Many of us had to learn History only to get through our exams. We always thought it was boring and dry. But is History really that uninteresting? Of course not! If you are someone who has even the slightest affiliation towards the subject, you’d definitely have come through some myths that have been around for centuries. History is basically just the story of the past and as you know every time someone tells a story, they add a bit of their imagination and fascination to it. Sometimes these fascinations are so peculiar, they evolve and finally become a myth. So read on to find out about someone the most famous myths in History!
1.Napoleon Bonaparte – The little corporal
Napoleon complex is used to describe a short man or woman who is pompous, arrogant and tries to compensate for their short stature by having a “a larger than life” (not in a nice way) personality.
Napoleon Bonaparte was around 5 ft 6 inches or 1.68 meters tall. Even though this may be considered as a man being short in the present times, during 18th century France, it was the average height of men.
2. George Washington was chosen to be North America’s first president-
Yes it is true that Washington was indeed the first president of the United States of America. But many theories still persist that he was never chosen to be the president. In fact they still believe it was actually John Hanson was served as the first president instead of Washington who remained secretary.
Of course, this theory has been falsified time and over again as it is proved that Electoral Collage made Washington the only Chief Executive to be unanimously elected.
3. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse-
Walt Disney was never good at drawing. Although he was the one who come up with the initial sketches of the ultra-famous character, it was actually the famed Disney animator Ub Iwerks who created the cartoon that we love so much today. Iwerks is also credited for the Disney signature that we come across so often. Would Mickey ever have been this famous if Disney actually drew him? We’ll never know.
4. James Cook discovered Australia in 1770-
Whether or not Cook was the first person to discover Australia is still a disputed fact. Many say that it was actually William Dampier who first discovered Australia. But James Cook did come up with the concept of Terra Nullius which translates to “nobody’s land” after he reached Australia.
Also Dutchman Abel Tasman and Dirk Hartog had already visited Australia long before the arrival of Cook.
5. Cleopatra was tall-
Cleopatra the Egyptian empress is often credited to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. Rumor has it that she was tall, dark and beautiful. Well she had to be, didn’t she? After all, Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony were mesmerized by her beauty. Indeed Cleopatra was a beautiful women, but she wasn’t tall. In fact, she was petite. There are still many disputes about how Cleopatra actually looked. The coins produced by the Romans show her as having a large nose and a fleshy face, while the Egyptian coins show her as having symmetrical facial features. Cleopatra is one most talked about historical figures because of her enigmatic nature. But perhaps a bigger myth is that she was Egyptian. She was actually Roman!
6. Albert Einstein was bad at Math
For all of us out there who never did well in math, Einstein was someone we always compared ourselves to. Einstein was actually never bad at math. In fact, he was brilliant at it. He could do complex math by the age of 13. The reason he failed his exams was not because he wasn’t good at math but rather he felt pressurized by his father to take up a technical profession rather than to continue learning. Besides the reason he failed his entrance exams, was because almost all the examinees were much older than he was at the time of giving the exam.
Time to rethink everything we thought about him?
So there you have it. Some of the most famous historical myths dispelled. Still think History is boring? Probably not anymore. These are just a few of the myths, History is an intricate web of innumerable such myths and fiction. The more you read the more you’ll discover how concocted some versions of History is.