Welcome to Bad Ancient. We fact-check claims that are made about the ancient world. If you want to know if hoplites were named after their shields or if people in ancient times believed the world was flat, you’ve come to the right place.
Are the Easter celebrations somehow based on the ancient worship of the goddess Ishtar?
Livia comes with something of a negative reputation. But was she really such a fiendishly evil power broker?
Gladiatorial contests are often depicted as bloody and brutal battles to the death, with only the most valiant fighters allowed to survive. But how true is this?
According to the ancient Greek writer Herodotus, the ancient Phoenicians were the first to circumnavigate Africa. But did it actually happen?
Because the ancient Greeks and Romans mixed their water with wine, it is often assumed that their wines were considerably more alcoholic than modern ones. Is this notion correct?
Popular portrayals of the gladiatorial games always present the Emperor presiding over them, gesturing with his thumb to offer his judgement: thumbs-up, the defeated gladiator may live; thumbs-down, he should die. But is there any actual evidence to support this image?
Phallic imagery is not in short supply at the ancient site of Pompeii, including carved versions under foot. But did they really direct people to the brothel?
The epic poems that are known as the Odyssey and the Iliad were attributed in ancient times to a poet called Homer. But did this Homer really exist?
In AD 9, three Roman legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus were ambushed and destroyed in the Teutoburg Forest in Germania. Were there any survivors?
It is sometimes claimed that Julius Caesar was the first emperor of Rome. While this was not the case, defining who was the first emperor of Rome is no easy task.