nazi-germany  
asked by Rodolfo Dias 12 votes
answered by Jeroen K 9 votes

Is there contemporary evidence for the Roman Kingdom?

The early history of Ancient Rome is notoriously poorly documented. The Gaul Sack of Rome (390 BC) has destroyed much early written records. What evidence do we have that remains of the Roman Kingdom? ...

ancient-rome historiography iron-age roman-kingdom  
asked by The Thunder Chimp 7 votes
answered by Felix Goldberg 5 votes

When did the Greeks stop calling themselves "Roman"?

I've been reading a lot about the Byzantine Empire recently, and one of the things I see pointed out over and over again is that "Byzantine" is a term coined by historians, not by the people ...

roman-empire language byzantine-empire greece  
asked by Nerrolken 7 votes

Why did gold become popular and valuable back when it had not many real world uses?

I'm talking about back when it was first starting to get discovered, like 2000 B.C. (roughly). Gold was being used for coins, jewelry and more. It was a very well known commodity and accepted ...

economy trade gold  
asked by Chantola 6 votes
answered by Mark C. Wallace 8 votes

During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?

united-states 20th-century social-history alcohol prohibition  
asked by Chantola 6 votes
answered by T.E.D. 11 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...

united-states law american-civil-war confederacy  
asked by Garrett Albright 29 votes
answered by E1Suave 26 votes

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...

20th-century ww2 japan soviet-union  
asked by Jay Riggs 55 votes
answered by io.x86 51 votes

Can you answer these?

The Needham Question: What stunted China's technological and proto-scientific advancement?

According to Joseph Needham Why did modern science, the mathematization of hypotheses about Nature, with all its implications for advanced technology, take its meteoric rise only in the West at ...

middle-ages technology science asia needham  
asked by AlchemicTempest 4 votes

What was the Nove / Millar debate, how is it important to the historiography of the Soviet Union?

The Nove / Millar debate was a debate amongst economic historians in the 1970s, where the Western understanding of Soviet economic development in the 1920 and 1930s was seriously revised. In ...

economy soviet-union historiography agriculture  
asked by Samuel Russell 4 votes

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...

united-states 19th-century economy american-civil-war slavery  
asked by Felix Goldberg 3 votes
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