r/history 5h ago

Discussion/Question Weekly History Questions Thread.

24 Upvotes

Welcome to our History Questions Thread!

This thread is for all those history related questions that are too simple, short or a bit too silly to warrant their own post.

So, do you have a question about history and have always been afraid to ask? Well, today is your lucky day. Ask away!

Of course all our regular rules and guidelines still apply and to be just that bit extra clear:

Questions need to be historical in nature. Silly does not mean that your question should be a joke. r/history also has an active discord server where you can discuss history with other enthusiasts and experts


r/history 1d ago

February Update. Changes to self post and rule 9

44 Upvotes

Hello there r/history.

So over the past few years we've had a lot of questions that fall on either side of rule 9. That is the rules about self posts, which are posts in that you write yourself. What exactly determined what low effort/high effort was was variable depending on the mod who was looking at it and what that mod had for breakfast. So we have been thinking of ways to improve rule 9 and decided to go with something new.

The new Rule 9 is below!

When submitting a text post you should expand on the title in order to get the discussion started. A link has content to back it up, but in a text post you write the content.

This means that we expect you to have put in work about the discussion in question. Treat it as though you are writing the article, because you are in a self post.

Must include at least two links or printed references not including Wikipedia or dictionaries, etc. If it’s a question, these will be two places you’ve already looked at while searching for the answer, if it’s a self post these will be sources which are backing up what you say. More sources may be requested via mod mail if we feel like a person is making a lot of claims. If both sources are printed ones that aren't freely available online, they should provide at least one digital source where someone could get more information on the topic as a whole as a learning opportunity.

In question posts, not only do they have to provide these sources, but they also have to show that they’ve gained something from them. “I’m looking for information on the mutilation of the hermae, Henderson said that it was an attack on democracy, while Milford says that it had something to do with the phallus as a symbol, I’m a bit confused on how these things connect, but..” etc. Instead of just “I heard about the mutilation of the hermae. Why did they do this? I think it’s really odd. Also lol they had penis statues?”

As usual everything is down to Mod’s Discretion. If you are providing a text that makes one of the mods go "hmm?" you might get the post approved without following the exact guidelines.

And that's it.

For all your shorter questions, they go in our weekly question thread which refreshes every saturday.

Thanks for reading!


r/history 16h ago

Article Caribbean breadfruit traced back to Capt. Bligh's 1791-93 journey

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846 Upvotes

r/history 1d ago Silver

AMA I'm the head of video at France’s leading newspaper Le Monde. Our team recreated Charles De Gaulle's lost 1940 recording for France to resist the Nazis using historical sources and artificial intelligence. AMA about our investigation.

2.1k Upvotes

EDIT: Hi guys! Thanks for your interesting questions and kind comments about our work. It's the weekend here in France now, but we'll keep an eye out for any more questions that trickle in and respond early next week. Hope everyone has a good weekend too and talk to you soon!
-CH and Diana from Le Monde in English

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/4a3ryw41cvfa1.jpg

Hello Reddit! My name is Charles-Henry Groult, and I lead the video investigations team at Le Monde, France’s leading newspaper, now also available in English.

On June 18, 1940, Charles de Gaulle gave one of the greatest speeches in French history from a BBC studio in London, where he called for the French to resist Nazi occupation. But no film or recording exists of it. With the help of historians, researchers in ethics, and artificial intelligence, our team pieced together de Gaulle’s famous appeal of June 18, 1940 and reconstructed it in his voice. You can watch the video here. I have directed Le Monde’s video department for three years, supervising high-impact visual investigations on subjects from Uyghur internment camps to Wagner mercenaries in Africa. Before joining Le Monde, I produced award-winning short documentaries about past and current wars for European media like Arte and France Télévisions. I discovered the fascinating story of De Gaulle’s lost speech ten years ago, while doing my post-graduate degree at Cardiff University. It then took me more than ten years to crack the code to telling this story.

