Blue’s Dumb History Tales #2

Earlier last year I found myself with a surprise
gap in my upload schedule, so I did what any self-respecting online content creator would
do: I panicked, hastily cobbled together a glorified meme-dump, and then watched in shock
as it became one of my most popular videos of the year. I’d say the internet is a confounding mistress
but I know damn well that you’re all here for the memes, and I’m honestly an idiot
for not realizing it sooner. SO, I’ve scoured far and wide but mostly
the Mediterranean to bring you 4 more of the finest historical sh*tposts. I’d apologize for how safe I’m playing
it by sticking to my usual historical stomping grounds, but I’ve been sick all week and
I’m way too hopped up on cold medicine to have any capacity for new research, self-awareness,
or remorse. Now let’s do some memes. #4
History can be weird about people’s bones — You’d think that people sit still once
they die, but sometimes corpses and bones become prolific travelers. Machiavelli is buried somewhere in this church
but we have no idea where, the body of Alexander the Great fully disappeared a couple centuries
after he died, and Hernan Cortes was buried and exhumed 9 times, ferried across the Atlantic
ocean, and casually misplaced for a century. But one instance of bone-shuffling that always
amuses me is the story of Dante Alighieri. Dante had a complicated relationship with
his hometown, he really liked it, he just wished it wasn’t full of assholes who exiled
him. So after Dante died in the city of Ravenna,
Florence realized that he was actually a pretty popular poet. So they asked for his body back in 1396 and
again 1429, but Ravenna said “buzz off, you exiled him, he’s ours.” Eventually, a Florentine from the Medici family
became pope, and organized (read: demanded) for Dante to be returned to Florence so Michelangelo
could build a mausoleum for him. Ravenna’s hands were tied, so they agreed,
and gave Florence the casket. Now, it’s not exactly polite to go throwing
open the sealed sarcophagus of your beloved native poet, but some Florentines in the delegation
to Ravenna were a little suspish. So they yanked open the tomb to find… nothing. WHOOPS. The Franciscan monks pulled a sneaky on them
by stealthing Dante’s bones out of the sarcophagus and into a hiding spot in their monastery. But Florence was in the awkward position where
they couldn’t call out Ravenna for hoodwinking them without admitting to opening a sealed
sarcophagus… Soooooo Florence just called it a day, pretended
like nothing happened, and went home. And so lay the greatest poet in Italian history… packed up in a box and hidden behind a wall
like a secret stash of Christmas presents. Eventually he did get moved into a shiny new
mausoleum, but only some 300 years later. In the end, safe to say that Dante would have
been all for Ravenna’s reverse skeleton heist. It sure embarrassed the hell out of Florence,
so I say mission accomplished. #3
Alexander the Rad was, by most accounts, pretty good at stabbing people with spears. After thoroughly beating the pants off of
the Persian empire and becoming the most powerful man in history at the age of 26, Alexander
saw absolutely zero reasons to stop. So he kept on pushing east and east and east
and founded over 20 cities named Alexandria across the former Persian empire. Part of me thinks this is empty vanity, but
the other part of me that’s a complete slave to aesthetics recognizes that this is some
A-tier branding. Eventually Alexander the Alexander ran into
the Indus river valley and thought “well this will make a fine addition to my collection”,
so he fought the battle of the Hydaspes river in 326 BC (and won, come on, this is Alexander
the Plot-Armor after all). If you’re Alexander the Cool King, this
is all great news, but if you’re one of the 40,000 soldiers in his army, you might
be rightly feeling a little worn out after 5 straight years of war. So when the Macedonians approached the Hyphasis
river, his soldiers had enough, and I can see why. They had basically journeyed 3,000 miles,
off the end of all of their maps, so they told Alexander “Like hell are we going to
cross that river, we’ll fall off.” — “Excuse me? Fall off what?” — “Did we stutter, Alex? The World. If we cross that river we will fall off The
World.” So Alexander the Not-Yet-Aware-Of-How-Globes-Work
read the room and called off the campaign, marking the first and last time that he showed
as much as an ounce of restraint in his entire life. #2
This next story is a tale as old as imperialism, where names are made up and the cultural significance
doesn’t matter. So, Greece, right? Smart old guys with beards, lots of pretty
