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「五大歷史上錯誤觀念總覽」- Five Historical Misconceptions Rundown


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Five Historical Misconceptions Rundown
五項錯誤歷史觀念總覽

Number five: Vikings.
What would a Viking be without his trusty battle helmet and its impressive horns? The answer is: a more historically accurate Viking.
第五:維京人。
維京人如果沒有可靠的戰鬥頭盔和那令人印象深刻的角會是什麼呢? 答案是:一個在歷史觀點上更真實的維京人。

Think, for a moment about wearing headgear like that into battle would mean the horns are just easy targets for your opponent to hit and knock off your helmet.
想想看,戴著那樣的頭飾去打仗,角只是敵人容易打擊的目標,很容易打掉你的頭盔。

Or, if you strap on your helmet, now your opponent has a convenient lever with which to drag you to the ground and something to hold onto while slitting your throat.
或者,如果你把頭盔綁緊,現在你的敵人就有個很方便的把手,用來把你拉倒在地,而且在割斷你的喉嚨時,有地方可以抓。

Horned helmets are a terrible idea, which is why archaeologists have never found them at Viking battle sites, and there's no evidence that they were ever used.
有角的頭盔真是個很糟的點子,這就是為什麼考古學家從沒在維京人的戰鬥遺址找到它們,而且也沒有證據顯示他們有使用過。

It was poets and artists (people not known for caring about facts and reality) who gave the Vikings their silly hats during the late 1800s, long after the Vikings could "correct" their misconceptions.
這是詩人和藝術家(那些不是以關心事實真相聞名的人)他們在18世紀末給維京人戴上了這愚蠢的帽子,而那發生在維京人能夠「糾正」他們錯誤觀念的很久之後了。

Number four: Lady Godiva.
The story of this 11th century English noblewoman is that her mean husband, the Earl, raised taxes on the townspeople of Coventry which Lady Godiva, and not surprising the locals, thought were too high.
第四:Godiva夫人。
這個十一世紀英國貴族婦人的故事是關於她那不體恤人民的丈夫,這位伯爵對Coventry鎮的居民提高稅賦,Godiva夫人,以及不意外的當地居民,都認為稅賦太高了。

She badgered her husband, and he conceded in exasperation to lower the taxes if she rode through town naked, assuming that she never would, but she did.
她不斷糾纏她丈夫,伯爵不勝其擾而讓步,答應如果她光著身子騎馬穿過城鎮,就降低稅賦--以為她絶對不可能這麼做--但她真的去做了。

Because people don't like taxes, even though they're how civilization is purchased, Lady Godiva's story lives on notably in the Godiva logo and in popular songs.
因為人民不喜歡稅賦,即使那是文明的代價,Godiva夫人的故事特別是在Godiva巧克力的商標和流行歌曲中繼續活躍著。

But while Lady Godiva was a real person and Coventry is a real town, there is no record of her nude ride from the time when it happened. So we can safely assume the story is false. Just as with the Vikings, again, poets and artists are to blame, who made up the tale long after Lady Godiva's death.
但雖然Godiva夫人是真實人物而且確實也有Coventry這個城鎮,卻並沒有事發當時她裸體騎馬的紀錄。所以我們可以有把握的假設這故事是捏造的。就像維京人的故事,又一次的,要怪到詩人和藝術家頭上,他們在Godiva夫人過世許久之後,編造了這傳說。

Number three: Napoleon.
Famously, this tiny, tiny general, perhaps to compensate for his short stature, took control of France, greatly expanded its influence and dubbed himself emperor.
第三:拿破崙。
膾炙人口的,這小小將軍,或許是為了彌補他矮小的身材,掌管法國,大大地擴展其影響力,並自封為皇帝。

Napoleon's official height was indeed five foot two inches, but at the time French inches were longer than English inches. So doing the unit conversion, Napoleon's height should've been reported as five-seven in England's Imperial Units, which is short by today's standards, but was average or slightly above average in the early 1800s.
拿破崙正式的身高的確是五呎二吋,但當時法國的「吋」是比「英吋」還長的。所以換算單位,拿破崙身的高應該是要被紀錄為英制的五呎七吋(一百七十公分),以現代的標準來看是矮的,但以18世紀早期來說算是平均身高,或是稍稍超過標準的身高了。

However, England, with its eternal love for all things French didn't care, (and) went with the Napoleon-is-so-short-LOL version of the story in newspapers and cartoons.
不過,英格蘭對於法國人不在乎的事物有著永無止境的喜愛,在報紙和卡通上,演出「拿破崙超矮-哈哈哈(註一)」版本的故事。

