Napoleon Wasn't Short, Vikings Didn't Wear Horned Helmets, and 3 More Historical Misconceptions

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There's nothing a history geek likes more than saying, "Actually, everything you think you know about [insert historical event here] is wrong. And here's why."

In this four-minute video, C.G.P. Grey tackles five historical misconceptions, contrasting the commonly accepted stories with what the historical record actually shows. My favorite is his explanation of Napoleon Bonaparte's height. To ruin the story ever so slightly, it turns out that France has a history of special measurements, so the "French inch" used during Napoleon's time differed from the English inch, making Napoleon average or even slightly above average for his time.

Anyway, with that aside, why not spend four minutes learning the real stories behind a handful of historical misconceptions? Away we go:

Surprisingly geeky easter egg: at 1:05, you can see a Minecraft Creeper hiding in the art. Well played, Grey. (There are other easter eggs too -- check out Napoleon's horse.)

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January 5, 2013 - 5:05am
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