History

A:

The abacus was invented by Chinese mathematicians approximately 5,000 years ago. The abacus is occasionally hailed as the world's first computer, but the abacus is more accurately described as a counting device. After its invention, people all around the world began using the abacus to help with their calculations.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
    • Where Did the Earth Come From?

      Q: Where Did the Earth Come From?

      A: Astrophysicists believe the Earth and the rest of the solar system is the result of the Big Bang and its explosions of massive stars. The Big Bang and the stellar explosions, called supernovas, blasted untold amounts of material into space. Eventually, the matter cooled down and began to clump together into a hot, spinning cloud that eventually became a solar nebula.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Food Did Sumerians Eat?

      Q: What Food Did Sumerians Eat?

      A: Barley was the main staple of the Sumerian diet, and was used to make barley cakes and barley paste. Sumerians combined barley with other local vegetables, including beans, lentils, chickpeas, mustard and lettuce. Lamb, goat, pork and fish were favorites with city-dwelling Sumerians, but rural farming communities did not eat meat often and lived on a mostly vegetarian diet.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Weapons Did the Babylonians Use?

      Q: What Weapons Did the Babylonians Use?

      A: The ancient Babylonians used sharpened weapons such as sickle swords, socketed axes, spears, and the Egyptian-derived bladed mace, as well as clubs and staffs, and projectiles flung from war slings. The Babylonians were a Bronze Age people, so the bladed weapons they used were made of a softer metal than later civilization's iron and steel. This made them less effective in battle than iron and iron-alloy based weapons, as iron is harder and harder blades can take a sharper point.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • How Long Did It Take to Get Across the Atlantic in the 1700s?

      Q: How Long Did It Take to Get Across the Atlantic in the 1700s?

      A: Since ships in the 1700s relied on sails to propel them, the length of the voyage greatly depended on the wind. An immigrant who made the journey in 1750 reported that it could take between eight and 12 weeks, while another who arrived in 1724 reported that the journey took six weeks and three days. The average journey was about seven weeks.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Won the Opium War Between China and Great Britain?

      Q: Who Won the Opium War Between China and Great Britain?

      A: Great Britain won the Opium War against China. Their victory created foreign spheres of influence in China, allowed Great Britain to take possession of Hong Kong, opened China to European influence and created a drug epidemic in southeastern Asia.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Was the Religion of the Han Dynasty?

      Q: What Was the Religion of the Han Dynasty?

      A: The main religion of the Han dynasty was Taoism. The Han dynasty also embraced the philosophical ideas of Confucianism. Buddhism was brought to China during the Han dynasty.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • See More Ancient History Questions
    • When Was the Compass Invented?

      Q: When Was the Compass Invented?

      A: Evidence suggests that the magnetic compass was invented in China between 221 and 206 B.C. The earliest compasses were not used for navigation, but for fortune-telling. Chinese compasses became navigational orienteering devices between 1040 and 1044 A.D. and were used as maritime navigational devices by 1117 A.D.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Invented Paper Money?

      Q: Who Invented Paper Money?

      A: Paper money was used first by the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 to 907). According to Time, the first forms of paper money were privately issued bills of credit or exchange. This practice continued for about 500 years.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Invented the Seesaw?

      Q: Who Invented the Seesaw?

      A: It is believed that Korean girls in the 17th century who were not allowed beyond the confines of their courtyard walls invented the seesaw to catapult themselves in the air high enough to glimpse the outside world, according to Patricia Newman.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • How Do a Wheel and Axle Work?

      Q: How Do a Wheel and Axle Work?

      A: The combination of a wheel and axle is a simple machine that consists of a large wheel attached to a smaller wheel called an axle that turns on the same axis. When the large wheel is turned, the axle also turns.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Invented Matches?

      Q: Who Invented Matches?

      A: The first friction matches were invented by John Walker in 1827. These first matches were 3 inches long and would ignite with a series of explosions similar to firecrackers when pulled through a piece of sandpaper.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Did Thomas Edison Invent the Light Bulb?

      Q: Did Thomas Edison Invent the Light Bulb?