Meanwhile, Napoleon was busy introducing the Metric System to France and the wider world to standardize measurements so this sort of confusion would never happen again. And thankfully, the whole world now uses metric. Mostly. Sort of.
同時,拿破崙正忙著將公制引進法國和世界上其他國家,以便將度量衡標準化,如此一來,這樣的困擾就不會再發生了。而值得慶幸的是,現在全世界都在使用公制。某種程度上來說。

Number two: Roman Vomit.
Ah, the Roman Empire, so great and powerful, but corrupted by decadence from within. And what could be a better symbol of that decadence than the Vomitorium, where Romans, after stuffing themselves with delicious foods, could vomit them all up again to make room to feast anew.
第二:羅馬人嘔吐。
啊,羅馬帝國,那麼的偉大且強大,但卻因內部的衰敗而腐化。而還有什麼可以比「Vomitorium」這個字更能代表羅馬的衰敗呢?羅馬人,在用美味的食物填滿肚子後,會再把所有東西吐出來,為再次享用大餐騰出空間。

Vomitoria are real, but this idea of them is not, though confusion is understandable, because their name of Vomit-Orium seems to make their purpose so clear.
確實有Vomitoria這個字,但並不是這樣的意思,然而可以理解為什麼會搞混,因為Vomit-Orium(註二)似乎很清晰地傳達其意義。

Even if for some reason you know Latin, perhaps because you live in a country that insists you waste hundreds of hours of your life learning a dead, useless language, this knowledge still won't help you because the root word "vomitum" means "to spew forth."
既使你因為某些原因懂拉丁文,或許因為你住在一個堅持讓你浪費幾百個小時生命學習已經死去、完全沒用的語言的國家,這知識仍然不能幫助你,因為「vomitum」這字根代表的意思是「往前噴出」。

So what is it really? If you've ever been to a big stadium, like say, the ones made by the Romans, you have already used a vomitorium. This is what the vomitoria are: The passageways that let lots of people enter or exit at once. The people are what spews forth in the vomitoria, not the contents of the people.
所以這個字真正的意思是什麼呢?如果你去過大型的體育場,譬如說,由羅馬人所建造的那些,你就己經使用過vomitorium了。這就是所謂的vomitoria:是讓許多人立刻進出的通道。而人們就是在vomitoria中,往前噴出的東西,而不是指人們吃進體內的東西。

Number one: Columbus.
They're so very much wrong with the common retelling of the story of Christopher Columbus that it's hard to know where to begin. But the biggest misconception is that everyone else thought the world was flat, but Columbus was the only guy smart enough to know that it's round.
第一:哥倫布。
他們一般在重述哥倫布的故事時,實在錯得離譜,以至於出處已不可考。但最大的誤解是,其他每個人都認為地球是平的,而哥倫布是唯一夠聰明的人,知道地球是圓的。

It makes a daring story, but knowledge of a spherical earth goes back to at least 5,000 BC. That's six and a half thousand years before Columbus set sail, and that knowledge was never lost to western civilization. In 200 BC, Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's circumference, and his estimate was still well-known and being used during Columbus's time.
因而造就了這個大膽的故事,但圓的地球這知識可追溯到至少西元前五千年。這比起哥倫布開始航海旅程還要早了六千五百年,而這知識從未在西方文明中消失。在西元前兩百年,Eratosthenes計算出地球的周長,而他的估算在那時相當知名,而且在哥倫布時代被使用。

The argument Columbus had with Queen Isabella was not over the shape of the earth, but of its size. Columbus estimated the Earth was much smaller than Queen Isabella and her scientific advisers did, which was why he thought he could make it across the empty Atlantic to India.
哥倫布和Isabella皇后間的爭執並不是關於地球的形狀,而是它的尺寸。哥倫布估計的地球比Isabella皇后和她的科學家顧問們所估算的還小得多,這就是為什麼他認為可以橫渡一望無際的大西洋到印度。

But Columbus's size estimate was wrong, again, just like Napoleon's height, because of mixed up units.
但哥倫布的大小估算錯了,又一次的,就像是拿破崙的身高,因為混淆了的單位。

However, this mistake did send him west to become the first European to discover America, as long as you ignore the hornless Vikings who beat him by five hundred years.
不管怎樣,這個錯誤的確將他送往西方,成為第一位發現美洲的歐洲人,只要你忽略那些沒有角的維京人,他們其實比哥倫布早了500年。

註一:LOL是英文Laught Out Loud的縮寫,嘲笑的意思。
註二:Vomitorium這個字普遍造成大家的誤會,因為這個字看似由兩個字根「Vomit(嘔吐)」和「Orium(地點)」組成,直接讓人聯想到「嘔吐的地方」。

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