Most Common Historical Misconception?

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Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by TrueCommunistDoggo on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:32 am

What do you guys think is the most common misconception about any place, person or event in world history?

For me it would have to be the First World War, where I am (the U.K) many people seem to think that the First World War was entirely fought in trenches along the western front against the 'baddies' Germany. When of course, that couldn't be further from the truth.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by EmperorRanceTheDragonHear on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:49 am

My one would be that people don't know much about the events leading to the crusade ( manly the Arab conquest) and think that Christian just randomly decided to attack the holy land.

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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Crazy Boris on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:18 am

I have a few in addition to what's already mentioned:

-Washington's teeth were NOT made of wood. I mean, think about it, wood is the worst possible material to make dentures from, it just doesn't make sense. The real dentures were a collection of other materials, metal, bone, etc. but no wood.

-Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round. Everyone already knew that. He argued that the world was smaller than it actually is, hence why he figured a Europe-Asia voyage would be feasible.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Carl Hamilton on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:24 am

Vikings did not have horns in their helmets, and were not savage barbarians but in fact some of the most organized and well equipped people of their time.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Aaronklk on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:47 am

The portrayal of the Germans as evil and Nazi like even in eras like WW1.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by AnesPaja on Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:09 am

One of them is the horse archers are the ultimate killing machines and that they are really hard to beat in battle.
Another one being that the katana was some kind of super weapon that can even slice a shield in half.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by TrueCommunistDoggo on Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:43 am

Crazy Boris wrote:Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round. Everyone already knew that. He argued that the world was smaller than it actually is, hence why he figured a Europe-Asia voyage would be feasible.

That drives me crazy. I have no idea why he is celebrated so much, he was one of the worst humans to ever exist. He didn't even discover North America just the the Caribbean islands and to his dying day thought he was in Indonesia.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:57 am

For me that would be everything surrounding the "fall of the Roman Empire". Many people don't know that the Eastern Roman Empire lived 1000 years longer than its Western counterpart and even tried to be a new unified Roman Empire on its original lands, with Justinian.
Besides, concerning the Western Roman Empire, many people think that it fell because the elites' decadence and because it was invaded by some king of savage people coming from the East, not knowing that some of these "barbarians" did live inside the Empire for some time and some of them were even used as soldiers by the Roman army.
Concerning Rome, the idea that there is only one Gaul, and that Gallic people were just one unified people that fought Rome and Ceaser together is very present in many people's minds in my country (France). They ignore the fact that it was instead a divided ethnic group of tribes, with some tribes fighting alongside Rome and many of them doing trade with Rome (to buy wine and other things the Romans made). Many people also think that Vercingetorix managed to unify all the Gallic people to fight the Roman invasion, when many tribes actually refused to do that because they didn't get along with each other even before the Romans came. Thanks to our national comic "Astérix et Obélix", they think that Gallic people didn't shave and had huge beards and moustaches, and also — as it has been mentioned before — that they had helmets similar to the Vikings' ones, with horns (rather, similar to what they think the Viking helmets looked like).
Eventually, another widespread historical misconception is the fact that Middle Ages were really a dark age for the world, with all the techniques, arts, knowledge and science regressing compared with those of Antiquity. They completely ignore the Islamic and Eastern worlds that were doing just fine during that period.

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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by scraplet1 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:40 am

TrueCommunistDoggo wrote:
Crazy Boris wrote:Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round. Everyone already knew that. He argued that the world was smaller than it actually is, hence why he figured a Europe-Asia voyage would be feasible.

That drives me crazy. I have no idea why he is celebrated so much, he was one of the worst humans to ever exist. He didn't even discover North America just the the Caribbean islands and to his dying day thought he was in Indonesia.
In my school we spent almost the whole time talking about his atrocities.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by jeanwickert on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:42 am

That submarines were not used during WW1
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Crazy Boris on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:03 pm

TrueCommunistDoggo wrote:
Crazy Boris wrote:Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round. Everyone already knew that. He argued that the world was smaller than it actually is, hence why he figured a Europe-Asia voyage would be feasible.

