Posted by: CeCe | January 9, 2012

What’s popular isn’t always true

There are a lot of things that people tend to believe about history that could not be further from the truth.  For example:

A lot of people think that accused witches were often burned at the stake in what would become the United States. In fact, there is not a single record of *anyone* being burned at the stake for witchcraft in the United States. There was one person accused of witchcraft (a slave by the name of Manuel, in Illinois), but the sentence was later amended to murder (of which he was guilty) and he was hanged for it, not burned. Now, some people were burned at the stake for witchcraft in Europe, but not in the United States. Yes, that includes the Salem witch trials.

Also, the governing authorities during the Middle Ages did not enforce the idea of a flat Earth.  Both Stephen Jay Gould and Ronald Numbers, who are both historians of science, have written books which include how and why this is a falsehood.  Perhaps peasants may have believed it, if they cared at all, but the Church itself did not teach it or enforce it.   Neither Columbus, nor Magellan, nor Galileo had anything to do with proving the Earth’s sphericity.  That was established more than 1600 years before any of them were born.  The only thing that was not certain was the size of the Earth.

Constantine did not make Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire (that was Theodosius I, in 380 CE). Also, in the debate which addressed the Arian heresy, Constantine was on the side of Arianism, which makes it very interesting indeed that Arianism was declared heresy at the Council of Nicaea.

On that same subject, the canon of the Bible was not settled at the Council of Nicaea.  It was settled over the course of several ecumenical councils, including but not limited to the Councils/Synods of Hippo and Carthage.

The Puritans were not anti-sex. Neither were people during the Victorian era, believe it or not.
/know-it-all moment.

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Responses

  1. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

    • Pretty positive. I’ve delved pretty deep into this stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. […] enforced) the idea that the Earth was flat (unless they read part 1 of this post, located here https://aseekersmusings.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/whats-popular-isnt-always-true/).  But how much of this actually took place during the Middle Ages?  Truth be told, some of it. […]


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