From prudish Victorians to arrows in the eye – 10 things from history everyone gets wrong

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You wait years for a historical theory to be debunked and then three come around at once. So far this week, we have been told that the mysterious pestilence that wiped out 15 million Aztecs between 1545 and 1550 was not smallpox or measles, but enteric fever, that the Black Death was spread by fleas and lice from humans as well as rat fleas (a theory that, in truth, has been around for a while), and that the supposed origins of the phrase “whipping boy” (where surrogates were punished in place of young royals) seem to be false. In the spirit of debunking myths, here is my (in no way exhaustive) list of 10 historical “mythconceptions”.

Read entire article at The Guardian

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