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Historical Lies You Thought Were True

Historical Lies You Thought Were True

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History is not only a vast and intricate portrait of our past but also a narrative that has been shaped by countless storytellers over time. Sometimes, they encounter stories that are so captivating and seem so fitting within the tapestry of human events that they pass them on without questioning their accuracy.

As a result, many people grow up accepting these narratives as fact, not realizing that some of the stories are embellished or even entirely fabricated.

It can come as a surprise when one learns that some widely accepted historical “facts” are, in truth, myths or misconceptions. These revisions do not merely change a few dates or names; they have the power to alter one’s understanding of the values, struggles, and triumphs of the people who came before.

The journey into historical truth often requires a nuanced look at sources, motivations, and the ever-changing criteria of historical evidence.

As they look deeper into what they’ve been told, they begin to see the fabric of history in a new light, with the understanding that the search for historical truth is an ongoing process that may challenge what they thought they knew about the past.

Common Misconceptions In History

History is often shrouded in myths and tall tales. This section reveals the factual truth behind some of the most prevalent historical misconceptions.

The Truth Behind Napoleon’s Height

Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon Bonaparte was not particularly short for his time. Historical records indicate that he stood at about 5 feet and 7 inches tall, which was average for a Frenchman during the early 19th century.

The misconception likely arose from the French inch, which was longer than the British inch, causing confusion. Add in the fact that the British press hated Napoleon’s guts, and you have a recipe for some serious propaganda.

The Myth Of Vikings Wearing Horned Helmets

Vikings are frequently depicted with horned helmets, but there is no historical evidence to support this.

Archaeological findings show that Viking warriors actually wore conical helmets, if any at all, and the horned depiction likely stemmed from the 19th-century Scandinavian Romanticism.

Columbus and the Flat Earth Theory

It’s a common myth that Christopher Columbus set out to prove the Earth was round. Educated Europeans of his time already knew the Earth was spherical.

The myth may have been popularized by Washington Irving’s 19th-century biography of Columbus and other fictional accounts.

Marie Antoinette’s Quoted Misattribution

“Let them eat cake” is famously attributed to Marie Antoinette, but there’s no evidence she ever uttered these words.

The phrase appears in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Confessions,” written when the future queen was a child, making it improbable for her to have said it.

Great Wall Of China Visibility From Space

The claim that the Great Wall of China is visible from space with the naked eye has been debunked by astronauts.

While it is visible from a low Earth orbit under specific conditions, it is not uniquely distinguishable from other man-made structures.

The Misunderstood Cause Of World War I

The causes of World War I are often oversimplified as solely due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

In reality, it was the result of complex political alliances, militarism, imperialism, and nationalism accumulating over years, with the assassination serving as a catalyst.

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