AMA about our video investigation!

Twitter https://twitter.com/chgroultWatch our video recreating De Gaulle's lost 1940 call for France to resist https://www.lemonde.fr/en/videos/video/2023/01/19/how-le-monde-recreated-de-gaulle-s-lost-1940-call-for-france-to-resist_6012188_108.html


r/history 22h ago

Article The two-century-old mystery of Waterloo's skeletal remains - More than 200 years after Napoleon met defeat at Waterloo, the bones of soldiers killed on that famous battlefield continue to intrigue Belgian researchers and experts

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702 Upvotes

r/history 1d ago

Article Battle site of 'Great Revolt' recorded on Rosetta Stone unearthed in Egypt

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3.2k Upvotes

r/history 1d ago

Article Viking warriors sailed the seas with their pets, bone analysis finds

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91 Upvotes

r/history 1d ago

Discussion/Question Why didn't Japan excise Chinese characters from the Japanese language, when Japan hated China so much?

24 Upvotes

1. Can anyone source the history book, written in English that claimed that Japan tried to excise Chinese characters (kanji) from Japanese? Particularly in WW2, at Japan's worst of anti-Chinese hatred and sentiment?

2. Why didn't Japanese eradicate all the kanji from Japanese? It appears contradictory to hate the Chinese so much as to commit war crimes against Chinese, but for the Japanese to keep using Chinese characters. It appears contradictory to use characters from a language and people that the Japanese consider "completely inferior", in the Japanese language.

This eradication appears linguistically possible. Korean and Vietnamese succeeded in removing Chinese characters without loss of semantics.

My Research

      The Japanese showed similar cruelty to the Chinese, but without the secrecy of the Nazi Holocaust. Apparently their goal was to lessen Chinese resolve through terror. Tens of thousands of women were not only raped but also, typically, mutilated and killed. Men were frequently forced to rape members of their own families. "Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people become routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced, such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and watching them torn apart by German shepherds."<sup>50</sup> The behavior of the Japanese was so atrocious that a Nazi living in Nanking at the time described the massacre as the operation of "bestial machinery."<sup>51</sup>
Unlike the Germans, the Japanese have yet to come fully to grips with responsibility for the acts of their army in 1937, and those Japanese veterans who have faced up to their behavior and asked forgiveness have been targets of hate and violence from right-wing groups in Japan.

Journalist Iris Chang, who wrote the definitive work on the rape of Nanking, placed the blame for the genocidal actions of the Japanese army on indoctrination by "a dangerous government, in a vulnerable culture, in dangerous times, able to sell dangerous rationalizations to those whose human instincts told them otherwise."<sup>53</sup> She believed, as have many others, that the behavior of the Japanese troops traced in part to the brutality, often in the form of severe physical abuse, that the Japanese army of the time inflicted on its own soldiers and officers.<sup>54</sup> When turned loose on helpless civilians whom soldiers had been indoctrinated to believe were lower than pigs and ordered to massacre them, Chang wrote, it "is easy to see how years of suppressed anger, hatred, and fear of authority could have erupted in uncontrollable violence at Nanking."<sup>55</sup> Such behavior does not seem so hard to explain when people (the teachers) in a known experimental environment, subject to no abuse, indoctrination, or coercion and under no obligation to authorities, could be led to inflict punishment that might (in their minds) lead to the deaths of colleagues in an experiment.

Paul Ralph Ehrlich. Human Natures Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect (2000). Page 262.

There was no top-down effort to demonize the Chinese, but anti-Chinese sentiment was constantly running high still as an easy boogeyman and object of frustration. Japanese troops wrote, during the Manchuria occupation and beforehand, that the Chinese were 'lower than pigs' and a 'completely inferior people'(4). In this light, it wasn't hard to see why the Japanese would have developed an outlook which completely dehumanized the Chinese. For example, Unit 731 referred to the prisoners as maruta, which is Japanese for 'log of wood'. They weren't even prisoners to them.

