This is something I can write about, since it’s one of my main interests; I frequently contribute to a webzine called ‘Travel Thru History‘ and, indeed , travel and history go well together. Wherever you go, you’ll learn something of the history of the place … and it may not be what you learned in school. You may, in fact, find proof of the saying ‘History is propaganda written by the winning side’.
You see, what we were taught in history class … or what I remember from the times I was awake, anyway … had a distinctly British bias. The British could do no wrong! It was only after leaving school that I met people from Ireland, South Africa, India and many other places, who told the side of the tale they were taught, Truly, there are two sides to every story.
We don’t have to venture too far from home for further examples. Let’s take King Richard III. Almost everyone thought of him as one of the most evil blots ever to walk the earth, mainly basing their thinking on the play by William Shakespeare. But, there’s a faction that say that, although he maybe wouldn’t qualify for sainthood, he really wasn’t all that bad. They point out that the play was written over 100 years after Richard’s death … and, doubtless, Shakespeare valued his head too much to portray Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather as a usurping Tudor bastard.
Let’s take a look at one of my favourite periods of history … or rather, prehistory. Much of the happenings of the time before the arrival of the Romans is guesswork, based on the scanty archaeological finds from that period. The good part is … nobody can say you are wrong, for, in Britain anyway, there are few, if any written or pictorial records from that time. But, we’ve managed quite a few intelligent guesses, and think we’ve got it just about right … until someone makes a find that blows all our theories out of the water.
This is the case in Britain, but other civilisations were much more advanced in this field. Take the cave drawings at Lascaux, in France; take ancient Egypt and the Middle East … above all, take the rock art of the Australian Aborigines; some of the oldest in the world.
Clearly, they were far more sophisticated a people than the early settlers thought!
This week’s contribution the the Travel Theme. More at https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/08/27/travel-theme-history/