islands, endless stereotypes about national debt? Yeah, Greece, you get it. But if you ask someone from there what their
country is, they’ll say Hellas, named after Helen, since the Trojan War was the first
time that Greece acted as a semi-unified thing. Now you may be wondering, How did we get from
Hellas to Greece? Those two words are as far apart from each
other as possible, Blue, you sociopath, every single letter is different except for E! Well, to solve this great linguistic conundrum,
we’ve got to bust out some maps. So there’s this super ancient city here
called Graia, right, cool, and in the 8th Century BC they founded the colony of Cumae,
on the west coast of Italy. Some 500 years later the Roman Republic started
sauntering their way down the coast and ran into these people who spoke a different language,
had very strong opinions about philosophy, and worshipped a unique pantheon of gods. The Romans saw these people in Cumae and said
“Neat”, marked them down as originally coming from Graia, dabbled in some divine
IP theft to beef up their own pantheon, and moved right along. As they went south, they ran into even more
cities where the people spoke this same weird language, dished about platonic allegories
for enlightenment, and worshipped the same lovable disasters we call “the Olympians”. Immediately, those big-brain Romans knew what
was up, for this, clearly, was another colony from Graia. Cumae? Graia. Thurii? Graia. Syracuse? Graia. This entire landmass to the east full of unique
and independent city states? Whaddya know it’s gotta be Graia! Now, contrary to Roman assertions, every Hellenic
city in the world was not, in fact, a colony from Graia, but whenever a city tried to politely
tell the Romans that they were originally from, say, Athens or Corinth instead, the
Romans said “Hmmmmm, no, we’re pretty sure you’re actually from Graia”. Eventually the Romans figured out that maybe
all of these people aren’t the same, but Rome didn’t have a habit of admitting their
mistakes and they weren’t about to start now, so they compromised and said “ooookay
fine, maybe you’re not ALL colonies from Graia, but you’re close enough, so we’ll
add a letter and call you Graeci. Awesome, problem solved”. And that, dear viewers, is why Hellas is called
Greece. Imperialism in a nutshell. #1
We talk a lot on this channel about conflict and wars and junk like that because spectacles
and drama put butts in seats, but in some rare cases, no humans were harmed in the making
of this history meme. So we now turn to the tiny European Principality
of Liechtenstein. Little Liechtenstein was originally one of
about 80 billion microstates within the Holy Roman Empire, but managed to tuck and roll
through Napoleon’s Pan-European Zerg-Rush and become an independent state in 1806. In the decades after, it was part of the German
Confederation, which was dominated by Prussia, and weirdly included half of Austria, even
though Prussia and Austria were rivals? It’s less confusing than the HRE, I’ll
give it that, but OH MAN, only just. So in 1866 a war broke out between the two,
and Liechtenstein took the opportunity to declare independence from the Confederation
and total neutrality. The extremely modest 80-man army took up their
post guarding a pass along the border between themselves and Austria, and proceeded to see
exactly 0 combat encounters, because their only threat was Austria, who didn’t care
enough to even consider invading them. So the army stood guard over a stunning view
of the alps for a quiet month and a half. This sounds less like a military deployment
and more like summer-camp. But just when it seemed like this story couldn’t
get any more Switzerlandy than it already was for our 80 Liechtensteiner pals, they
returned home with 81 men, because they made a friend. Apparently an Italian ran into the soldiers
while they were out in the mountains, and joined them on their way back because he wanted
to come live in Liechtenstein. So with one new best friend and a meme for
the ages, Liechtenstein said “alrighty, I think we’re done here” and disbanded
the army, proceeding to out-Switzerland even the Swiss through both world wars. Well played, Liechtenstein, well played. So, what have we learned here today? I’d say it’s that 1) Dante can never catch
a break, 2) flat-earthers will ruin all of your plans to conquer ancient India, 3) The
Greece Is A Lie, and 4) The real history meme is, quite literally, the friends we made along
the way. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed this jaunt through the
sillier side of history. Next time I’ll be jumping out of my comfy
Mediterranean bubble to pick up on our History of India! Part 2 of that series is coming up next. I’ll see you then.

