As humans, we gravitate towards grandiose stories of brave leaders, mythological beings, and incredible minds. Often our histories and folklores are intertwined. There are countless historical figures that have shaped our society, but have you ever wondered if they all really existed? Many researchers and historians have dedicated their lives work order to find out the answer to this question. Here are some famous people you’ve definitely heard of that may not have definitely ever existed.
Although most of us know Mulan from the Disney animated feature, she was already a legendary figure in China. Many scholars are divided on whether she was a real person or not. The Ballad of Mulan first appeared in the Musical Records of Old and New during the Southern Chen dynasty in the 6th century.
While King Arthur has been a legendary British leader in many books, plays, films, and TV shows, most modern historians agree that he is an unhistorical figure. Most of the stories surrounding King Arthur come from English and Welsh folklore as well as a literary invention.
Robin Hood is the legendary outlaw that is often featured in English folklore and has been a mainstay of literature and films for many years. He is best known for his penchant for stealing from the rich in order to give to the poor. There have been numerous ongoing debates for centuries whether he existed or not, but there has never been concrete evidence for him to have existed.
While many scholars agree that philosopher and great thinker Confucius was in fact a real person, some have questioned whether or not he was real. Lionel M. Jensen, an associate professor of history and the director of Chinese studies at the University of Colorado in Denver contends that Jesuit missionaries brought the idea that Confucius was the founder of the school of thought during the 16th century.