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Author Topic: Most annoying historical myths?  (Read 17828 times)

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Offline Lux12

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #250 on: December 22, 2013, 05:27:46 PM »
Yeah, you're right of course passport-wise.  Lux means ethnic Russians.
You are correct.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #251 on: December 22, 2013, 05:39:42 PM »
Kind of like telling an Inuit village that they are American or Canadian depending on which side of an imaginary line they happened to set up their shelters.

Offline Senti

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #252 on: December 23, 2013, 01:41:49 PM »
its likely been said before Richard the third.

Let me offer a song from Horrible Histories.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Oh and Dick Turpin. No Black Bess


Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 01:57:40 PM by Senti »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #253 on: December 23, 2013, 02:35:51 PM »
*waylays that highwayman*

Ahem.

Carry on.

Offline Senti

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #254 on: December 23, 2013, 04:01:20 PM »
there is plenty more...

Offline Valerian

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #255 on: December 24, 2013, 11:13:54 AM »
Well, the Horrible Histories song presumably dates back to well before Richard's skeleton was found earlier this year -- he did in fact have a curved spine from scoliosis, so it's very likely that he did have one shoulder noticeably higher than the other.  The part about the withered arm is wrong, though; there was no sign of that.

And... there's actually a fair amount of evidence that he was involved with the deaths of his nephews, at least to the extent of knowing about it and quietly approving the murders.  The Tudor propaganda machine did a lot to tarnish his image later, it's true, but they didn't manufacture those accusations -- contemporary accounts show that it was generally assumed at the time of the princes' disappearance, well before the Tudors took power, that Richard had had them killed.  There's no way to be sure now, of course, but I've always leaned towards the theory that he at least knew exactly what happened to his nephews.

Offline Lux12

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #256 on: December 24, 2013, 01:47:27 PM »
Here's another one. There are no countries in Europe where the majority of the population is Muslim. In fact, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the single largest religious population belongs to Islam. Most people in Albania are Muslim.

Offline Senti

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #257 on: December 24, 2013, 02:58:19 PM »
Though I am not suggesting it is correct, propaganda it s wonderful thin for those in power.

Yws there were bodies found in the tower but then there are children’s bodies found in London Bridge.

Personally I sit on the fence with Richard the third.  It was not even if he was a ‘baddy’ he was the one at that time.

The Tudors were hardly lovely.

I actually like Horrible histories, it make me laugh and its pretty good with history.

But as its Christmas…


Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 03:14:34 PM by Senti »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #258 on: December 29, 2013, 07:51:40 AM »
Here's another one. There are no countries in Europe where the majority of the population is Muslim. In fact, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the single largest religious population belongs to Islam. Most people in Albania are Muslim.
Actually, if I remember correctly, there was some discussion that the returning Knights from the Crusades had converted.  Also, weren't the Moors, who settled in various European countries, Islamic?

Offline consortium11

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #259 on: December 29, 2013, 08:18:14 AM »
Also, weren't the Moors, who settled in various European countries, Islamic?

They were, although the "No Muslim countries in Europe!" thing is more of a modern political point than a historic one. Historically one of the key issues of the early middle ages (roughly 700-800AD) were the Muslim invasions of Western Europe; originally the invasion of Hispania (which destroyed the Visigothic Kingdom) and then in turn the invasions of Gaul/Modern France. While the Muslim advance into France was halted by about 721 and then finally thrown back by the 750's, the Umayyad dynasty (and its successors) ruled Hispania and much of Northern Africa till the 11th century and despite then splitting into city states and gradually losing ground to the Reconquista it wasn't until the late 15th century and the fall of Grenada (the last Islamic city state) that there wasn't an Islamic ruler of part of Hispania.

There are a couple of really interesting... and important... parts of European history that tend to get completely overlooked. Those early Islamic invasions are one... if the Battle of Toulouse in 721 had gone the other way European history would have almost certainly been massively different. Likewise the conflict between the post-Crusades Knights Hospitaller and the Ottoman Empire (notably the two sieges of Rhodes and the siege of Malta) really should have more emphasis put on them; while it wasn't really till the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 that the very real threat of the Ottoman's taking over continental Europe disappeared, the successful defence of Malta prevented the Ottoman's from having a navel base in a strategically vital location that would have opened up Europe's soft underbelly to raids and it robbed the then sultan Suleiman of his most capable admiral, corsair and privateer (and arguably someone who himself should have more recognition then he currently gets), Turgut Reis/Dragut.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #260 on: December 29, 2013, 08:41:51 AM »
Here's another one. There are no countries in Europe where the majority of the population is Muslim. In fact, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the single largest religious population belongs to Islam. Most people in Albania are Muslim.

On the other hand, I know some who reach the extreme conclusion that European countries will end up as Muslim-majority countries.  That's a bit of an extreme fear-mongering myth, but it is a political issue in Europe.

