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?
After the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides is said to have run back to Athens to report the news of the Athenian victory. But was this run the inspiration for the modern marathon race?
It is often assumed that Aesop, the writer of the famous Fables, was a Greek author. However, none of the evidence agrees with this.
The idea that ancient armies would set a pig on fire sounds like the fantasy found in computer games, but the claim it is not as ridiculous as it may first appear.
Popular perceptions of the Oracle at Delphi include the Pythia sitting by or above a geological fissure and becoming intoxicated on fumes of some kind. Historians are less convinced by this image.
Molōn Labe has become a go-to phrase to denounce political authorities removing the perceived rights of citizens, and its origins in Spartan history is used to solidify its meaning as a righteous stand against oppression.
The Hippocratic Oath is used to this day as a marker of medical diligence and responsibility, and it is assumed that its author was none other than Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”.
It is a commonplace to believe that people in the past held that the Earth was flat. But already in the distant past, people realized that our world is spherical.
The idea that the Homeric epics are somehow an accurate source for life in the Bronze Age Aegean has long gone the way of the dodo, at least in academic circles.
Ancient statues in museums are usually gleaming white marble objects, without any trace of colour. But in ancient times, these objects were painted in vivid colours.