It’s a little harder to prove that myths about ancient history are false than it is to disprove myths about more modern eras. However, the prevailing opinion is that many myths and legends are wrong. Some, like the Cyrus Cylinder (which has been called the First Human Rights Document), remain controversial.
There are plenty of myths the ancients wove into their history. Here are 10 myths and urban legends about ancient history.
Amazons Cut off a Breast
The Amazons were probably not the one-breasted man-haters we think of when we hear the word. They are more likely to have been fully-breasted Scythian horse-riding warriors, judging from artwork, although Strabo does write that their right breasts were seared off in infancy.
Lucky Thumbs Up
It is believed that when the person in charge of a gladiatorial event wanted one of the gladiators to be finished off, he turned his thumb down. When he wanted the gladiator to live, he pointed his thumb up. The gesture signifying that a gladiator should be killed is not exactly thumbs down, but thumb turned. This motion is thought to represent the movement of a sword.