There are certain people whose names are entwined in folklore. People who are known all across the world, and whose names and legends remain long after they pass away. People we learn about even now, and the impact that they might have had on the world. So many of these folktales and legends are handed down through the generations to keep these people’s names alive. However, it might come as a shock to learn that some of these people may not even have existed, to begin with!
It is true that the internet has opened up such a wealth of information at our fingertips. However, this wasn’t always the case, and in centuries past, people’s tales would be documented only by way of writings. And the thing is that this can lead to things being misinterpreted, not to mention the fact that we can’t know for certain about the authenticity of certain stories. Here are some famous names you’ll almost certainly recognize, but may in fact never have existed in the first place!
Took from the rich and gave to the poor, Robin Hood became a legend. An anti-establishment icon for the poor to cling onto. It is impossible to say whether his stories were complete fabrications, or if they were based on a real person. Some historians have argued that the legendary figure was based on a man named Fulk FitzWarin, who is believed to have rebelled against King John. Personally, we think the name Robin Hood sounds more iconic!
Another controversial one on the list is Mary Magdalene, and whether you believe she existed or not will largely depend on your views about the Bible and Christianity. However, there are theories that Mary Magdalene might not have been what many believe her to have been. Most know her as an adult worker who came to Christ to repent, while there are theories that she simply washed Jesus’ feet, and others that she and Christ married. Of course, we can never be sure, so it really depends on your religious beliefs.
Woah, woah, woah, we hear you cry! What do you mean the Bard wasn’t real? Okay, so we’re not saying that Bill definitely didn’t exist, but it has long been speculated that William Shakespeare was actually a pen name. If this is true, it could mean that his plays were actually written by multiple different people using the same name. Interesting theory, right? There are theories that the true Shakespeare was actually Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, but this is obviously impossible to prove.
Jaw off the floor yet? We bet you weren’t expecting to see some of these names making the list! There are a lot of people in history who may or may not have existed. People have been arguing over the existence of some religious icons for years, and this is a debate that may never be fully settled! We’re not saying that these people listed definitely didn’t exist, but we are saying it’s unclear whether they did or not…