10 misconceptions about the Ancient World

The history of mankind was written by men, albeit quite literate and wise for their time. It has been rewritten more than once under the weight of various events, so there are many notions and theories about the ancient world that historians have long since disproved.

10 misconceptions about the Ancient World

1. The fire and the Library of Alexandria

The fire and the Library of Alexandria
The fire and the Library of Alexandria

Every schoolboy knows about the famous fire in the most famous library in the world. According to the official version, it was the fire after the capture of the city by the Romans led by Julius Caesar that destroyed the great treasury, while school textbooks are often silent about the preceding events.

There was indeed a major fire, but the library had been emptied many years before this sad event. Funding had ceased, and the most valuable manuscripts had been stolen or lost, so by the time the Romans arrived, the treasury was already in bad shape.

2. The mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids at Giza are fully solved

The mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids at Giza are fully solved
The mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids at Giza are fully solved

The pyramids are some of the most mysterious architectural masterpieces in the world. For decades, archaeologists continue to study these huge structures, but fully disclosing the history of the pyramids and determining their significance for the ancient Egyptians is not possible. Specialists believe that in the present time, there are still rooms and secret passages, of which historians can only guess.

3. Who built the Gardens of Semiramis?

Who built the Gardens of Semiramis
Gardens of Semiramis

It is believed that the founder of the Gardens of Semiramis was King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, but in recent years this version has been subjected to considerable doubt. Research by Oxford’s Dr. Dalli has led to a new theory, that the famous Hanging Gardens were not in Babylon, but in neighboring Assyria, more precisely in the city of Nineveh. In his opinion, the error arose because later, many Assyrian territories were seized by the Babylonians and renamed.

4. The Grand Canyon and the Egyptians

The Grand Canyon and the Egyptians
The Grand Canyon and the Egyptians

There is often shocking news in the media that Egyptian artifacts were found in the Grand Canyon, which means that the Egyptians were able to get to America much earlier than Columbus himself. However, no real evidence of Egyptian travel to the other continent has yet been presented by scientists.

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5. The nose of the Sphinx suffered at the hands of Napoleon

The nose of the Sphinx suffered at the hands of Napoleon
The nose of the Sphinx suffered at the hands of Napoleon

The missing nose of the Sphinx has always caused a lot of questions. According to one version, the culprits are the French-led by Napoleon, who practiced shooting and got right into the nose of the enigmatic construction. As a refutation, historians cite pictures and sketches of various artists of the period, where the nose of the Sphinx is missing so that Napoleon had nothing to do with it.

6. The unusual experience of Galileo Galilei

The unusual experience of Galileo Galilei
The unusual experience of Galileo Galilei

Aristotle assumed that objects with different weights have different falling speeds, which Galileo Galilei did not agree with. His student Vincenzo Viviani described his teacher’s most interesting experience. Galileo decided to test his theory and threw from the Leaning Tower of Pisa two nuclei of different sizes and proved his case. But scientists believe that he did not actually do this and only verbally commented on the erroneous judgment of his colleague.

7. The relationship of Amazons and men

Dahomey Amazons are the most formidable women in history
Dahomey Amazons

In Greek mythology, there are many stories about the Amazons, who were great female warriors and actually hated men. Adrian Meyer studied the history of the Amazons for many years and came to the conclusion that these amazing women actually existed, but were very different from the “book” version. Most likely, they were wives of the Scythians, who trained and fought on a par with men, which shocked the Greeks.

8. Heads on Easter Island

Heads on Easter Island
Heads on Easter Island

The statues placed all over Easter Island are astonishing in their scale. Historians have spent many years studying the enormous statues to understand how the inhabitants of the island were able to place them in the proper order. Only recently, some talented scientists have been able to conduct a unique experiment, during which they were able to find out that the shape of the statues was specially created so that the bulk of the stone could be easily moved.

9. The Romans filled Carthage with salt

The Romans filled Carthage with salt
The Romans filled Carthage with salt

After the Roman conquest of Carthage during the Punic War, the city was completely destroyed. The invaders took most of the population as prisoners and burned the city, plowing the land and filling it with salt. Simple calculations completely refute this fact. Moreover, even if the land was covered with salt, the rains will wash away the salt and clean the surface over time.

It is interesting that information about salt and Carthage lands appeared only in the XIX century, and in the ancient sources, similar information cannot be found.

10. Vikings and skulls

Human skull
Human skull

There were many myths about the Vikings, mainly about their cruelty. The barbaric customs of the Vikings caused fear and awe, especially the story about the human skulls of their enemies, which served the warriors as glasses. This error arose from a mistranslation of one of the Scandinavian songs, for, in reality, the Vikings made goblets from animal horns.

Even the slightest error can give rise to misinterpretations, theories, and many legends. Should we blindly believe the authors, or should every historical fact be questioned?

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