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6 famous historical figures who may never have existed

History sometimes makes fun of people. The lack of reliable information about the heroes of ancient legends and the habit of ancient chroniclers to repeat these legends, gave rise to a lot of pseudo-historical personalities that look “just like the real thing.” Modern mass culture has completed this process, adding them purely human traits and making the main characters of works of art. Unfortunately, the question of whether king Arthur, Robin hood, and many other popular heroes actually existed remains debatable today.

Lao Tzu

The famous ancient Chinese philosopher left behind a convincing cultural heritage, becoming the founder of Taoism. In the religious and philosophical teaching of most Taoist schools Lao Tzu is traditionally revered as a deity. However, the existence of this figure in the last time makes scientists doubt. There are opinions that a group of philosophers may have worked under this pseudonym. Here I remember the work of Russian writers who created many bright works under the pseudonym of Kozma prutkov. Many readers also for many years did not doubt its existence.

William Tell
This medieval character, who became a national hero of Switzerland, has long been considered a historical figure, but recent studies suggest that this image may have been collected from ancient local legends and ancient myths. A father who does not spare his own son for the sake of a common cause is found in many legends. Although it is possible that bright the episode with the Apple on the head really when that happened, and then has acquired the details in numerous oral retellings.

Robin hood
Another famous Archer is probably just a hero of folk ballads. The fact is that in the XII century in England the term Robehod meant any robbers. Accordingly, a small game of words and imagination of people turned this hypothetical bandit into the most just and generous, defender of the weak and the storm of the rich. Therefore, despite the fact that this name is really found in historical documents, it most likely refers to different people who had problems with the law.
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King Arthur
In this case, historians have never concealed their doubts. In addition to legends, which became the basis of many literary works, the existence of the legendary king is not confirmed by other sources. However, the image of medieval knight democracy was very attractive and popular in the XX century. Today, for the majority of young people who grew up on movies about the knights of the round table, doubt the historical accuracy of the images of king Arthur, Lancelot and Queen Guinevre seems simply blasphemous. It is possible that one of the prototypes of this character was the leader of the Britons, who lived in the 5-6 century, Ambrose Aurelian. His merits and victories partially coincide with the legendary Arthur, although there are no magic swords and round tables in the annals.

Mulan

Another ancient heroine, now Chinese, became incredibly popular first in the VI century – it was then that the song of Mulan was written, and then, in our time, thanks to the beautiful creation of disney animators. Of course, when it comes to such ancient times, it is very difficult to identify the characters. In addition to the “Song” of other documents about a brave girl who went to war instead of an elderly father, has not survived, so its real existence can be questioned. However, the name Mulan named crater on Venus and it becomes a fashionable idol of many movements. For example, the Chinese heroine has become the mascot of the women’s world Cup, because it is these athletes, as anyone, have to meet with the negative – what can women, and where they should not meddle.

Jack The Ripper
The image of the serial killer still serves faithfully for the creators of horror films. Its exploitation has already brought millions to writers and Directors. But the identity of the criminal remained a mystery. A series of similar murders, swept through London in the XIX century, really attributed to one person, but whether it was actually – it is not clear. His victims were mostly girls of easy virtue from the East End. The ominous name “Jack the Ripper” came into use after the editor of one of the London Newspapers received a letter, allegedly from the murderer. Today, however, this “document” is considered a fake, compiled by the Newspapers to inflate the hype around this case. Since the maniac was not found, the story, of course, was the subject of the most incredible speculation – in the brutal murders accused at one time even Vincent van Gogh and the grandson of Queen Victoria Prince albert. Today, researchers do not reject the version that many crimes were the work of not one person, but several. So the ominous maniac with a sonorous name, perhaps, did not exist.

In principle, the question of the reliability of famous historical figures can always raise doubts. The more distant the period in question, the more ambiguities may arise. At different times, various researchers have raised questions about the reality of many famous people: Homer, Confucius, the prophet Muhammad, William Shakespeare, king David, and of course, Jesus Christ. The last person is just a stumbling block and an inexhaustible source of controversy.

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