We all have mental images of what we picture history was like. Implanted by schools, history books, conventional wisdom, popular culture, Hollywood, and other media, those images shape our perceptions of the past. Sometimes we get it right, and those perceptions are more or less accurate. Other times, we get it wrong, whether wholly or in part, or don’t quite have an accurate perspective – which is a shame, because that often involves missing some of the more fascinating parts of history. Following are forty fascinating things about ways many people have a wrong or incomplete perspective of history.
40. Cleopatra Was Closer to Us in Time Than She Was to the Pyramids
Ancient Egypt’s civilization lasted for a seriously long time, from before when the Great Pyramids were built, to the annexation of Egypt by the Romans, circa 30 BC. To put into perspective just how long that was, consider this: we’re closer in time to one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous queens, Cleopatra, than she was to the Great Pyramids.
Fewer years separate us from Cleopatra (69 – 30 BC) than separate Cleopatra from the Pyramids. Cleopatra famously committed suicide in 30 BC, or 2049 years ago at the time of this writing. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2580 BC, about 2510 years before Cleopatra was born. So we are roughly 461 years closer to Cleopatra, than she was to the Great Pyramid. And the Great Pyramid was not built at the start of Ancient Egypt’s civilization, but over five centuries after it began, sometime around 3150 BC.