      A: Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he did invent the first practical incandescent light. Edison's invention improved upon previous models that were not capable of being used in the home. Edison is also credited with inventing the first electrical system capable of powering a light bulb long-term.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • See More Inventions Questions
    • What Did Medieval Knights Do?

      Q: What Did Medieval Knights Do?

      A: Knights performed military services for lords within a kingdom. Clergymen during the Crusades established a moral code in which a knight must also protect churches, women, orphans and the weak.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Was the Role of a Medieval King?

      Q: What Was the Role of a Medieval King?

      A: In medieval times, the role of the king was to own land, lead his country and people in times of war and set laws. A king was, essentially, the supreme ruler of his land.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Countries Did the Vikings Invade?

      Q: What Countries Did the Vikings Invade?

      A: During the Viking Age, between the seventh and 11th centuries, Norse traders, raiders and colonists established a presence in countries as far apart as modern-day Canada and Iran. The Vikings emerged mostly from coastal communities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden to explore, and eventually settle in, most European and Mediterranean countries. They established colonies in North America and maintained a presence in Greenland that lasted nearly 500 years.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Is a Female Emperor Called?

      Q: What Is a Female Emperor Called?

      A: A female emperor is properly termed an empress or an empress regnant. Emperors and empresses reign over empires and are generally conceded to outrank kings. Reigning empresses rarely conquer their own territories but instead inherit from a husband or father.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Lived in Castles in the Middle Ages?

      Q: Who Lived in Castles in the Middle Ages?

      A: The primary residents of European castles during the Middle Ages were the lord and lady of the realm. These might be royalty or simply the liege lords of the district where the castle was built.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Years Were the Middle Ages?

      Q: What Years Were the Middle Ages?

      A: The Middle Ages began in the year 476 A.D. and ended around 1300 with the beginning of the Renaissance. The Middle Ages, also called the Medieval Period, began just after the fall of Rome and it dominated the European continent through the early 14th century. The Middle Ages filled a time period between the ending of a great reign and the beginning of a new era characterized by revitalization and cultural growth.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • See More Middle Ages Questions
    • Who Was the Husband of Queen Elizabeth?

      Q: Who Was the Husband of Queen Elizabeth?

      A: Prince Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Phillip was born on the island of Corfu in Greece. The two met in 1934 at the wedding of a Greek princess.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Were the Original Members of the Rat Pack?

      Q: Who Were the Original Members of the Rat Pack?

      A: Many people know the Rat Pack as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. However, the origins of the Rat Pack go back to actor Humphrey Bogart, and Bogart’s wife, the actress Lauren Bacall, and a few of their Hollywood friends.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Were Some of the Primary Crops Grown in the New England Colonies in America?

      Q: What Were Some of the Primary Crops Grown in the New England Colonies in America?

      A: Corn formed a majority of the colonial diet. Other native crops included pumpkins, squash and beans. European wheat, barley, oats and peas were also grown. In addition to the large-field crops, family gardens in the colonies contained herbs and vegetables, such as lettuce, parsley, carrots, spinach and turnips. In northern colonies farming produced less than in the southern New England colonies because of a shorter growing season and poor soil.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • Who Is the Current King of Nigeria?

      Q: Who Is the Current King of Nigeria?

      A: Nigeria does not have a single king, as it has a federal system of government. All kings were stripped of their power in 1963. As of 2014, the president of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan, whom has held office since 2011.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Were Some Types of Transportation in the 1800s?

      Q: What Were Some Types of Transportation in the 1800s?

      A: Transportation in the early 1800s was primarily by horse and sail, but the development and refinement of the steam engine spurred the development of rail and river transportation. Horses and horse-drawn conveyances remained the primary method of transportation through most of the century, at least for local travel. Toward the end of the 1800s, the automobile came into existence, although most 19th-century designs saw very limited adoption.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • What Are Ten Facts About Apartheid?

      Q: What Are Ten Facts About Apartheid?

      A: Apartheid is a form of racial segregation that has its roots in South Africa. Under this system of segregation, South Africans were divided into groups of whites and nonwhites. Apartheid was introduced in 1948 under the governance of the National Party, which was a system of government run by all-white officials.
      See Full Answer
      Filed Under:
    • See More Modern History Questions