However, it is true that the Muslim fertility rate in Europe is drastically higher than native Europeans, and many EU cities will have Muslim majorities by the 2030s - such as Marseille and Brussels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00sdr86
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_the_European_Union_by_Muslim_population

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #261 on: December 29, 2013, 09:11:02 AM »
There are a couple of really interesting... and important... parts of European history that tend to get completely overlooked. Those early Islamic invasions are one... if the Battle of Toulouse in 721 had gone the other way European history would have almost certainly been massively different. Likewise the conflict between the post-Crusades Knights Hospitaller and the Ottoman Empire (notably the two sieges of Rhodes and the siege of Malta) really should have more emphasis put on them; while it wasn't really till the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 that the very real threat of the Ottoman's taking over continental Europe disappeared, the successful defence of Malta prevented the Ottoman's from having a navel base in a strategically vital location that would have opened up Europe's soft underbelly to raids and it robbed the then sultan Suleiman of his most capable admiral, corsair and privateer (and arguably someone who himself should have more recognition then he currently gets), Turgut Reis/Dragut.

Most people writing about the long centuries of war between Europe and the Islamic world, and especially the critical first few centuries, just completely miss out on how the Byzantine empire shielded Europe from an Arab invasion through Syria, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy. That kind of inroads could have been a good deal more powerful and sustained than the drive through the Visigoth kingdom in Spain and into southern France, and seen from the Middle East it was a primary target. The local kings, counts and chiefs in Italy and the mid-to-northern Balkan were totally inadequate to fend off an Arab army or fleet in the 8th to 10th centuries, but the Eastern Romans took the heat of that frontier again and again, at sea too. They slipped out the back door of mainstream European history though - first because they were Greeks (not so much part of the Latin speaking world) and then getting slammed as inept, dogmatic and decadent by Edward Gibbon in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, so that side of the story is still very overlooked in most history books.


(In a smaller way, the last Byzantine emperors delayed the Ottomans along some of the same route for a hundred years or so, but the real duel happened back in the early middle ages - and by 1500, the nations of Europe were much better equipped to fight the Ottomans than they were back in the 8th and 9th century)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 09:24:12 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline consortium11

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #262 on: December 29, 2013, 09:34:45 AM »
The Byzantine Empire in general gets a pretty rough deal from history in general (or at least Western History). Unless you actively decide to go out and look for details on it the take on the history of that part of the world (in England at least) essentially goes Persian invasion of Greece, Alexander the Great (and to pick up on another theme Phillip rarely gets the credit he deserves), Rome appears, Rome splits, Western Roman empire falls... oh, hey, Crusades! For basically 1,000 years the Byzantine empire was the super power of the world... economically, culturally and militarily with incredibly interesting people, periods, ideas and actions... yet it's generally treated as an afterthought, a bit part character that is only really referenced as a side-part of the Crusades or if you're a legal scholar as the source of the Justinian reforms and codex.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #263 on: December 29, 2013, 09:47:11 AM »
The Byzantine Empire in general gets a pretty rough deal from history in general (or at least Western History). Unless you actively decide to go out and look for details on it the take on the history of that part of the world (in England at least) essentially goes Persian invasion of Greece, Alexander the Great (and to pick up on another theme Phillip rarely gets the credit he deserves), Rome appears, Rome splits, Western Roman empire falls... oh, hey, Crusades! For basically 1,000 years the Byzantine empire was the super power of the world... economically, culturally and militarily with incredibly interesting people, periods, ideas and actions... yet it's generally treated as an afterthought, a bit part character that is only really referenced as a side-part of the Crusades or if you're a legal scholar as the source of the Justinian reforms and codex.

Yup, I doubt many people even realize that most of what we have of ancient Greek literature and science was preserved in places like Constantinople and Mount Athos. In Europe during the middle ages, very few learned men actually could read Greek, and books in Greek were not something even monasteries or universities with deep interests in learning would be collecting with a lot of fervour (not that such books would have been easy to find, either...) The Arabs, of course, were much more interested. When Aristotle and Plato became known in Europe over the high middle ages, they appeared in translations via - Arabic.

Offline Merah

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #264 on: December 29, 2013, 09:53:32 AM »
They are pretty sick to play on Civ 5 though. :P Cataphracts ftw!

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #265 on: December 29, 2013, 10:04:15 AM »
They are pretty sick to play on Civ 5 though. :P Cataphracts ftw!

Fancy they would be!  :D (and thanks for the tip)

Offline Lux12

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #266 on: December 29, 2013, 07:18:27 PM »
While some of the better read individuals will know otherwise, there's this idea that everyone in Europe lived under a monarchy from the start of the middle ages until the late 18th-early 19th century. In fact, several Italian city states were republics and Iceland briefly had a style of governance akin to a republic.

Offline Beorning

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #267 on: December 29, 2013, 07:38:38 PM »
And there were different types of monarchies, too. Back here, we've had an elective monarchy since the 16th century - we (well, the nobles) actually chose the kings in free elections. And the kings had quite limited power...

