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.
Gladiators are often portrayed in film and television addressing the Emperor before battle with a salute, inspired by an episode in Suetonius. But scholars question how wide spread this practice actually was.
A late Chinese source suggests that the Romans may have landed in modern Vietnam on their way to the Han Imperial court. But is there strong evidence to suggest that the Romans really did have contact with Vietnam?
Writers have often associated Sparta with a communist or proto-communist ideology, based in no small part on the writings of Plutarch. But is there any truth to this claim?
According to some ancient sources, the kings of ancient Egypt used large numbers of slave labour to undertake large building projects, such as the pyramids. Is there any truth to this notion?
We are used to the idea of men fighting as gladiators in the Roman arena. But did women fight in a similar manner? In other words, did female gladiators exist in ancient Rome?
The Athenian philosopher Plato (428/7 to 348/7 BC) created the island of Atlantis as a fiction. Sadly, this has not stopped people from trying to find it.
Did the ancient Greeks believe that the Titans were gigantic? Originally not, but things become complicated when we look at the Hellenistic era and beyond.
After Alexander the Great died, what happened to his body? Ancient sources make clear that Ptolemy I stole Alexander’s corpse while in transit to its burial place.
Cleopatra VII was the last, official Ptolemaic ruler in Egypt, but did any member of the Ptolemy family rule a kingdom after her?
Are the Easter celebrations somehow based on the ancient worship of the goddess Ishtar?