Great tales from history, true or doubtful

Oct 2017
110
South Australia
History contains many incredibly poetic, comical, unbelievable, inspiring and otherwise noteworthy true stories, what are your favourites?
These may include some which are now considered to be inventions of primary source authors, as a large percentage of stories from the ancient world are.

The one which I've often thought of recently is Scipio Aemilianus weeping over the ruins of Carthage after he razed Rome's great rival to the ground and quoting a passage from the Iliad about a prophecy of the fall of Troy, because he feared the same fate would come to Rome (which claimed descent from the Trojan hero Aeneas) one day. Its poignant because Scipio had just won a great triumph, defeating Rome's greatest enemy and rival and setting Rome on the road to be one of the greatest empires in history, yet in that moment he was solemnly reminded of the transciency of power.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2019
1,801
Kansas
History contains many incredibly poetic, comical, unbelievable, inspiring and otherwise noteworthy stories, what are your favourites?
These may include some which are now considered to be inventions of primary source authors, as a large percentage of stories from the ancient world are.

The one which I've often thought of recently is Scipio Aemilianus weeping over the ruins of Carthage after he razed Rome's great rival to the ground and quoting a passage from the Iliad about a prophecy of the fall of Troy, because he feared the same fate would come to Rome (which claimed descent from the Trojan hero Aeneas) one day. Its poignant because Scipio had just won a great triumph, defeating Rome's greatest enemy and rival and setting Rome on the road to be one of the greatest empires in history, yet in that moment he was solemnly reminded of the transciency of power.
It would not surprise me to discover thats true. Often when you defeat your greatest rival, after some euphoria the unsettling understanding your primary mission in life is now over can leave you hollow.
 
Oct 2017
110
South Australia
It would not surprise me to discover thats true. Often when you defeat your greatest rival, after some euphoria the unsettling understanding your primary mission in life is now over can leave you hollow.
Good point!

This story was recorded in Polybius who apparently was there with Scipio and heard him say it, so it could well be true
 
Jun 2017
432
maine
I've always liked the story--debunked on Historum--about Sir Robert Douglas who was supposed to be carrying the heart of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land. Caught up in a battle with the Moors and, realizing that he wasn't going to survive, he flung the casket into the midst of the enemy and cried "“Lead on brave heart, I’ll follow thee.”
 
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Oct 2017
110
South Australia
I've always liked the story--debunked on Historum--about Sir Robert Douglas who was supposed to be carrying the heart of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land. Caught up in a battle with the Moors and, realizing that he wasn't going to survive, he flung the casket into the midst of the enemy and cried "“Lead on brave heart, I’ll follow thee.”
Haha I'm not sure if that's poetic or funny ?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The supposed assassination of Japanese daimyo Uesugi Kenshin by a ninja hiding down his toilt and shoving a sword where the sun don't shine.

Kenshin was a notorious drinking, so he possibly suffered a stroke om the commode.
 
Feb 2019
472
Thrace
Xenophon and the 10000. It's one of the most amazing adventures in history.

Can more knowledgeable people here point out how reliable Xenophon's account of the whole ordeal is? Maybe they just made up most of it to make their journey sound all the more interesting.
 
Feb 2019
846
Serbia
The British prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars that were held at Verdun. Some interesting things happened there.

Lichtenstein in the Austro-Prussian War had a funny incident. It sent 80 men to the war and returned with 81, bringing back an Austrian officer.

The military career of Jan Žižka.

The Raids on Boulogne during the Napoleonic Wars. I find it fun to read about the British attempts to knock out Napoleon's flotilla stationed there and the many different ways they tried to do it.