That drives me crazy. I have no idea why he is celebrated so much, he was one of the worst humans to ever exist. He didn't even discover North America just the the Caribbean islands and to his dying day thought he was in Indonesia.

On the contrary, I would say he's more demonized by the 21st century's self-appointed morality police of all time and space rather than celebrated.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Johann Tserclaes on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:33 pm

Aaronklk wrote:The portrayal of the Germans as evil and Nazi like even in eras like WW1.
Cough Cough Wonder Woman Cough Cough
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by TrueCommunistDoggo on Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:50 am

Crazy Boris wrote: On the contrary, I would say he's more demonized by the 21st century's self-appointed morality police of all time and space rather than celebrated.

Possibly, however in the U.S they dedicated an entire national holiday to him- 'Columbus day'. And I think it is also celebrated in Spain and some places in South America.


Last edited by TrueCommunistDoggo on Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by TrueCommunistDoggo on Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:54 am

scraplet1 wrote:In my school we spent almost the whole time talking about his atrocities.

Wow, you went a good school then, in mine when we were taught about him he was described as 'a liberating brave hero' who managed to 'succeed against all odds'.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Samsid on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:40 am

Nazi Germany in education is filled with myths and misconceptions. We are taught that all the Germans were evil, which is only applicable to their leaders in my opinion.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Malotun on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:44 am

I want some blood so I'm going to say that the people don't know what was the Nazi Germany and neither what was their main objective, yeah because I don't think that they wanted to kill every single Jew in Europe... Six trillions jews were killed during the war Laughing
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Icaria909 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:52 pm

Malotun wrote:I want some blood so I'm going to say that the people don't know what was the Nazi Germany and neither what was their main objective, yeah because I don't think that they wanted to kill every single Jew in Europe... Six trillions jews were killed during the war Laughing

What are you suggesting was their main objective?
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Cold War Communist on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:04 pm

There are a couple that immediately come to mind:

That the United States was the decisive factor in WWI and WWII for the allied victory

That Nero fiddled away as Rome burned

That everyone who lived "in history" (we'll say that the "cut off" point for this is 100 years ago) believed in superstitious quackery

That ancient civilizations weren't advanced enough to exist without some sort of help

In conjunction with the above (underlined entry), that we have a firm knowledge of everyone and every civilization that came before us and there are no mysteries left to uncover. You know, ancient cities, technology, monuments, the like.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:50 pm

Well, most of you got all of my personal misconceptions that bother me so much when someone mentions it, here a few other ones I've heard

-Magellan circumnavigated the globe (he died around halfway through and his crew continued on)

-The Mughal empire lasted until the 18th century (they did lost most of their power and lands by the end of the 18th century, but we're actually still around until 1857 and the Indian mutiny)

-Knights all wore heavy plate armour (a lot of them early on only had chain male, plate armour only became common near the end of the medieval era)

-Victorian era people all wear top hats and monocles and being very prude and snobbish (Of course there were a few people like that some parts of the era, but like any other time in history the fashion evolved and varied between times and social classes. This particular fashion was common only in the 1890s for the upper class)
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:49 am

Vikings wore horned helmets is a big one that comes to mind.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by Holmskiy on Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:21 am

Serfdom and Slavery. Those things are not the same.

Both those countries change depending on the country and the time period, but always stayed different economically and culturally.

A master couldn't kill a serf. For that he would be in court for murder.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

Post by DukeOfTea on Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:50 am

Mr Trolldemort wrote:
-Magellan circumnavigated the globe (he died around halfway through and his crew continued on)
Yup, I did a lot about this in school as I chose him as my Explorer to learn about, he set off with 5 ships and over 200 men if I remember right, he died in a fight with natives in the Philippines and was succeeded by Sebastian Elcano as Captain. The ship "Victoria" was the only one to return, and it was carrying only roughly 20 men. One of whom, Antonio Pigafetta, kept a diary, and is our main source of information on the circumnavigation, but we don't celebrate him as much.
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Re: Most Common Historical Misconception?

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