Nancy Dupree, an American-born woman, became known as the ‘grandmother of Afghanistan.’ Moving there in 1962 as a diplomat’s wife, she spent the rest of her life in and around the country, collecting and saving documents and eventually founding a new library of Afghan history.
An early script for the film Gladiator included the gladiators endorsing products in the arena. While historically accurate, it was removed for being unbelievable to audiences.
In Turkey, there is still a saying “küfelik olmak”, it means “needing to be carried home in a basket” and it means you are too drunk. These people were called küfeci. To be so drunk you couldn’t walk was called küfe. Apparently, is was a well known thing in Turkey.
A picture of a giant robot helping Russia revolutionaries storm the winter palace in 1917, was accidentally used in an Australian history exam. Some students wasted time in trying to figure out what the giant robot was, thinking it was a statue of a Russian politician or a battleship.
The British developed a fondness for gin in their Indian Colony, where those posted there added a dollop of gin to the quinine they took as a preventative for malaria to make it more palatable. It apparently carried over when they returned home, and became the well-known Gin & Tonic.
In 1988 the final history exams for more than 53 million Soviet schoolchildren were cancelled because much of the history they had been taught were lies.
Ancient Greek historian Polybius came up with a cyclical theory of government (anacyclosis), where governments start off as monarchies, the final stage is ochlocracy, when a democracy degenerates into chaos and mob-rule. Then the cycle resets itself.