Or, well, that are. But not exactly. More like surprisingly reasonable misconceptions, that are often passed off as silly myths.
Actually, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this, so bear with me for a minute. What got me thinking was a thread, now apparently sent to the cornfield, that mentioned slaves and the pyramids. I was thinking about posting a comment in there, but maybe there’s a thread idea in it. Or maybe not. I guess we’ll see how it goes.
Someone in that thread mentioned the misconception that slaves built the pyramids, prompting the inevitable response that the pyramids weren’t built by slaves at all, but by paid workers, and that the slave thing is a myth.
Which is correct, but myth doesn’t seem exactly the right word for it. The way you see this point brought up, it often makes it seem that it’s a myth that slave labor was even a thing in those days, and we’re silly for not giving the ancients more credit. But slavery was absolutely rampant through all of ancient history. Thinking that slaves built the pyramids isn’t silly at all. Herodotus, in his day, assumed that slaves had built them. The discovery that they were probably built by paid Egyptian workers is a modern one, puzzled out from relatively recent discoveries of inscriptions and cemeteries.
Having always heard the “slaves built the pyramids” thing described as “myth”, the surprise to me, then, was how reasonable the idea actually is, and how much work slaves did do in ancient times, generally speaking. Just often not construction work in particular.
Any other examples of this sort of thing?