History of the World According to the Movies: Part 7 – The Medieval Church

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From Kingdom of Heaven, which is probably a movie about the Crusades we’re all familiar with as well as one that says that these wars of religion weren’t as holy as many say they were. However, this picture does encapsulate the idea of the religiosity of the time period. Still, though Orlando Bloom’s character actually did exist, he wasn’t the widowed French blacksmith as depicted in the beginning at all. However, he did end up with a Queen consort of Jerusalem, just not Queen Sybilla.

While fighting is one of the many aspects of the medieval landscape, the Middle Ages would never be what it s without the Church. Sure it was a dominant force in medieval life and a very misunderstood one as Hollywood is concerned. Still, though Christianity began in ancient times, it really came into its own in the Middle Ages as an institution (as long as the Catholic Church is concerned but there were Orthodox churches in the east as well). Medieval monasteries and convents were places of great cottage industries and learning with monks being among the intellectuals of their day and churches became not only centers of devotion but also places for community. Not only that, but we also see the rise of the Gothic cathedrals which are still used for worship today (even if it’s on the decline in Europe these days). And without the Church, we wouldn’t have universities, the institution of medicine, theology, and all those ancient writings that would’ve been lost if monks didn’t spend all day copying them. Of course, because of the medieval Church, we also have antisemitism, heresy, and the Crusades which is a series of religious wars in the Middle East geared to capturing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Still, Hollywood always tends to screw up a few things about the medieval Church which I shall list here.

Medieval Christianity:

The Catholic Church was a backward institution that discouraged education and scientific research. (The Catholic Church actually saved science and is the main reason why we know anything about the Middle Ages at all even though they did lock their books but there weren’t many books in Europe anyway and were very expensive since they were all written by hand or printed from wood carvings which were tedious to make {but many monasteries and nunneries had large libraries of them full of the works of Rome and Greeks and monks spent a lot of time copying them}. Furthermore, they even set up universities all over Continental Europe, started formalized higher education with advanced degrees, and saw no problem with dissection {the Knights Hospitaller did this and the Church was fine with it}, at least in the basement anyway, which helped set the foundation of modern medicine. They started the first medical and law schools as well. They even educated children in monastic and convent schools when education became a higher demand and that was before the printing press. Not to mention, the Crusades also allowed Europeans to come into contact with Muslim ideas and Arabic numerals. And their massive cathedrals were marvels of medieval craftsmanship and engineering. Furthermore, monks were usually the most educated people in Europe of their day. Actually it would be more accurate to say that the Catholic Church was a great medieval engine of scientific progress. Not to mention, most medieval scientists were monks and/or priests as well. Still, doesn’t stop filmmakers from making movies set in the Middle Ages in which the Catholic Church is hostile to scientific inquiry which really wasn’t the case {especially with the Galileo Affair which isn’t as much a science vs. religion case as most people think}.)

Monks locked their Bibles to keep people from hearing the true word. (No way in hell. Monks locked their Bibles so churches could guarantee that people could hear the Bible on a daily basis as well as prevent it from getting stolen. A stolen Bible would’ve taken many months to replace since books at the time were copied by hand.)

Europeans were highly religious during the Middle Ages. (Despite the Crusades and the powerful presence of the Catholic Church, most people in the Middle Ages were probably just as religious as I am, observant yes, but with a more laid back approach like many Catholics today. Sure religion was important but it wasn’t the only thing in life and it wasn’t altogether incompatible to the modern notions of the day either. In other words, medieval Europeans may have went to church on Sundays but they weren’t religious fanatics, at least in general. Of course, religiosity would increase later in the Middle Ages as well as in the early Renaissance in Northern Europe since they were people who cared enough about religion to break off from the Catholic Church.)

The Catholic Church discouraged scientific research and progress. (Actually, quite the contrary. For one, most medieval scientists in Europe had a religious vocation. Second, while the Middle Ages wasn’t the best time for science {which wasn’t a big subject at the time}, it was nevertheless studied for practical reasons. The Church understood that scientific study can benefit them and help monks and nuns do their jobs better. Needing to care of the sick led to the study of medicine. The fact monks and nuns needed to schedule prayer times as well as find out when Easter is led to the study of rudimentary mathematics and the motions of the Sun and the Moon. Third, contrary to popular belief, the High Middle Ages was a really good time for science with the rise of Scholasticism and Aristotlelianism.)

Medieval cathedrals were often dark places. (Actually, they were places with large glass windows that let tons of light in. Churches were painted in bright colors. Still, today tourists tend to complain every time these places are washed because it’s too bright. Not to mention, it was inspired by Indian and Arab/Muslim building styles also from the Crusades.)

All nuns were virgins admitted into a convent as lovely, nubile waifs. (They could also be an ugly daughter of a lord or women who didn’t want to get married or have kids.)

Monks were benevolent men who devoted their lives to God. (Well, not quite for many monasteries enjoyed great wealth in the Middle Ages and many monks didn’t live too badly either {especially in the later Middle Ages}. In many ways, they were not just clergymen, but also businessmen, scribes, scientists, intellectuals, as well as some of the smartest guys around {same goes for nuns, too, for the most part}. Oh, and many monasteries had their own armies.)

Monks could hear confessions. (If they have taken holy orders since a lot of monks are priests. If not, then no.)

Monks were dissolute hypocrites who used religion to make money. (This isn’t 100% accurate either for though monks weren’t perfect human beings and the Church did have some degree of corruption, they were just as flawed like everyone else. We just tend to put them on a higher pedestal since they tend to be religious figures. Besides, every religion has their share of hypocrites and jerks as any institution and I’m sure medieval Christianity was no exception. Sure you may have a few bad and corrupt monks, but you also had a lot of cool ones as well. However, it was true enough for Henry VIII to convince the masses on why he had to dissolve the monasteries {which was to finance a war in France}, even though the actual debauchery and corruption of monks wasn’t nearly as bad as Henry made it out to be.)

Medieval Russia had no religious insignia in the 13th century. (Russia had been Orthodox Christian for quite some time and would continue to be the dominant church in the country until the Russian Revolution {though it’s still around}. Russian churches would usually have crosses on top and their banners would contain an icon of Christ {ditto priests in the army}. Of course, Eisenstein knew that the Soviet government wouldn’t accept this while filming Alexander Nevsky. Also, Nevsky is a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.)

Clergymen were forbidden to shed blood so they didn’t fight. (Sure but there were militant churchmen as well as military religious orders like the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights Hospitallers.)

“Dies Irae” was a Christian standard hymn in the 1100s. (It was written by a Thomas of Celano who lived around 1200-1260 so, no.)

Saint Francis of Assisi was known as “Jester of the Lord.” (It was his disciple Brother Juniper.)

Saint Francis of Assisi was originally referred to as Francis. (His real name was Giovanni di Pietro Bernardone. Francis was a nickname derived from Francesco {“Frenchy”} which he obtained when he was a little kid. Actually, Francis wouldn’t be used as a legal name until after he became a saint.)

Pope Innocent III had a full beard. (He was clean shaven.)

Everyone in Europe was Catholic during the Middle Ages. (Everyone west of Poland, that is. In Russia, the main church was Russian Orthodox Christianity while the Greeks in the Eastern Roman Empire were Greek Orthodox. Not to mention, before the Mongols you also had quite a few Christian sects in the Middle East and Central Asia like the Coptics, Armenian Apostolics, the Nestorians, the Maronites, Ethiopian Orthodox Rite, and others. When you really get down to it, medieval Christianity was quite diverse.)

The Catholic Church pretty much ran everything. (Yes, it was a powerful institution, but it also got into clashes with secular rulers who wanted to make their own decisions in religious affairs. Not to mention, secular monarchs can and did appoint bishops {Henry II appointed Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury}. Sure medieval society didn’t exactly have a lot of separation between church and state. And yes, the Catholic Church did mettle in politics as well, but it wasn’t always without a secular ruler’s consent either. They also crowned kings as well as married and annulled their unions {back when marriages were a form of diplomacy}. So while there wasn’t a lot of separation between church and state but it wasn’t exactly a theocracy either. Also, there was less church and state separation in the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church, than in any European Catholic country.)

There was an actual Pope Joan. (She never existed.)

The Catholic Church participated in witch hunts and witch burnings. (Maybe in the 1400s but they mostly considered belief in witches as highly heretical. Still, witch hunts did happen under secular governments though and only much later {and they only took witchcraft seriously in cases of murder and treason}. However, there were actually few witch trials during the Middle Ages and many were usually nothing but simple lynches.)

Inquisition guards wore nearly full plated armor in the 1300s. (Only a century later.)

Medieval monks could enter each other’s cells freely. (For a monk entering another’s cell without permission was normally forbidden as well as grounds for excommunication.)

Monks addressed each other as “Your Grace.” (This wouldn’t be appropriate address for a monk under any circumstances but rather for nobles and high members of the Catholic Church.)

Inquisitor Bernard Gui was killed in an Italian monastery in 1327. (Yes, he was a real person and was said to have sentenced 900 people as well as executing 42 of them during his 15 years in office. However, he died in the castle of Laroux in 1331. He also doesn’t die in Eco’s original novel In the Name of the Rose.)

Medieval clergy men and religious orders were highly superstitious. (Yes, but not as much as the laypeople in their domains. Of course, they probably did believe in demon possession and that writing with the left hand was a sin. For instance, most medieval clergymen believed in a round earth from its earliest days. So did most people at the time with an education. We should also account for the fact that most medieval scientists were monks and priests.)

Pagan philosophy was considered difficult to reconcile with Christianity as well as considered borderline heretical. (There is no way that William of Baskerville would need to worry about saving a book by Aristotle because Saint Thomas Aquinas had already embraced embraced several ideas put forward by the Greek philosopher as well as said it was perfectly all right for Christians to read works by non-Christian authors {and had been influenced by the Jewish philosopher Maimonides as well as Muslim philosophers Averroes and Avicenna}. This was in the 13th century. Not only that, but most of the European mythology we know about now was recorded by clergyman themselves, which were only referred just as stories.)

Some European monasteries had African monks. (This would be highly unlikely considering the circumstances.)

The Holy Grail was of great significance in Christianity at this time. (There’s no mention of it in any canonical Christian text and wasn’t spawned until the 12th century. Also, it’s more of a product of Arthurian legend than anything.)

Pagan practices were considered anti-Christian. (Except with the worship of other deities, many pagan practices weren’t considered anti-Christian, but were commonly carried out by Christians as well as became Christianized practices. Kind of like how some people celebrate the holidays with their own personal traditions just to make themselves feel comfortable with the faith. However, this doesn’t stop some people from believing that Christianity was based on earlier religions other than Judaism, of which there is no historic proof as well as nothing in what we know of the original pagan beliefs that we can draw a respective parallel with. In other words, to say that the story of Jesus was based on the myth  of Horus would be like saying it’s based on Harry Potter. Not to mention, those who believe that Christianity was based on pagan religions don’t tend to consider that a certain culture’s mythology doesn’t have a lot of consistency and that mythological stories sometimes tend to vary with location or change over time. And it doesn’t help that the prolific people who tend to believe this are high profile atheist intellectuals, who may be smart and experts in their respective field but that doesn’t mean they’re experts in religion, religious history, or even mythology.)

The Crusades:

There was no reason at all to recommend the Crusades. (Well, there kind of sort of was, at least in some of those people’s minds but I wouldn’t call it the best solution. Still, remember medieval society was a feudal and warlike culture so if these knights weren’t killing Muslims in the Holy Land, they were probably killing each other and then some {though the first Crusade’s primary enemy was the hostile Seljuk Turks who’ve just captured Jerusalem from the Fatimids who didn’t care as long as the Christians spent their money}. Not to mention, the Crusades were called to also help out the dwindling Byzantine Empire, the last remaining Christian stronghold of the Middle East at the time {though they were Greek Orthodox, not Catholic}. Also, Pope Urban II’s predecessor was kidnapped by Normans and were wreaking havoc all over Europe by the first Crusade. Besides, “bring the Cross to Jerusalem” was a much better slogan than “Save the Greek Empire” which nobody in Europe cared about.)

Crusaders taught desert dwelling Muslims how to irrigate their land. (Actually this was the other way around. They also taught them medicine, windmills, round towers, and others even though knights did participate in civil projects during the Crusades.)

Members of the Knights Templar could marry, own land, and be crowned king. (They were forbidden from marrying or owning land. Also, no Templar would ever be crowned king.)

Renaud Chatillon and Guy Lusignan were Templars. (No, they weren’t or never have been. Lusignan was actually king of Jerusalem at the time Chatillon launched his attack. Also, King Baldwin had been dead for several years.)

Sybilla’s marriage to Guy Lusignan was an arranged one. (Her family opposed the match and it was her second marriage.)

Balian was a heroic everyman knight who embodied the best of the chivalric ethos. He was also a blacksmith and an illegitimate son of a knight. (He was raised noble and wasn’t a blacksmith so he probably wasn’t illegitimate. Not to mention, he was part of the most important families in the Kingdom of Jerusalem but of a moderate faction known as the Ibelins {and he wasn’t born illegitimate, but as a younger son}. And he wasn’t born in France but in Jerusalem as a second generation crusader nobleman and would’ve definitely know who his father was. Not to mention, his dad was Italian, not French. Also, though he is known for making the courageous decision to negotiate with Saladin, he also betrayed his oath not to fight him on more than one occasion, sold many peasants in the siege into slavery, and refused to release his Muslim prisoners if Saladin wouldn’t accept surrender. He also threatened the destruction of Muslim holy places under the threat of a repeat of the 1st Crusade capture of Jerusalem. He was ruthless but Saladin would forgive his oath breaking due to prior excellent relations and even helped mediate a peace between him and Richard the Lionheart. Still, Balian wasn’t all that bad for he did pay ransoms for thousands of poor out of his own pocket and offered himself as a hostage for all the rest. Still, he was prone to taking power whenever he could find it, sided with Chatillon, and his dynasty fathered most of the royal families of Europe.)

Guy Lusignan was a foppish, racist douchebag and ax crazy Reynald Chatillon was his dragon. (Chatillon wasn’t ax crazy but he was the worse of the two, much worse. Also, though Lusignan may have been racist, so were many of the European Christians who participated and him and Reynald hated each other {leading to the disaster at Hattin} even though he tried to get him to apologize to Saladin which didn’t work. As what TV Tropes and Idioms says about Chatillon, “Raynald once had a man tortured by smearing him in honey and putting him on top of a tower in the hot sun, simply because the man refused to fund a military expedition Raynald was plotting. Oh, and the best part — the man was the Latin Patriarch of Antioch, a religious leader of the Crusaders — and the expedition was against Cyprus, an island held by the Byzantine Empire, inhabited by Christians. Of course, Raynald had what he thought was a perfectly good reason for this—he felt they owed him money. Or pretended he felt they owed him money. It’s tough to be sure. So — a “bit of a mustache twirling supervillain” is something of an understatement.” Also, Chatillon led a pirate fleet that threatened to burn down Mecca and flayed the Patriarch of Antioch alive.)

The Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem was a cowardly, self-absorbed jerk, blinded by his faith, and mostly spent his time spreading his prejudice against Muslims. (Actually it was he and Balian who negotiated the surrender of Jerusalem and rounded up the money to ransom the citizens who couldn’t afford to ransom themselves. They also offered themselves as ransom for those who they couldn’t afford to ransom which Saladin declined. He even stripped the silver and gold from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to pay the city’s defenders knowing it would’ve gotten him in big trouble.)

Sybilla was a member of the moderate faction in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. (As TTI puts it, “The historical Sybilla was actually part of the extremist camp within the Haute Cour, while the film places her squarely on the moderate side. The moderates, such as the Ibelins, attempted to blunt the ambitions of Lusignan and his supporters by refusing to allow her to take the throne after the death of her son (Baldwin V) unless she first divorced him. As a concession they allowed her to marry any man of her choosing afterwards, but unfortunately neglected to add “Except Lusignan,” who she then turned around and picked as her consort. Not because she was in desperate need of his military support as the film depicts, but entirely because of her devotion to him, and because she sided with him and the other extremists politically.” So a romance between Balian and Sybilla most likely didn’t happen.)

Guy Lusignan was an utter bastard who would do anything for power and was willing to wage a war for profit. He was also a terrible King of Jerusalem. (As TTI explains, “Historically, while he may have been ambitious, he was no more so than the next noble, and his decision to go to war was less a matter of Ax Craziness and more a matter of “Saladin’s already attacking, we need to do something about it.” While he was a bad king, it was not because he was nuts and evil, but because he was incompetent: He could listen to reason, and he even did so when Tiberius cautioned him to stay near a source of water and let Saladin come to him, but he allowed himself to be swayed by the over-zealous elements among the nobles and made the decision to march across the desert, exhausting his army and causing its downfall. He was also much better to his wife than in the film: historically, he treated her well enough that when she was given the chance to keep the throne and choose any husband for herself and make him King, she went right back to Guy.”)

Teutonic knight crosses were the same on shield and coat of arms. (They were different in shape and color.)

Returning Crusaders had to face the Black Plague. (Maybe they had to face plague, but the Crusades were long over before the Plague began.)

Russians participated in the Crusades. (There were no Russians in the Crusades.)

King William of Sicily fought in the Crusades. (He sent ships but never went personally.)

Frederick Barbarossa and his son the Duke of Swabia participated in the Crusades at the same time as Richard the Lionheart. (They were both dead by Richard’s arrival. Barbossa died en route in Turkey and his son of dysentery some months before.)

The Count of Montferrat spent more considerable time plotting in the French and English courts. (He was fighting in Tyre. Also, he’s from Piedmont, not Venice.)

Queen Berengaria spent some time in Saladin’s harem. (Really? No way in hell. Besides, there’s no record of Queen Berengaria ever stepping foot anywhere further than Cyprus where she married Richard the Lionheart.)

The Crusades were mostly against the Muslims in an effort to reconquer the Holy Land. (Yes, but there were also Crusades against the Moors in Spain, the Baltic pagans, and even the Albigensian heretics {though that can be considered an Inquisition, too.})

Crusaders eagerly went to the Holy Land on behalf of their God. (They also did it out of self-interests as well such as glory, self-enrichment, and adventure.)

Both sides seemed to get along with each other during the Crusades. (Just because Muslims fought with Muslims and Christians fought with Christians doesn’t mean they liked each other.)

The Crusades consisted of Christians vs. Muslims. (It didn’t become a Christian vs. Muslim conflict until French King Louis VII took a detour in the Second Crusade where he sacked Damascus, betraying his Muslim allies out of greed. Prior to this, it wasn’t unusual for Christians to have Muslim allies or Muslims to have Christian Allies. Not to mention the “Crusaders” in the later stages were mostly just adventurers and mercenaries more interested in glory and loot than defending Christian kingdoms or recapturing holy places.)

Christian Europeans weren’t okay with Muslims controlling Jerusalem. (Actually quite the contrary since prior to the Crusades, it had been controlled by the Muslims for nearly 500 years. It’s just that until the Crusades, Jerusalem was controlled by the easygoing Fatimid Muslims who were perfectly fine with Christian visitors on pilgrimages as long as they paid. And as long as Muslims were fine with Christian visitors in Jerusalem, Christian Europe didn’t care whether the Holy Land was under Christian control or not. However, the Christians weren’t all right with the Seljuk Turks invading the city since they were more prickly and devout than their Fatimid predecessors and had been treating Christian pilgrims poorly {since they didn’t particularly care for religious minorities anyway}. Not to mention, the Seljuk Turks have been trying to take advantage of the weakening Byzantine Empire in a land grab. So the Crusades were initially less of a religious conflict with Christians against the general Muslim population and more of a conflict against more fanatical Muslims who had already proven themselves as Christendom’s enemies and showed it. However, such characteristics only apply to the general Fatimid and Seljuk populations since not all Seljuks were bad and not all Fatimids were good.)

The Crusades were no help to Muslims at all. (Having Christians kill Muslims in the name of God actually gave something that could unite the Muslim world after being locked in a period of infighting which resulted in stronger and larger Muslim states and the end of Shiism as a political force for the next 300 years {until the Safavids converted Iran}. Still, the worst thing the Crusades did for the Muslims was being a major distraction for 2 bloody centuries that neither side even paid attention to what was happening in the east during the 1200s where a little known guy Mongolian named Temujin was making a name for himself. He was also known as Genghis Khan. For the Christians though, they led to a weakening of the Byzantine Empire and a permanent division of Christianity along east and west, while the already shaky alliances of European monarchies crumbled. By 1250, the west was no longer a significant threat to the Muslim world since Europe had suffered a massive drain of manpower and resources. )

The Crusades teach the notion that “religion is bad because people kill each other over it.” (There’s a lot more to the Crusades than religion. Also, remember this is the Middle Ages so if Christians weren’t killing Muslims in the name of God, they’d probably be killing each other over something else. Not to mention, being Christian didn’t stop the Normans from sacking Rome in 1060, which gave Urban II a good reason to fear them. Besides, it’s said Pope Urban II called the First Crusade to keep Christian invaders out of his own town, which would put their aggressive impulses to more constructive use at the time. Also, the Byzantine Emperor had petitioned for help. In some way, knowing that you and your potential enemies have the same religion can help. Not to mention, the Crusades didn’t stop Christians from attacking each other in the Middle East either out of greed or when it pleased them, being the knights they were {since they also sacked Byzantine cities, too even when they weren’t allowed to}. In the Fourth Crusade, Western European Christians actually sacked Constantinople in 1204 that made the schism between Eastern and Western Christianity all but absolute. Not only that, but it massively pissed off Pope Innocent III that he excommunicated all who participated in it {well, he threatened to before to deter the Crusaders from attacking fellow Christians, but it didn’t work}.)

The Catholic Church had no qualms with Christian crusaders killing Muslims in the name of God. (Actually the Church was perfectly fine with Christians killing Muslims in the name of God as long as they were seen as enemies of Christendom {while killing fellow Christians and allies was a sin}. But despite what you might’ve heard, this didn’t mean that the Catholic Church allowed Christians to kill Muslims indiscriminately, since the Christians initially had Muslim allies like the Arab Fatimids. Thus, this only applied at least to the Seljuk Turks who weren’t nice to Christians to begin with, at least in the First Crusade {though it might apply to Fatimids, too, at least later}. But being the raping and pillaging knights they were, even the stipulations against killing allies didn’t stop them  from killing Arab and Byzantine Christians eventually. As for the Muslims, the Crusades didn’t stop them from attacking each other either, at least initially.)

The Knights Templar had a relationship with the Freemasons. (There are claims of this but it’s unlikely they existed at the same time.)

The Knights Templar existed in 1539. (They were dissolved in 1312 by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V mostly due to the Templars’ wealth.)

The Knights Templar were a fanatical and ruthless militant fighters. (Yes, but so were a lot of people in the Middle Ages and they were initially like this in the early days. However, they were also skilled, pious, and occasionally highly educated fighters, cavalry, and bankers. When they became wealthier, they became less involved with fighting.They were also notoriously tolerant organization that cultivated diplomatic contacts with the Muslim world, worked with Muslim architects {influencing Gothic architecture}, merchants, and even theologians as well as disapproved slaughtering enemies if they agreed to surrender. These guys also invented dual accounting, credit cards, holding companies, corporations {they might’ve been the world’s first}, insurance, travel agencies, and modern banking. Oh, and many of these points were used against them by French king Philip IV who just wanted their gold and there were persistent rumors {that still go on to this day} that the Templars were corrupt despite most evidence to the contrary. They’re actually not as bad as most Hollywood portrayals depict.)

The Templars knew that Jesus had a relationship with Mary Magdalene resulting in the Merovingian line. (This is utter Dan Brown nonsense.)

Christian crusaders only massacred Muslims during the Crusades. (They massacred every Muslim and Christian in Jerusalem in 1098. Oh, and they even sacked Byzantine cities.)

The Knights Templar used a Roman cross in the 12th century. (They used a Maltese Cross until a century later when they were forced to change to a Roman Cross.)

The Knights Templar wore a white surcoat and black cross in the 12th century. (This is the outfit of the Teutonic Knights: the arms of Saint Mary of the Germans which was founded in 1190.)

There were a lot of casualties among the defenders of Jerusalem during the siege in the Third Crusade. (There were relatively few until the final fight.)

Balian had just lost a wife and child during the Siege of Jerusalem. (He was married with two children who were with him at the time. During the siege, he was trying to get them out of the city.)

Balian and Sybilla had an affair. (There’s no way this happened. For one, Sybillia and Guy Lusignan were definitely devoted to one even though people didn’t like them being together. Second, Balian’s wife was very much alive though she was a widow to a previous king of Jerusalem. Actually they were more likely enemies since Balian supported his stepdaughter’s {who also happened to be Sybilla’s younger half-sister} claim to the throne of Jerusalem as well as got her to annul her first marriage and marry a more suitable king.)

Balian’s wife committed suicide after delivering a stillborn baby. (She was alive and with her husband in Jerusalem. Also, she managed to give birth to two kids to Balian and would later have two more {who all survived}. Oh, and she had a daughter from a previous marriage with a previous king Jerusalem no doubt. Balian’s wife Maria Kommene was actually a daughter of a Byzantine nobleman and a great-niece of Emperor who bestowed a rich dowry in her first marriage {though the Komenes were known to experience a lot of family activities such as assassinating one another}. Oh, and they were enemies of King Richard the Lionheart.)

Teutonic Knights had swastika logos on them. (They didn’t use swastikas on anything. Still, they’re used in Alexander Nevsky as stand-ins for the Nazis.)

The Knights Templar helped pass down wisdom of ancient geometry derived the Ancient Egyptians during the Crusades. (They wouldn’t have done this.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 6- Vikings and Fighters

This is from a 1928 silent technicolor movie called The Viking which focuses on Leif Ericson. The accurate details about his life featured here are that he was the son of Eric the Red and discovered North America that we know of. Still, this picture shows a popular image of Vikings wearing horned helmets, which is not only historically inaccurate but also a stupid idea. Still, this doesn’t stop teams from having such images on their sports logos.

The Middle Ages isn’t one of the most accurately depicted times in movies. Much of how we view the medieval era isn’t shaped by actual history but by how it was viewed by later generations like in the Renaissance or the Victorian era. The Middle Ages lasted for about a thousand years or show as well as experienced lots of changes, but many medieval movies may take place in one era. Yet, they may have the people wear clothes and use weapons from a later period as well as large scale battles conducted in ways that would make most medieval military minds scratch their heads. Not to mention, some aspects of the Middle Ages are more likely to be filmed than others. Movies set in the Early Middle Ages tend to be about Vikings even though they were among many of the Germanic tribes wreaking havoc all over Dark Age Europe {mostly because few surviving writings from this era exist}. Well, that or King Arthur {who may just be a mythological figure}. Also, many of them tend to focus on fighting {like large scale epic battles} and most of them would be set in England {mostly because of Shakespeare, Robin Hood, and King Arthur} though there was plenty happening throughout Europe as well. This post will devote itself to the Vikings and the Medieval warfare inaccuracies portrayed in movies since these revolve around fighting which was common place in the Middle Ages.

No group gets more movie depictions in the Early Middle Ages than the Vikings, the fearsome Scandinavian raiders that bring any settled early medieval village to its knees. Many of these guys were pagans who worshiped the Norse Gods, wore awesome gear and carried gnarly weapons, sailed on ships with gruesome figureheads, and had long light hair and beards. Of course, this is the Hollywood depiction. Yet, the Middle Ages was a time where warfare was common place, of knighthood and chivalry, castles, battles, and tournaments. However, when it comes to Hollywood, there of plenty of things that movies get wrong which I shall list accordingly.

The Vikings:

The Vikings wore horned helmets and treated their women as objects. (The Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets, it was made up by Wagner when he did his operas on Norse and German mythology. Besides, a horned helmet wouldn’t be of any practical use whatsoever. Still, the Teutonic Knights and the samurai did though. And the women didn’t wear cone bras either. Also, Viking women held more rights than most other women did at the time.)

The Vikings were a savage people who raided and pillaged in areas all over Europe. They were also filthy as well as large and muscled. (Raiders, yes, but the Vikings weren’t uncivilized savages. They also were traders, explorers, artists, sailors, craftsmen, settlers, as well as a lot of other things. They also discovered Iceland, Greenland, and North America. And as for hygiene, evidence shows they were keen on personal hygiene unlike some European peoples. And they weren’t always hated and feared either.)

Vikings were tall, big, and blond. (Actually, though they came from Scandinavia and blond was seen as ideal, they took slaves from a great many ethnic groups who later joined them. So maybe there were Vikings who looked like Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine after all. Also, the average Viking man’s height was 5’ 7” which is not tall but fairly average.)

Viking was an ethnicity. (It was more of a job description derived from their method of raiding. Also, they did carry their weapons in normal life which they used for other purposes. They referred to themselves as Norsemen. All Vikings were Norsemen but not all Norsemen were Vikings. Also, most Norsemen would stay in villages all their lives.)

Vikings were clean shaven. (Male Vikings had beards.)

All Germanic tribesmen looked and dressed alike.

Viking women usually stayed home. (Many actually did accompany their husbands on invasions and sometimes fought according to recent evidence.)

Viking funerals consisted of a warrior being burned on the boat with all his possessions. (There was also a slave girl thrown in, too, but no one wants to film that.)

The Vikings were feared from all those they invaded. (Sometimes, but they weren’t bad rulers as well as accepted as traders. Also, they and the Slavs got along much nicely in what is now Russia and the former Soviet Union. It’s said Kievan Rus was founded by a man named  Rurik and his Viking band {who was a Finn raised in Swedish society} though it was already an urbanizing culture when those guys came.)

Leif Ericson fell for an English princess.( No, he didn’t. Nor did he land in Rhode Island {he landed in Canada, specifically, New Foundland or Nova Scotia}. Also, he didn’t speak Algonquin either.)

Hrothgar was a king of Denmark who met Ahmed ibn Fadlan. (Both these men existed in different eras. The Danish king mentioned lived during the 500s and wouldn’t have any contact with Muslims in the first place since Islam was founded in 622. The latter existed in 922. Of course, Vikings could’ve met Muslims though.)

The Vikings only used axes. (Vikings were all legally required to own weapons and the vast majority of Viking men and women used swords.)

The Vikings were unusually bloodthirsty and barbaric. (Well, they were living in a violent age and non-Viking armies were just as bad. However, they usually get special mention because of their willingness to destroy objects of religious value and kill churchmen, earning them a lot of hatred in a highly religious time. Also, they kind of enjoyed the reputation they had.)

Vikings were hated everywhere. (Some respected them like French king Charles the Simple who gave a Viking chief named Rollo Normandy and his daughter. In return these Vikings protected France against their wilder counterparts. Also, the Byzantine Emperors if the 11th century were protected by Swedish bodyguards in Constantinople.)

The Vikings lived only in Scandinavia and later settled in Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. (They started settlements reaching as far as North Africa, Russia, and Constantinople.)

The Vikings used crude and unsophisticated weaponry. (They were actually very skilled weapons smiths. They could make extremely sharp and flexible swords.)

Viking funerals were solemn occasions. (Yes, but after the deceased was sent in a blazing glory, it was basically a party with feasting and fighting afterwards.)

A Viking weapon of choice was the doubled axe. (No double axe has ever been found in early medieval Europe. Also, Viking axes were light and single handed and spears are the most common weapons found on their sites.)

Viking drank from skull cups. (They drank from horns.)

Vikings were a nation. (They were a groups of warriors, explorers, and merchants headed by a chieftain.)

Viking men had tresses. (They shaved the backs of their heads like a reverse mullet.)

Barbarians:

The Huns were Asian looking. (They were from Eastern Europe or Central Asia not Mongolia. Yet, we’re not sure what the Huns looked like.)

Attila the Hun visited Rome and fell in love with Valentinian III’s  sister Honoria. (He never visited Rome nor even met the Roman princess. However, he did consent to marrying her before invading the Roman Empire after she was caught in bed with her brother’s chamberlain. Yet, this had less to do with love than wanting her brother Valentinian III dead. Oh, and instead of being exiled to a convent in Constantinople, she was forced to marry a senator.)

Attila the Hun never had a bath. (He did bathe.)

Knights and Warfare:

Knights were honorable, chivalrous, warriors who wooed damsels, were faithful to their wives, and treated their subjects with respect. (Actually, many knights usually entered into arranged marriages and many of them would hump pretty much anything that moves. Also, many of these knights raped peasant women and took their aggression on the local population which was one of the reasons why the Catholic Church called for a Crusade. Oh, and prostitution was legal because it was believed to deter rape among the general population and even the Vatican had brothels. In the Middle Ages, knights in shining armor were more the exception than the norm.)

Knights followed a specific code of chivalry which depicted unwavering pillars of justice. (Knights basically followed chivalry whenever they wanted to and only respected those above them. Most of them did whatever they wanted such as rape, looting, pillaging, and killing peasants. In fact, they looting was their right since they thought the booty was owed for their services. Hell, they’d hang out at bridges and rivers in large groups where they’d pick fights with passing knights, kill peasants, and harass women.)

Good knights treated peasants and serfs like human beings. (Knights treated serfs incredibly terrible since they were at the lowest rung of society. Serfs were usually key targets of knights since they were responsible for the upkeep of an estate. And though they might not be killed by a rival knight, they’ll likely be severely wounded or dismembered so they’d be a drain on estate. If a knight killed another lord’s serf, he’d have to pay or receive a beating.)

Armor was surprisingly useless against most forms of attacks. Whenever the plot requires, arrows and sword thrusts will punch through armor with ease. This is related to:

Braveheart Brigandine: This consists of metal plates riveted beneath a leather covering with a gap between the plates. This as flexible and easy to make, and virtually useless as protection, because any thrust will slide along the plate until it reaches the gap, slides into it, and kills the wearer. Its most perverse variant is the Braveheart Pajama Bottom of War: trousers with metal plates riveted to them with *large* gaps between them so the wearer can move. These gaps allow William Wallace to chop the wearer’s legs off with ease.  [From A Commonplace Book] (It’s unlikely that actual medieval fighters wore this.)

Studded Armor. Leather armor with decorative studs. This is designed to look like brigantine or similar armor to someone who doesn’t have a very good idea what brigantine looks like. The studs offer approximately the same protective value as loose change in the wearer’s pocket. However, the combination of metal studs and leather is very popular in bad historical movies, as well as the kind of bar where the patrons like that sort of thing. [From A Commonplace Book] (Armor wasn’t really useless in forms of attacks since many medieval soldiers used it in the form of chainmail, which was very heavy.)

For a medieval hero, a helmet is an encumbrance to be discarded as soon as possible, so that the hero’s face can be more easily seen and recognized. Unless it is desirable to wait until later to suddenly reveal that the armored figure is female, evil or somebody who we have already met. (Soldiers usually wore helmets in battle for good reason.) [From A Commonplace Book]

The Antagonists are Eeeeevil. Particularly if the protagonists are killing large number of the antagonists, having completely evil bad guys helps avoid any nasty moral ambiguity to the body count. Cardboard Cliche Villains don’t hesitate to promiscuously slaughter random civilians (Timeline), rape and kill women (Braveheart), not necessarily in that order (The Messenger) or toss babies into the fire (Alexander Nevsky) [From A Commonplace Book] (You see that many medieval movies operate on protagonist morality though both sides usually engaged in this.)

Protagonists can do no wrong. If a historical protagonist has actually made a belt from the skin of an opponent, or carried out a campaign of burning and pillage aimed at civilians, this will not appear in the movie (Braveheart)[From A Commonplace Book] (This was relatively common in the Middle Ages but this is right.)

Amazing Portable Siege Weapons. Enormous munitions siege weapons can always be deployed from somewhere else over medieval roads to where they are needed in whatever time is required by the plot (Timeline) [From A Commonplace Book] (These would take a lot of time and resources to assemble.)

Random Melee. Some modern fight choreographers like to show the chaos of battle by scattering fighters of both sides randomly about the field in a series of mostly single combats. (Braveheart, Branagh Henry V, etc, etc, etc.). (If you have gotten yourself into this kind of situation on a medieval battlefield, you, your companions, and/or commander are incompetent and will probably be dead in a few minutes. If you’re doing it right, you are standing in good formation with an ally on your left and your right, and you won’t break formation until your enemy is fleeing in rout, if then. Alexander Nevsky is one of the few movies that comes close to getting this right.) [From A Commonplace Book]

Only nobles fought battles. (Actually nobles were officers but medieval soldiers came from all backgrounds and most were drafted peasant foot soldiers.)

In a swordfight, you can always parry behind your back, and you must always find a set of stairs to fight on so that the loser can roll down them and die at the bottom. [From A Commonplace Book]

Knights could easily get up by themselves after falling off a horse. (Of course, wearing armor didn’t make this job easy.)

Knights fought in tournaments to win a lady’s favor. (It was battle practice and they weren’t fighting for girls as prizes. Sometimes there were prizes you wouldn’t expect.)

Knights never cheated in tournaments unless they were evil. (Cheating in tournaments was very common.)

Storming the castle through the front door was the best way to defeat an enemy. (In medieval warfare, this is the absolute worst thing you can do since it basically made the castle forces’ job a whole lot easier. Most medieval armies would usually surround the castle and hold it under siege until the resident lord or lady surrendered {though some did try to sneak in through the toilets which is also a dumb thing to do, which goes without saying}. This could take months or years. This is why so many nobles built castles back then because they were very effective defenses.)

Swords were a preferred weapon of choice for most of the Middle Ages. (Those living in the Early Middle Ages would rather use a spear or a battle axe {since they were easier to make and lighter than wood axes}. Besides, steel blades were rather expensive and difficult to make on swords. The Dark Age Europe weapon of choice was blade on stick, which they’d use for everything. Many Dark Age weapons were even passed down generations.)

Castles existed during the Dark Ages. (They didn’t in Britain at least until William the Conqueror. So if King Arthur existed, he wouldn’t have one.)

Early medieval knights were clad in full armor. (Knighthood as we know it didn’t exist yet in the early Middle Ages. Also, most knight armor we see came from the 13th century or later.)

Open fighting was a daily occurrence consisting of two armies on a big field. (From Medievalist: “Warfare was very common in the Middle Ages (as in pretty much every other age), but medieval strategists were too sensible to frequently attempt the type of battle we often see in the movies. Having two big armies charge each other in the field was a little too risky – the outcome could go either way. Because of this, the most common type of warfare was siege warfare: an army would attack a stronghold, and their opponents would try to withstand the attack. For some entertaining views of siege tactics, check out The Lord of the Rings trilogy (you’ll find sieges in The Two Towers and The Return of the King). While there weren’t a lot of orcs and goblins running around medieval Europe, J.R.R. Tolkien was a medievalist, so some of the tactics are borrowed from history.”)

Squires assisted the knight as a sidekick. (They also had to clean the knight’s armor as well as assist him in other ways.)

Medieval armor made knights slow. (From Writing Is Cake: “Somehow, somewhere, somebody started the idea that a fully armored knight was about as nimble as lead statue.  A lead statue high on quaaludes.  The cliche is an unhorsed knight was ‘as helpless as a turtle on its back’.  It’s not even close to true.  It is true that in the late middle ages, when tourneys were big money, specialized jousting armor was made.  These suits were designed for only one thing, riding a horse in a straight line with a lance.  They were never designed for any kind of real war (most had helmets that you couldn’t see out of)  Every other kind of armor was designed to keep a warrior alive on a field of battle and survival meant protection, mobility and vision.  Even the full plate was fully articulated and knights were expected to perform all sorts of acrobatics in them; leaping into a saddle, climbing up siege ladders with only their arms (think monkey-bars), and doing somersaults.”)

Medieval swords weighed 15 pounds. (From Writing Is Cake: “Your average sword was under four feet long and under three pounds.  A professional warriors sword would typically be more like three feet and about a pound and a half to two pounds.  The mechanics and physics of what a sword does is based on velocity.  Swords are light and balanced so the six to ten inches near the tip go as fast as possible with the least amount of effort from the end you’re holding.  Even the big two-handers like a Scot’s claymore or landsknecht’s pike breaker are much lighter than you might think.”)

There was one type of battle axes. (There were two consisting of a fighting axe for close combat and a throwing axe for distance.)

Soldiers never used guns in the Middle Ages. (They did in the later years.)

Flaming Arrows were often used in battle, particularly by those at castles. (They weren’t as often used as medieval movies claim it to be. I mean before you can set the arrows on fire, you had to wrap them in a flaming material first which may make them heavier, reduce their range, and inhibit its ability to penetrate the enemy’s skin. Also, may pose as a fire hazard. So flaming arrows wouldn’t be a handy way to kill someone and medieval soldiers didn’t use them to do so. Yet, whenever they did use flaming arrows, it was usually to frighten the enemy, letting archers know how to adjust their shots, and setting targets on fire.)

Castles were easy pickings when the adult males were away. (If you think you could easily take castles in which the resident nobles occupying it are women and children, think again. Women of noble or royal birth in the Middle Ages had sufficient knowledge of warfare and combat training for defending their turf while their men were away. Also, many tradesmen of the era had their wives helping them in their craft so women armorer is possible. So the medieval notion of damsel in distress was probably a myth unless she’s trapped in a castle and being besieged by a force significantly outnumbering her. In that case, you might want to bring reinforcements.)

Swords made a clinking sound. (From Medieval Sourcebook: “From Cathy Hanley  [Here is a myth, or rather] an inaccuracy which appears in every medieval film I’ve ever seen. Why is it that whenever anyone picks up or draws a sword the filmmakers feel obliged to add that annoying “ching” sound, even when the sword is drawn from a leather scabbard or picked up off a table? Anyone who has ever tried to draw a sword (I have several) will know that it’s almost impossible to produce this sound. The only way I’ve found is to deliberately pull the sword across the back of a mail glove, but this isn’t very authentic!I know it’s probably more dramatic, but it sounds so false and is highly annoying.”)

Armor was too heavy. (A knight in full harness weighed up to 60 to 120 pounds. All he couldn’t do in it was swim.)

Sword fights lasted a long time. (Most usually lasted a few minutes even if it didn’t result in killing or seriously injuring one’s opponent.)

Only knights used swords. (All soldiers used them in battles and these guys weren’t all knights either.)

All European swords were straight blades. (Most were but some did use scimitars from the Middle East, especially after the Crusades.)

Swords were easy to make. (It took many years for a skilled master craftsman to forge a high quality blade.)

Swordfights were always honorable affairs. (Sometimes they were just about trying to win and survive and a lot of knights wouldn’t hesitate to use dirty tactics.)

Knights were helpless without their swords. (Each knight had significant training in self-defense and martial arts from the time he was seven. Of course, he may not be as proficient or as encompassing against an Asian kung-fu master, but if he lost his sword, he’d still be formidable foe. Also, historic records and manuals of such do exist.)

Stronger swords were better swords. (They also needed to be durable and flexible.)

Swords always stayed sharp. (All blades need to be sharpened.)

Knights were highly likely to be killed in battle. (Conscripted foot soldiers could be killed if they killed a knight even he fought on the other side. Capturing one was better since they could fetch a handsome ransom. Captured foot soldiers were instantly slaughtered).

Swords cut through armor. (Chainmail was quite impervious to swords.)

Medieval armies amassed thousands of people. (Depends on the setting. Maybe in national wars but in situations between two lords, it’s more likely a few thousand at most.)

Trebuchets were very effective weapons that caused a lot of widespread damage. (They weren’t effective at long distances or at low arc {they threw projectiles at a high arc}. Also, the biggest damage they’d do to a large castle wall is creating a huge dent and a thump upon impact.)

Medieval soldiers had no problem fighting at night. (Fighting at night is what most medieval soldiers tried to avoid for obvious reasons, except in stealthy sneak attacks if possible.)

The Longbow killed the knight. (The cost of putting him on the field did. From Lonnie Colson.com: “It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in today’s currency to field one knight along with the necessary supplies and retainers he would need. Even more importantly, he had to be extensively trained from the age of 5 to deftly wield sword and lance while wearing armour. That is in stark contrast to the small sum that it cost to put an arbequs–early firearm–in the hands of a common soldier with very little training. Thus it was that with the dawn of the age of gunpowder we saw the sun set on the age of chivalry.”)

Any man can become a knight. (The vast majority of knights were born into wealth. Unless a foot soldier did something exceptionally badass in battle like saving a lord’s life perhaps. But they were just as likely to be killed by embarrassing someone born with money.)

Battle axes and wood axes looked about the same. (Battle axes were lighter than wood axes since it took much less force to cut people’s heads off than cut down trees. Simple physics, really.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 5- Early Christianity

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Of course, I had to post a bloody Jesus picture from The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson. Though most historians agree Jesus really existed, he probably didn’t look like this at his crucifixion (save for the blood). I mean he’s just too white but I thought you already knew that. Still, this post is all about him and the religion he founded.

In my post of Ancient Rome, I deliberately left out the history of early Christianity because not only does it play a key role in Roman history and history in general (as well as one of the most prominent religion with so many sects and followers of different denominations), but it’s also a popular subject with filmmakers and one of the reasons why so many movies take place in Ancient Rome. There have been countless movies made about Jesus as well as take place in first century Palestine (including Life of Brian pictured in my last post). Heck, there are even movies about people even remotely associated with Jesus like Salome, Judah Ben Hur, Marcellus who crucified him, or Brian born down the street from Jesus. Don’t forget to see appearances of St. Peter and St. Paul (who should totally get his own movie), Pontius Pilate, the Virgin Mary, Judas Iscariot, St. Joseph, and those three kings of Orient are. Nevertheless, while Christianity began as a religion of martyrs as well as an offshoot of Judaism, it soon became the dominant and official religion of the Roman Empire (and later the one of the most dominant religions in the world). Yet, even filmmakers can get things wrong in the life of Christ as well as the early years of Christianity which I shall list as follows to make sure you understand why God may inflict his wrath on some of them over wrong information (of course, some of it was taken from the Bible and many of these movies do well at the box office but still).

The Story of Jesus:

Pontius Pilate remained neutral during the trial of Jesus and even says that he found nothing treasonable in Jesus’ actions. (Out of most of the biblical characters in the Passion narrative, I’ve always had a problem with the characterization of Pontius Pilate. In the gospels, Pilate seems all too reluctant to condemn Jesus to death, which I don’t find believable. I mean would someone in Pilate’s stature be all too reluctant to sign the death warrant of a man who has basically spoken against almost everything he and the Roman Empire stood for? I think he’d either not give a damn or be all too happy to crucify him. Perhaps his portrayal was the intent of the authors to characterize him in one of least offensive way possible but not make him seem like a good guy or maybe the whole thing was an act, at least in the Gospels anyway for perhaps the writers were playing it safe to depict Pilate that way. The Jewish perception of Pilate seems much more believable as well as their notion that Pilate didn’t last long in Jerusalem after Jesus’ crucifixion because the Romans thought he was too brutal.)

Jesus was a rather good looking man. (In the Bible, it’s best to say that he wasn’t very remarkable looking but certainly not butt ugly either. Thus, Jesus’s looks were about average that he wouldn’t stand out as far as history and the Gospels were concerned. He looked no different than what you’d expect from any Palestinian Jew in his 30s with tan skin, dark eyes, short dark hair, and a beard. Yet, most actors who portray Jesus look straight out of a fitness magazine. If he was seen as attractive, the events in the Gospels might’ve went quite differently, particularly when he greets his disciples after the resurrection.)

Mary was a teenage girl when she had Jesus. (She probably would’ve been no younger than 16, though it was possible that she would’ve been between 12-14 during her betrothal to Joseph, maybe even younger than that {like when they were kids}. St. Joseph probably would’ve been no older than 30 and most likely would’ve never married or have any kids. Thus, Jesus’s “brothers and sisters” would’ve been actually his cousins and other close relatives like aunts or uncles {this is according to my religious interpretation}.)

Herod the Great ordered the slaughter of babies in a mad quest to find the baby Jesus. (This is said in the Gospel of Matthew but there’s no record to support this. Besides, it’s fair to say it’s only included in Matthew because the author was writing for a Jewish Christian audience with his Gospel portraying Jesus as a “new Moses.” Herod slaughtering infants around Jesus’ birth was included to draw parallels with Moses’ birth birth story under the Pharaoh. However, though Herod may not have slaughtered any infants, this doesn’t mean he was a crazy or brutal king for he certainly was. In fact, he’s known for killing members of his own family out of paranoia, including a wife and 2 sons.)

Pontius Pilate was bullied by the Sanhedrin to crucify Jesus. (This is very unlikely for the Sanhedrin were only Roman puppets of the period and knew they only existed at Rome’s pleasure. Also, it would’ve been very unlikely for a Roman prefect to accept such actions. It’s probably safe to say that Jesus’ execution was one thing that he and the Sanhedrin could agree upon.)

Mary was with Jesus during most of his ministry. (Movies tend to depict this, but her appearances vary in the Gospels {in terms of certainty}. In Matthew, she’s only present in the infancy narrative. In Luke, she only appears up until Jesus is 12. However, Luke has her appear at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles for the Ascension and Pentecost, so it’s possible she traveled with him during his ministry in his Gospel. In John, she’s at the Wedding of Cana and present at Jesus’s crucifixion {the only Gospel she’s present at this event}. However, in Mark, she’s only seen in Nazareth with other family members who were obviously not happy with what Jesus was doing. Nevertheless, having Mary with Jesus during his ministry seems to make a lot more sense.)

Salome was the voluptuous stepdaughter of Herod Antipas who had designs on John the Baptist and his refusal was the reason why he lost his head. (Of course, Salome has suffered the same fate as many women in history like Pocahontas, Cleopatra, and Catherine the Great, called the sex up, which consists of making historical figures much more physically attractive than they were in real life. Yet, unlike the characterization, the Gospels portray Salome as a young girl who probably never met John the Baptist but asks for his head on a platter at the request of her mother and she presented his head to her when the deed was done. She was her mother’s pawn and she wasn’t a sexy young woman either.)

Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. (She wasn’t but she was from a sea town which didn’t have the best reputation. And she wasn’t the woman who anointed Jesus either. She was probably the Mediterranean Jewish equivalent to the American white trash girl from a trailer park. The mentioned “harlot” in the Gospels is another woman. Also, the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet was Mary of Bethany who was the sister of Martha and Lazarus.)

Jesus was crucified with a loincloth over him. (In most crucifixions, the victim was completely naked, which was done to disgrace and humiliate the victims. I know Jesus wasn’t depicted as such in religious art but there’s probably no reason to believe he was spared of this. Still, I don’t think religious authorities should be upset at a naked depiction of Jesus on the cross for some say that shame and humiliation was an issue that Jesus dealt with as separation from God. But hey, to each his own, but I know how Hollywood has striven to make history family friendly and I would preach against depicting Jesus’ crucifixion in that historically accurate fashion for you will never hear the end of it. Yet, at least Jesus gets depicted on the cross nearly naked for whenever someone other than Jesus is crucified, he or she usually has their clothes on like Spartacus or anyone crucified in Life of Brian except Brian but that was due to cold temperatures.)

Jesus and his disciples drank out of a metal chalice during the Last Supper. (The Holy Grail is never mentioned in the Bible. Besides, I think he and his disciples probably drank out of a wooden chalice which didn’t look anything special.)

Jesus was white. (He was Jewish and had Semitic features. If you saw him at the airport in the US, it’s possible he’d be subjected to extra profiling by the TSA to see he wasn’t an Islamic terrorist.)

Jesus had long hair and a beard. (He had dark hair and beard, but most men of his day had short hair. Also, remember that Judas Iscariot had to kiss him in order to identify them. So if you were to see Jesus at the Last Supper, he’d probably look almost indistinguishable from his disciples.)

Jesus and Joseph were carpenters. (We’re not sure whether they were or just itinerant workers.)

Judas didn’t really believe Jesus was the son of God. (Who knows if he did?)

Mary didn’t want to marry Joseph. (Her view on her impending marriage to Joseph did not matter at the time, even after she became pregnant when he was the only one who took her in as his wife. Still, she could’ve done worse. Nevertheless, according to tradition, being the mother of Jesus was ultimately Mary’s decision {though she was chosen by God out of many different women}.)

Jesus spoke Aramaic which is a language that can be spoken today. (Yes, Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the “Aramaic” you hear in Mel Gibson’s holy gore fest is mostly educated guesswork on what it might’ve sounded and is probably as “authentic” as it’s going to get. However, the real pronunciations and intonations are lost to time that even linguists don’t exactly know how it sounded. Besides, the New Testament was originally written in Greek.)

Jesus celebrated the Passover with a seder of leaven bread sitting upright at a table. (It would more likely be matza or stuff made for Communion wafers. Also, a Seder is supposed to be eaten while reclining not in dining room fashion. Of course, you may have plenty of artists to blame because this is how the Last Supper is usually depicted.)

The crowd of Jews and Sanhedrin gave the order to crucify him. (Despite the Bible may tell you, there are only four death penalties permitted according to Jewish Law- beheading, stoning, burning or strangling. Crucifixion wasn’t one of them, yet it was probably more or less Pilate’s idea. Thus, no Jew would ever give the order to crucify Jesus, assuming if other execution methods were available then. Also, the Sanhedrin had no authority to execute anyone since Jesus was a kid and had to turn Jesus to Pilate to be judged by Roman law {and the Roman governor probably wouldn’t hesitate to crucify him whether the Jews wanted it or not}. Also, only the Temple security could use deadly force and only to those caught trespassing. Then the Torah says part of the death penalty was to hang a criminal’s corpse on a tree until evening after killing him so perhaps this is what the crowds and Sanhedrin chanted for instead. Then again, “Kill him and hang him to a tree!” doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it as “Crucify him!” Besides, Rome would rather save time by killing Jesus by hanging him on a tree anyway.)

Jesus was nailed to the cross with nails driven through his hands. (Nails would be driven through is wrists since palm tissue is too soft to support the weight of the victim.)

Romans and Judeans would speak to each other in their native tongues. (They’d more likely be communicating in Koine Greek to each other, the lingua franca of the Mediterranean.)

Herod Antipas was a depraved homosexual. (There’s no way of knowing this. However, according to the Gospels, he ran off and married his sister-in-law, Herodias while she was still technically married to his brother {also called Herod} and was his niece. John the Baptist was put in prison and later executed for criticizing Herod over this, {explaining why Herodias wanted Salome to ask her stepfather for his head}. Then again, Josephus says that Herod was worried that John the Baptist’s public influence would instigate a rebellion so he had him put to death. Still, he was said to have a notorious reputation for womanizing and Hellenizing royalty, which the Jews didn’t like. Also, dumping his first wife would later lead to a war between him and her dad.)

Herod Antipas only beheaded John the Baptist at the insistence of Salome as Herodias’s pawn. (Only in Mark’s Gospel he’s personally reluctant. In Matthew’s Gospel, Herod wants John the Baptist dead but worries that executing him might start an insurrection. Thus, in Matthew, Herod is reluctant to kill John the Baptist because he doesn’t think it’s good policy.)

Peter was a middle aged man with graying hair at the time of Jesus. (He’s usually depicted this way {save in The Robe} but he was probably not much older than Jesus. Also, Jesus and his disciples all looked alike, remember?)

“Christ” is Jesus’ surname. (It’s a descriptive title used by the Greeks to mean “anointed one.” Also, Jesus didn’t actually have a surname like most people of common birth at the time. Surnames were reserved for nobles.)

There were three magi. (Matthew doesn’t necessarily say how many they were, but most nativity usually go with three for gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Oh, and he says they visited him when he was two years old in a house somewhere else.)

Peter, James, and John were tempted by snakes as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. (They were tempted by sleep, not snakes. And yes, Peter, James, and John all fell asleep anyway. Also, Jesus wasn’t tempted at all.)

Jesus invented the dining table. (Dining tables existed before Jesus and there’s quite a lot of evidence for that.)

Early Christianity:

Christians were martyred at the Roman Coliseum. (Yes, there were possibly Christians martyred on the land before the place was built but they weren’t martyred in the building. It is said that Pope Benedict XIV made that up because he didn’t want the coliseum to be destroyed by developers who wanted to build a wool factory there. Still, he was right to say that it was a historically significant place even if he did make a few things up.)

Hypathia was a scientist and atheist. She was killed by Christians in the name of knowledge and science and because she was a woman. Her death ushered the Dark Ages. (She was a philosopher and a monotheistic pagan and she was killed as sixty-five, not young and pretty as in most depictions. I mean she believed in God in some sense, but she didn’t believe in Jesus or in the Bible. She believed in Neo-Platonism and her teachings appealed to a broad range of people whether they be Christian, Jew, or fellow pagans like herself. Also, Germanic tribes ushered in the Dark Ages since they were the ones who sacked Rome, not Christians and that happened in Hypathia’s lifetime. Besides, the ancient Christians weren’t against science either and she even had Christian students, one later becoming a bishop. Not only that, but Orestes and Socrates Scholastics were also Christians and she was known to be respected by Christians and pagans alike because of her learning, virtue, and dignity. As to the motive of death, she was killed on account of politics and revenge {or because her friend Orestes tortured and killed a monk and that Cyril of Alexandria saw her as an obstacle for reconciliation between the two of them}, not science, not philosophy, not because she was a woman, and certainly not rationalism. Not to mention, despite the fact that Cyril of Alexandria was a bishop and that she was killed by a Christian mob, religion had nothing to do with her murder since it was a feud between two prominent Christians fighting for power. Besides, everyone was horrified upon hearing her death, at least in Alexandria. As for the female part, there was another highly renowned female scientist a generation later named Aedisia who practiced science unmolested. Sorry, atheists, but Carl Sagan lied on this one. Just because he’s a scientist doesn’t mean you can believe him when it comes to history.)

The Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed by Christians and Jews. (It was more likely burned down by Julius Caesar in 48 B. C. which was way before Christianity or Hypathia. Actually the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria was part of a long process of degradation and decline. Also, I’m not sure if the peoples of the antiquity ever cared for their libraries at all and I don’t think people in Hypathia’s time would’ve used scrolls either since books were available. However, there was a temple called the Serapeum which served as a “daughter library” at some point, but in 391, it was said to have contained only pagan idols. Also, the Christians were more interested in destroying pagan religious artifacts, not books. Nevertheless, the librarians of Alexandria weren’t said to be more like thugs concerned with securing power and prestige in Egypt than with the place being a haven of knowledge during the Ptolemic period. Whenever a ship came to port, the librarians would seize all the books on board, take them to the Library, and made rushed, cheap copies which they returned. This book-stealing stunt almost caused a war with Athens. In times of plague and famine, they would pressure book owners in exchange of food or medicine. And even then, there were repeated attempts to burn the place down.)

Christians were a single united sect during the time of the Roman Empire. (Even in the time of Saint Paul, there were different Christian sects depending on how closely it should be tied to Judaism. Paul’s original letters reflect this, particularly to the Galatians. Also, there were movements of Gnosticism, Arianism, and Nestorianism but they took storm outside the Empire and were later swallowed up by orthodox movements and Islam. Then there’s the presence of the Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire. Interestingly, the guys who brought upon the Reformation didn’t know this.)

The Romans persecuted Christians because they didn’t understand Christianity and acts performed by Christians. (This may be true but it’s misinterpreted. The Romans were sickened by Christians rescuing newborns not because they thought they were performing a human sacrifice, but because they believed saving exposed newborns was immoral and indecent for they saw the weak, disabled, and illegitimate as a drain on the Empire’s resources and keeping them alive was viewed as stealing food from the healthy. And they didn’t persecute Christians who refused to sacrifice because they didn’t understand the Christian viewpoint but because to a Roman, refusing to sacrifice was equivalent to an American refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance or stand for the national anthem or flag burning {or worse as TTI says, “many Romans believed that if humans failed to perform sacrifices the gods would destroy the earth via earthquakes, volcanoes, plagues, and other disasters.” Not to mention, some Christians were persecuted because they avoided conscription and there was no such thing as Conscientious Objector status exemption then. Once Christianity became the official Roman religion, the Christians would end up persecuting the pagans. Other reasons why as TTI implies are:

     “The Romans also felt that Jews and Christians were probably the most intolerant religion ever, since they did not accept other gods as real. They could understand a god having other gods as rivals or enemies, but not one claiming to be the only God of all creation.

    Romans also believed that Christians performed brother-sister Incest because followers addressed each other as “Brother” and “Sister” and said that they loved each other, and believed that Christianity was some kind of death cult, because they used an execution platform as one of their symbols and their followers were often eager to be executed. Let’s not even get into how Jesus being his own father impacts his relationship with his mother.

       The Roman rumor mill managed to combine the Christian practice of calling their savior “the baby Jesus” (which despite popular belief isn’t a carryover from Christmas, but a reference to his child-like innocence) and their eating the “body and blood of Christ” during communion, and led Romans to think Christians ceremonially killed and ate babies.

        Which makes it all more ironic that blood libel became a very common accusation against Jews in Medieval (and early modern) Europe.

        Romans were extremely disturbed by the phrase “washed clean by the blood of Christ,” taking it to mean that Christians (as essentially a springoff of Judaism) had murdered their own god and bathed in his blood.

        This was further propagated by the Jewish tradition of having no idols, or emptiness where an idol would be. The Roman reaction ranged from horror at the implication to said belief that the Christians had killed Him.

        To Romans, religion was mostly done out in the open (or in publicly accessible temples), unless it was a mystery cult, which usually were offshoot religions that still worshiped well-known gods (Isis, Marduk, etc.). Christians only celebrated indoors, away from the public eye, and this was viewed as highly suspicious.

        Early Christians also had a tendency to require recent converts to essentially cut themselves off from their non-Christian relatives and only associate with their new Christian brothers and sisters. Today, that would be viewed as classic cult behavior.”})

St. Paul was originally known as Saul. (He had both names throughout his life. Saul was his Hebrew name while Paul was his Roman name. He was a Jewish Roman citizen by the way. As an Apostle to the Gentiles, we mostly call him Paul.)

Constantine the Great and the Council of Nicea made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. (Constantine the Great only made Christianity a legal religion while the Council of Nicea decided on questions like the divinity of Christ. Emperor Theodosius would only declare Christianity the state religion 65 years later. Oh, and Constantine approached Christianity as if it was just an inclusive pagan religion.)

Peter and Paul met each other in Rome. (I don’t know whether they were in Rome at the same time or whether they did meet there. However, Peter and Paul did meet in Antioch though and it didn’t end well. It’s in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians {which is one of the seven Pauline letters actually written by him}.)

The Roman Empire was run by the Church near its end. (Actually it was more like the Empire was running the Church. Check your religious history.)

Christianity brought on the fall of the Roman Empire. (Even if someone like Edward Gibbon said this, doesn’t mean it’s true. Also, he actually didn’t since Rome’s seeds of destruction were present before Christianity became the Empire’s official religion anyway {and Rome had been on the decline by then, too}.)

Catacombs existed in Rome during the early first century. (They didn’t exist until decades later when there was a larger Christian community. Actually would’ve been more accurate if Roman Christians met in each other’s houses.)

The first Christian persecution was under Caligula. (It was under Claudius.)

St. Peter was in Rome at the same time as Caligula. (Peter mostly spent Caligula’s reign as prisoner in Judea and wasn’t in Rome until after the guy’s reign.)

Persecution of Christians in Rome was continual. (It was intermittent and rare with periods of many decades between attacks. Well, state sponsored persecutions anyway. Hate crimes may have been a different story.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 4- Ancient Rome

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Okay, I know this is from Life of Brian which is a comedy but this movie scene nevertheless shows a lot of things you see in a movie on Ancient Rome. For instance, the soldiers are dressed in outfits similar to Greek hopilites and all the actors portraying Romans are British (justified since this is a British film and Monty Python). Nevertheless, this is a very entertaining film I really enjoy.

No series of history in the movies can be complete without mentioning one of the ancient entity everyone talks about: Rome. More movies set in ancient times usually pertain to Ancient Rome than any other. And most movies set in Ancient Rome usually focus on the Empire during the first century. Of course, there are plenty of reasons why. After all, when we think of Rome we think of things like depraved hedonistic rulers and aristocrats, Julius Caesar, gladiators, statues, Cleopatra, Pompeii and Herculaneum being covered by Mount Vesuvius’ ash, great feats of architecture, tons of fighting and intrigue, assimilation of cultures, and Jesus as well as the early Christian era (which will be in a separate post I swear.) Oh, and the fact that it lasts for a considerable long time like from 753 B. C. E. to A. D. 476 (or to 1453 if you include the Byzantine Empire but their time is more suited for The Middle Ages. Also, the fall of the Western Roman Empire usually marks the end of Ancient times anyways.) Not to mention, the Ancient Romans left so many records and remains for archaeologists to examine. While much of Roman history is drawn from archaeology (from Pompeii and Herculaneum naturally) and written records, sometimes it’s hard to which is true and which isn’t since it was mainly written by aristocrats who had biased opinions. Also, many people don’t know that Rome was originally founded as a kingdom before it became a Republic and later an Empire. Still, despite all the Roman history material we have, filmmakers still do take artistic liberties and add things in we’re sure didn’t happen, which I shall list.

The Kingdom of Rome and Roman Republic:

Spartacus was born a slave and was crucified outside the gates of Rome. (He was enslaved as a prisoner of war or an ex-Roman auxiliary {non-citizen} soldier sold to gladiator school for desertion. Oh, and he died during the battle so everything from the I Am Spartacus scene in Spartacus is mostly made up.)

Spartacus’ slave revolt led to a crisis that resulted in Crassus becoming dictator. (The Roman Republic was still alive and well at this time and when Crassus went after Spartacus, he was an relatively wealthy ex-praetor and after the revolt would later serve a term as Consul {a bit like prime minister or chairman of the board} after the war but he never was a dictator of Rome. Though ruthless and possibly bisexual {common among Roman aristocrats} he wasn’t psychotic like the Sir Laurence Olivier portrayal. Also, if it helps, he’d later lose his life in a battle with the Parthians who not only decapitated him but also used his severed head as a prop for a play.)

Rome was founded as a Republic. (It was originally founded as a kingdom, later became a “Republic” or an aristocratic oligarchy, and then an Empire.)

Spartacus had a son with a woman from Britannia. (While it’s unclear whether Spartacus had any children at all, he most certainly didn’t know anyone from Britannia, let alone sleep with someone from there. No Roman would step foot in Britain until thirty years after Spartacus’ revolt.)

Spartacus’ revolt would lead to the break up of the Roman slave system. (No chance in hell that was ever going to happen since slavery survived for another two thousand years, which was well after Rome. And no, Rome never abolished slavery and crushed every slave revolt taking place.)

Slave rebels in Spartacus’ revolt lived a harmonious existence with one another. (C’mon, there had to be some confusion of purpose among Spartacus’ followers.)

Spartacus was a gladiator who led a slave revolt as well as humane guy. (It’s said he was brutal enough to put some three hundred Roman prisoners to death in honor of a slave comrade-in-arms by the name of Crixus. Then again, this just might be Roman propaganda. Still, if he did, he might’ve had some good reason to.)

Caesar’s last words were “Et Tu Brute?” (They weren’t. What he actually said to have told Brutus was, “You too, my child?”)

Julius Caesar was stabbed by members of the Roman Senate because they thought he was becoming too much of a king as well as a danger to the Republic. (Well, yes, Caesar was well aware of his reputation as well as had megalomaniac tendencies {though he did refuse kingship in 44 B. C. E. though he was pretty much king in all but name and had declared himself dictator for life}. Yet, the senators were also worried about being able to compete for real power and that any office they held was meaningless even if it was a consulship. Oh, and it’s said he was going to depart in three days time and leave the running of Rome to his henchmen Oppius and Balbus who was a Spaniard, which the Roman nobles thought absolutely intolerable. Add to that Cleopatra had his son Caesarion {I’m not making this up} and wearing red boots {what old Roman kings used to wear}. Thus, they were more worried about their own power stakes than the form of government itself in Rome at least with the possible exception of Brutus.)

Gracchus was a politician of plebeian sensibilities and showed some sympathy for Spartacus and his followers, if only with the ultimate goal to upstage Crassus. (There were actually two revolutionary politicians named Gracchus {both brothers} but they were long dead before Spartacus’ time, like at least 50 years prior. Also, they were tribunes, not senators.)

Spartacus’ men were crucified because they refused to hand him in. (The Romans had planned on killing them all anyway to set a very clear example not to mess with Rome. So any of the slave survivors would certainly have been crucified, a fate that would’ve awaited Spartacus had he survived the battle as well {which he didn’t in real life}. The women and children would probably have been renslaved though.)

Julius Caesar participated in suppressing Spartacus’ Rebellion. (Sure he was a young officer in the legion but it’s unknown whether he did take part in it.)

The Carthage general Hannibal was white. (We’re not sure whether he was or not since he hailed from North Africa.)

Spartacus was against the gladiatorial games. (Spartacus celebrated several of his victories by holding gladiatorial games, which is strange for a freedom fighter. Makes him seem less like Katniss Everdeen and more like Alma Coin.)

Spartacus was a freedom fighter who desired to have slavery eliminated. (He may have been just trying to get out of Italy or maybe even a warlord escaped slavery through rape, pillage, and burn. He probably wasn’t the kind of freedom fighter portrayed by Kirk Douglas.)

Cicero was involved in Julius Caesar’s assassination. (He wasn’t involved in any way, though he approved of it.)

Agrippa was seated in the Curia and wore a senatorial toga. (He was a hereditary member of an equestrian order and prohibited under Republican law from non-invitational attendance to the Curia or wearing any patrician insignia.)

Julius Caesar declared himself Emperor. (He was Emperor in all but name at that point he became dictator for life.)

Julius Caesar had a full head of hair. (His family earned the name Caesar as a joke because the men were well known for pre-mature baldness. At the time it meant “hairy” until Julius Caesar showed up. Still, though depicted with a full head of hair on busts and other art, the real Caesar would’ve been bald for most of his adult life, maybe since his late teens.)

Mark Antony was a dashing, romantic hero and Rome would’ve been far better off under him than Octavian. (Between Antony and Octavian, Antony was the more violent of the two. Also, Cleopatra was well know for backstabbing and murder for hire as well, but being a Ptolemy, you can’t really hold it against her.)

Cleopatra:

Cleopatra was an Egyptian known for her beauty and was one of the most gorgeous women of her time able to win men over with her sexuality. (For one, Cleopatra was Macedonian Greek and a direct descendant through a man called Ptolemy who was a general of Alexander the Great and her capital was Alexandria founded by, well, you know who. Still, she did speak Egyptian and presented herself as a reincarnation of Isis. Second, though archaeologists have never found Cleopatra’s body, they have found bodies of some of her family and most of the women they found were no more than 5 feet tall, overweight with Venus ring necks, and sported noses comparable to the size of Adrien Brody’s, not an attractive combination at least nowadays {and certainly nothing like Elizabeth Taylor}. And even Roman historians say that she wasn’t the best looking girl around. What Cleopatra’s best assets were her strong personality, her intelligence, and her political savvy and that was how she won over Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.)

Cleopatra killed herself by poisoning herself through snakebite by an asp. (Again, this is also false but often depicted in movies because it’s in many ancient sources. Actually, historians may agree that she committed suicide to avoid capture by Octavian but the methods, well, that’s a matter of debate since the asp would cause a slow and painful death through paralysis. If Cleopatra wanted to kill herself to avoid capture, she probably wanted to do it quick so an asp bite might not have done the job.)

Cleopatra had affairs with Roman leaders out of satisfying her sexual urges. (Actually she slept with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony because it also helped her country retain political independence from Rome. She was doing it for political reasons, not for herself. It didn’t work for long as we know now.)

Caesarion was Julius Caesar’s son and heir. (Caesar never acknowledged him though he was his son. Also, in order to be Caesar’s heir, Cleopatra would have to be a Roman citizen as well, which she wasn’t. Not to mention, he made Octavian his heir anyway.)

Cleopatra was unusually brutal toward her own siblings. (Yes, Cleo killed her brothers and sisters but knocking off relatives wasn’t unusual for an Egyptian pharaoh. Not to mention, the Ptolemys were notorious for marrying and killing their relatives. There’s no wonder why that bunch is considered one of the most dysfunctional families in history.)

Cleopatra led a procession into the Roman Forum. (Foreign rulers were prohibited from crossing the Pomerium which was the sacred boundary of Rome.)

Gladiators:

In Roman gladiator matches the loser always died. (Actually the loser’s fate really depended on how well he fought for the Romans would never let a good gladiator die in a fight even if he lost as well as his popularity {emperors could suffer in popularity if they allowed a renowned gladiator get slaughtered}. It was usually convicts sentenced to the arena who were made to fight to the death, not professional gladiators who went through regular training. Besides, training gladiators was expensive and it didn’t make sense to have them slaughtered their first time out in the arena. Sure gladiators were slaves, criminals, and POWs as well as didn’t live long but the death rate among Roman gladiators was 1 out of every 4 not 1 out of every 2. Also, gladiators were treated more like many of our professional athletes as well as better than most slaves of their day.)

Gladiators had chiseled physiques. (Actually unlike you see in films, most gladiators didn’t have chiseled six packs due to the fact that they had a carb-rich diet to cultivate a protective layer of fat which would protect them from shallow slashing blows that were typical in gladiator fights. So a real gladiator may have the chance of looking like a linebacker from the NFL than the chiseled hunks in Gladiator or Spartacus. But no one wants to see that.)

The sign for wanting a gladiator finished off was thumbs down and to spare him was thumbs up. (Actually, the signal to kill the gladiator was thumbs up, while the signal to spare him was in the shape of a fist.)

Gladiators usually fought people they didn’t know. (Gladiators fought only those they trained with at their school as depicted in Spartacus.)

Gladiators fought their counterparts of different sizes. (They were usually matched by their size.)

Gladiators fought in helmets of Germanic designs. (Those in Gladiator were made after Rome fell.)

Gorillas were used in the Roman Coliseum. (They wouldn’t be known to Europeans until 15 centuries later. Same goes for alligators, which only exist in the US and China where Romans had never stepped foot.)

The Roman Empire:

When Octavian declared war on Egypt, he stabbed Cleopatra’s ambassador Sosigenes of Alexandria with a spear. (This never happened. Also, Sosigenes was an astronomer and didn’t have any place in Cleopatra’s regime.)

Nero set fire to Rome and fiddled while it fell so he could expand his palace. (Actually, Nero was in Antium when the fire broke out and had nothing to do with causing it. Rather when he heard the news, he immediately rushed back home where he help try to extinguish the blaze and assisted in the rebuilding efforts paid by his own funds. Most historians believe that the fire was caused by his political enemies. As for the fiddle, well, it wasn’t invented yet.)

Nero was a hedonistic and bloodthirsty emperor who killed his mother and two of his wives as well as other political enemies, had an Oedipus complex, and blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians. (Actually with Nero’s life, it’s difficult to separate the fact from fiction. Yes, he did kill his mother and at least his first wife and several others but so did other emperors for the chances of assassination were very real. As for his second, she might have died from a miscarriage. As for his mother, she had considerable influence on him but I don’t think he was attracted to her. And for blaming the fire on Christians, even that’s up for debate. Overall, there was no doubt that Nero was a controversial figure who inspired considerable bias from ancient historians. Not to mention, most people who wrote about him and knew him personally {except for friend Senectus} hated him though he was a great lover of the arts and loved by the commoners.)

Octavian was a pathetic, tantrum prone to a homicidal degree, and totally unfit to rule as despot. (He was one of the most competent Roman Emperors who ever lived.)

Augustus was a wide-eyed idealist who tried to do everything for the good of Rome and only did his bad things because he was forced to by his enemies. (Yes, he was a competent emperor who tried to be good to Rome but did many bad things as well such as marry his daughter off to Tiberius and exile her when he found out she was having an affair.)

Marcus Aurelius wanted a return to the old Roman Republic and didn’t trust his son Commodus. (Marcus wouldn’t have wanted to return to the Roman Republic and actually did trust his son Commodus as well as wanted him to succeed his throne. After all, it was a Roman Emperor’s dream to have a son succeed him as well as a rather wise decision. Also, Rome had been through a string of decent emperors by the reign of Marcus Aurelius and the Roman Senate’s power would later be further diminished to the point of being purely ceremonial.)

The Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire were two different entities. (Actually the Byzantine Empire was the Roman Empire, it was the Eastern part of the Empire, even though they spoke Greek, they still used the same Roman systems and even referred to themselves as Roman long after the Byzantine Empire fell in 1453.)

Power automatically passed to Commodus after Marcus Aurelius died, even though his dad wanted someone else to succeed him. (Marcus Aurelius chose his son to succeed him. Not to mention, there was no clear emperor succession line because many of the emperors before Marcus Aurelius simply didn’t have any surviving sons to succeed them or didn’t live long enough to have them. Thus, many of these emperors would appoint a successor and legally adopt them. A strong emperor’s son wouldn’t be passed over until Constantius’ son Constantine, which sparked a civil war.)

Lucilla’s son was alive during his uncle’s reign. (Her son was already dead by the time his uncle became emperor.)

Marcus Aurelius banned the gladiatorial games. (Only in Antioch and only as a punishment. He did cause a shortage of gladiators by putting them in the army and the games actually profited from it. A Roman Emperor banning the gladiatorial games in the 2nd century? Unthinkable!)

Octavian called himself Octavian. (More like Gaius Octavius Caesar at least from the time he was adopted to the time he was emperor.)

Augustus referred to himself as Emperor. (He preferred people call him the princeps or First Citizen of Rome, not emperor.)

Caligula was a hedonistic, sadistic, depraved, and psychotic ruler with megalomaniac delusions of grandeur who referred to himself as a god, had endless extravagant orgies, liked to kill and torture for fun, had incestuous relations with his sisters, as well as other absurd antics of insanity and gore. In other words, he was a complete monster. (Well, he probably was a bad enough emperor to have himself and most of his family killed {save Claudius} by his own bodyguards {many Roman Emperors died this way}, his monstrosity during his reign is probably an exaggeration and created by noble Romans who didn’t like him. Still, he was said to be popular among the lower classes and was seen as a noble ruler the first six months of his reign. Yet, he probably did want to increase his authority which made him unpopular with the Senate as well, had several conspiracies against him, may have had an excuse for killing his great uncle Tiberius {who killed several of his family members [like his dad] leaving him as the sole male survivor}, spent extravagant sums of money on ambitious construction projects {including two aqueducts in Rome} and his luxurious dwellings, had several family members killed {typical for Roman Emperors}, and might’ve wanted the people to recognize as a god. However, he probably didn’t have sex with his sisters {though he did make one as his queen but they were married to different people}. He probably didn’t make his horse a consul or declare war on sea deity to collect shells as booty. He most likely didn’t kill Tiberius who probably died of natural causes. Also, most sources about him were written 80 years after his death so reliability is questionable. Oh, and he didn’t like being called Caligula which translates to “Bootsie” in Latin. Bad ruler, yes, but not as evil or crazy as portrayed.)

Roman Emperor Commodus killed his father Marcus Aurelius, banged his sister, and was killed in the arena. (Actually, Commodus didn’t kill his father or slept with his sister. What killed Marcus Aurelius was chicken pox or plague. Not to mention, Commodus was a highly respected statesman who was chosen by his father to succeed him after a few years as his assistant. Also, he was married and had his sister killed for trying to assassinate him in order seize the throne herself. He’s not considered well regarded because he believed himself to be Hercules and tried to rename everything in the Empire after himself, including Rome {though he’s said to be popular with the army and the people}. He was also known as a spendthrift and tactless as well as for starting Rome’s long decline. As for his death, Commodus was strangled in his bathtub at the end of his thirteen year reign even though he did fight in the arena but mostly incognito. Nevertheless, he’s known for herding women, snogging men, killing rare animals, cross-dressing, boozing, coprophagy, being afraid of hairdressers, feeding his guards poisoned figs, and forcing people to beat themselves to death with pinecones. Guess Ridley Scott didn’t do his research.)

Rome conquered Germania in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. (Sorry, Ridley Scott, but Germania was never conquered by Rome.)

Tribune was a military office during the Roman Empire. (It’s actually a political office from the Roman Republic and no, tribunes wouldn’t serve alongside the Emperor.)

Roman Emperors fought wars against the Goths. (Only near the very end, in which the Romans lost.)

Marcus Aurelius was related to Claudius. (They came from two different dynasties.)

“Caesar” was the title for a Roman Emperor. (After 180 A. D. it was then reserved for the Emperor’s heir while “Augustus” was the Emperor’s title.)

Nero had pet Arabian Salukis. (They weren’t kept as pets in Europe until the Crusades.)

Agrippa was around the same age as Julius Caesar and Octavian’s mentor. (He was the same age as Octavian as well as his best friend who did almost everything for him. Yet, Augustus did treat him well.)

The 9th Legion was massacred in Scotland. (We’re not sure what happened to the 9th Legion since they disappear from the records after 108AD in Britain. Yet, some of its officers and detachments popped up occasionally.)

Miscellaneous:

The Romans referred the Flavian Amphitheatre as the Coliseum. (Coliseum wasn’t used until way after the Roman Empire.)

Crucifixion was one of the main methods of execution during the Roman Empire. (Crucifixion was a punishment for crimes against the state, which was a serious crime and one that Jesus was crucified for {Note: Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews}. Besides, they had other methods of punishment for criminals like gladiator school, slavery, and for the aristocrats, exile and suicide. And if you killed your father, they’d put you in a sack with an animal before throwing you into the sea.)

Ancient Rome was filled with white marble statues and buildings. (They were painted in bright colors and so were many historical monuments in ancient civilization, well, a good many of them. Same would go for the Greeks.)

Roman aristocratic men wore togas almost anywhere. (They only wore them in the forum because they were required to and avoided wearing one whenever they could.)

The Roman Senate was an elected body. (They were appointed by the Roman censor, the Emperor, the Senate itself by a vote, or won a major public office at election {except Plebian Tribuneship}, even during the Republic. There was even a Citizens’ Assembly from which Senators were excluded and any citizen can vote on the matter at hand that day. They also had significant legislative and executive power and much like Athenian democracy.)

Roman centurions had uniforms similar to Greek hoplites. (No, they looked pretty different and later ended up looking more medieval than anything you’d see from ancient Greece. Also, there’s a variation that comes with pants.)

The Romans were a hedonistic people. (They were no more hedonistic than anyone else. Well, maybe the aristocrats but your average Roman citizens, not so much. Though some surviving Roman literature puts Fifty Shades of Grey to shame.)

All Roman soldiers were known as centurions. (A centurion was a Roman Army officer or platoon leader.)

Winning chariot horses got to race another day. (They were sacrificed as offerings, but the winner got to keep the tail.)

Roman crosses were T-shaped. (They had several different shapes and weren’t standardized.)

The Romans were cruel oppressors in their conquered areas. (Well, yes, but many of their domains had as cruel and brutal criminal justice systems as they did and resistance movements spent more time squabbling amongst themselves than resisting the Romans. Not to mention, they did improve the lives of many of their subjects. Also, being seen as a Messiah isn’t as good as it’s cracked up to be {as the story of Jesus would tell you}.)

Rome was the only Empire in existence during its time. (Well, in Europe. However, there was also their rivals the Parthians {later Sassanid} and Han China.)

Roman soldiers wore the lorica segmentata armor. (They only wore this during the first century. It’s just that its the easiest and cheapest Roman armor to make for costume designers. Also, many Roman soldiers outside Rome usually wore the uniform they already had.)

Most Roman architecture was composed of marble. (It was mostly built from brick but most of the bricks either crumbled or were stolen for other buildings while the marble was left alone.)

The Ancient Romans had all out orgies of debauchery. (Orgies were seen as secret religious rituals and no, they didn’t involve lurid and debauched sex. Okay, the orgies involved plenty of lurid and debauched sex but it was nothing like Caligula. Many Roman couples usually had sex at night, in complete darkness, with their clothes on.  Of course, the wealthy did have sex in front of their servants but they were mostly seen as furniture that bring you stuff. Also, they definitely had sex with their slaves, as depicted in the notorious bathing scene in Spartacus when Sir Laurence Olivier basically tells Tony Curtis that he’s his slave and he better do what he wants. Even if it means having sex with him.)

Roman birth control was very effective. (Roman contraceptive methods were virtually useless. It wasn’t very common for Roman mothers to toss away newborn babies in the trash heap left to die. It’s widely suggestive that many Roman slaves were unwanted children.)

Roman aristocrats only had sex with adults. (Pederasty was neither uncommon nor unacceptable so long as the kid involved was a slave, of course. If he was under 12 years old.)

Roman cities contained no lewd imagery on the streets. (Archaeology has told a very different story. Pornographic imagery was everywhere from the temples, bathhouses, sculpture, mosaics, and the like. Oh, and a lot of the buildings in Pompeii contain very dirty graffiti. Then there are Roman graves with plenty of inscriptions on the dead people’s sex lives.)

Ancient Rome was a lily white society. (Actually it was a real melting pot of every nationality stretching from western Europe to the Middle East by the 3rd century. However, Spartacus’s wife was probably not British, if he ever had one.)

Roman soldiers had beards had stirrups on their horses. (Stirrups weren’t invented yet and most Roman soldiers and aristocrats were clean shaven.)

Romans spoke in modern Ecclesiastic Latin. (They spoke in the historical Classic pronunciation whenever they spoke Latin.)

The Roman streets were sandy. (They were paved with stones.)

Romans had German Shepherds as pets. (They weren’t a registered breed until 1899.)

Roman legionaries camped on open spaces. (They usually fortified their camps.)

The Roman Army treated their soldiers with decency. (You may think this, especially in movies that show heroic Roman generals but it’s not true. Trainers regularly beat up trainees, exercises were done in full armor with non-lethal weapons that still hurt and weighed more than combat ones, and they were forced to learn some engineering {because they’d build aqueducts, roads, forts, and long mile walls}. They were also made to march on wooden poles because they’d have to build, fortify, dismantle their camp on a daily basis on campaign. And this was when they were lucky. Those trainees would get trainers so harsh they’d kill more people than actual battles. Pissed-off commanders could select a tenth of their soldiers to have the rest beat to death in order to teach them a disciplinary lesson {this is a process known as decimation}. Marcus Licinius Crassus killed 4,000 of his own men this way after taking command of an army recently trashed by Spartacus.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 3- Ancient Greece and Other Things

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This is from the notorious historical disasterpiece 300. While there was a Battle of Thermopylae as well as a real King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo, they certainly didn’t dress like that. I mean Spartan warriors would fight without upper body protection while Spartan women wouldn’t wear their hair below shoulder length or don in outfits other tan a short tunic. Also, you don’t see any helots tending the fields, which they certainly would because slavery was actively enforced in Sparta. Not to mention, Leonidas’ son would have to be at the Spartan warrior school learning fighting, survival skills, and dirty tricks by now since there’s no way he looks younger than seven.

When telling the history of the western world, you can’t leave out the Greeks. Much of our vocabulary comes from them as well as the fact that they were the forerunners of a lot of things like science, medicine, theater, democracy (sort of), and other academic disciplines. Not to mention, the word “history” itself is a Greek word meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation.” Also, they had the Olympics (but not in way we’d be familiar with since they didn’t have women’s events and competed in the nude. Not to mention, they cheated a lot.) There’s even Greek mythology with a pantheon of many complete assholes save a few like Hades. Of course, Greece was never a very united entity and consisted of an array of city states, the most famous being Athens a naval power as well as a place of culture, quasi-democracy, and rampant misogyny and Sparta a oligarchical warrior slave state where everyone lived off the land supported by helots and the only place in Greece where women had any rights. Still, there are movies made on Ancient Greece most notably the gory historic trainwreck 300 and it’s sequel 300: Rise of an Empire as well as all those movies on Greek mythology like Clash of the Titans. Nevertheless, even though it was the Greeks who came up with the concept of history (though it’s hard to distinguish history from myth sometimes in this context), filmmakers still find ways to butcher theirs (as well as other civilizations, but at least they didn’t leave any written records).

Ancient Greece:

The Greeks carved marble statues. (The marble Greek statues you see are Roman copies. Actually the Greeks cast their statues in bronze using a marble prototype. Most of the original bronze Greek statues were melted during the Middle Ages for cannons and church bells.)

Oracles had leprosy and had naked girls danced around for them. (Bullshit, but the oracles were on drugs.)

Oracles were attractive women who danced naked in a trancelike state. (Sorry, but 300 gets this wrong. They were mostly old women.)

Most Greek city states looked like Athens. (A lot of Greek city states would later get fed up with Athens and fight against them so why would they want to emulate them? Also, filmmakers usually use Athens for Ancient Greece because it’s the most familiar Greek city most people know.)

Most men of Ancient Greece were clean shaven. (Contrary to what you see in the movies, a lot of guys in Ancient Greece had beards and dark hair.)

The Greek hoplites threw doru spears. (Actually they would be too long and heavy to be thrown. Javelins would’ve been used instead.)

Ancient Greece was a progressive beacon of reason. (Actually Ancient Greece consisted of over 1,000 city states that had their own unique culture as well as more or less resembled a sectarian war zone. Also, only less than 5% of the Ancient Greek population was literate. Of course, the Greeks were willing to lynch, exile, and execute some of the brighter among them like Socrates as well as possessed no qualms to enslave their fellow man, with Athens said to have more slaves than anybody. Also, whatever achievements the ancient Greeks made, they didn’t spread too far since most Greeks were illiterate rural farmers and herders who rarely ventured beyond their own city state. And your average ancient Greek didn’t really care about logic, literature, or theater. In fact, they’d prefer the comfort of familiarity and superstition.)

Ancient Greek Olympic athletes were amateurs who just believed in fair play and peace. (Yeah right. Actually Ancient Greek Olympians were nothing of the sort and the early Olympics were rife with cheating, corruption and commercialism. They didn’t have the spirit of sportsmanship like we do today. Sure punishments for cheating ranged from flogging to death, but in Ancient Greece, the Olympics were such a big deal with the prize being instant and lasting fame as well as riches and bitches, athletes took cheating to an art form as well as bribed judges and competitors. Thus, what made their games different than our games is that they didn’t allow women to watch or compete and that they competed in the nude.)

Crete:

The Cretans participated in human sacrifice. (There’s no evidence they actually did this, though there are mythological references to it, which might have been just propaganda.)

Sparta:

Spartan warriors were all buffed out with six-pack abs and bulging muscles as well as went into battle nearly naked. (Just because Spartan men devoted their lives as warriors doesn’t mean they had the bodies of Olympic athletes. As for clothes, they were covered in bronze armor in battle not speedos. A Spartan warrior knew better than that.)

Sparta was an unstoppable military juggernaut with an army of proud warrior race guys and badass warrior kings, only stopping to deliver witty lines to philosophers for posterity’s sake. (This might be what Sparta was like in 300 or how men like Plato or Xenophon saw it. Ditto the Romans who admired Sparta’s military spirit. But the real Sparta was very much like the North Korea of its day that had secret police as well as highly discouraged contact with the outside {then again, comparing ancient Sparta to North Korea may not be accurate militarily speaking, but it does fit with the repressive closed society bit}. Visitors were usually given the Spartan Disneyland treatment of all the things in which the Spartans would glorify about themselves. However, more modern assessments state that Sparta was a Peloponnese regional power that essentially cannibalized all the non-military functions of its own state, in order to continue a bitter war with the city-state of Argos, and was able to use the ensuing victory to bully its allies into fighting for them. Spartan military supremacy lasted less than 100 years and its hegemony over Greece lasted only 10. Furthermore, the Spartan  army lost more battles than it won and its central warrior caste was decimated by the city’s town leaders to profit from their “inalienable” land holdings. Let’s just say Disney’s Hercules has a better assessment of Sparta than 300, especially when an old Theban says, “That’s it, I’m moving to Sparta.”)

300 Spartans fought against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae under King Leonidas. (Actually, though there were 300 Spartans present at the Battle of Thermopylae, they didn’t fight alone like 300 suggests. And unlike what 300 suggests, only a fraction of their force for they wouldn’t send their whole army that far north. Though Leonidas did command the Spartan force personally, there were 4000 other troops under him as well such as 700 Thespiae, 400 Thebans, and 900 helots to assist. And out of Leonidas’ forces, 1500 of them were involved in the last stand. Some scholars even said that the Greeks had about 7000. And they weren’t against half a million Persians, but 80,000.)

Spartan men’s only occupation they were trained for was that of a solider. (Yes, but they also learned how to sing, dance, read, write, and perform in plays. And when a Spartan man got too old to fight, he spent the rest of his life either on the council or teaching other Spartan boys to fight in the warrior school.)

Sparta was the only Greek city state with a professional army. (Well, they were the only one that required that all male citizens participate in the army and sent their boys to boot camp from the age of seven though all Greek city states had some form of conscription. Also, every Greek city state had a professional army not as dedicated, hardened, and well trained as the Spartan Army but certainly not sculptors or potters.)

Spartans had manhood rituals such as slaying a wolf. (No, they didn’t. Actually it involved living in the wild for a week and killing a slave.)

Spartans left their weak babies to die. (No archaeological evidence has been found to support this. Rather, people with disabilities were cared for in Spartan society.)

Sparta sent a naval fleet at the Battle of Salamis. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, Sparta had no navy until the Peloponnesian Wars when they need one to fight the Athenians. Ironically, their navy was given by the Persians.)

The Spartans had hundreds of ships at the Battle of Salamis and turned up at the last minute to save the day. (Nice try, 300: Rise of an Empire, but they didn’t show up at the last minute and only had 16 ships. Oh, and they weren’t led by Queen Gorgo either.)

Adultery was shameful in Sparta. (It wasn’t.)

The Spartans had disdain for the ephors and the supernatural. (They were particularly religious for Ancient Greece and were big worshipers of Ares.)

The ephors were deformed molester priests who betrayed the people of Sparta. (They actually were five Senators who ran the Spartan government and democratically elected by each village but only served a year.)

Sparta was ruled by two democratically elected “kings” who held equal power and judged by the ephors. (While Sparta did have two kings ruling the land, the positions were hereditary.)

The Spartan Gerousia consisted of men of varying ages. (Spartan men had to be at least 60 before ever being considered for the Gerousia. Of course, there is the Apella made up of representatives of the Spartan citizenry but they didn’t have much power.)

The Spartan city state was mostly populated by Spartans. (They were a minority military caste in their own city-state where the state-owned helot serfs made up 90% of the population. Also, you have the perioci from Laconia who were autonomous civilians but were never considered citizens though they were required to fight when needed to.)

Sparta was a rural  and freedom loving society. (It was far from it than what you see in 300 but rather a dictatorship by a militant elite minority who lived by and continually repressed the majority helot population basically slaves who worked the land to produce food so the Spartans could spend all their time oppressing them and fighting other wars in between. Also, during some periods a Spartan could kill a helot and never be punished for it if he wanted. Oh, and they killed diplomats, were profoundly racist, and may have practiced eugenics. Not to mention, they regularly beat up boys during warrior training and taught them to be bullies {which can be somewhat justified}.)

Queen Gorgo killed a council member named Theron. (There’s no evidence she did this.)

Spartans referred Athenians as “boy lovers.” (This might be true, but Spartan soldiers and other Greeks weren’t so above being pederasts themselves either. As Television Tropes and Idioms says: “The relationship between adult men and adolescent boys was used like in all Greek states for education of the adolescent boy. However many Spartan sources, and even some outside of Sparta, insist that the relationship was not sexual in nature as that would have been similar to a father doing it with his son. The relationships were broken by the time the older man married as he would have to concentrate on his main job in peace: procreation. In Athens however the matter was completely different due to the locking up of women in gyneceums and their general lack of rights compared to Spartan women, the main sexual relationships of men were with other men. When it came to the relationship between adult men and adolescent boys it involved a lot of competition between the older men for the affections of the teens and the whole thing resembled soap operas with the older men serenading the boys writing them love poem and stuff like that, something that would have ended with two beheaded bodies in Sparta. That might have been what Leonidas meant by “boy lovers”.”)

The Spartans had an excellent military training program. (Spartan military training was especially harsh but it didn’t put them at a better advantage against other Greek city states.)

Ephialtes was a deformed Spartan tempted to join the Persian side when Xerxes showed him a tent full of naked ladies. (According to Herodotus, he was a non-deformed non-Spartan who showed the Persians a mountain trail around Thermopylae which led them to victory.)

Queen Gorgo had long flowing hair and wore long backless dresses. (Gorgo would’ve looked like any Spartan woman of the time such as a slit up dress called pelos as well as had hair that went no further than their shoulders. In fact, Gorgo wouldn’t be allowed to have her hair that long. Also, if a Spartan woman was just married, it would be very easy to tell because she’d have a shaved head. Thus, in 300, most female Spartan characters would’ve been way overdressed.)

Sparta saved Athenian democracy. (The Peloponnesian Wars show a very different story since they kicked the crap out of Athens.)

Athens:

The Ancient Athenians had a democracy. (Actually, though it may have been a democracy it was a only a democracy for adult male citizens who have completed military training which was 20%, for the rest like women, slaves, freed slaves, resident aliens, and disqualified citizens, it wasn’t.)

Themistocles said his only family was the Athenian fleet. (According to Plutarch, he was married at least once and had as many as ten kids. Not only that, but he was also a prominent politician in Athens as well so much of his life didn’t just revolve around the Athenian navy.)

Themistocles wasn’t present at the Battle of Thermopylae. (Contrary to 300, he was and made a very significant contribution to it by preventing the Persians to sail past the Spartan army as well as outflanking them. He only retreated once the pass was taken and defending the sea became irrelevant. In some respect, he held where Leonidas failed. However, Themistocles doesn’t get any recognition for this in movies solely because he’s Athenian. So if you aren’t Sparta in Thermopylae, you basically don’t get squat.)

Themistocles devised the strategy and led the charge in the Battle of Marathon as well as killed King Darius. (While he did fight at Marathon, he was only one of many captains involved in the struggle. But he didn’t devise the strategy or lead the charge. Also, he didn’t kill King Darius who wasn’t at the battle and died a few years later of completely natural causes. Oh, and Artemisia didn’t manipulate Xerxes into becoming king {Darius was his father}, have him to reshape himself into a god {which would’ve been blasphemy}, nor did she encourage him to declare war on Greece. Nor was she a lousy commander either or obsessed with revenge.)

Athenian warriors had six pack abs and went out scantily clad. (Seriously, I’m beginning to think that the 300 franchise is catered to guys deep in the closet. Besides, hopilites would’ve been clad with armor no matter where they came from.)

Macedonia:

The Macedonians spoke in an Irish accent. (Oliver Stone cast Irish actors in Alexander to show how hickish they were compared to the Greeks though {at least in their point of view}, which was true in fact.)

Trojan War:

The Trojan War was fought over a woman named Helen. (Yes, but there were a lot of other things. For instance, Menelaus only became king by marrying Helen {who was the actual queen and much more than a pretty face} and the fact that she made off with Paris not only endangered his position but also gave the Trojans a claim to Sparta. Menelaus just couldn’t let Helen go with Paris, even if she just wasn’t that into him. Also, Paris violated sacred hospitality which is never to run off with the wife of his host.This is according to Homer. As for the real Trojan War, well, we can’t really be sure but a recent theory of a Mycenaean Allied Hittite commander from Miletus who wanted to expand his territory and had spent 35 years attacking Hittite vassal states.)

The Greeks were the aggressors in the Trojan War. (Actually, archaeology squarely puts this on the Hittites, not the Mycenaean Greeks. Also, it’s fairly established in The Illiad that Paris caused the whole war.)

Llamas were present in the city of Troy and Zeus’ symbol was a bald eagle. (These are native to the Americas so the Ancient Greeks would have no knowledge of these animals.)

The Trojan War was fought with Iron Age weapons. (Actually it was fought in the Bronze Age if it was ever fought at all {most likely it was}.)

Menelaus and Agamemnon didn’t survive the Trojan War. (According to Homer, they did and even won the Trojan War {further Menelaus gets Helen back}. Not to mention, neither of them are the disgusting middle aged guys depicted in Troy. Still, in Agamemnon’s case, it wasn’t for long.)

Paris survived the Trojan War and gets to keep Helen. (According to Homer, Paris gets killed before the war is over and he is actually blamed for starting the whole thing {he’s actually even destined to doom Troy}. Also, Helen ends up with his brother for a time before being ultimately rescued by Menelaus. Not to mention, Hector’s son doesn’t survive the war either and his wife ends up a concubine to the Greeks.)

The heroes of the Trojan War were kings. (Archaeology casts doubt on this. However, it’s possible. Still, if you weren’t a king in Greek mythology, you probably didn’t mean much in some respects.)

Hector was an all around nice guy. (While he’s nicer than most of the Illiad characters, he does do dubious things in the original poem like stealing, bragging about killing his enemies, and running away from Achilles during their final confrontation until the gods convinced him to fight.)

Achilles and Patrolcus had a close relationship because they were cousins. (As far as the Ancient Greeks are concerned, they could’ve been “cousins” in the same contexts as some of Ava Gardner’s fuck buddies in The Barefoot Contessa or even more so. But Homer also said that Achilles had a son who went on to marry Helen’s daughter Hermione. But, then again, you can’t really tell with the Greeks. He’s also said to fall in love with an Amazon after killing her. So it’s very possible that Achilles went both ways as illustrated in the Homer poem, which was very typical for the Greeks at the time. It’s also possible for Patrolcus to be older than him, too.)

Aeneas was only a teenager when he fled Troy. (According to Homer, he was the best warrior in Troy after Hector and his fate is unknown. In Virgil’s Aeneid, he’s most definitely not a teenager.)

The Trojans worshiped the Greek gods. (We’re not sure whether they did or not or whether Troy was a dependent of the Hittites {it’s said to be located in modern Turkey by the way} or Mycenae. Also, the Greek architecture should look more like Knossos as well as more or less Egyptian. Besides, we don’t know whether the Greeks worshiped their gods in the same context then either.)

Agamemnon and Menelaus had an easy time getting other Greek kings to fight for them. (According to Homer, this was made easier by Odysseus’ meddling. In actuality, getting multiple kings to fight for each other makes cat herding look easy. Oh, and Mycenean Greeks were under a more feudal society more akin to medieval Europe or Medieval and Shogunate Japan.)

The Greeks won the Trojan War with sneaking themselves in Troy with a Trojan horse. (I’m not sure if the Trojans would be that stupid or if such tactics would work. Hell, Moses parting the Red Sea is more believable than this. Still, there’s a theory that the Trojan Horse is an allegory of a timely earthquake.)

Helen of Sparta chose to marry Menelaus. (Even The Illiad doesn’t make this bogus claim. Also, Menelaus had to marry her before he could become king of Sparta anyway.)

Helen of Sparta and Paris had a loving relationship. (According to Homer, Paris was a philandering and cowardly jerk even by Trojan standards who gets his ass beat by Menelaus {who’s no way considered the best Greek warrior}. Furthermore, when Helen is accused of being a slut, Paris doesn’t defend her thinking it’s Hector’s job. Also, we’re not sure if Helen even consented on leaving Sparta with Paris, but if she did, she certainly regretted it and feels very guilty about starting the Trojan War in the first place. Still, by The Illiad, their relationship has considerably cooled and let’s say that the only Trojans Helen generally respects are Prince Hector and King Priam since they’re actually nice to her.)

Troy was destroyed in the Trojan War. (Recent archaeology says it’s possible that it held on for a few centuries. Furthermore, there may have been other cities in present day Turkey attacked by the Greeks with Troy only being one of them.)

Alexander the Great:

Alexander the Great was straight. (Historians aren’t really sure what his sexual orientation was. Let’s say he just humped anything that moves.)

Alexander the Great was tall and imposing with blond hair. (It’s said he was more or less short and stocky by Macedonian standards as well as had twisty neck and eyes of two different colors. Nothing like Colin Farrell in the least.)

Herodotus recounted the events of Alexander the Great’s life. (He died 70 years before Alexander the Great was born.)

Alexander the Great was wounded with an arrow in his chest at the Hydapses and nearly died. (He was wounded in a later siege in what is now Mutan, Pakistan. Also, he won at Hydapses but you wouldn’t know it from Alexander.)

Ancient Europe:

The Celts were uncivilized barbarians who fought naked and participated in barbaric rituals like human sacrifice. (Sure the Celts were a warrior culture headed by kings and nobles but even though they didn’t have writing, they did have civilization and their women had more rights. Not to mention, the Celtic culture wasn’t homogenous as was the case with the Greeks and the Mayans. Besides, most civilizations in the ancient world had their share of barbarity. Same goes for the Germanic tribes.)

Celts usually had red or blond hair as well as blue, gray, and green eyes. (Brown haired and brown eyed Celts also existed. Same goes for Germanic tribes.)

Pictish is Scotch Gaelic. (No record of the Pictish language exists and the Scottish people in Centurion didn’t want to speak Welsh.)

Druids worshiped Zeus. (They were Celts so they most certainly did not.)

The Picts fought the Romans in the 2nd century. (They don’t appear in the historical records until 297 AD. If they were fighting the Scots in the 2nd century, it would’ve been the Caldones.)

Carthage:

The Arab women stripped the dead soldiers of their clothing during the Punic Wars. (There were no Arabs in North Africa during the Punic Wars, and no, Carthaginian civilians didn’t scavenge dead soldiers either.)

Unclassified:

The Hebrews looked just like modern-day white Americans while the Romans resembled Englishmen and spoke in English accents.

Greeks and Romans resembled Northern and Western Europeans.

The civilizations of Greece and Rome tend to look pretty much the same as if they existed around the same time and almost every ancient Greek city looks like Athens.

Greek and Roman galleys were rowed by slaves and condemned criminals. (Galley rowers were free men for it was a highly skilled job and only relied on slaves when they couldn’t get anyone else. And to a slave, galley rowing had good benefits like the potential for freedom. As for condemned criminals, there’s no evidence to support it, even if it is depicted in Ben Hur. Rather the use of galley slaves and prisoners was used far more frequently during the Middle Ages and beyond.)

The Greeks and Romans wore white. (Actually they wore clothes of all kinds of bright colors.)

Everything in Greece and Rome was written on scrolls. (The Romans used books.)

Hospitality wasn’t a big deal in the ancient world. (Are you kidding me? Being a bad host or guest could result in death or destruction. It was deemed so sacred that Sodom and Gomorrah were both destroyed over hospitality violations. Of course, as traveling conditions could be in the ancient world, there’s a good reason why hospitality was deemed so sacred. Heck, Jesus talks about it a lot, too.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 2- Ancient Egypt and Near East

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Of course, no post on Ancient Egypt and the Near East would be complete without discussing The Ten Commandments. Of course, we may not be sure that the Exodus happened under the reign of Ramses II or Thutmose III (though Ramses II is a more plausible candidate), or if at all. Yet, we do know that Queen Nefretiri is way overdressed by Ancient Egyptan standards.

History was born with the invention of writing in Mesopotamia in which scribes would record the events taking place on behalf of the king as well as legends relating to their religion and culture. They also were known for ziggurats and The Epic of Gilgamesh one of the first works of literature. Egypt would later follow suit and would later be known as the civilization for hieroglyphics, the Nile, mummification, pharaohs, and the Pyramids. Oh, and that little thing called the Exodus. Then there are the peoples of the Near East like the Sumerians known for writing, inventing the wheel and Gilgamesh, the Phoenicians known for trade, seafaring, purple, and having the first phonetic alphabet, the Akkadians known for a major empire and possibly the Tower of Babel, Assyrians a fierce warrior culture known for their epic beards, the Hittites known for their empire in Turkey, the Philistines, the Caananites, the Old Babylonians known for the Hammurabi Law Code, and the Neo-Babylonians known holding the Jews in captivity as well as the Hanging Gardens. Of course, the two famous civilizations from the Ancient Near East were the Hebrews from the Bible, particularly the Old Testament and the Persians who amassed one of the largest empires at the time as well as are the ancestors of the modern Iranian people (who take great pride being descended from such a glorious people). Movies made in this era are usually epics in the early sword and sandal and biblical genre (at least in the Old Testament, New Testament is for another post), however, many of these films aren’t 100% accurate nor could be. Besides, most of ancient history in this setting was written when real events could be shrouded in myth so it’s difficult to surmise between fact and fiction. Also, archaeological records are incomplete and very few people knew how to read and write at the time. And those literate had to basically write under an autocratic ruler who’d basically slit their throats if they dared say anything bad about him. Nevertheless, genuine ancient historical errors do abound in movies for some reason (meaning they go against the historic record.)

Ancient Egypt:

During the reigns of Ramses II and his family, the Hebrews lived in Egypt as slaves and were forced to build the Pyramids of Giza. (In reality, this notion is false on many levels. For one, the Pyramids of Giza weren’t built by slaves, but paid volunteer workers and during the time of the Old Kingdom and perhaps around the same time as Stonehenge. Thus, it would probably be a rather ancient landmark by the time Moses came around like over a thousand years old to be exact. Second, slavery wasn’t practiced in Egypt until the time of the New Kingdom and by that time, the Egyptians were no longer building pyramids mostly because they were targets of grave robbers. Pharaohs by that time were being buried in elaborate underground tombs instead since why do you think it took over a couple thousand years to find King Tut’s tomb which was discovered like around 90 years ago?)

Ancient Egyptians used curses to punish those who break into the pharaoh’s tomb such as modern day archaeologists. (Actually, if they did, the curses didn’t seem to work. However, they did do something to deter grave robbing which was apparent in Ancient Egypt, which was to stop building pyramids.)

Egyptians resemble Northern and Western Europeans. (Yul Brynner from The Ten Commandments is perhaps the only guy who looks more like an ancient Egyptian than any other Egyptian character in the cast.)

Moses had a chance to become Pharaoh since Nefretiri was in love with him. (For one, many historians are unsure whether Moses was a real historical figure {with Jesus, it’s an entirely different story}. Still, even if he did exist, was raised in the Pharaoh’s household, and was in love with Nefretiri, Moses would’ve had no chance to be Pharaoh since he was not only adopted but also the youngest. Thus, even if Moses were to marry Nefretiri, he’d still have absolutely no chance at being Pharaoh so Ramses didn’t have much competition for the throne. And if he didn’t have any biological brothers or half-brothers to compete with as most movies about Moses imply, then Ramses wouldn’t have to marry Nefretiri because if it was him and Moses, then Ramses was going to be Pharaoh no matter what. Besides, in the Bible, Moses’ mother also lived with the Pharaoh’s family as a nursemaid so Moses grew up knowing that he was a Hebrew. Not to mention, he was most likely raised with Ramses II and we know he got the job and Nefretiri. As a side note, Ramses wasn’t an atheist and it was his granddad who ordered the killing of male Hebrew babies according to scripture.)

Ramses I ordered the killing of male newborn babies. (I highly doubt that any pharaoh would do this seeing that they needed more Hebrew men to do heavy lifting for their building projects and other jobs. Oh, and make babies with the female slaves. Perhaps he did it around the year Moses was born but the slaughter had to stop sometime for he didn’t rule too long.)

No Egyptian men wore makeup or shaved. (All Egyptian men and women wore eyeliner and shaved most of their body hair. Mostly this was done for health reasons and the environment. Also, in The Ten Commandments, it’s unlikely that Moses would have a full head of hair in the beginning as an adult and he’d certainly have eyeliner. I mean he was raised by Egyptians for God’s sake.)

Joshua was a slave in Egypt. (Joshua was Moses’ apprentice when he received The Ten Commandments. However, in the movie The Ten Commandments, Joshua and Moses are depicted at around the same age even though in the Bible, Moses is clearly much older by at least a generation. Thus, though Joshua may have been a slave in Egypt, he most definitely not been shacked up with a slave girl for he would’ve been at least a teenager, maybe even younger than that if he was born around the time. Also, depicting Joshua as a teenager around Exodus would make better sense since Moses was sort of a priest and they did take teenage apprentices {think about the story of Samuel}. Also, there have been teenage commanders in battle like King Tut and Alexander the Great.)

Female Egyptian rulers didn’t wear beards. (They wore a fake one as a symbol of their power as well as show that they were a reincarnation of Horus.)

Imotep is best known for being buried alive because he messed with a Pharaoh’s mistress. (He was an official, priest, and architect who invented the pyramid and modern medicine before Hippocrates. He was also seen as a good chancellor as well as one of the most respected Ancient Egyptians who ever lived who was deified after his death {which was only reserved for Pharaohs} and there are some theories that contend he was the biblical Joseph {the guy with the technicolor dream coat}. Of course, this might be a different Imotep depicted in The Mummy films since the historical one lived 1300 years before this one.)

Akenaten was poisoned by an assassin. (We’re really not sure what he died from. Though Pharaohs had to worry about assassination {mostly from their own relatives} and the Aten religion soon fell out of favor a few years after his death, he could’ve just as easily died from plague or other nasty diseases, which may explain why his tomb was subsequently abandoned with rapidity. However, unlike his son Tutankhamen, he looked pretty average so there’s no evidence he had anything depicted in artistic representations of him.)

Anubis was the god of evil and Ancient Egypt’s Satan. (He wasn’t, not by a long shot. He’s just a god of the dead. Seth was the evil god.)

The Book of the Dead and the Book of Amun-Ra were written on black stone tablets in gold. (Ancient Egyptians wrote their books on papyrus scrolls.)

Hamunaptra was an ancient city in Egypt and nicknamed the “City of the Dead.” (It’s actually in India as a relic of unknown civilization destroyed thousands of years ago.)

There was a mass Egyptian enslavement of Hebrews. (While the Ancient had slaves, it’s uncertain whether they enslaved Hebrews. If they did, they weren’t technically Hebrews yet but Canaanites.)

Ancient Egyptians viewed cats as terrifying demons. (They worshiped them and were among the greatest cat lovers in history.)

Egyptians domesticated camels in the Old Kingdom. (They domesticated them late in the New Kingdom.)

The Ancient Egyptians practiced ritual sacrifice at the time of the Great Pyramid. (This had faded long before the Great Pyramid was built.)

Old Kingdom Egyptians had bronze and iron weapons as well as horses. (Horses and bronze were introduced in Ancient Egypt around 1400 B. C. E. While iron was introduced by the Hittites around 1000 B. C. E.)

Amun-Ra was the Egyptian sun god during the Old Kingdom. (Amun and Ra merged during the Middle Kingdom. The Sun God was Ra during the Old Kingdom.)

Seti won the Battle of Kadesh. (Ramses II actually fought that battle.)

Potiphar was angry at Joseph (son of Jacob) for his wife’s allegations he was trying to rape her while Joseph resisted her advances. (Contrary to Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat, Potiphar probably knew that his wife had a habit of making advances to the servants and was kind of a bitch. He probably put Joseph in prison to get him out of the way.)

Ancient Persia:

The Persians gave lesser rights to women. (Actually they treated women rather equally even paying them more in some situations.)

The Persians dressed in Arab clothing and had Arab generals. (They dressed in Persian clothing and had Persian generals.)

The Persians kings saw themselves as gods. (They were Zorastrian and only worshiped one god so Xerxes’ god complex in the 300 movies has no basis in reality since he never saw himself as one.)

Persians had massive orgies and lesbian shows I the kings’ room. (Well, the Bible recounts Xerxes wanting his wife Vashti to show herself naked only to banish her later, but that’s about it.)

Persians beheaded their own people. (I’m not sure that they did. However, they did have very brutal form of capital punishment called scaphism, which was far worse than having your head lopped off. This is according to the Greeks.)

Immortals wore face masks and were soulless monsters. (No, they didn’t and they weren’t.)

Persian Immortals wore black ninja like outfits to battle. (Actually their outfits would’ve been wearing masks, light armor, and outfits of bright colors. They also wore jewelry. Oh, and they also had a full head of hair and funky beards.)

The Persians charged elephants and rhinos at Thermopylae. (They used horses. Seriously, the Persian Empire didn’t extend to Africa. However, it’s said they did use these animals in later battles, just not in Greece.)

Persians were dressed in scantily clad outfits, wore jewelry, shaved their bodies, and looked kind of like Cirque du Soleil rejects as well as kind of gay. They are were also debasing and immoral. (Persian men didn’t look like their representations in 300. Look on the murals. Besides, Xerxes had a full head of hair {as far as we know} and a beard like most ancient Persians did even in the Bible. He also wore a tall hat and elaborate robes, was probably not gay, and didn’t wear a lot of jewelry. He also wasn’t 9 feet tall and if he was bald, you probably wouldn’t know it. As for Persian side, it was a pretty diverse group of ethnicities from the Middle East and Egypt, with diverse religious beliefs {including Judaism}. And as with homosexuality, there was plenty of it in the Spartan army and typical Spartan bridal wear consisted of men’s clothes and a shaved head. Sparta was also known for their enslavement of Helots whose uprising were a common feature in Ancient Greece and was one of the least free city states in Greece unless you were a woman. They also practiced pederasty {yet all Greek city states did to some extent}. And in the Bible, the Persians are depicted as perhaps some of the nicest overlords the Jewish people ever had, if one read Daniel and Esther. So it’s possible that you might have a few Israelites fighting in the Persian Wars. They also didn’t have any slaves and believed in equality.)

Persian Immortals wore shiny masks to hide their horrific faces. (They actually wrapped their faces in cloth so you could see through them. Yet, their shields were only made of wicker. Still, they were called the Immortals because they always maintained the strength of 10,000 men. Whenever an Immortal was killed or wounded, there was always someone to take his place which maintained the cohesion of the unit.)

Persians sent their entire army to Thermopylae. (Xerxes would have done no such thing since he had to rule a large empire back at home. Also, I’m not sure if he would even go to Thermopylae himself though he and Leonidas certainly didn’t meet in person. Yet, he’s said to have been at the Battle of Salamis.)

A Persian weapon of choice was the Khopesh. (It was a Canaanite weapon which hadn’t been used for 1000 years up to that point. This would’ve been the equivalent of sending US paratroopers into Normandy equipped with single shot muskets.)

During the Battle of Salamis, the Persians had a large metal ship that chugs out pitch and a detachment of frogman suicide bombers. (Sorry, but there’s no mention of this in Herodotus nor has there been any archaeological finds. Yet, this makes 300: Rise of an Empire ever the more ridiculous.)

Themistocles killed King Darius at the Battle of Marathon. (King Darius probably wasn’t at Marathon but died well after that of completely natural causes {such as a long illness} four years later.)

Themistocles killed Artemisia during the Battle of Salamis. (She survived the battle and ended up as a trusted adviser to Xerxes, even caring for his illegitimate children. Also, Themistocles ended up joining the Persians, though only after he was exiled to Argos and implicated in a plot with Pausanias by Spartans who didn’t like him. The Persians were the only entity who would take him. So it wasn’t like he betrayed the Greeks, rather the Greeks betrayed him.)

Artemisia and Themistocles shared a moment of unbridled passion. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, this never happened for Artemisia knew better than to fool around with any man, let alone a Greek.)

Xerxes tried to dissuade Artemisia from pursuing the Greeks during the Battle of Salamis. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, she advised him against the battle arguing that it was a bad idea to engage the Greeks at sea and was the only one of his allies to do so. Nevertheless, though Xerxes respected her advice, he decided to go through with the naval assault anyway. Thus, it was the other way around. Of course, she was right.)

Artemisia was the Persian naval commander during the Battles of Artemisium and Salamis. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, she was only a Persian naval commander during the battles. In fact, all the authority she had just consisted of 5 ships she contributed to the Persian force. And she would never be able to command those ships if she wasn’t a queen to begin with.)

Darius invaded Athens because he was annoyed by Greek freedom. (Darius more likely just wanted to add more land to empire and that he was getting sick of the Athenian sponsored revolts in his hometown. Also, Persians didn’t have slaves, unlike the Greeks who did.)

Xerxes burned Athens to the ground. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, he had no reason to destroy a city of significant strategic value. Many historians have theorized this is just plain Greek propaganda while Herodotus said this was a Persian objective and Xerxes withdrew from the city shortly afterwards. Thus, it’s highly disputed.)

Queen Artemisia was psychotic. (She was just the queen of one of Xerxes’ satraps {provinces} who just happen to take his side during the Greco-Persian Wars. Also, she was even praised by Herodotus for her decisiveness and intelligence despite being Persian and a woman. Of course, he was also from Halicarnassus and she was a legend in his hometown that was ruled by Artemisia’s grandson {where he’d later be exiled}.)

Persian galleys were rowed by slaves. (Ancient Persia didn’t have any slaves.)

The Persians burned every enemy city they encountered. (With the possible exception of Athens, they didn’t. Rather they viewed cities as future vassals to their empire.)

Artemisia’s family was murdered by Greek hopilites and she was held as a sex slave on a Greek ship. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, she was a princess and was never held as a sex slave. She was queen of Halicarnassus as well as a mother and regent to a young son. Oh, and did I say that her mother was from Crete?)

Old Testament Times:

The Philistines were an uncivilized and an uncultured people. (They may have been the Hebrew enemies in the Bible but they weren’t uncultured by any means and it’s even said in the Bible.)

Jacob had sons by several different women. (The Bible explicitly said he had sons by 4 women with 6 by Leah, 2 by Rachel, 2 by Billah, and 2 by Zilphah. Of course, Rachel was dead by the time Joseph received his coat while Jacob’s other sons needed dance partners in the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. Jacob also had a daughter named Dinah, too. Of course, he should’ve known that his older brothers had wives and concubines.)

Judaism was always monotheistic. (Yes, the early Jews worshiped Yahweh but they had other minor deities until the Babylonian captivity. Also, the Bible does mention that idol worship was prevalent around the time of David, Solomon, and their successors.)

Uriah was a complete asshole who abused his wife. (The Bible says that King David was the bigger asshole since he knocked up the guy’s wife, tried to get Uriah to go home in order to pass him as the kid’s father {which didn’t work}, and had him sent to the front lines where he’d surely be killed. Uriah, on the other hand, was a nice guy as well as very loyal to his king only to be screwed in the process. Not to mention, David also got a lot of other guys killed in the process who basically had nothing to do with the whole Bathsheba thing.)

Early Passover was celebrated in the seder style. (This style wasn’t celebrated until the later rabbinic tradition which was around the time of the Roman Empire. Before then, the typical Passover tradition was sacrificing a lamb.)

Delilah actually loved Samson even though she gave him the haircut of betrayal. (According to the Bible, it’s unclear whether she had any genuine feelings for him.)

Moses wrote the Torah. (Though 4 of the five Torah books are about Moses, it’s more likely they were written at least during the reign of Solomon or the Babylonian captivity.)

Carrying the Ark of the Covenant would make an army invincible. (Let’s just say the Bible says that every time the Hebrews carried it into battle, they were soundly defeated and lost the ark as well without God’s specific direction to do so. The Hebrews were probably glad to get rid of it to get the Lord to stop smiting them.)

Delilah was sent by the Philistines to seduce Samson and deceive him. (According to the Bible, she was already in a relationship with him when the Philistines approached her. Hollywood just can’t miss an opportunity of a good femme fatale love story.)

Joseph received a multi colored coat from his dad Jacob. (Actually, the chances of Joseph having a technicolor dream coat would’ve been unlikely. He probably just received a very fancy coat.)

Nathan slut shamed Bathsheba for committing adultery with King David. (Unlike what David and Bathsheba implies, the Bible doesn’t really say that Bathsheba received any divine punishment whatsoever {or at least any that wasn’t meant for David like her son dying in infancy}. Hell, the next thing we hear about her after the whole thing was that she became the mother of Solomon and later helps secure his succession. And in the Bible, Nathan doesn’t slut shame her or call her out for infidelity. This is because since David is her sovereign king, her husband’s boss, and wanted to sleep with her, Bathsheba was in absolutely no position to refuse. It didn’t matter how she felt about David or whether she was willing or not. If she refused, it might’ve meant prison or death. Or it might’ve meant prison or death for Uriah, too. Any woman in her situation would’ve done the same thing regardless of marital status. Thus, since Bathsheba couldn’t freely consent to adultery, she was not held responsible. Besides, the Bible clearly shows that whole Bathsheba incident was all David’s fault.)

Ancient Mesopotamia and the Near East:

The Akkadians had blood feuds with the Vikings before the pyramids were built. (Of course, you know that this isn’t true when I mention Vikings, especially around 5000 B. C. E.)

Iron swords were available around 5000 B. C. E. (The Iron Age didn’t begin until about 1000 B. C. E.)

Greek warlords regularly commandeered Babylonian forces. (They most likely didn’t though the Babylonians did have a warrior culture in what is now Iraq.)

The Akkadians were a race of deadly assassins. (For God’s sake, they were just people of Akkad known for amassing an empire in the Fertile Crescent created by a ruler named Sargon and his dynasty.)

Memnon was a Greek general. (We’re not sure if this guy ever existed, wherever he’s from.)

Magic black powder was used in the Middle East around 5000 B. C. E. (For God’s sake, why is that in a movie?)

The Scorpion King was a Mesopotamian ruler from 5000 B. C. E.  or an Egyptian ruler around 3000 B. C. E. (There was a real Scorpion king but he was Egyptian who preceded the Pharaoh Menes and lived around 3100 B. C. E. Still, we don’t know much about him.)

The Hittites worshiped Gozer. (Contrary to Ghostbusters, Gozer doesn’t appear on the Hittite deity lists so it’s uncertain.)

The Babylonians had elephant statues. (Elephants aren’t indigenous to the Middle East and it’s unlikely anyone from Babylon ever saw one. Also, refer to Jesus saying about how easier it was for a camel to pass through the eye of an needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. The camel was the biggest animal anyone in the the ancient Near East anyone would’ve seen.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 1- Introduction and Prehistory

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Believe it or not, as much as 10,000 BC might be criticized for inaccuracy, it’s actually true that many extinctions of these large prehistoric mammals may very well be attributed to early man hunting them. However, they probably weren’t hunting saber tooths (especially one by that size in Africa) and mammoths by 10,000 BC though and not with that weapon.

Movies are great teaching tools when it comes to history but sometimes they teach us the wrong lessons and give us an erroneous perception about the past. Though many of the events depicted in the film may have happened and the people might have existed, filmmakers often make a mistake or two. Sometimes it’s the presentation such as the costumes. Sometimes it’s history in general. And like it or not, there are people who tend to believe what they see in movies. In the next several days  I list clichés and inaccuracies present in movies that take place at another time. I’m listing things I see in movies that pertain to more serious films that are meant to shape our perception of history not movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Blazing Saddles or period pieces by Quentin Tarantino because these were only made for entertainment and not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t include biopic much unless they are about someone historically significant. I also don’t include fantasy and science fiction films because most of them are told as myths and aren’t meant to conform to historic accuracy. I mean 2001: A Space Odyssey may be totally historically inaccurate but at the time it was written and made (in the 1960s) 2001 was the future. However, I do include westerns and literary adaptations, older movies set in their contemporary settings, and maybe the occasional animated flick or movies based on religion and mythology.

My first post on movie history is prehistoric times from human evolution to the invention of writing like around 2 million years ago to about 3000 B. C. E. (or before a civilization had records) because history ain’t history until it’s written down. Of course, this would include prehistoric mammals, cavemen, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age as well as the invention of many things we take for granted like fire, houses, cities, architecture, agriculture, clothes, tools, art, the wheel, religion, weapons, trade, and a bunch of other things. What we know about Prehistory usually comes from archaeological and paleoantrhopological evidence, which is incomplete. In many ways, there could never be a truly historically accurate movie on Prehistoric man because we really don’t know much about them since they didn’t write things down. However, this doesn’t mean that there are glaring inaccuracies in them which would make any prehistory expert cry.

Early humans looked and acted very much like we did as well as had language and had their hair in similar styles. However, they ate their meat raw until they discovered fire. (Contrary to what Caveman says {which is a parody but still illustrates the inaccuracy}, fire was discovered by Homo erectus at least around 1 million years ago {which was way before the evolution of modern humans}, so cavemen looking like Ringo Starr would’ve been very familiar with the technology.)

Cavemen were predominantly white and existed as one species. (Well, the earliest modern humans probably weren’t Caucasian looking when they first came to Europe from Africa {which says alot about the other humans which certainly weren’t either since they came from Africa where a light skin human being without much body hair would be at an evolutionary disadvantage}. Actually, race is more a of a social construct than a scientific one so let’s leave it at that. Still, most cavemen in movies are usually portrayed by white actors. However, early homo sapiens certainly did exist with human species for awhile.)

Early humans wore animal skins as well as made jewelry out of their bones. Animal parts were used as musical instruments. The fact that they didn’t farm and wore things like that proves that they were uncivilized creatures. They also fought with each other over women that the treated as objects as well as had monosyllabic names. (Archaeological evidence suggests that cave men were anything but brutes and morons.)

A Stone Age diet usually consisted of meat and any vegetation that was gathered. And it was the hunters who contributed to most of the meal. (In reality it was the gatherers who contributed more as well as started agriculture. Oh, yeah, they also consumed grain though I’m not sure about dairy products.)

Neanderthals were hunchbacked, chinless, knuckle-draggers. (This was based on one of the first complete Neanderthal skeletons found, which was of a man over sixty years old suffering from bone wastage and arthritis. They actually looked more like us though they wouldn’t be winning any beauty contests.)

Neanderthals couldn’t speak. (They could, just not like us.)

The Iron Age had superior tools and weapons than the Bronze Age did. (Iron has some properties that make it more useful than bronze such as the grain allowed for sharpening, it was used as a poor man’s substitute for Bronze and that the collapse of the Bronze Age was due to the loss of trade routes which were their only source of tin. Also, iron was cheaper to produce. And before iron, most people used copper since bronze was expensive.)

Cavemen invented the wheel and originally used it for transportation. (The wheel was invented in Mesopotamia in 6000-3200 B.C. E. and its initial use was for grinding grain and would be it’s only use for two or three millennia. Also, by that time, humans were already out of caves and living in fixed settlements by then.)

Dinosaurs coexisted with humans. (For God’s sake, they most certainly did not. Dinosaurs were already extinct for millions of years by the time humans came in.)

Early man hunted prehistoric animals. (This is true, which may have caused extinction of several animals {yet the Dinofelis pictured wasn’t one of them having gone extinct 1.3 million years ago and the Smildon maybe, but only by Native American Indians}. However, they also hunted animals we’d be familiar with like deer. Actually they’d hunt almost anything.)

Egyptians used mammoths to build the Pyramids. (Actually they built the Pyramids closer to 2500 B. C. E. {which is in a whole different era} and the mammoths were very much extinct by then. Not to mention, mammoths were never domesticated, ever.)

Prehistoric women wore fur bikinis. (Whether this is true or not, odds are many prehistoric women certainly wouldn’t look like Raquel Welch around a million years ago. Actually many prehistoric women didn’t even bother covering their saggy breasts, especially if they were nursing babies.)

Prehistoric humans = cavemen. (This is true but only to a point. Most of the familiar imagery of prehistory usually do revolve around cavemen, but this eras spans beyond the Stone Age. Prehistoric humans would eventually move away from that kind of lifestyle in the advent of agriculture. Of course, many Prehistoric humans would have civilization of some sort, just not in 10,000 B.C.E.)

Prehistoric women had no body hair or ever cut themselves shaving their legs. (Chances are Prehistoric women would be much hairier than women today {including those who don’t shave at all}. And if Prehistoric women did shave {which I highly doubt}, they would’ve used a jagged rock.)

Prehistoric women were well made up and had perfect teeth. (Most cosmetics available were clay and crushed berries. And don’t get me started on dental care.)

Prehistoric men wore leopard skins and had bulging muscles. (For God’s sake, most Prehistoric men didn’t look like Tarzan. Nor they were scrawny looking either. I mean these guys weren’t attractive by modern beauty standards.)

Prehistoric humans were larger or just as big as their modern counterparts and stronger, too. (The vast majority were actually smaller. The degree of strength is actually debatable.)

Some Prehistoric Europeans had blue eyes and blond hair. (The genetic mutation for blue eyes existed 6-8,000 years ago at the earliest. And fair hair didn’t exist until 12,000 B. C. E.)

Prehistoric humans ate corn and chili peppers. (In the Americas maybe since they did exist in Pre-Columbian times, but not anywhere else before the 1500s.)

Prehistoric humans had horseback riding, ships, and steel around 10,000 B. C. E. (Horse domestication didn’t exist until 4000 B. C. E. {though horses were hunted and eaten} yet by 10,000 B.C.E there has been evidence of using dogs, pigs, and reindeer in a domestic atmosphere. Metalworking didn’t exist until 7500-5500 B. C. E. {with the earliest metal tools being made in copper}. Sailing didn’t exist until 4000 B. C. E.)

Prehistoric humans had cities around 10,000 B.C.E. (For God’s sake the first complex cities didn’t spring up until around 4000 B. C. E.  though Jericho might’ve existed by then but only as a hunter-gatherer settlement and there was a mammoth bone village in Ukraine from 18,000 to 12,000 years ago. Also, 10,000 B. C. E. would’ve when humans discovered agriculture.)

Humans had contact with large “terror birds.” (The birds were indigenous in the Americas and had gone extinct 1.8 million years ago.)

Prehistoric man used bows and and elaborate spear points for hunting as early as 10,000 B. C. E. (Bows and elaborate spear points weren’t used for hunting around that time {though humans had been hunting with stone tools for thousands of years prior}. Humans wouldn’t use elaborate spear points {those were ceremonial} though they may have hunted with bows and arrows {existing since 30,000 years ago} and spears.)

Cavemen walked crouched down like apes. (Prehistoric humans mostly walked upright since Homo habilis.)

Prehistoric men shaved their faces. (We really don’t know whether they did or not or whether beard styles varied from tribe to tribe.)

Prehistoric humans used telescopes and maps on papyrus in 10,000 B. C. E. (Telescopes weren’t invented until the 1600s, moron. Also, maps weren’t invented before writing and papyrus didn’t come around until 2650 B.C. E.)

Cro-Magnon hunted mammoth with a net. (They may have hunted mammoth but there’s no evidence it was with a net {they did have nets at the time}. Though absence of one doesn’t mean they didn’t.)

Cavemen lived in caves. (Well, we assume many did because they were nomadic but they had other kinds of shelter. Of course, very early man lived in trees or under them. The earliest house in archaeological record was found in the Czech Republic is dated to have been built 25,000 years ago. Rock shelters have been found in India with artwork possibly done by Homo erectus and dating between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago. Also, wooden buildings were said to have been erected in South America as early as 11,500 B. C. E. to 10,000 B. C. E. Oh, and pit residences weren’t uncommon either.)

Cavemen dragged chose their mates by bonking their chosen women on the head and dragging them by the hair. (Well, marriage by kidnapping was the norm at the time {it’s the earliest marriage ritual to be exact}. However, dragging a woman by the hair wouldn’t have been a good idea. Chances are a wife seeking caveman probably had his band helping him and possibly the familial approval of the woman in question. Heck, there may even be cavewomen who were kidnapped by their husbands on their own accord.)

Stonehenge was built in Prehistoric times. (It’s said to have been constructed around the same time as the Pyramids {at least the main part of it has}. Not to mention, there may have been some variations of it before then so it’s not 100% inaccurate but not really historically true.)

Hunter-gatherers lived a life of labor and near starvation. (Their diet was said to be healthier than ours and food was plentiful and didn’t take much work to get. Agricultural work was far more difficult and humans only became farmers because the hunter-gatherer lifestyle wasn’t able to support a large population. Agriculture also gave rise to all kinds of diseases and tooth decay as well as social inequality.)

Cavemen had to constantly worry about falling prey to a vicious Prehistoric monster. (Sometimes they had, especially in the early years of human evolution. More modern humans pretty much were the monsters for they were responsible for some extinctions of prehistoric animals.)

Neanderthals lived in what is now North Texas around 33,000 B. C. E. (Neanderthals never lived in North America. However, there may nor may not have been humans in the Americas around 35,000 years ago. However, I don’t think you’re going to find an early man in Encino, California any time soon, especially one that looks like Brendan Fraser.)

Fun and Clever Insults from Famous People in the Days of Yore

1. William Faulkner (on Ernest Hemingway): “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Ernest Hemingway: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

2. George Bernard Shaw (to Winston Churchill): “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… if you have one.”

Winston Churchill (to George Bernard Shaw): “Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.”

3. The Earl of Sandwich: “You, Mr. Wilkes, will die either of the pox or on the gallows.”

John Wilkes (to the Earl of Sandwich): “That depends, my lord, whether I embrace your mistress or your principles.”

4. James Reston (on Richard Nixon): “He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them.”

5. Lady Astor (to Winston Churchill): “Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!”

Winston Churchill (to Lady Astor): “Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it!”

6. Winston Churchill (when asked whether he was drunk): “I may be drunk madame, but in the morning I will be sober, and you will be just as ugly.”

7. Clarence Darrow: “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”

8. Moses Hadas: “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”

9. Howard Hughes (about Clark Gable): “His ears made him look like a taxi cab with both doors open.”

10. Lyndon B. Johnson (about Gerald Ford): “He’s a nice guy, but he played too much football with his helmet off.”

11. Jack E. Leonard: “There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.”

12. Leonard Louis Levinson: “I wish I’d known you when you were alive.”

13. Abraham Lincoln: “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

14. Groucho Marx: “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll make an exception.”

15. Groucho Marx: “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”

16. Groucho Marx: “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

17. Golda Meir: “Don’t be humble…you’re not that great.”

18. Thomas Paine (about John Adams): “It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt.”

19. Robert Redford: “He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.”

20. Thomas Brackett Reed: “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”

21. Aristophanes: “You have all the characteristics of a popular politician: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner.”

22. Milton Berle: “Why are we honoring this man? Have we run out of human beings?”

23. Stephen Bishop: “I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”

24. Irvin S. Cobb: “I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”

25. Winston Churchill: “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices Iadmire.”

26. Winston Churchill: “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.”

27. A. E. Housman: “Nature not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.”

28. Samuel Johnson: “He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.”

29. Victor Hugo: “God was bored by him.”

30. William McAdoo (on Warren G. Harding): “His speeches left the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea.”

31. Jim Samuels: “You’re a good example of why some animals eat their young.”

32. George Bernard Shaw: “The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation, but not the power of speech.”

33. Neil Simon: “Gee, what a terrific party. Later on we’ll get some fluid and embalm each other.”

34. Forrest Tucker: “He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.”

35. Mark Twain: “His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there’s scarcely a hole in it anywhere.”

36. Mark Twain: “A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity.”

37. Mark Twain: “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

38. Mark Twain: “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”

39. Mae West: “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”

40. Oscar Wilde: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

41. Oscar Wilde: “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”

42. Billy Wilder: “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.”

43. Oscar Wilde: “Why was I born with such contemporaries?”

44. Andrew Lang (1844-1912): “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts for support rather than illumination.”

45. Edith Sitwell: “A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.”

46. Franklin K. Dane: “Ignorance is never out of style. It was in fashion yesterday, it is the rage today, and it will set the pace tomorrow.”

47. Elizabeth Taylor: “Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”

48. Mark Twain: “I can never learn to like her, except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight.”

49. Dorothy Parker: “The woman speaks eight languages and can’t say ‘no’ in any of them.”

50. William Kerr: “He has delusions of adequacy.”

51. John Bright: ”He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”

52. Truman Capote (on Jack Kerouac): “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

53. Gregory Ratoff: “You’re a parasite for sore eyes.”

54. Jonathan Swift: “Fine words! I wonder where you stole them.”

55. Liberace: “What you said hurt me very much. I cried all the way to the bank.”

56. William Dean Howells: “Some people stay longer in an hour than others can in a week.”

57. Fred Allen: “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”

58. Oscar Levant: “Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.”

59. Groucho Marx: “Don’t look now, but there’s one too many in this room and I think it’s you.”

60. Jeremy Thorpe: “Greater love hath no man than this, to lay down his friends for his life.”

61. Moliere: “He must have killed a lot of men to have made so much money.”

62. Charles Kingsley: “He was one of those men who possess almost every gift, except the gift of the power to use them.”

63. Oscar Wilde: “He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigram on his tombstone.”

64. W. S. Gilbert: “No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have; and I think he’s a dirty little beast.”

65. Heinrich Heine: “Ordinarily he is insane. But he has lucid moments when he is only stupid.”

66. Jean Webster: “She never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of her conversation.”

67. Mark Twain: “You take the lies out of him, and he’ll shrink to the size of your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he’ll disappear.”

68. Lyndon B. Johnson: “The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character.”

69. Mark Twain: “Reader, suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

70. Oscar Wilde: “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.”

71. James Thurber: “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.”

72. Benjamin Disraeli: “He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea and that was wrong.”

73. Leo Tolstoy: “He never chooses an opinion; he just wears whatever happens to be in style.”

74. Groucho Marx: “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”

75. Josh Billings: “When I see a man of shallow understanding extravagantly clothed, I feel sorry – for the clothes.”

76. Catherine the Great: “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

77. Lillian Gish: “Young man, if God had wanted you to see me that way, he would have put your eyes in your bellybutton.”

78. Benjamin Disraeli: “If William Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune. If anybody pulled him out, that would be a calamity.”

79. Mark Twain: “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig Jane Austen up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

80. Oscar Wilde: “There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Alexander Pope.”

81. Will Rogers: “An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.”

82. Mark Twain: “There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.”

83. Charlotte Whitton: “Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

84. Mark Twain: “He is useless on top of the ground; he aught to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.”

85. Mark Twain: “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

86. Dorothy Parker: “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

87. Groucho Marx: “Remember men, we’re fighting for this woman’s honor; which is probably more than she ever did.”

88. Richard Moore: “When I read Homer, I sometimes have the feeling that we have been starving to death for 3,000 years.”

89. Albert Einstein: “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the former.”

90. Adlai Stevenson: “Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.”

91. Will Rogers: “A fool and his money are soon elected.”

92. Will Rogers: “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”

93. Jonathan Swift: “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”

94. Nathaniel Hawthorne (on Edward Bulwer-Lytton): “Bulwer nauseates me; he is the very pimple of the age’s humbug. There is no hope of the public, so long as he retains an admirer, a reader, or a publisher.”

95. Anatole France (on Emile Zola): “His work is evil, and he is one of those unhappy beings of whom one can say that it would be better had he never been born.”

96. Fred Allen: “What’s on your mind? If you’ll forgive the overstatement.”

97. P. G. Wodehouse: “He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.”

98. Charles Baudelaire (on Richard Wagner): “I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.”

99. Groucho Marx: “Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you.”

100. George Bernard Shaw: “He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”

“He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” – See more at: http://www.articlereviewwriters.com/fun-and-famous-insults.html#sthash.0JsKBNSN.dpuf
“He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” – See more at: http://www.articlereviewwriters.com/fun-and-famous-insults.html#sthash.0JsKBNSN.dpuf
“He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” – See more at: http://www.articlereviewwriters.com/fun-and-famous-insults.html#sthash.0JsKBNSN.dpuf
“He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” – See more at: http://www.articlereviewwriters.com/fun-and-famous-insults.html#sthash.0JsKBNSN.dpuf
“He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” – See more at: http://www.articlereviewwriters.com/fun-and-famous-insults.html#sthash.0JsKBNSN.dpuf

The Wonderful World of Vintage Ads

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For as long as writing and business existed side by side, advertising has always been with us since communication as everything. Roman gladiators once endorsed products when not fighting each other while print media almost wouldn’t survive without it. Still, while some ads seem fairly harmless others not so much. I could go on all day about the nice cutesy ads your grandparents fondly remember but no one wouldn’t be interested. Instead, I’ll show the not-so-stellar ads to mock for your pleasure. So without further adieu, here is a collection of some of the worst printed ads of yesterday. Note: Some of my ad descriptions may denote sarcasm. Also, some of these ads may be offensive but I posted them because they’re terrible so that’s kind of the point.

1. Who knew a pig could survive after it slices itself in half?

I think the guy who came up with this image must've been on drugs if you ask me.

I think the guy who came up with this image must’ve been on drugs if you ask me.

2. Is it always illegal to kill a woman? Uh, yeah, I think it very much is.

Also, why would anyone ever ask that kind of misogynistic question? And on an advertisement out all things. Seriously, I wonder if the guy behind this ad was an inspiration for a character on Madmen or something.

Also, why would anyone ever ask that kind of misogynistic question? And on an advertisement out all things. Seriously, I wonder if the guy behind this ad was an inspiration for a character on Madmen or something.

3. Sure all women love to receive a new vacuum for Christmas.

Let's just say if you're my significant other and gave me a vacuum for Christmas, I will not be happy. I hate these things for all the noise they make.

Let’s just say if you’re my significant other and gave me a vacuum for Christmas, I will not be happy. I hate these things for all the noise they make.

4. Treat yourself on Christmas, buy a gun!

Really? A gun? That's crazy. Wonder if treating yourself to getting a gun for Christmas may be a sign you need some psychiatric counseling.

Really? A gun? That’s crazy. Wonder if treating yourself to getting a gun for Christmas may be a sign you need some psychiatric counseling.

5. Sure Iver Johnson revolvers are safe around kids. This ad guarantees it.

"Absolutely Safe," "Accidental Discharge Impossible," "Pa says it won't hurt us," as this ad promises. However, all these sayings are what is known in the advertising business as "bullshit." Guns are never safe around kids and accidental discharges will happen.

“Absolutely Safe,” “Accidental Discharge Impossible,” “Pa says it won’t hurt us,” as this ad promises. However, all these sayings are what is known in the advertising business as “bullshit.” Guns are never safe around kids and accidental discharges will happen.

6. Drinking Smirnoff would lead a woman to become a bra burning feminist.

This was probably designed by some asshole who has no idea of what feminism is. Still, anything is possible while handling Smirnoff like date rape which might be on the mind of the guy next to her. Empowering to women? I think not.

7. Blatz understands that young mothers always need a drink if they want their babies growing healthy and strong.

Uh, huh, I’m not sure if marketing beer to young mothers as a health drink is a good idea. Still, I wonder if the baby will be plastered on the mother’s breast milk after she drinks some.

8. Apparently this white kid thinks black people are using the wrong soap.

Try using the Fairy soap on your black friend, kid. Chances are, the blackness is never coming off because it’s the person’s natural skin color. Just because a person’s skin is dark doesn’t mean he or she is dirty or should be treated any differently than as an equal. This is a pretty racist ad but it’s not the worst I’ve seen. But posting it will certainly not get black people to like you.

9. Men who don’t wear Van Heusen Oxfords obviously come from a savage cannibalistic tribe in Africa.

Another offensive and racist ad. This not only calls blacks savages but also insults people in Third World countries as savage and cannibalistic brutes, which many are not. Even if that were true, we shouldn't refer to their culture as any barbaric than our own. This ad is just a bunch of Western imperialistic nonsense.

Another offensive and racist ad. This not only calls blacks savages but also insults people in Third World countries as savage and cannibalistic brutes, which many are not. Even if that were true, we shouldn’t refer to their culture as any barbaric than our own. This ad is just a bunch of Western imperialistic nonsense.

10. Buy Kenwood mixer because even chefs need wives to cook in their own homes.

Hey, since when is cooking primarily the wife's job? If I was married to a chef, I sure wouldn't cook for him. Any male chef who makes his wife cook for him is a jerk. Stay in the kitchen my ass.

Hey, since when is cooking primarily the wife’s job? If I was married to a chef, I sure wouldn’t cook for him. Any male chef who makes his wife cook for him is a jerk. Stay in the kitchen my ass.

11. Because every boy needs to have his own little assault rifle.

What the fuck? Why in God's mercy would you give your kid this? This is almost as bad as the real thing, not that it helped the soldiers in Vietnam. Oh, I see why they had these toys so boys can get excited about being drafted. It's disturbing, really.

What the fuck? Why in God’s mercy would you give your kid this? This is almost as bad as the real thing, not that it helped the soldiers in Vietnam. Oh, I see why they had these toys so boys can get excited about being drafted. It’s disturbing, really.

12. Daisy always knows guns make the best Christmas gifts for the whole family.

I really don't want to live next to these people. Let's just say guns are another thing I wouldn't want for Christmas.

I really don’t want to live next to these people. Let’s just say guns are another thing I wouldn’t want for Christmas.

13. Drink Poulain Chocolate or else the pale face clown will get you.

I wonder if this hot chocolate drinking clown is related to the Joker from Batman.

I wonder if this hot chocolate drinking clown is related to the Joker from Batman.

14. Using Diamond Dyes will make your kid pretending to be a sociopath.

If my kid was playing with some blood colored dye I'd feel the same way like that horrifying child's mother. I wonder if this child's utter delight in it may foreshadow a future as a serial killer.

If my kid was playing with some blood colored dye I’d feel the same way like that horrifying child’s mother. I wonder if this child’s utter delight in it may foreshadow a future as a serial killer.

15. See, even Santa smokes so cigarettes must be good for you.

Seriously, I think doing tobacco endorsement should automatically put someone on the naughty list. And I don't think Santa should be exempt from that.

Seriously, I think doing tobacco endorsement should automatically put someone on the naughty list. And I don’t think Santa should be exempt from that.

16. It’s nice having a girl around the house, to step on.

Look, this is not only offensive toward women but also to tigers. You can't treat women like doormats or kill tigers and make rugs out of them. You also can't step on women's heads either.

Look, this is not only offensive toward women but also to tigers. You can’t treat women like doormats or kill tigers and make rugs out of them. You also can’t step on women’s heads either.

17. Make every ocean liner trip a gay cruise on American Export Lines.

On American Export Lines, everyone is guaranteed to have a gay old time. However, a gay cruise today would mean something completely different.

On American Export Lines, everyone is guaranteed to have a gay old time. However, a gay cruise today would mean something completely different.

18. Because group showers save money.

Sure group showers may save money and be prevalent among athletes. Yet, they also tend to be the butt of gay jokes, especially since the world of men's sports is rather homophobic. Still, these boys seem perfectly fine naked in each other's company. One is even singing while washing his hair. However, this is in here because it was made at a highly homophobic time yet much of it may be teeming with gay subtext to add further irony.

Sure group showers may save money and be prevalent among athletes. Yet, they also tend to be the butt of gay jokes, especially since the world of men’s sports is rather homophobic. Still, these boys seem perfectly fine naked in each other’s company. One is even singing while washing his hair. However, this is in here because it was made at a highly homophobic time yet much of it may be teeming with gay subtext to add further irony.

19. Munsingwear Men’s Underwear: Because you never know when you’ll be wrestling in your underwear.

As to why any two straight men would even want to wrestle with each other in their underwear, I don't have the slightest idea. Another 1950's ad teeming with gay subtext. Is anyone on Madmen in the closet or something?

As to why any two straight men would even want to wrestle with each other in their underwear, I don’t have the slightest idea. Another 1950’s ad teeming with gay subtext. Is anyone on Madmen in the closet or something?

20. Not sure what you want your husband to buy anything for you for Christmas? Circle the following.

I'm sure all women would want these kitchen appliances for Christmas. I sure wouldn't. Still, I think it's kind of insulting. Also, what should my husband give me if I want something that's not on that piece of God forsaken garbage.

I’m sure all women would want these kitchen appliances for Christmas. I sure wouldn’t. Still, I think it’s kind of insulting. Also, what should my husband give me if I want something that’s not on that piece of God forsaken garbage.

21. Husband doesn’t like the coffee? Let him give you a good spanking.

I'm kind of looking forward to the next ad when the wife throws her husband out the house and puts him under a restraining order. Seriously, why in God's name would anyone think this is funny? This is domestic violence for crying out loud! Buy our coffee or your husband will beat you? What kind of message is that?

I’m kind of looking forward to the next ad when the wife throws her husband out the house and puts him under a restraining order. Seriously, why in God’s name would anyone think this is funny? This is domestic violence for crying out loud! Buy our coffee or your husband will beat you? What kind of message is that?

22. Doctors smoke Camels so you should, too.

Smoking is prevalent among medical professionals as well as a lot of other bad habits. However, as we know from watching medical show, we know that just because people in healthcare engage in certain habits like smoking doesn't mean everyone else should. Just because people may take good care of others doesn't mean they're taking good care of themselves. Nevertheless, this ad is wrong on so many levels.

Smoking is prevalent among medical professionals as well as a lot of other bad habits. However, as we know from watching medical show, we know that just because people in healthcare engage in certain habits like smoking doesn’t mean everyone else should. Just because people may take good care of others doesn’t mean they’re taking good care of themselves. Nevertheless, this ad is wrong on so many levels.

23. Relieve that toothache pain with cocaine. That’s the ticket.

Of course, a well known proponent of cocaine was Sigmund Freud. Yes, the famed father of psychoanalysis himself was a cokehead. Still, if you have a toothache, you should probably see a dentist.

Of course, a well known proponent of cocaine was Sigmund Freud. Yes, the famed father of psychoanalysis himself was a cokehead. Still, if you have a toothache, you should probably see a dentist.

24. Scot Towels will wipe away Communism in your home and workplace.

Reminds me of that Terry Gilliam animated toothpaste commercial on Monty Python. Yes, Scot Towels has the Joe McCarthy zeal that will wipe away all those dirty Communists in your home. Not really.

25. Lucky Strike will turn you from a chunky fat guy to a world class athlete.

This would be more accurate if the fit guy was replaced with a corpse. There's no way in hell smoking Lucky Strikes will make you into a world class athlete. It will more likely shed years off your life and lead you to an early grave.

This would be more accurate if the fit guy was replaced with a corpse. There’s no way in hell smoking Lucky Strikes will make you into a world class athlete. It will more likely shed years off your life and lead you to an early grave.

26. Because you can never start shaving too young.

Babies should never ever have sharp objects in their hands, including safety razor. So many things can go wrong with that. Who ever thought of making this disturbing ad? Wonder if he has any kids. If he does, he lacks a lot of basic parenting skills.

Babies should never ever have sharp objects in their hands, including safety razor. So many things can go wrong with that. Who ever thought of making this disturbing ad? Wonder if he has any kids. If he does, he lacks a lot of basic parenting skills.

27. Because happy babies loved being sealed in plastic wrap.

What's with the babies in plastic wrap? Babies aren't food products. Is this child abuse or cannibalism?

What’s with the babies in plastic wrap? Babies aren’t food products. Is this child abuse or cannibalism?

28. Sure DDT’s destruction to wildlife would inspire Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, but it’s honestly as good as mother’s milk.

Better living through chemicals taken to new levels of absurdity. Sure DDT may kill pesky insects but it also gets rid of wild animals like bald eagles and other now endangered species. And if it’s harmful to wild animals, it’s certainly bad for people. I mean this pesticide helped inspire a whole movement. God, this is as bad as anything from Monsanto. Yet, at least that company doesn’t do the same thing with Round-Up.

29. I’m Ronald Reagan and I endorse Chesterfields for America.

Say, Ronnie, have you thought that by the time you get into politics, smoking may not seem cool anymore because it leads to well, cancer? Also, didn't you and your wife help start the War on Drugs during your presidency? Too bad you couldn't say no to appearing on a cigarette ad.

Say, Ronnie, have you thought that by the time you get into politics, smoking may not seem cool anymore because it leads to well, cancer? Also, didn’t you and your wife help start the War on Drugs during your presidency? Too bad you couldn’t say no to appearing on a cigarette ad.

30. Use Pear’s soap and don’t throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Seriously, this is horrifying. Why would anyone have an ad like this? No wonder the baby is crying it's eyes out. Certainly not looking to bath time in the future after that traumatizing experience.

Seriously, this is horrifying. Why would anyone have an ad like this? No wonder the baby is crying it’s eyes out. Certainly not looking to bath time in the future after that traumatizing experience.

31. Love’s Baby Soft: because innocence should be in the form of a sexualized little girl.

"Because innocence is sexier than you think." Really? Why come with this ad? This girl is probably a teenager at most. God, and you think my generation is screwed up over child beauty pageants and the Disney Channel. This is disturbing.

“Because innocence is sexier than you think.” Really? Why come with this ad? This girl is probably a teenager at most. God, and you think my generation is screwed up over child beauty pageants and the Disney Channel. This is disturbing.

32. Gang rape scantily clad streetwalkers under the influence is always fun in Broomsticks slacks.

I hope these boys have their lives ruined over this because this imagery is nothing to joke about. At best this is street harassment. At worst it is prelude to gang rape. Simply sexist and deeply offensive. Whoever designed this piece of shit ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I hope these boys have their lives ruined over this because this imagery is nothing to joke about. At best this is street harassment. At worst it is prelude to gang rape. Simply sexist and deeply offensive. Whoever designed this piece of shit ought to be ashamed of themselves.

33. Drink 7UP because baby is never too young for his first soft drink.

Yes, start your baby on a drink full of empty calories that will lead to early tooth decay, obesity, Type II diabetes, hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep deprivation, bone loss, heart disease, and so much more. Yeah, giving your baby pop is a good idea. Soft drinks are probably among the unhealthiest beverages on the market.

Yes, start your baby on a drink full of empty calories that will lead to early tooth decay, obesity, Type II diabetes, hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep deprivation, bone loss, heart disease, and so much more. Yeah, giving your baby pop is a good idea. Soft drinks are probably among the unhealthiest beverages on the market.

34. Traveling in the Middle East, then fly with Pakistan International.

Of course, no one is going to think of crashing a plane into those enormous skyscrapers. Oh, I forgot those buildings aren't around anymore because terrorists crashed planes into them on 9/11.

Of course, no one is going to think of crashing a plane into those enormous skyscrapers. Oh, I forgot those buildings aren’t around anymore because terrorists crashed planes into them on 9/11.

35. Because lead paint is the best paint.

Of course, lead paint is bound to lower intelligence, stunt growth, delays development, cause kidney damage, cause reproductive problems, and may even cause cancer. Yeah, and you wonder why we don't use lead paint anymore. Also, it's kind of disturbing that these lead party guests consists of toy soldiers and plates.

Of course, lead paint is bound to lower intelligence, stunt growth, delays development, cause kidney damage, cause reproductive problems, and may even cause cancer. Yeah, and you wonder why we don’t use lead paint anymore. Also, it’s kind of disturbing that these lead party guests consists of toy soldiers and plates.

36. Pass for white with Chlorinol bleach.

God this is so blatantly and virulently racist as well as contains an N-word reference to boot, which should never be used in advertising especially alongside “white.” As for the bleaching for lighter skin, it seems like a disturbing and destructive practice. Also, these black kids are pretty scary looking. Where is Chlorinol bleach to wash out this horrendously racist ad? My deepest apologies to the NAACP.

37. For limited time only, here’s a replica of an exploding hand grenade.

Of course, you can buy one of these and watch your WWII veteran dad experience sudden flashbacks as well as bring him back to the days on the front he'd rather forget. Yes, your dad will relive all those PTSD memories all over again.

Of course, you can buy one of these and watch your WWII veteran dad experience sudden flashbacks as well as bring him back to the days on the front he’d rather forget. Yes, your dad will relive all those PTSD memories all over again.

38. Get the SEGA video game control and be the naked couch potato in your parents basement you always wanted to be.

Yeah, this guy seems to have so much fun with SEGA he doesn't seem to take any time to get dressed.  Yeah, why can't this guy find something else to do with his life?

Yeah, this guy seems to have so much fun with SEGA he doesn’t seem to take any time to get dressed. Yeah, why can’t this guy find something else to do with his life?

39. Only this kid knows what other meat tastes like pork.

Don’t look now but I think this child seems to have a nasty grin on his face. That can’t be good. Something tells me he may not be totally satisfied and may have a craving for human flesh.

40. Try the Deep South peanut pie, or else this naked fedora kid will use you into one.

This kid isn't cute. It's as if a terrifying kewpie doll had just come to life and is advertising this peanut pie and just drinks just to fatten us up to later eat for its own pleasure. Yeah, that's it. God, just looking at that kid gives me nightmares.

This kid isn’t cute. It’s as if a terrifying kewpie doll had just come to life and is advertising this peanut pie and drinks just to fatten us up to later eat for its own pleasure. Yeah, that’s it. God, just looking at that kid gives me nightmares.

41. Swift’s: The quality restaurant for the potentially murderous child.

Yes, she's a raging murderous psychopath all right. What is it about old ad artists that they seem to draw children so creepy looking?

Yes, she’s a raging murderous psychopath all right. What is it about old ad artists that they seem to draw children so creepy looking?

42. Because why should you wait until summer to get a tan?

Yeah, why wait till summer where you can expose yourself to skin cancer causing UV rays today and for half the price? And I thought the tanning craze now was insane.

Yeah, why wait till summer where you can expose yourself to skin cancer causing UV rays today and for half the price? And I thought the tanning craze now was insane.

43. Either this woman has been very good this year or Santa just likes what he sees.

Bad, Santa, you should know better than anyone not to stare up women's skirts. Wonder what Mrs. Claus would think of this.

Bad, Santa, you should know better than anyone not to stare up women’s skirts. Wonder what Mrs. Claus would think of this.

44. Hey, honey, why don’t we make out under the mistletoe and traumatize our kids for the rest of their lives?

And this is how "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was born.

And this is how “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was born.

45. Kids keep wetting the bed, well protect them with Stay Dry child diapers.

I think having those pants on is much more psychologically disturbing than wetting the bed. Also, that boy has to be about 8-10 years old who shouldn't be having those problems.

I think having those pants on is much more psychologically disturbing than wetting the bed. Also, that boy has to be about 8-10 years old who shouldn’t be having those problems.

46. Jester Wools will always make you gay.

Nowadays this slogan would make right wing Christians in the South cringe with fear. Doesn't help with the colorful jester and rainbow.

Nowadays this slogan would make right wing Christians in the South cringe with fear. Doesn’t help with the colorful jester and rainbow.

47. Step in the spa with Wonder Sauna Hot Pants.

These inflatable Bermuda shorts made from the skin of the Michelin Tire Man seem to make crocs stylish by comparison. Boy, do those people look ridiculous.

These inflatable Bermuda shorts made from the skin of the Michelin Tire Man seem to make crocs stylish by comparison. Boy, do those people look ridiculous.

48. Overweight? Lose weight through the tapeworm diet.

This was a big weight loss fad back in the day. Still, I think having a parasite living in my digestive tract is kind of disturbing.

This was a big weight loss fad back in the day. Still, I think having a parasite living in my digestive tract is kind of disturbing.

49. Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab is fun educational toy for the kids as well as completely safe and harmless.

This toy probably doesn't work because parents would certainly complain. As we know from Chernobyl and Fukishima, atomic energy isn't safe even in children's toys. Also, I think this toy may be illegal nowadays for obvious reasons. You're better off getting your kid a chemistry set.

This toy probably doesn’t work because parents would certainly complain. As we know from Chernobyl and Fukishima, atomic energy isn’t safe even in children’s toys. Also, I think this toy may be illegal nowadays for obvious reasons. You’re better off getting your kid a chemistry set.

50. Worried about nuclear attack? Protect your family with a fallout shelter and you’ll be ready to survive total nuclear annihilation.

I'm sure a fallout shelter will save you in a nuclear attack. Actually, it's probably going to useless and you'll probably die in a nuclear attack anyway.

I’m sure a fallout shelter will save you in a nuclear attack. Actually, it’s probably going to useless and you’ll probably die in a nuclear attack anyway.

51. Real men use whiskey toothpaste because the regular stuff is for sissies.

A 6 proof alcoholic tooth paste. I guess there's no artificial flavors is there? Also, why?

A 6 proof alcoholic tooth paste. I guess there’s no artificial flavors is there? Also, why?

52. Saying your product contributes to melting glacier isn’t something to brag about.

Of course, this ad says that their fuel emissions melt the glaciers with pride. Nowadays, they'd deny that man made climate change even exists and it's hurting the planet. Well, that's Big Oil for you.

Of course, this ad says that their fuel emissions melt the glaciers with pride. Nowadays, they’d deny that man made climate change even exists and it’s hurting the planet. Well, that’s Big Oil for you.

53. Depressed, just drink some of Phosferine tonic wine and chase all those blues away.

Seriously, I don't want to know what's in this. Drug of choice for the unhappy housewife who can't find any escape from her second-class status.

Seriously, I don’t want to know what’s in this. Drug of choice for the unhappy housewife who can’t find any escape from her second-class status.

54. Somehow the “skinless wieners” doesn’t seem to have the same connotation these days.

Somehow I find it rather comical when these old timey folks refer hotdogs as wieners. It's just makes this seemingly wholesome ad dirty. Unfortunately this isn't from Oscar Meyer.

Somehow I find it rather comical when these old timey folks refer hotdogs as wieners. It’s just makes this seemingly wholesome ad dirty. Unfortunately this isn’t from Oscar Meyer.

55. Chilprufe underwear for the active service man who may be in the closet.

Seriously, what's with the two underwear clad men possibly touching each other? For God's sake, there's no way those guys are "just friends."

Seriously, what’s with the two underwear clad men possibly touching each other? For God’s sake, there’s no way those guys are “just friends.”

56. Use ethyl high-octane gasoline, like these Indian speed demons.

Someone seems to have a little too much fun at the casino. Oops, sorry about that. Also, as with ethyl fuel. well, it has done its share of widespread environmental damage over the years than other forms of gasoline because it contains lead.

Someone seems to have a little too much fun at the casino. Oops, sorry about that. Also, as with ethyl fuel. well, it has done its share of widespread environmental damage over the years than other forms of gasoline because it contains lead. And we thought Indians cared about Mother Earth.

57. So I guess the Canadians weren’t so above it all either.

Wait, a minute, are you saying Indians aren't human because they have skin? And I thought Canadians were nice than us all this time.

Wait, a minute, are you saying Indians aren’t human because they have skin? And I thought Canadians were nicer than us all this time.

58. Use Wolcott’s Instant Pain Annihilator and drive all your demons away.

Kind of find the idea of demons in your head kind of terrifying. Also, may not work on schizophrenics.

Kind of find the idea of demons in your head kind of terrifying. Also, may not work on schizophrenics.

59. Agitated seniors giving you grief? Calm them down with Thorazine.

So if there's a contentious old guy saying "Get off my lawn!" we should drug him with this? Well, that's sure going to make his transition to the old folks home a hell of a lot easier. Still, I don't it would work on Clint Eastwood though.

So if there’s a contentious old guy saying “Get off my lawn!” we should drug him with this? Well, that’s sure going to make his transition to the old folks home a hell of a lot easier. Still, I don’t it would work on Clint Eastwood though.

60. I’m sure having your baby under the sun lamp is completely safe.

Let's just say that putting your baby over a tanning lamp is a very bad idea even if the ad says it can't burn. Oh, it will. Is this something taken from the Snooki Parenting Manual here?

Let’s just say that putting your baby over a tanning lamp is a very bad idea even if the ad says it can’t burn. Oh, it will. Is this something taken from the Snooki Parenting Manual here?

61. Flip N’ Style: The hair dryer for bald people.

At least we know where Sinead O'Connor got her start. Of course, why would she want a hair dryer, I don't have the slightest idea.

At least we know where Sinead O’Connor got her start. Of course, why would she want a hair dryer, I don’t have the slightest idea.

62. Oh, a funeral home service. Wait, it’s an employment agency.

I think this agency may need to rethink their advertising approach. It still looks more appropriate for a funeral home to me.

I think this agency may need to rethink their advertising approach. It still looks more appropriate for a funeral home to me.

63. Try Groves Tasteless Chill Tonic and even you can turn into a pig bodied abomination.

If having a pig body is one of this tonic's side effects, then I'm sure not taking that no matter how depressed I am.

If having a pig body is one of this tonic’s side effects, then I’m sure not taking that no matter how depressed I am.

64. Give your children Bee Hive corn syrup and see them become the next heavyweight champion.

Yeah, I'm sure corn syrup is going to make a bruiser out of your baby. Also, why is the tyke wearing boxing gloves? Is it participating in some kind of pewee boxing league? This is messed up.

Yeah, I’m sure corn syrup is going to make a bruiser out of your baby. Also, why is the tyke wearing boxing gloves? Is it participating in some kind of pewee boxing league? This is messed up.

65. Beer: the health drink for the whole family.

Just think, grandpa, in just over a century later, you could be arrested for serving this to minors.

Just think, grandpa, in just over a century later, you could be arrested for serving this to minors.

66. Ayer’s Cathartic Pills: made by the hands of babes.

For a pharmaceutical company to say that their pills are packaged by naked children would send shockwaves among the masses nowadays. Also, they're probably not practicing proper sanitation either.

For a pharmaceutical company to say that their pills are packaged by naked children would send shockwaves among the masses nowadays. Also, they’re probably not practicing proper sanitation either.

67. Of course, this ad is sure to cater to a younger audience.

Child mascots for tobacco companies are a horrible idea. Still, talk about appealing to a younger demographic, which tobacco companies try to get kids hooked on their product at the earliest as possible. This is pretty disturbing in of itself.

68. Enhance your beauty with this face squeezing torture device.

As if botox wasn't bad enough, we have the face crusher. That certainly does not look comfortable.

As if botox wasn’t bad enough, we have the face crusher. That certainly does not look comfortable.

69. What young boy wouldn’t be without his own machine gun?

Even funnier, this gun is called "Big Dick." Now you can experience the machine gun's rapid fire that will traumatize your WWI veteran dad from his days in the trenches. Yet, unlike him, you won't experience the dirty trenches or the vast carnage that accompanied the Great War. Now isn't that fun?

Even funnier, this gun is called “Big Dick.” Now you can experience the machine gun’s rapid fire that will traumatize your WWI veteran dad from his days in the trenches. Yet, unlike him, you won’t experience the dirty trenches or the vast carnage that accompanied the Great War. Now isn’t that fun?