<sup>4</sup> The Second World War by Antony Beevor, p. 60

https://history.stackexchange.com/q/70885


r/history 1d ago

Article 1886 marked the first time that Groundhog Day appeared in the local newspaper of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — According to lore, if the hibernating animal saw its shadow on February 2nd, there would be 6 more weeks of winter weather

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71 Upvotes

r/history 1d ago

Video In the saddle, on horseback - The art of war of the conquest-era Magyars

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17 Upvotes

r/history 2d ago

Article Discovery of embalming workshop reveals how ancient Egyptians mummified the dead

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3.4k Upvotes

r/history 2d ago

Article Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Royalism in the Northern Andes, 1780-1825

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64 Upvotes

r/history 3d ago

Discussion/Question Bookclub and Sources Wednesday!

246 Upvotes

Hi everybody,

Welcome to our weekly book recommendation thread!

We have found that a lot of people come to this sub to ask for books about history or sources on certain topics. Others make posts about a book they themselves have read and want to share their thoughts about it with the rest of the sub.

We thought it would be a good idea to try and bundle these posts together a bit. One big weekly post where everybody can ask for books or (re)sources on any historic subject or timeperiod, or to share books they recently discovered or read. Giving opinions or asking about their factuality is encouraged!

Of course it’s not limited to *just* books; podcasts, videos, etc. are also welcome. As a reminder, r/history also has a recommended list of things to [read, listen to or watch](https://www.reddit.com/r/history/wiki/recommendedlist)


r/history 4d ago

News article The family that bought the King's bed for £100

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1.7k Upvotes

r/history 4d ago

Article Medieval Mixed-Gender Fight Club: Behold Images from a 15th-Century Fighting Manual

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1.3k Upvotes

r/history 4d ago

Article What Secrets Lie Beneath This 17th-Century French Aristocrat's Smile?

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883 Upvotes

r/history 6d ago

Article The Chickens and the Bulls: The Rise and Incredible Fall of a Vicious Extortion Ring That Preyed on Prominent Gay Men in the 1960s

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762 Upvotes

r/history 6d ago

Article Mysterious shipwreck identified as Dutch warship that sank after surprise attack in 1672 - identified as the Dutch warship Klein Hollandia

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4.5k Upvotes

r/history 7d ago

Video An overview of why spears can usually defeat swords in combat

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1.6k Upvotes

r/history 6d ago

Discussion/Question What proof is there that Dr. John Kellogg (that Kellogg) circumcised himself at age 37?

45 Upvotes

Edit:

I took the liberty of removing it myself. It was a mobile edit done nearly four years ago. I guess this goes to show why you never rely on Wikipedia. No original research, and a big thing at the top of the page if you rely too much on primary sources...

I don't know how anyone could read Plain Facts For Old And Young and not get it. He literally says there's quacks who exaggerate the effects of masturbation to scare boys and young men, then goes on to write an obviously satirical section in A Chapter for Boys.

In that chapter he literally writes.

Closing Advice to Boys and Young Men.—One word more and we must close this chapter, which we hope has been read with care by those for whom it is especially written. Let every boy who peruses these pages remember that the facts here stated are true.

And before that wrote.

What Makes Boys Dwarfs.—How many times have we seen boys who were born with good constitutions, with force and stamina sufficient to develop them into large, vigorous men, become puny dwarfs.

What Makes Idiots.—Reader, have you ever seen an idiot? If you have, the hideous picture will never be dissipated from your memory. The vacant stare, the drooping, drooling mouth, the unsteady gait, the sensual look, the emptiness of mind,—all these you will well remember. Did you ever stop to think how idiots are made? It is by this very vice that the ranks of these poor daft mortals are being recruited every day.


From wikipedia

He circumcised himself at age 37. His methods for the "rehabilitation" of masturbation addicts included measures up to the point of cutting off part of the genitals, without anesthetic, on both sexes; he wrote men who did should be circumcised and women that did should have carbolic acid applied to their clitoral glans.[46] In his Plain Facts for Old and Young, he wrote:[46]

The larger piece Plain Facts For Old And Young.

