Debate: Historical ironies

Updated Tuesday 14th February 2006

Forum guest Ironaxe suggested a thread about the surprising corners turned by history

A public meeting Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Jupiter Images

Which historical facts and myths do you consider being the oddest and/or most ironic?

A few that occurred to me included;

John Wayne and Errol Flynn- both such popular screen warriors/adventurers- never served in the armed forces.

Alfred Nobel - he of the Nobel Peace Prize fame- having also invented dynamite?

The two alledged anti-Christs, Hitler and Napoleon, neither being from the countries that they respectively led?

The multitude of incredible links between the lives, careers and assassinations of Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln?

Hitler, perhaps the worst and bloodiest tyrant in history, being a vegetarian teetotaller?

Jesus Christ being a peaceful man and carpenter by trade, and then being nailed to a wooden instrument of punishment and death?

Billions of people have and do worship Christ- yet only two of the four authors of the gospels ever met him (Matthew & John) although all four wrote within five decades after his death in ad33, which most of the bible was not.

Which other famous examples are there?

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

OpenLearn Live: 16th December 2015 Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain article icon

History & The Arts 

OpenLearn Live: 16th December 2015

The child emperor who came to a horrible end. Then more free learning through the day.

Article
Dundee, jute and empire Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Dundee, jute and empire

Britain was the first country to industrialise, and it acquired the largest empire ever during this same period. But its sphere of economic influence extended far beyond the boundaries of the formal British Empire. This free course, Dundee, jute and empire, focuses on the economics of empire, using a case study of one town, Dundee in eastern Scotland, to explore this huge topic.

Free course
12 hrs
Migration goes both ways: How Brits changed the world Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain article icon

History & The Arts 

Migration goes both ways: How Brits changed the world

It's easy to forget that the British Isles have proved as fertile a ground for migrants heading elsewhere as it has a pull to migrants from overseas.

Article
'The wrong side of the tracks': The impact of the railways on Victorian townscapes Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library article icon

History & The Arts 

'The wrong side of the tracks': The impact of the railways on Victorian townscapes

When we think of the introduction of the railways we might think of it bringing prosperity to the people, but it also brought unsanitary conditions and isolation to those who lived on 'the other side of the tracks'. Explore more...

Article
Heritage Centres - N. England and N. Wales Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

History & The Arts 

Heritage Centres - N. England and N. Wales

Find heritage centres in Northern England and North Wales.

Article
Contemporary accounts of the 19th Century Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Painting public domain image article icon

History & The Arts 

Contemporary accounts of the 19th Century

Drawn from a range of sources - including diaries, newspaper reports, biography and more - a range of voices from the 19th Century.

Article
The Modernist Movement: Doubts (1953 - 1961) Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team - from interactive article icon

History & The Arts 

The Modernist Movement: Doubts (1953 - 1961)

As Modernism got into a post-war stride, the first doubts started to gather.

Article
Finding treasure Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: photos.com article icon

History & The Arts 

Finding treasure

So you've found some hidden treasure... now what do you do?

Article

History & The Arts 

Evolution of human rights

What are the differences between individual and minority rights? How did the League of Nations and United Nations attempt to address the topic of human rights? Right now, we define human rights as the rights to which all people are inherently entitled to as a result of being a human being. From the creation of the League of Nations in 1920 it’s been accepted that everyone should be protected under a set of natural or legal laws, but how has the definition of these rights changed since they were first conceived? This audio collection examines the role the League of Nations and United Nations played in the implementation of this idea and both the pros and cons of assigning rights to individuals and to groups. This material forms part of the Open University course ‘A327 Europe 1914-1989 War, Peace Modernity’

Audio
20 mins