"Hey, what Doctor Who bullshit is going on here?" - Hollywood
The Zulus liked guns so much that they made John Dunn, a white guy who knew how to score weapons, into the king's trusted advisor. Dunn even taught the king's brother how to shoot, turning him into a "noted marksman." Most Zulus, on the other hand, were quite crap at aiming the damned things ... but there's nothing you can't achieve with hard work and perseverance, so they actually managed to strike several British soldiers.
Of course, this doesn't mean that their guns were cutting-edge; in a lot of situations, they were being sold crappy older rifles once newer ones came on the market for their (usually white) suppliers to buy. It's like when we send those losing-team Super Bowl shirts to Africa, except in this case the shirts could shoot someone in the face. The British ultimately won, but it was waaay harder than if the other guys had just had a bunch of extremely sharp sticks.
The Freedom-Loving Spartans Were So Not 300
The movie 300 achieved what countless history teachers had been trying to do for generations: Convincing America that ancient Greece was awesome, and especially Sparta. A whole city-state full of manly, patriotic warriors who fight off foreigners in the name of freedom? S-PAR-TA! S-PAR-TA!
Unfortunately, if they ever did a prequel based on the childhood of those same characters, it would have to be NC-17. That's because in preparation for becoming a badass Spartan soldier, it was normal for a young man to enter into a erotic relationship with an adult male -- you know, what we now call "pederasty."
If Leonidas was alive today, he'd drive a van with this exact artwork.
This wasn't some consensual thing, either. Once a boy turned 12, an older man just "selected" him to be his sex partner. This went all the way to the top, with one eventual king of Sparta being recorded to have been picked out as a lover when he was a kid. These relationships were so important that they're mentioned in writings by Plutarch and Plato, not to mention depicted on the vases from the time period (which we're not showing you so we don't all end up in a database).
It's hard to tell from this evidence if these relationships stopped at fondling or went into third base, but either way, woof. Even when a Spartan youth grew up and married a woman, she was expected to dress as a man on their wedding night, presumably because it was the only way he could get it up.
Not only that, but the supposedly freedom-loving city of Sparta was full of slaves, called "helots." Sparta even refused help from Athens at one point because it didn't want those bleeding hearts to put ideas in their slaves' heads. They liked slavery so much, they actually had more slaves than Spartans. This proved to be not such a good idea once the helots rebelled and brought the whole place down. Whoops.
Also check out 5 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About Ancient Civilizations and 5 Embarrassing Failures History Class Turned Into Victories.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Why The Persians Should Be The Good Guys In '300,' and other videos you won't see on the site!
Follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.