Questions tagged [history]

For questions dealing with the past events of a given world.

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1 answer
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Don't give tech to the primitives for real [closed]

It's a common cliche for advanced cultures just giving tech to less advanced cultures always resulting in a bad outcome. Are there any real examples of this in human history that could be quoted in a ...
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2 votes
4 answers
259 views

Can a society completely erase all memory of a predecessor culture’s collapse in only three generations? [closed]

Something bad happened and the world chose to cover the event up by erasing themselves. My world believes they are survivors of a "lost civilization" such as the Khmer, and they have ...
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1 vote
0 answers
63 views

How would a secretive vestigial population grow alongside humans, given that they live different lifestyles? [closed]

This is a heavily revised version of a post I made earlier, along with some edits from my friend Enthalpy. This new post is strictly about population growth, and contains no extant references to third ...
13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Is it possible to make mortar without lime in a medieval-ish setting?

The world which I am working on is set in the far future on a colonized/terraformed planet that has become reduced to a medieval-like level of technology. It was not previously inhabited by any life, ...
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26 votes
22 answers
5k views

Ideas for a human convenient, long term date system spanning many trillions of years

I have reached the stage in my latest science fiction epic (in form if not quality!) whereby I need to start solidifying the date system and setting the history of the universe concretely. The date ...
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2 votes
3 answers
279 views

What advantages/disadvantages would Neanderthals have in a 16th Century military conflict? [closed]

Homo Neanderthalensis is a Homo species that went extinct 40,000 years ago. Let's say that Neanderthals made it to the Americas and was isolated on that continent until Spanish colonization. Let's ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Empire across the Himalayas

I was bouncing ideas off the wall about empires that could've plausibly existed in Asia if certain things went differently, and I stumbled across the very physical barrier of the Himalayas. So my ...
1 vote
3 answers
129 views

Factors to why a civilization is not using past technology that is more advanced [closed]

In my world, there have been past ancient civilizations and empires who had better technology. Not just infrastructure, but also mechanical machinery, better inventions, and technics. As the years go ...
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6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Were there problems for Babbage's Analytical Engine in 1850s? [closed]

Suppose that a mysterious philanthropist provided fundings for Charles Babbage's intricate projects and the Analytical Engine was finished by 1850. Surely there would be a lot of raptured academicians ...
2 votes
3 answers
266 views

How would school uniforms be designed? [closed]

In my fantasy world, there are academies where young people are taught the ways of magic, the first one during the early-late medieval period. Due to some of its origin, this one is also the first to ...
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3 votes
5 answers
298 views

How to justify guns being advanced earlier

In my world's history, firearms were developed in their medieval period, much like our world. However, they have things like culverins in the 1300s, and handgonnes that work better than in real ...
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8 votes
7 answers
549 views

What would have been the most infamous "Reaper's Moon" in history?

My story is an urban fantasy tale, set on an alternate Earth where every mythical humanoid that humanity ever thought was real, is in fact real, or at least used to be before going extinct. From ...
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28 votes
11 answers
3k views

How to start an industrial revolution without textiles

My world does not have stagnant technology, and of course there is going to be an industrial revolution. In the real industrial revolution, it began with the need for textiles, which led to the ...
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-2 votes
5 answers
177 views

Is it okay to use real-world literary figures? [closed]

In my world's lore and history, there a mythical figures and heroes in it. My world is not Earth, but rather a different world (think ATLA or skyrim kind of different). I was wondering if I am able to ...
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8 votes
3 answers
3k views

What could cause a city to be buried underground but still remain relatively intact?

I am taking inspiration from games like Dark Souls (Dark Souls 1: Lost Izalith, Dark Souls 2: Shulva - Sanctum City, Dark Souls 3: Profaned Capital) and Elden Ring (Eternal Cities - yes it is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
162 views

How fast can people dig in rock using primitive methods? [closed]

Considering the fire setting method (where you light a fire in front of the rock, then pour water onto the fire and rock) and digging purely with unpowered hand tools, how long would it take to dig ...
3 votes
0 answers
112 views

A High School student time travelled through a certain time in Medieval Ages how would he/she survive? [closed]

Since it's the Medieval Age can mean any time period and any place you can suggest which place and time the student can most likely survive with limited skill. How would a person with high-school ...
22 votes
11 answers
7k views

Is 1000 years enough time for an event to be considered "legend" for a people whose average age is 150?

