While talking on the topic of myths, there are also myths in History. They are those few things you were made to believe that they happened in the History of this World but in actual sense, they never did happen. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you 10 Historical myths you believed were true.

Historical myths are told about a historical event, and they help keep the memory of that event alive. Ironically, in historical myths, the accuracy is in most times lost but meaning is gained. The myths about the Trojan War, including the Iliad and the Odyssey, could be classified as historical myths.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between. Mythology and History. The significant difference between Mythology and History is that mythology is based on natural and supernatural beliefs and aspects while on the other hand, historical facts are based on real-life events that occurred in the past. Here are 10 Historical Myths you believed were true.

10 Historical myths you believed were true.

10 Historical Myths you believed were true.

Vikings wore horns on their helmets.

Am sure you have heard of this before or at least you have seen an image of a Viking somewhere wearing a helmet with horns locked onto it, right? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but there is no contemporary image of a Viking that has ever been found of a horned helmet, and there is no reference in any source that proves this either.

Further more, the Vikings did not have horned helmets. They were the fever dream of Wagner’s costume designer in the 1870s.

Van Gogh sliced off his ear.

You recall Van Gogh right? Van Gogh is known as the archetypal starving artist, only selling one painting in his lifetime, and in a quarrel with Gauguin slicing off his ear, not long before committing suicide. Though he did face a tragic end, and his own paintings sold poorly, it is worth noting that he spent most of his life teaching and dealing art.

He only spent eight years of his life painting, which helps to explain why he didn’t starve to death(that is the part you were wondering about, right?). Also, he didn’t slice off his entire ear but just a portion of his left lobe. Ouch! It wasn’t as bad as you imagined huh?

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice is named so because of people sighing.

The Bridge of sighs is one of the world’s most beautiful and recognizable bridges. Prisoners walked across it into the palace of Venice’s ruler to stand trial, but it did not get its name from the sighs of those unfortunate men and women. Instead, it was named by the poet Byron who visited the city and dreamt up the name. This has killed your vibe, hasn’t it?

King John signed the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta (Great Charter) is known as a landmark in history, limiting the power of the King of England and sowing the seeds of democracy. Paintings show King John reluctantly signing the Magna Carta in a meadow at Runnymede in 1215.

Well, I hate to break it to you but as well as being a rogue, John was probably illiterate. As anyone could see from looking at one of the four original Magna Cartas in existence, he simply provided the royal seal. No signature was actually required.

Britain fought alone in 1940.

Britain was part of a huge imperial network in 1940, with her empire incorporating hundreds of millions of people such as Canadians, West Indians, Australians, South Africans, Nigerians and Indians.

Places like Canada and Australia declared war against Germany independently and with no compulsion to do so. As well as its empire, Britain could call on Poles, Czechs, Dutch, Norwegians and many others who flew RAF aircraft and helped develop Britain’s nuclear programmes. In all sincerity and with all due respect, Britain was never alone with thus huge number of allies.

Captain James Cook discovered Australia.

James Cook is undeniably one of the most famous explorers in British history, but he was not the first European to explore Australia. The Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon landed in northern Australia in 1606, 164 years before Captain Cook even smelt the area. Cook was the first European to arrive in Eastern Australia, landing in what he named Botany Bay in April 1770.

Allow me to also bring to your attention that many years before Cook arrived in Sydney in 1770, Australia had already been visited by Dutchmen Abel Tasman and Dirk Hartog, and an English buccaneer, William Dampier as well. Not to mention. Of course, it had been previously been discovered some 50,000 years earlier by the indigenous Australians.

In his defense however, Cook did discover a new part of the country and more importantly, this led to the first white settlers (an opportunity that Tasman, Hartog and Dampier didn’t take).

10 Historical myths you thought were true.

Shah Jahan mutilated those who built the Taj Mahal.

Contrary to the myth that he could not bear to see anything as perfect built ever again, there is no evidence at all that Shah Jahan blinded the architects, artists, masons or engineers to stop them from working on subsequent projects.

Jesus was born on 25 December.

Christmas is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but there is no evidence whatsoever, biblical or otherwise, that He was actually born on that day. It is all made up people! There is however evidence that suggests that He was born in a manger, and that there were three wise men with their three gifts as mentioned in the Holy book, the Bible.

There are differing views as to why December 25 was chosen as Christmas day, but one of the most interesting is that the day was already celebrated by followers of Mithras, the central god of a Hellenistic cult that developed in the Eastern Mediterranean around 100 BC.

The followers of this faith believed that Mithras was born of a virgin on 25 December, and that his birth was attended by shepherds. Very weird right?

This brings us to the greatest of the 10 historical myths you believed were true. This is something that is drilled into the heads of nearly all schoolchildren. In all honesty though, there’s absolutely no evidence of this. None at all.

Julius Caesar was the first person to be born via caesarean section.

We all know what a C section is, right? It is one of the most complex surgeries regarding the human body. How in the World did the ancient Romans manage to pull that off and with what technology?

The Romans were not capable of performing surgery of that complexity and ambition. Any recipient of a caesarean would have died, and we have reason to think Caesar’s mum lived beyond his childhood. The name almost certainly comes from the Roman word caedere, meaning “to cut”.

Mahatma Gandhi liberated India.

To many westerners, Mahatma Gandhi is easily the most famous leader of India’s independence movement. We all agree that he deserves credit for promoting the ancient ideals of ahimsa (non-violence).

However, most historians agree that Indian independence was inevitable. However, Gandhi was just one of several independence leaders that saw it happen.

The Indian National Congress was founded as early as 1885, when he was only 16. Gandhi’s much publicized civil disobedience was only a small part in the movement.

Some historians even suggest that India would have achieved independence sooner if they had focused on the more forceful methods that they had used 50 years earlier, and which were still advocated by other independence leaders, such as Gandhi’s rival Netaji Chandra Bose, who is also revered in India).


I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children’s stories. They were better than that. They just were.”

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Frequently Asked Questions

Who invented myths?
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane Greek Gods. The Greek stories of gods, heroes and monsters are told and retold around the world even today. The earliest known versions of these myths date back more than 2,700 years, appearing in written form in the works of the Greek poets Homer and Hesiod.

Who was the first myth god?
Chaos. In Hesiod’s creation myth, Chaos is the first being to ever exist.
What was the first myth in history?
The Epic of Gilgamesh .The oldest myth in the world is, not surprisingly, a psychological myth relating to the inevitability of death and the individual’s attempt to find meaning in life.

What were the first written myths?
The cuneiform script. This was created in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, ca. 3200 BC, was first. It is also the only writing system which can be traced to its earliest prehistoric origin.

Why were myths created?
For educational purposes. Myths are stories created to teach people about something important and meaningful. They were often used to teach people about events that they could not always understand, such as illness and death, or earthquakes and floods.

What is the difference between a story and a myth?
A story is just a story, a traditional story that usually addresses a natural phenomenon, often involving supernatural beings. On the other hand, myth is also defined as a false belief based on fantasy or delusion an “all made up” form of thinking.

Leticia Nambaziira

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *