Main Artistic License History Discussion

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10:28:30 AM Jul 21st 2015
I'm fairly sure that the first part of the Family Guy entry, the one someone wrote a long rant about, was just a one-off sarcastic joke. Can't exactly call it an Author Filibuster if there's less words in the joke than I have fingers.
03:31:50 PM Jun 18th 2014
Cut from the discussion on 300: "What is true, however, is that only the 300 Spartans stayed to fight to the death on the last day when the Greek Army had been surrounded." That's not actually true; most famously, 700 Thespians also refused to leave and remained with the Spartans, along with 400 Thebans, and probably the Spartans' helots as well (though likely not happily) [1].
12:11:21 PM Jul 13th 2013
It might come a little too late but I feel the need to clarify one thing. While whole trope is often at work a little change would be required on main trope page.

To tell the truth while not wrong following sentence requires a note or slight change: "We very well know what happened in the past for the most part, and as we all know that history repeats itself, and those who do not know it are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past... but for some reason some people just don't seem to even want to try to understand. Mainly caused by not doing the research properly, especially when a fiction writer bases his history on the works of other fiction writers instead of actual histories."

My point is - we don't know. All accepted history is based mostly on two kinds of sources. 1) archeology (items left by humans who lived in the past - this includes photography) - as sources go archeology is "solid" evidence which gives us base for speculations... and nothing more. Even a picture of Churchill wouldn't mean much if we don't know who he was. Therefore more reliable is: 2) written information - which is exact opposite to "solid" evidence - people who created it could be purposely or not completely wrong. In fact many "historians" of old were creating false chronicles for one reason or another.

Therefore we have such thing as "historical research" - historians are gathering all sources they can, comparing them and creating their own version of what happened. next step is discussion - when a historian publishes results of his research other historians specializing in related subject are obligated to verify his findings. If someone finds them inaccurate he's obligated to answer with his own research. When all concerned historians agree on something we achieve what most people learn as "widely accepted history".

To sum up - what we "very well know of history" is in fact our best reconstruction of facts - basically what most historians agree with. And they might be wrong by the way.
11:30:58 PM Aug 4th 2012
edited by MikeRosoft
Removed, for obvious reasons:
  • Homestuck features the female (and referred to as such) Marquise Mindfang. The proper title for a female marquis is marchioness. Granted, the character is from another planet, so the rules of titles may be different.
    • Marquise is actually the proper term, in French.
    • There is also the fact that Marquise fits the number requirement in the Ancestor's titles while Marchioness does not. The title is entirely intentional.

Also see the dictionary! (Grammar Nazi fail.)
10:04:54 PM Aug 4th 2012
Removed re:gladiators
  • In the same vein, any media depiction of "thumbs up = let him live" is wrong; thumbs down meant 'lower your weapon,' thumbs up meant 'kill.'
It contradicts the previous paragraph which says that it's not known what the exact gesture was.

10:09:55 PM Aug 4th 2012
For the record, also removed from Gladiator:
  • Ancient Roman chariots didn't run on compressed gas. In the arena battle scene, one flips over and a gas cannister can clearly be seen
That's a production goof, not a mistake of history.
05:05:43 PM Jan 17th 2012
The Sioux/Lakota example is rather vague, and not at all clear to a non-American not familiar with the tribes or states. Can this be better explained?
10:19:02 AM May 1st 2011
Several of the Web Original entries aren't for works of fiction, but ostensibly "factual" blog posts or whatever. Isn't this trope about historical mistakes in works of fiction?
03:56:24 AM Mar 25th 2011
edited by RTanker
Cut these:
** Lets not forget the fact that there is no physical or documentary evidence that the Jews were ever enslaved by the Egyptians. To this day, people refer to the captivity in Egypt as historical fact. The Egyptians were meticulous record keepers and never once mention Jewish slaves. The pyramid builders were paid, free, Egyptian masons. Most were farmers who worked the construction during the off season.
*** Also, let's not forget that there is no evidence of the Egyptians ever having slaves. At least nothing even remotely resembling what we would consider slavery, but more resembled what would now be called indentured servitude, vastly different from Roman or American-style chattel slavery.

Because there actually is physical evidence for a Jewish presence in Egypt at the correct era: the remains of residences of a distinctively Israelite architecture dating from approximately 3000 years ago have been found in Egypt.

Also, the Bible nowhere says that the Israelites built the pyramids; it specifically says that they built the cities of Pithom and Raamses (which is an anachronistic name for the city), but never mentions any pyramids.

Also, saying that the Egyptians did not practice slavery in the same manner as the Romans or the Americans is rather beside the point, because the Bible never depicts the Israelite servitude in Egypt as being institutionally identical, or even particularly similar to Roman or American chattel slavery. The Israelites are consistently depicted as retaining their own family and community structures, with their own communal leaders, and living in a separate area; this is of course radically different from American or Roman slavery.

Also, there is no specific word for slave in Hebrew: the word `eved simply means servant, not slave, so the Bible never could have referred to the Israelites as slaves in any case.

Lastly, the Egyptians did keep extensive records, but they were also very effective at censoring anything potentially embarrassing, like a successful escape by a group of indentured servants. Plus, if the theory that the Israelite presence in Egypt was in some way affiliated with the Hyksos conquest of Egypt is correct, then it should be borne in mind that the Hyksos conquest brought the Middle Kingdom to an end, and interrupted the functioning of government and regular record-keeping. Lastly, even if records were made at the time, it would not necessarily follow that they would still exist today. Plenty of documents probably did not survive the past three millennia, and it is likely that the documents we do possess represent only a fraction of those produced; certainly, plenty of the ones we do possess are damaged or fragmentary.
09:57:57 AM Apr 4th 2011
edited by Obsidian
Whether or not there were Hebrews in Egypt is not questioned. The simple fact is, there is NO physical evidence that they were ever slaves, nor is there any evidence of Egypt having even had slaves. There are no mass graves or special graves set aside specifically for slaves, as pretty much EVERY slave culture had at at the time.

There are large numbers of OTHER issues with the idea of the Hebrews being slaves, among them being that Egypt did not have enough people to control slaves on the scale the Bible claims they possessed, and that there is evidence that Hebrews in Egypt not only had weapons (and who lets their slaves run around armed?), but that said weapons were SUPERIOR to Egyptian weapons. There are a whole list of archaeological problems with the idea of Egyptian slavery that I don't have time to get into.
04:37:17 PM Apr 4th 2011
What about the Wilbour Papyrus, the mass graves at Giza, the records of the battles of Tuthmosis III where he declared 90,000 Canaanites chattel and threatened to slay any who tried to flee? There is so much archaelogical evidence, from the New Kingdom onward, of Egyptian slavery that any attempt to revise history to pretend there were no Egyptian slaves must inevitably fail. Not that this stopped the Egyptian government from trying to rewrite the inscriptions at Karnak, of course.

It can't be claimed that "the Jews built the Pyramids," as there is no direct archaeological evidence to support it, but there is plenty of evidence of Egyptian slavery.
11:42:16 PM Apr 4th 2011
Also, Obsidian, it was common in ancient texts to exaggerate the sizes of armies and national populations. It is more likely that the Bible is simply overstating the size of the Israelite population than that the entire story is false.

Furthermore, the Bible also recounts that the Israelites did not begin their time in Egypt in servitude, but rather in a position of honor and influence. It would hardly be strange under those circumstances for the Israelites to have been armed, at least at the beginning of their time in Egypt. Also, I refer you again to the theory of the Israelite connection to or alliance with the Hyksos. Since the Hyksos were an Asian people who conquered the Middle Kingdom, it would hardly be surprising that they and their allies might have weapons different from, and possibly superior to, what the Egyptians had. It doesn't mean that the situation never changed, or that a people who were at one time armed, and in a position of power, might later be disarmed and in a position of subjection. Unless there were archeological evidence that the Israelites were an armed people throughout their time in Egypt, then this in no way contradicts the Biblical account.

Also, what tatterdemalian said.
04:54:38 PM May 28th 2011
There is archaeological evidence that the Hyksos introduced superior weapons, strategy, and tactics into Egypt, including but not limited to: horses, horse-drawn chariots, iron, chariot bows (possibly compound like the Steppes horse-bows), chariot warfare, etc. This all argues for some kind of Indo-European connection, though the Hyksos themselves apparently had a dominant Semitic element (as per such personal names as have survived). Presumably they had been hanging around and/or trading with actual Indo-European peoples.
07:37:09 PM Jan 28th 2011
This is going to seem incredibly stupid, but I can't figure out what's wrong with the picture. Could someone savvier explain it?
09:37:31 PM Apr 19th 2011
Yeah, this article needs a clearer image. I mean, I get that witches were hanged, not burned, but that isn't something most people would think of as 'failing history'. The image should be something more recognizably 'wrong' than what is currently there.
09:37:40 PM Apr 19th 2011
Yeah, this article needs a clearer image. I mean, I get that witches were hanged, not burned, but that isn't something most people would think of as 'failing history'. The image should be something more recognizably 'wrong' than what is currently there.
06:01:39 PM Nov 14th 2010
If this trope is about when the writers get history wrong and not when the characters do, then like half the examples need to be cleared out.
04:55:50 PM Aug 20th 2010
UK Monarch's Veto

Redacted from examples: "** Interestingly, Elizabeth II did veto a Parliamentary Bill quite recently - it was a proposal that would have allowed the government (ie the Prime Minister of the time, Tony Blair) to take direct control of the military from the monarchy. Upon advisement by the Privy Council, she vetoed the Bill, and the matter was quietly dropped."

Reason: It's bullshit. I can find no reference to this ANYWHERE. To the proposed bill or the veto. Most likely, this is a misinterpretation of events. Besides, if the queen did use her veto, it would not be "dropped quietly", at least not by the press. Especially The Grauniad, they'd have a fucking field day.
02:49:05 PM Aug 13th 2011
edited by Zagrebo
I'm also not sure what the point of such a bill would be: the Prime Minister already controls the military and doesn't need a bill to "take direct control" away from the monarchy, that happened centuries ago. It wasn't King George VI who took the decision to declare war on Nazi Germany.
05:44:04 AM Apr 13th 2010
Doktor von Eurotrash: Regarding the Passion of the Christ example (the original post): the real issue is that in Judea and other eastern provinces (*not* in the west, as a rule), Romans would have spoken Greek as their first language. I don't really know how to add this to the entry as of now...
10:41:08 AM Apr 13th 2010
I deleted that part and an extraneous page quote. It's really not "failing" history to have the Romans speaking Latin instead of Greek, especially when 99.99% of movies on this topic don't even bother with languages in the first place and just have everyone speak with a Brooklyn accent.
01:32:33 PM May 7th 2012
Yes, but unlike those other movies, it purported to portray what really happened exactly as it happened, languages and all. Movies like The Gladiator are supposed to entertain, not be historically accurate. The Passion was meant to be like a documentary, just told in Hollywood fashion. It's meant to be judged by a different standard, and it's one that it fails to meet.
12:35:58 PM Mar 26th 2010
I removed this comment about Shakespeare:

  • Shakespeare had both the Earl of Shrewsbury (Lord Talbot) and his son die in (the same) battle. In real life, the son survived to become the second Earl. Although Shakespeare's listing of Talbot's titles (including Lord Verdun) does make Alton Towers the only amusement park mentioned (albeit indirectly) in Shakespeare.

John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury did die at the Battle of Castillon, 1453, together with one of his sons. A DIFFERENT son survived and inherited the title of Earl of Shrewsbury. To complicate matters, BOTH of these sons were named "John" (they had different mothers)
07:34:21 PM Mar 10th 2010
Reflections: I have a slight question, why was the real life folder deleted? I did not see a discussion on the disscussion page. Was this decision reached on the forum? Sorry if I am disturbing anyone.
04:59:45 AM Mar 11th 2010
Probably because it ended up with people essentially arguing.
05:13:42 AM Sep 5th 2010
Its a shame its gone. I really liked reading the laughably stupid things people said.
07:19:09 AM Apr 5th 2011
It also seems to result in piling extra failure on top of existing failure, as Tropers obsessed with rewriting history to the advantage of this or that demographic group will set off edit wars over matters ranging from Egyptian slavery to Oliver Cromwell's favorite cuisine. Totalitarian movements in the 20th century proved how powerful and destructive rewriting history can be, and now that the art of historical propaganda is available to any anonymous neo-Nazi with an internet connection, "Real Life" sections on TV Tropes too often morph into soap boxes from which they can drown out any factual or entertaining discussion with no more effort needed than setting up a spam proxy.
01:58:18 PM Jun 7th 2011
It needs to go back up, if only for the sake of Sarah Palin's retelling of Paul Revere's ride.
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