I have a world where the average lifespan of 90% of the population is 120-150 years old and history is almost solely maintained in writing (so there are not really many visual recordings of past ...
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13 votes
2 answers
571 views

How much binary data could reliably be stored on a wax phonographic cylinder?

Wax cylinders were used at the dawn of the phonograph to store audio recordings. This was long before the codec or compression, and they only had space for approximately two minutes of sound. I'm ...
2 votes
4 answers
215 views

How can the Bank of the United States surviving into the 20th century prevent the Great Depression?

The Great Depression was a time of great suffering for many Americans during the 1930s. It began in 1929 during the great crash of the stock market. This followed a period of unprecedented wealth and ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
144 views

time machine and paradox problem [closed]

After doing more research on the earlier question. I have rewritten my question in order to change the framing so that it is not about characters but more about my factions and their use of the time ...
39 votes
21 answers
7k views

This dungeon/ruin has been known to locals for ages. Why would it still have undiscovered portions ripe for looting?

There's a ruin of an ancient structure built by an old powerful civilization thousands of years before. Nearby is one of the fresher cities of this world, currently undergoing an industrial revolution....
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

What would be a realistic length of minimal compulsory military service for a modern country's occupants?

I have a world in which several neighboring countries are in an ongoing long term military conflict. The style of conflict fluctuates between a cold war USSR vs US, current North vs South Korea and ...
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11 votes
18 answers
5k views

How can evolutionary pressures lead to a decrease in modern day human lifespan?

I, Charlemagne Darwinius, am a great scientist who has devoted his life to the study of the evolution of different species. Priests speak of man being created by a supernatural being called God, who ...
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10 votes
4 answers
783 views

What kind of alternate history would lead to modern China being a federal constitutional monarchy? [closed]

I'm contemplating writing a fiction set in modern China in an alternate universe. I have thought about how it would look like, but I need a plausible alternate history that could lead to such result. ...
1 vote
1 answer
123 views

Development of a multi-color writing system

On earth, the first writing systems developed for accounting. You just cannot run an empire like Egypt or Mesopotamia without writing down who paid his taxes. Let alone organize mega-projects such as ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
241 views

Did young people REALLY drink alcohol in the 1800s? [closed]

In my studying of the setting for my story, a fantasy world analogous to 1800 - 1850, I've found a number of interesting things - one of these is that people in the past did a lot of really odd things....
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6 votes
0 answers
130 views

Writing Xuanhuan, but when did men start to wear Veil Hat's? [closed]

I dug into the whole Veil Hat thing in Chinese history, but I have come across a small problem. The weimao or mili seems only ever to be used by women. So I wonder if it would be accurate to have my ...
1 vote
4 answers
194 views

How practical would firearms be for early humans?

The basic setup for this world is that whenever someone dies, their soul is subjected to reincarnation. However, every once and a while this system fails and the souls are lost into limbo where they ...
1 vote
1 answer
146 views

Speedrunning medicinal science

Many believe that being incredibly rich equals to being god on earth and in artificial situations, yes it would make sense... except it never happened. All Kings and Queens got fooled, betrayed, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
140 views

What historical groups have used fur and/or bone amor? [closed]

I'm building a world where the main characters' civilization is seen as warlike and aggressive by outsiders (although this is not necessarily accurate). When designing their clothing aesthetics, I was ...
7 votes
11 answers
2k views

How Would I Justify Keeping Most Magic Away from the General Public if it is Technically Learnable by Everyone? [closed]

In my book series, magic is a learnable skill that any person can learn to some degree (although some have much more natural talent with it than others and mastering even a single discipline of magic ...
9 votes
8 answers
3k views

How long would it take for past information to be gone after a nuclear apocalypse

I have a post apocalyptic world where the main character is trying to learn more about the pre-apocalyptic world. However I don't know how long it would take for almost no knowledge to get to him ...
6 votes
4 answers
720 views

How to justify new diverse cultures from the same ancestors [closed]

I'm struggling a bit in my worldbuilding on justifying the creation of different cultures on my land, when all originated from the same ancestors. So on my continent I have a group of humans that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
135 views

How would limited and mostly narrow living space affect pre-industrial warfare?