Frankly, it reads like a satire. The section Wikipedia uses to say that he recommended circumcision seems to be a joke when looking at it in context of the whole text.

A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.[58]

Evidence that this is a joke.

ANATOMY OF THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS.

Circumcision.—The fold of integument called the prepuce, which has been previously described, has upon its inner surface a large number of glands which produce a peculiar secretion. Under certain circumstances, and from inattention to personal cleanliness, this secretion may accumulate, and then often becomes the cause of irritation and serious disease. To prevent such disorders, and to insure cleanliness, the Jewish law required the removal of the prepuce, which constituted the rite of circumcision. The same practice is followed by several modern nations dwelling in tropical climates; and it can scarcely be doubted that it is a very salutary one, and has contributed very materially to the maintenance of that proverbial national health for which the Jews are celebrated. Eminent physicians have expressed the opinion that the practice would be a salutary one for all men. The maintenance of scrupulous cleanliness, by daily cleansing, is at least an imperative duty.

In some countries, females are also circumcised by removal of the nymphæ. The object is the same as that of circumcision in the male. The same evils result from inattention to local cleanliness, and the same measure of prevention, daily cleansing, is necessitated by a similar secretion. Local cleanliness is greatly neglected by both sexes. Daily washing should begin with infancy and continue through life, and will prevent much disease.

...

CURATIVE TREATMENT OF THE EFFECTS OF SELF-ABUSE.

Circumcision.—In cases of phimosis, in which irritation is produced by retained secretions, division of the prepuce, or circumcision, is the proper remedy. These cases are not infrequent, but the exciting cause of much of the difficulty is often overlooked. The same remedy is often useful in cases of long prepuce.

When the glans penis is unusually tender and sensitive, this condition will usually be removed by the daily washing with soap and water necessary for cleanliness. If this does not suffice, or if there are slight excoriations caused by acrid secretions, apply, in addition, a weak solution of tannin in glycerine once a day.

...

Varicocele.—Patients suffering from this difficulty should wear a proper suspensory bag, as the continued pressure of the distended veins upon the testes, if unsupported, will ultimately cause degenerative changes and atrophy. A surgical operation, consisting of the removal of a portion of the skin of the scrotum, is proper if the patient desires an operation; no other operation is advisable.

The wearing of a suspensory bag is also advisable for those whose testicles are unusually pendulous.

...

Quacks

Another trap set is called an "Anatomical Museum." The anatomical part of the exhibition consists chiefly of models and figures calculated to excite the passions to the highest pitch. At stated intervals the proprietor, who is always a "doctor," and by preference a German, delivers lectures on the effects of masturbation, in which he resorts to every device to excite the fears and exaggerate the symptoms of his hearers, who are mostly young men and boys. Thus he prepares his victim, and when he once gets him within his clutches, he does not let him go until he has robbed him of his last dollar.

We might present almost any number of illustrations of the ways in which these human sharks pursue their villainy. If there were a dungeon deep, dark, and dismal enough for the punishment of such rascals, we should feel strongly inclined to petition to have them incarcerated in it. They defy all laws, civil as well as moral, but are cunning enough to keep outside of prison bars; and thus they wax rich by robbery, and thrive by deceit. A terrible recompense awaits them at the final settlement, though they escape so easily now.

To me, this reads like a lampoon on the whole idea of masturbation causing disease, with allusions to the problems of VD in a time before antibiotics. It sounds like he's talking about how ridiculous it would be to circumcise someone to prevent a disease induced by masturbation. For example, with a varicocele, he offers the idea of a surgery to fix it, but then offers a suspensory bag as a soluton. Likewise, with phimosis and long foreskin, he he offers the idea of circumcision, then says washing daily is fine. He then goes on to state that there are quacks that deliver lectures exaggerating the effects of masturbation so that they can sell some sort of cure.