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #268 on: December 29, 2013, 08:31:14 PM »
And there were different types of monarchies, too. Back here, we've had an elective monarchy since the 16th century - we (well, the nobles) actually chose the kings in free elections. And the kings had quite limited power...

And all nobles had a free veto at sessions of parliament, which is why "Polish parliament" has become a byword for chaos and endless contradictory proposals and deadlocks. Hmm, perhaps we should change that metaphor to "it's like DC Senate here"?  >:)

Offline Lux12

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #269 on: December 29, 2013, 09:15:23 PM »
And all nobles had a free veto at sessions of parliament, which is why "Polish parliament" has become a byword for chaos and endless contradictory proposals and deadlocks. Hmm, perhaps we should change that metaphor to "it's like DC Senate here"?  >:)
I would support that motion.

The sword was the samurai's primary weapon for most of their history. In fact, the samurai were primarily cavalry who used bows and arrows as a primary weapon. The sword while important and far from never seeing action, it was actually a side arm. Of course, the sword grew in importance over time, but for much of history, the samurai and their similarly armed precursors were horse back archers.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 11:59:04 PM by Lux12 »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #270 on: December 29, 2013, 11:20:06 PM »
And there were different types of monarchies, too. Back here, we've had an elective monarchy since the 16th century - we (well, the nobles) actually chose the kings in free elections. And the kings had quite limited power...

I remember seeing this line in a book about Sweden in the early middle ages, when finding a king was still a fairly elective business - at best, the son of a former king could rely on "dad's army" to strengthen his hand a bit: "The king-elect was taken to the hallowed grove where lay a large rock, and made to stand on it and listen to the elder nobles reading out his calling: he was sentenced to become king."

And in the real old days (the Viking days), the king had been eligible to be sacrificed if there had been bad luck in war or there was famine around the country...

Offline Lux12

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Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #271 on: December 30, 2013, 12:00:05 AM »
And in the real old days (the Viking days), the king had been eligible to be sacrificed if there had been bad luck in war or there was famine around the country...
Interesting. I had read somewhere that Celtic chieftains and kings were sacrificed for similar reasons.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #272 on: December 30, 2013, 01:54:22 AM »
I would support that motion.

The sword was the samurai's primary weapon for most of their history. In fact, the samurai were primarily cavalry who used bows and arrows as a primary weapon. The sword while important and far from never seeing action, it was actually a side arm. Of course, the sword grew in importance over time, but for much of history, the samurai and their similarly armed precursors were horse back archers.
Actually, from what I'd told they were primarily lancers, with archery for secondary weapons.  According to the source, the focus on the blade was during the relatively recent Tokegawa era.  And it stuck after that.

Or so I've been told.

Offline Beorning

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #273 on: December 30, 2013, 08:41:53 AM »
And all nobles had a free veto at sessions of parliament, which is why "Polish parliament" has become a byword for chaos and endless contradictory proposals and deadlocks.

That's true. Here's a short article on this matter on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_parliament_%28expression%29

Specifically, the liberum veto institution meant that any member of the parliament could declare the current session to be ended and all its decisions to be undone. It was a radical thing, true, but you have to remember that it wasn't as often abused as one might think. It became the real problem only in the 18th century.

Coming back to the kings' elections: starting with Henry of Valois' election, each elected king had to sign the Henrician Articles (which worked as a proto-constitution for the country and included stuff like religious tolerance) and the pacta conventa (a kind of contract detailing what each king promised to do for the country). Each king had to abide these documents - if he didn't, the nobility had the legal right to declare the rokosz (a rebellion). It all meant that, in the period of 16th - 18th century, Poland (or, to be specific, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) was a proto-democratic country...

Of course, it was the *nobles* that enjoyed this proto-democracy. In turn, the peasants' situation was becoming worse and worse - I even seen to compared to the American slavery. But that's another story...

BTW. gaggedLouise, as we're talking history: how do the Swedish history books explain the 17th century's Swedish invasion of Poland? How do you explain it, you bad guys you?  ;)

I remember seeing this line in a book about Sweden in the early middle ages, when finding a king was still a fairly elective business - at best, the son of a former king could rely on "dad's army" to strengthen his hand a bit: "The king-elect was taken to the hallowed grove where lay a large rock, and made to stand on it and listen to the elder nobles reading out his calling: he was sentenced to become king."

And in the real old days (the Viking days), the king had been eligible to be sacrificed if there had been bad luck in war or there was famine around the country...

Interesting. I didn't know that...

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Most annoying historical myths?
« Reply #274 on: December 30, 2013, 09:45:15 AM »
Don't know about Sweden but here in Finland its basically: "The Sweden fought a lot in the south and bunch of Finns were dragged down there as soldiers and most of them died and Hakkapelitas were awesome."