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CarelessHisser t1_iuybart wrote

Just imagine how much of ancient history is just blatant hearsay and other BS.

We've only the most vague idea wtf happened before a certain period in history. Even then, after writing became more common, we are still partially in the dark because of bias. Unbiased accounts of historical events are still a relatively new, and rare thing.

<.< Half of our understanding of human history could be lies and no one would be any the wiser.


Lord0fHats t1_iuzj7ku wrote

Quite literally, there is today a not-so-insubtantial push against over reliance of Athenian sources in Greek history. Which is inconvenient, because especially for classical and archaic Greece, nearly all our contemporary written sources are Athenian.

That said, most of it probably isn't lies. Hearsay yes. Biased yes. But even Herodotus engaged more than once in telling a story in his work and then gave a long explanation of why he didn't think it was true. The standards might have been much looser then, but there's not always an explicit reason to think ancient writers were outright lying.

They were just telling the story from their own POV, with their own sense of how the world worked and what was or wasn't true.