What do you think? I can't find the evidence he circumcised himself.


r/history 7d ago

Article Ancient statue of Hercules emerges from Rome sewerage repairs

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5.9k Upvotes

r/history 6d ago

Discussion/Question Can someone explain to me why exactly Wu Tzu Hsu (6c. BC) was executed?

47 Upvotes

Hi everyone, I’m hoping someone here is knowledgeable on ancient Chinese history- specifically Warring States Period, and can explain why exactly Wu Tzu Hsu was executed. I’ve been studying this period out of pure interest. I have no scholar study or anything like that which is probably required to really understand the events. I also have no prior knowledge on Chinese names so admittedly it can be confusing keeping track of who’s who haha.

If I’m understanding the text correctly, Wu Tzu Shu had an assassination attempt the first time (by the Ch’u?) but merely escaped thanks to a ferry man who had recognized him- but didn’t want to cash in on the reward (of capturing him). I take it once he was back in Wu, there was discussion to attack Ch’u but both the King and Prince feared his desire to attack was out of revenge for his father/brothers executions at Ch’u hands. They waited until King P’ing died to attack Ch’u 5 years later and then I take it several wars happens through the years proceeding. I take it during one of these battles years later is when Wu invaded Ch’u capital, Wu Tzu Shu dug up the now dead kings body (the king who executed his father and brother) and proceeded to mangle the corpse, which everyone viewed as a disgrace, especially considering he once served said Ch’u king. Years later after Fu-Ch’ai became king, he made peace with Yüeh instead of assassinating him like Wu Tzu Hsu recommended, out of fear they wouldn’t get the chance again. He also suggested not to go to war years later, which did in fact end up being a victory however. Wu Tzu Hsu realizing Wu is doomed for not heeding his word, he tells his son to flee Wu. I take it P’i had issues with Wu Tzu Hsu and would slander him to the king and named off multiple reasons why he should be removed from the party out of fear he would cause them misfortune. The king later saying he was suspicious even prior to P’i warnings.

Probably a terrible summary haha, but is that essentially why he was executed? Because they found success without his advice which led to the assumptions that his suggestions were therefore “wrong” and “could have” led the Wu to defeat, along side the fear that he was making decisions based on his own desire for revenge for his family and not in the best interest of Wu (attacking the kings dead corpse being what ultimately did him in?). His head was dumped in the river, and civilians erected a status and renamed the river in honor of him so he must of been generally liked. I guess about 9 years late the Wu would finally fall. So he wasn’t entirely wrong?

Again, I have no prior knowledge at all so I may not 100% be understanding the text correctly.


r/history 7d ago

Discussion/Question Simple/Short/Silly History Questions Saturday!

50 Upvotes

Welcome to our Simple/Short/Silly history questions Saturday thread!

This thread is for all those history related questions that are too simple, short or a bit too silly to warrant their own post.

So, do you have a question about history and have always been afraid to ask? Well, today is your lucky day. Ask away!

Of course all our regular rules and guidelines still apply and to be just that bit extra clear:

Questions need to be historical in nature. Silly does not mean that your question should be a joke. r/history also has a discord server where you can discuss history with other enthusiasts and experts


r/history 8d ago

Article Obsidian handaxe-making workshop from 1.2 million years ago discovered in Ethiopia

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7.0k Upvotes

r/history 9d ago

Article Dozens of pre-Hispanic Zapotec tombs found in San Pedro Nexicho in Mexico

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3.5k Upvotes

r/history 8d ago

Article Archaeologists Uncover Oldest, And Most Complete Mummy Found In Egypt

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352 Upvotes

r/history 9d ago

Article Longest ‘dako’ iron sword at 2.6m, along with a unique shield-shaped mirror, found in 4th-century Japanese burial mound — Finds indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) was more advanced than previously thought

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1.3k Upvotes