Introducing History Gags: When Historical Figures Are the Punchline

As many history nerds know, our field is all about violence, greed, and power. Yet, the bloody and uncomfortable parts of human history are what have made the world what it is today.

Of course, sometimes it can be very hard to find humor in history books, but trust me when I say they have definitely not been spared from our species’ ridiculousness.

On top of that, history tends to be a lot like a game of telephone. You know something because somebody’s cousin was there and wrote a book about it so that, 100 years later, someone else could come along and write a book about the book.

So yes, more often than not, a lot of facts are exaggerated while others are outright lies.

As The Nerd League’s resident historian, it will be my joy to deliver these humorous (and occasionally unlikely) “facts.” These history gags are bound to appeal to at least one sleep deprived history major, renowned academic, or distinguished documentary binge-watcher.

To start off, I will be sharing one of my favorite historical anecdotes: the alleged birth story of Emperor Charles V.

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