Many of us learnt 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 various 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 own 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 some of the most famous tales in History! However, we are dispelling those myths today. Here are 6 Historical myths, dispelled.
1.Napoleon Bonaparte – The little corporal
Napoleon complex describes a short man or woman who is pompous, arrogant and tries to compensate for their short stature by having “a larger than life” (not in an excellent way) personality.
Napoleon Bonaparte was around 5 ft 6 inches or 1.68 meters tall. Although this may be considered a short height for a man 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, indeed, Washington was the first president of the United States of America. But many theories persist that he was never chosen to be the president. In fact, many still believe it was actually John Hanson who served as the first president instead of Washington who remained secretary.
Of course, this theory has been falsified repeatedly 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 came 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 of all times. Rumour 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 woman, 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 the one most talked about historical figures because of her enigmatic nature. But perhaps a more significant myth is that she was an 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 that he wasn’t good at math, but instead, 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. Do you still think History is boring? Probably not anymore. These are just a few of the innumerous 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.