70. Smoke Virginia Slims and be like Wonder Woman.

Of course, she may not be Wonder Woman (maybe her evil twin considering what smoking does to people) but this ad is trying to appeal to feminists. However, just because most of the information in this ad is true to some extent, using female empowerment to sell a terrible destructive product is rather disturbing if you really think about it. Rather smoking Virginia Slims will not make you look like Wonder Woman's stand-in.

Of course, she may not be Wonder Woman (maybe her evil twin considering what smoking does to people) but this ad is trying to appeal to feminists. However, just because most of the information in this ad is true to some extent, using female empowerment to sell a terrible destructive product is rather disturbing if you really think about it. Rather smoking Virginia Slims will not make you look like Wonder Woman’s stand-in.

The Wonderful World of Vintage Postcards

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Whether it be for sending something back home while out somewhere or buying one as a souvenir, postcards have been among us for a very long time. Some may have “Greetings from (insert place here),” some may be cards with funny images like animals, some may be ads, but we’ve seen them all especially back in the day. I could go on and on about all the nice vintage postcards you can see but I know nobody wants to hear about it. Instead, I intend to show some of the hilariously tacky and bad ones you wouldn’t want to send a loved one. So without further adieu here is a collection of some of the unintentionally funny postcards that will make you wonder what some of the designers were on.

1. Honestly the Tyrannosaurus Rex has seen better days sporting its ferocious bloodstained teeth.

This is perhaps the lamest bloodthirsty T-Rex I've ever seen.

This is perhaps the lamest bloodthirsty T-Rex I’ve ever seen.

2. Come to Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, Texas and see Ralph the Swimming Pig.

Who knew that pigs were excellent swimmers? Neither did I.

Who knew that pigs were excellent swimmers? Neither did I.

3. Come to New Mexico for the Rich Southwest Indian culture and the giant mushroom clouds of nuclear annihilation.

Of course, the presence of a mushroom cloud is because New Mexico was home to Los Alamos, the famous headquarters of the Manhattan Project as well as a nuclear testing site. Yet, I don't think I'd want to visit a state that has a giant mushroom cloud of total annihilation on it's postcard. Then there's the thing that New Mexico is also known for if you've ever watched Breaking Bad.

Of course, the presence of a mushroom cloud is because New Mexico was home to Los Alamos, the famous headquarters of the Manhattan Project as well as a nuclear testing site. Yet, I don’t think I’d want to visit a state that has a giant mushroom cloud of total annihilation on it’s postcard. Then there’s the thing that New Mexico is also known for if you’ve ever watched Breaking Bad.

4. You see, aliens are real as you can see in this postcard.

This probably explains why the show Ancient Aliens is now in existence. This one has to be a postcard from Roswell also in New Mexico.

This probably explains why the show Ancient Aliens is now in existence. This one has to be a postcard from Roswell also in New Mexico.

5. For some reason, adding parrots and tractors don’t really make this a sexy photo shoot.

Seriously, tractors, parrots, and swimsuit models just don’t go together. Particularly tractors and parrots.

6. Honestly, Florida, what’s with your fixation with bathing beauties and alligators? It’s disturbing.

Either this is an interspecies romance resulting in Governor Rick Scott or the bathing beauty is going to be dinner.

Either this is an interspecies romance resulting in Governor Rick Scott or the bathing beauty is going to be dinner.

7. Who knows what this contraption was used for? I certainly don’t.

Seriously, what is this? Is it a massage table, something used for plastic surgery, or a torture device?

Seriously, what is this? Is it a massage table, something used for plastic surgery, or a torture device?

8. This dog seems to have a rather artistic taste in pin-up girls.

Yet, he seems rather guilty that he has a dirty mind when it comes to certain human women.

Yet, he seems rather guilty that he has a dirty mind when it comes to certain human women.

9. Corky the Clown stops by on his motorboat in Cypress Gardens, Florida.

For some people, this may be a key reason not to visit Cypress Gardens in Florida. I mean who wants to see a terrifying clown of your nightmares in a motorboat?

For some people, this may be a key reason not to visit Cypress Gardens in Florida. I mean who wants to see a terrifying clown of your nightmares in a motorboat?

10. Seriously who puts a skeleton fishing on a postcard? For God’s sake this is creepy.

That guy is certainly a stubborn cuss all right. He's probably been fishing forever and hasn't caught anything. Of course, the bird's wondering why he's still there.

That guy is certainly a stubborn cuss all right. He’s probably been fishing forever and hasn’t caught anything. Of course, the bird’s wondering why he’s still there.

11. Sure being a 1950s working girl meant being subject to Madmen levels of sexual harassment but at least  you got to wear a swimsuit to the office once in awhile.

Seriously, I'm sure women didn't dress up in bathing suits at the office during the 1950s. Also, why wear a swimsuit in paper bag brown?

Seriously, I’m sure women didn’t dress up in bathing suits at the office during the 1950s. Also, why wear a swimsuit in paper bag brown?

12. Before Amy Winehouse became famous, she started out as a singer in a Polynesian Restaurant.

Sure this may not be the tragic British pop star, but I can't look at this postcard thinking about Amy Winehouse. Apologies to her fans.

Sure this may not be the tragic British pop star, but I can’t look at this postcard thinking about Amy Winehouse. Apologies to her fans.

13. Of course, if your nurse is a dog, it won’t be much help to you.

Somehow I'm not sure if putting a dog near medicines is a good idea.

Somehow I’m not sure if putting a dog near medicines is a good idea.

14. I had no idea furries were into water water skiing.

Of course, I wonder how many people may find the idea of seeing someone water ski in a tiger costume somewhat terrifying. This was probably made to attract furries if any of them existed at the time.

Of course, I wonder how many people may find the idea of seeing someone water ski in a tiger costume somewhat terrifying. This was probably made to attract furries if any of them existed at the time.

15. I’m sure leopard prints is totally appropriate to wear around a gigantic tiger and lion hybrid cat.

Also, I wonder ho many big cats would devour people for simply wearing such prints in front of them. Besides, I think animal prints are rather tacky anyway.

Also, I wonder ho many big cats would devour people for simply wearing such prints in front of them. Besides, I think animal prints are rather tacky anyway.

16. No girl at the beach would be complete without her face mask, her snorkel, and her harpoon gun?

This served as the inspiration for the 1965 Dolphin Slayer Barbie which was quickly pulled off the market thanks to marine life advocacy groups. Apparently they thought such doll taught little girls the fun of killing giant marine mammals, most of which are now on the endangered species list.

This served as the inspiration for the 1965 Dolphin Slayer Barbie which was quickly pulled off the market thanks to marine life advocacy groups. Apparently they thought such doll taught little girls the fun of killing giant marine mammals, most of which are now on the endangered species list.

17. Always bring your horse while fishing because you never know when you may need it.

Of course, horses can only be good for carrying medium sized fish hauls. With large sharks, you're going to need a car.

Of course, horses can only be good for carrying medium sized fish hauls. With large sharks, you’re going to need a car.

18. Behold, the Word of God from the mouths of babes.

This is wrong on so many levels. He's probably saying "You're going to hell. Now hand over your wallet." This is a scam, plain and simple. Seriously, this child preacher thing is fucked up. I wonder what this kid's parents are like.

This is wrong on so many levels. He’s probably saying “You’re going to hell. Now hand over your wallet.” This is a scam, plain and simple. Seriously, this child preacher thing is fucked up. I wonder what this kid’s parents are like.

19. What Scottish woman wouldn’t be without her trusty bagpipes?

I'm not sure if she's going to play her bagpipes or assault someone with them off-camera. Either way, you really don't want to mess with this bonny lass.

I’m not sure if she’s going to play her bagpipes or assault someone with them off-camera. Either way, you really don’t want to mess with this bonny lass.

20. Is this from the place Liz Lemon goes on vacation? If not, someone’s going to get it from the fashion police.

Look, I don't know about you, but black knee high socks and business shoes are never appropriate  with white shorts. I mean seriously, this is a fashion abomination.

Look, I don’t know about you, but black knee high socks and business shoes are never appropriate with white shorts. I mean seriously, this is a fashion abomination.

21. For some reason this scene seems to remind me of a Seinfeld episode.

Is this guy wearing a bro or a mansere? And why is the lady wearing one, too? Also, why is there a candelabra on a pink table in the middle?

22. There’s nothing like a lovely swimsuit model posing with a taxidermied polar bear.

Note the curtains were courtesy of the NRA. Also, sorry PETA. Still, aren’t polar bears an endangered species now? Maybe this shoot was sponsored by the Polar Bear Club.

23. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you Ramblin’ Lou and his amazing technicolor dream suit.

With the way the country music industry is these days, I’m sure such flamboyant wardrobe displays would be frowned upon.

24. Guess the guy couldn’t find any girl to prom so he had to settle for a large T-Bone as his date. Wait a minute is that guy?

Sorry, I didn't notice is was the 1968 Miss Nebraska in her androgynous 1960s Willa Cather style. Seriously, that is one of the ugliest pantsuits I have ever seen.

Sorry, I didn’t notice is was the 1968 Miss Nebraska in her androgynous 1960s Willa Cather style. Seriously, that is one of the ugliest pantsuits I have ever seen.

25. Nothing says “Greetings from down South in Dixie” like the patriotic American flag flying on a pole and a swimsuit model holding a flag symbolizing white supremacy.

Hate to offend Southerners here, but I detest this flag. Seriously, this has been associated with not just Southern identity but also used as protest against school desegregation during the Civil Rights Era and by the KKK. Some may see it as a symbol of heritage but to me, this is a symbol of hate, and that’s all I’m going to say.

26. Whatever happens in Bushkill Falls stays in Bushkill Falls.

Apparently, though Lisa and Grizzy would cherish this moment forever, both realized that it wouldn’t work out since they were from different worlds. Society would never understand the kind of love between humans and bears or accept such a pairing. Besides, Grizzy thought Lisa’s family was delicious.

27. Come to Salt Lake City and see the statue of Space Jesus.

Seriously, there are some Mormon beliefs that are pretty messed up. Still, this reminds me more of a statue of Zeus than Jesus given the space backdrop and clouds.

Seriously, there are some Mormon beliefs that are pretty messed up. Still, this reminds me more of a statue of Zeus than Jesus given the space backdrop and clouds.

28. If any of my relatives sent me a postcard like this, I’d wonder whatever became of them.

Yeah, they're having a wonderful time all right judging by the possibly haunted abandoned house in the picture. Still, they're probably getting plenty of exercise from whatever horror monster is chasing them.

Yeah, they’re having a wonderful time all right judging by the possibly haunted abandoned house in the picture. Still, they’re probably getting plenty of exercise from whatever horror monster is chasing them.

29. Sometimes I yearn back to the days when bears and humans treated each other as equals.

Apparently, around the turn of the 19th to 20th century, it wasn't uncommon for Papa Bears to let their daughters seek human suitors just as long as they brought them home by ten.

Apparently, around the turn of the 19th to 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon for Papa Bears to let their daughters seek human suitors just as long as they brought them home by ten.

30. Come and see the giant Jack-in-a-Box of your nightmares.

This is actually said to be from the Story Book Forest at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, which I’ve actually been to. I don’t remember seeing this but they probably removed it before I came around. Actually I did a Google Search on Story Book Forest and apparently this traumatizing inducing clown is still around. Nevertheless, this is pretty terrifying.

31. Come and hang around at the wax museum and see our figures try to kill themselves.

Somehow I don't think a display of dangling wax figures by the noose is something I'd like to see. Also, why would anyone visit a wax museum in the first place?

Somehow I don’t think a display of dangling wax figures by the noose is something I’d like to see. Also, why would anyone visit a wax museum in the first place?

32. There’s nothing more fun than happily frolicking in the tobacco fields.

Yes, you hear me, those are tobacco leaves, which are used in products that kill a third of its user. Yes, this leafy green plant is a known killer of millions. I can’t see in any way how this postcard is anything other than a tobacco commercial.

33. Though the postcard says this is a religious shrine, I can’t help seeing this as a still from a Wes Anderson movie or a tacky lawn display.

Let’s just say the ugly font and car aren’t helping things here. And, no, this is not from a Wes Anderson movie.

34. 82 Club Revue: A show combining the best elements of Lawrence Welk and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

I sincerely apologize to the gays for my comments. Still, this group of transvestites put Lady Gaga to shame.

I sincerely apologize to the gays for my comments. Still, this group of transvestites put Lady Gaga to shame.

35. As far as models are concerned, apparently flowers are considered to be clothes.

Well, it seems that this poor girl is wearing nothing but flowers. Seriously, you can see her tan lines. She's probably being self-conscious among onlookers during the photo shoot and wishes she'd wear more modest attire like a bikini.

Well, it seems that this poor girl is wearing nothing but flowers. Seriously, you can see her tan lines. She’s probably being self-conscious among onlookers during the photo shoot and wishes she’d wear more modest attire like a bikini.

36. Come and have a blast in the Oklahoma oil fields.

Seriously, whoever in Oklahoma thought a postcard depicting an oil well fire would be a good idea out to be fired from the state's tourist industry altogether. In the oil and gas industry, well fires are disasters that cause not only environmental devastation and destroy homes but also cost millions of dollars. This is not something that makes me want to visit Oklahoma. Rather it makes me want to avoid it altogether.

Seriously, whoever in Oklahoma thought a postcard depicting an oil well fire would be a good idea out to be fired from the state’s tourist industry altogether. In the oil and gas industry, well fires are disasters that cause not only environmental devastation and destroy homes but also cost millions of dollars. This is not something that makes me want to visit Oklahoma. Rather it makes me want to avoid it altogether.

37. How many guys can boast about entering a beauty contest?

Reminds me of the Mr. Yough Competition during my high school days. Still, these guys would probably put the men of Monty Python to shame. And this swimsuit picture would never make the Sports Illustrated cover, not that it should. My apologies to cross dressers everywhere.

Reminds me of the Mr. Yough Competition during my high school days. Still, these guys would probably put the men of Monty Python to shame. And this swimsuit picture would never make the Sports Illustrated cover, not that it should. My apologies to cross dressers everywhere.

38. Who knew you could comb your hair underwater?

I'm sure personal grooming is perfectly easy underwater. Actually getting your hair untangled after swimming is a nightmare. Still, the real world isn't like The Little Mermaid or Spongebob Squarepants for crying out loud.

I’m sure personal grooming is perfectly easy underwater. Actually getting your hair untangled after swimming is a nightmare. Still, the real world isn’t like The Little Mermaid or Spongebob Squarepants for crying out loud.

39. Finally a place called Liberal in a state known for being infamously conservative and loony, especially when it comes to evolutionary teaching in schools.

Add to that it features a musical film starring an actress known to a appear in musicals with a large gay fanbase. Not to mention,  it features a rainbow seen as a symbol for gay rights. Oh, the irony, the disappointing irony.

Add to that it features a musical film starring an actress known to a appear in musicals with a large gay fanbase. Not to mention, it features a rainbow seen as a symbol for gay rights. Oh, the irony, the disappointing irony.

40. Greetings from the nudie beach.

Seriously, why would anyone would send a postcard from a nude beach? I mean no one wants to see a couple of bare butts in a postcard.

Seriously, why would anyone would send a postcard from a nude beach? I mean no one wants to see a couple of bare butts in a postcard.

41. For those who long the lost days of big game hunting in Africa.

Many of these hunting trophies in this room are probably now considered endangered species. This is kind of like a zoo, except all the animals are dead, stuffed, and mounted.

Many of these hunting trophies in this room are probably now considered endangered species. This is kind of like a zoo, except all the animals are dead, stuffed, and mounted.

42. Come to Las Vegas and gamble at the Las Vegas Club: The House of Jackpots.

Worst ad pitch for a Las Vegas gambling venue ever. Makes Vegas look pretty lame.

Worst ad pitch for a Las Vegas gambling venue ever. Makes Vegas look pretty lame.

43. Come to Perry’s Nut-House and be hugged by a Maine Bear.

When I hear the words “nut” and “house” used together in the same sentence, I don’t usually think of a nature center. Also, the bear’s pretty creepy.

44. Greetings from the land where black people pick cotton and our leafy green plants kill millions worldwide.

Of course, the cotton picking by blacks reminds me of one of the great injustices in American history. Seriously, it's offensive. As for the leafy green plants, they're the least healthy ones on the planet.

Of course, the cotton picking by blacks reminds me of one of the great injustices in American history. Seriously, it’s offensive. As for the leafy green plants, they’re the least healthy ones on the planet.

45. Come to Dallas and visit the key moments of the Kennedy assassination.

This is simply a terrible postcard, especially since it tends to try to capitalize the murder of a US president, a national tragedy in itself. Seriously, Dallas, you could've used the Cowboys your people obsess about to annoying levels. Methinks you might be part of some larger conspiracy here.

This is simply a terrible postcard, especially since it tends to try to capitalize the murder of a US president, a national tragedy in itself. Seriously, Dallas, you could’ve used the Cowboys your people obsess about to annoying levels. Methinks you might be part of some larger conspiracy here.

46. Come see our Good Friday Passion Play.

For some reason, whenever I see this, I can't think of anything else but Life of Brian. I mean the hair an beards are obviously fake and I'm sure one of Jesus' disciples is wearing a robe made out of a shower curtain. Oh, and some of these guys are wearing light haired wigs.

For some reason, whenever I see this, I can’t think of anything else but Life of Brian. I mean the hair an beards are obviously fake and I’m sure one of Jesus’ disciples is wearing a robe made out of a shower curtain. Oh, and some of these guys are wearing light haired wigs.

47. Come to Daytona Beach and have your picture taken with Ferdinand the Bull like this little buckaroo.

I don't think Ferdinand really likes having his picture taken and has been seriously thinking about goring some of the people who pose with him. Sometimes he wishes to be part of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona where he can gore whatever human he wished.

I don’t think Ferdinand really likes having his picture taken and has been seriously thinking about goring some of the people who pose with him. Sometimes he wishes to be part of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona where he can gore whatever human he wished.

48. See this lion jump through a ring of fire.

Of course, a lion could never have done this nowadays thanks to the animal rights groups who see this as cruel. But it was entertainment.

Of course, a lion could never have done this nowadays thanks to the animal rights groups who see this as cruel. But it was entertainment.

49. Guy is on the stocks for doing something naughty while the bystanders just laugh at him.

Guy in stocks: "Can either of you please let me out here. I have to scratch something. Anyone please? This isn't funny!"

Guy in stocks: “Can either of you please let me out here. I have to scratch something. Anyone please? This isn’t funny!”

50. Meet everyone’s favorite ducky balloon making clown Quacky.

Oh, please, look away, look away. That clown is terrifying and stuff of nightmares. Also, the beak and webbed feet make him seem even more creepy.

Oh, please, look away, look away. That clown is terrifying and stuff of nightmares. Also, the beak and webbed feet make him seem even more creepy.

51. What better way to commemorate the adding of two states than with two swimsuit models representing each.

Still, I don't think fur coats and swimsuits go together. I mean they're two pieces of clothing belonging in totally different climates.

Still, I don’t think fur coats and swimsuits go together. I mean they’re two pieces of clothing belonging in totally different climates.

52. And you should see the one that got away.

Sir, I hate to break it to you but shouldn't your gigantic fish be strapped down on the roof of your station wagon? You know it can slip off at any time.

Sir, I hate to break it to you but shouldn’t your gigantic fish be strapped down on the roof of your station wagon? You know it can slip off at any time.

53. Just two dogs having a drink together. Is that cute?

Everyone knows you shouldn't give your dog alcoholic beverages. This is so wrong.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t give your dog alcoholic beverages. This is so wrong.

54. Come to the lake with so many letters in it’s name, we’re not sure how to pronounce it.

Let's hope this lake's name doesn't appear on a spelling test since having kids spell this word is cruel. Look, I know it may come from the Indians, but if everyone has a hard time saying it, then it must be changed.

Let’s hope this lake’s name doesn’t appear on a spelling test since having kids spell this word is cruel. Look, I know it may come from the Indians, but if everyone has a hard time saying it, then it must be changed.

55. Wow! Who knew that chainsaws came in so many bright colors.

Besides, what woman wouldn't want a brightly colored chain saw that looks like it comes from a Martha Stewart line at Sears Kmart or Walmart?

Besides, what woman wouldn’t want a brightly colored chain saw that looks like it comes from a Martha Stewart line at Sears Kmart or Walmart?

56. What can an American housewife do if her apron didn’t match with the curtains and tablecloth?

Also, she appears to be making something to do with cherries, like martinis perhaps. Because 1950s housewives need them to escape from the empty vacuums of their lives as second-class citizens.

Also, she appears to be making something to do with cherries, like martinis perhaps. Because 1950s housewives need them to escape from the empty vacuums of their lives as second-class citizens.

57. Stay at the Madonna Inn where everything is in bright red to set the mood.

This suite is simply hideous beyond all reason. It just seems more appropriate for a brothel or a place to have an affair than a room you’d stay with your family. Don’t let me stay there.

58. Come to Iowa and see the World’s Largest Talking Chef.

Please don’t let that terrifying talking chef hit me. This statue is bound to traumatize your kids. Oh, please, get me away from here!

59. Come at the Madonna Inn and stay at the Love Nest if you’re on your honeymoon.

Looks very much what you'd expect from a love nest but I don't think it would be appropriate for a honeymoon suite. More like a sex dungeon or bordello.

Looks very much what you’d expect from a love nest but I don’t think it would be appropriate for a honeymoon suite. More like a sex dungeon or bordello.

60. Come to the Cowboy Cafe and enter under his crotch.

Seriously, does anyone in Texas know how family unfriendly this display is?

Seriously, does anyone in Texas know how family unfriendly this display is?

61. This man has seen them all, killed them all, and is wearing a leopard skin vest.

Seriously, that leopard vest is hideous. Also, I wouldn't mind if this guy would be mauled by elephants on his next trip.

Seriously, that leopard vest is hideous. Also, I wouldn’t mind if this guy would be mauled by elephants on his next trip.

62. I’m sure there’s a song about the sand man but I don’t think this one inspired it.

Kid: Mommy, where's Daddy? I thought I last saw him here a while ago. Dad: Let me out! Let me out of here, goddammit!

Kid: Mommy, where’s Daddy? I thought I last saw him here a while ago.
Dad: Let me out! Let me out of here, goddammit!

63. Remember to always lock your trunk, or else a bear will get to your picnic basket.

Of course, some bears have such strength that they can just rip off the trunk door anyway. This is Yogi because he’s smarter than the average bear.

64. What kind of woman wouldn’t want bath tiles like these?

Of course, we're not sure whether she has clothes on either. But what she's wearing under the curtain is anyone's guess.

Of course, we’re not sure whether she has clothes on either. But what she’s wearing under the curtain is anyone’s guess.

65. Come and check out this awesome new shower stall.

Well, this is probably the limits of censorship as far as the 1950s go. Still, keep your minds out of the gutter.

Well, this is probably the limits of censorship as far as the 1950s go. Still, keep your minds out of the gutter.

66. Take a trip in the underground roller coaster with a giant spider.

No matter how big or fake looking a spider may be, it still appears terrifying to many.

No matter how big or fake looking a spider may be, it still appears terrifying to many.

67. What better way to have a picnic than underwater?

I don't think the food will be great in the water. Besides, wouldn't the make up and lipstick be smeared already?

I don’t think the food will be great in the water. Besides, wouldn’t the make up and lipstick be smeared already?

68. Small children with parrots, wonder what can go wrong with that?

Either the parrots will attack the children or the kids will learn some naughty new words from them.

Either the parrots will attack the children or the kids will be introduced to a whole new vocabulary.

69. Some dogs just don’t know how to hunt.

You may have thought hunting is a skill which should come naturally to dogs. Still, it doesn't answer how this dog learned to read.

You may have thought hunting is a skill which should come naturally to dogs. Still, it doesn’t answer how this dog learned to read.

70. For those who haven’t seen one, here’s one of the legendary jackalope.

No way this isn't photoshopped or have any taxidermy involved, said no one ever. Seriously, jakalopes don't exist. Those hares with "antlers" were later found with a fungal infection. Or were perhaps glued. Still, it's a fine example of Western humor in taxidermy.

No way this isn’t photoshopped or have any taxidermy involved, said no one ever. Seriously, jakalopes don’t exist. Those hares with “antlers” were later found with a fungal infection. Or were perhaps glued. Still, it’s a fine example of Western humor in taxidermy.