In my setting, the entire known world is clinging to the side of a humongous nearly vertical cliff. Living space is a kind of commodity since there aren't many cliff benches large enough to build a ...
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Could the Troubles in Northern Ireland and England have ended in reunification?

I am trying to plot the background of an alternate history story revolving around an Irish-British teenager living in a post-Troubles London where tensions are much higher. Unlike our timeline, the ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
124 views

What kind of genetic problems would arise after three, five and ten generations of inbreeding? [duplicate]

In this case I'm assuming that the family has been inbreeding to a level of 2 or closer for a certain amount of generations. Given this what would be the likely issues that would arise after: Two ...
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53 votes
18 answers
12k views

How could a lost time traveller quickly and quietly determine they've arrived in 500 BC France?

A time machine malfunctions and spits a traveller from ~2015AD out in 500BC northern France. With nothing but the clothes on his back, and minimising contact with the locals (as that may risk altering ...
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-4 votes
3 answers
267 views

What would have happened if the USA never dropped atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? [closed]

If the USA never dropped the bombs on Japan, how different would have japan looked today? Would it look like Taiwan or would it look like Europe? What would have been Japan's technological innovation? ...
6 votes
2 answers
290 views

When is the latest a population of merfolk could have inhabited Zealandia without humans getting conclusive proof of their existence?

Inspired by this answer to this question. In my setting, there exist magical immortal mutants descended from humans who randomly became "magically active" and transformed into the first ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
106 views

Why would a faction betray its leader in the middle of war? [closed]

Basically my protagonist is a medieval princess who refuses to marry either warring claimants to her throne. Eliminate one claimant, and his faction would naturally defect to the other claimant. Of ...
4 votes
2 answers
360 views

What Are Some Good Example Cases of How Middle Ages / Medieval Period Armies Occupied Conquered Cities?

For narrative purposes I need to have a city conquered and occupied by a neighboring empire whose eventual goal is to conquer / absorb the entire kingdom. The setting I'm aiming for is roughly ...
5 votes
4 answers
270 views

Does military might affect scientific development?

On Earth, at least in the United States, most marine science vessels are decommissioned Navy vessels. After all, it is far cheaper to reuse an old ship than to build a new one. The high weight ...
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6 votes
2 answers
228 views

Quantum History. What mechanisms are there for a newly discovered past to effect the more general past? [closed]

Let's say we start the simulation on Earth in 1900. And we use classical physics unless the participants start looking at tiny objects. This allows us to reduce the amount of memory needed to run the ...
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2 votes
5 answers
537 views

Could I have a 19th Century American Society Develop Solar Power from Blueprints?

My inspiration was this: Could solar power be utilized and substitute coal in the 19th century? My world is this: Rail Transportation with Races Described Below - Specifically, Seating My people are 2,...
4 votes
1 answer
233 views

What would bloodstains look like after 500 years?

I realise this is a bit of a strange question, but what would bloodstains look like after ~500 years? Specifically, what would a text written on parchment using (human) blood as ink look like after ...
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15 votes
9 answers
4k views

What person/group can be trusted to secure and freely distribute extensive amount of future knowledge in the 1990s?

This is another attempt at helping my previously mentioned time traveler to distribute a significant amount of 2020 knowledge in 1990. This time we're assuming 2-3 loops have happened and he can ...
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4 votes
5 answers
1k views

Chaotic World: Calendar and Events

Environment There exists a strange dimension called the Margins of Reality. All supernatural things in the world come from here and are caused by what the natives call "Margin Spirits." In ...
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3 votes
3 answers
309 views

An alphabet with alternating reading order

I am in the middle of designing a con-lang that features, among other things a letter reading order that alternates by line from left-to-right to right-to-left and back again. My justification for ...
19 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is there something wrong with my fictional lighthouse?

I'm writing a story of a fictional location on Earth, or a very Earth-like world, perhaps set in the late 1800s, or at some point when lighthouses were still in use. It's located on the Eastern end of ...

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