Comments 100

  • Hey Guys, I bought your Hades hoodie and I love it. I wish I had bought more merchandise. It's so fricking comfy.

  • "they out Switzerland the swiss"

    best description of Liechtenstein ever

  • And I learned that Blue likes the village music from Age of Mythology.  Good on you, Blue.

  • “He founded over 20 different cities names Alexandria.”
    Which is why I know exactly what is gonna show up whenever I look up my name

  • I cant believe it's not Graia…

  • I come to your videos JUST so I can experience Alexanders many epitaphs you give him.

  • Blue can you summarize something that is not rated to history

  • Alexander the Plot Armor really cracked me up 😂

  • sipping noise "Oh delicious tea." I do the same thing, brother.

  • Wait, is #2 the origin of the phrase "It's all Greek to me?"

  • I feel you man

  • You know those times you clear your watch history so you can watch these videos again? No…just me…’k.

  • Blue just needs to track down Panacea. I'm sure he's got a line on that one, come on!


  • Didn't Alexander die of Malaria?!

  • Delicious Tea Jesus 😀

  • Btw, in scandinavia we still call it Hellas.
    If we say Greece, we’re probably talking to someone outside of scandinavia.

  • Alexander the Rad totally war out his soldiers.

    I don't apologize.

  • Rome realized they messed up in saying that everyone was from Graia
    Its big brain time

  • Hey can you guys do another Scotland video?

  • It's over Alexander, we have the high ground!

  • Aww Poor sick historically entertaining baby Get better please 😨.

  • The use of Age of Mythology music is awesome.

  • I think the "Hellen" the Greeks name themselves after is Hellen the (mythical) son of Deucalion. Not the (also Mythical) Helen of Troy. Thucydides mentions this in Book 1 of his History of the Peloponnesian War. I am a big fan of the channel. Keep up the good work and get well soon!

  • You should do one on the fight for the Holy Foreskin.

  • A seriously underappreciated history story is that of Toussaint L'Ouverture of Haiti…

  • Blue got a haircut! I love it!! 😀

  • I like your videos but I don't need to hear you coughing or talking about being sick, that's just gross

  • Another fun fact, Liechtenstein was the first country in the world that stopped with the deathpenalty. Even though it was legally only removed in 1985, there hadn't been an execution since 1798.

  • What about the battle of the bucket. The greatest history meme

  • Thumbs up for suffering to death on record.

  • Red just summarize a court of mist and fury (or a court of thorns and roses) for me I need it

  • Hey Blue, when are you going to do more videos on African civilizations. It's been two years since your Africa video and I'm curious. I have a feeling you'd enjoy the Ashanti Empire, Kingdom of Benin and the Kingdom of Nri.

  • Hmm, we should take a page from Lichtenstein’s book and create a lot of small libertarian countries when WWIII starts 😀 When the dust settles, we’ll be the only ones standing.

  • Hey Blue, can you explain the Emu war of Australia?

  • Hey Blue, I know your a philosopher as well as a historian, I was thinking how I’d love to hear you talk about different schools of thought and major philosophers. I’ve recently really gotten into Stoicism and I’ve love to hear your particular viewpoint on it!
    But I’d also love to hear you speak on anything philosophical

  • raises mug of tea in salute

    I feel ya on being sick, tea's getting me through my cough too.

  • Is that song in the beginning samba de verão?

  • Great video, as usual, I just have one point of contention. You mentioned that the real name of Greece, "Hellas," was based on the story of Helen of Troy; however, the sources I have relied on describe the root of the name being from Hellen, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha (the survivors of the Greek flood narrative), who became the eponymous father of the Hellenes. A small point, really, but something that's just been on my mind since watching the video.

  • Reverse Skeleton Heist is an excellent band name.

  • Alexander the Great: sees land

    Alexander the Great: y e s

  • How to kill me: ALexAndEr tHe PlOT aRmoR

  • What about that time in the Chilean independece war, went the lider of the rebels get himself captured by spanish, so a rival of him in the rebel army negociate a peace treaty with the spanish that results in a truce and the leader getting released. Then the guy call the treaty an act of treason, so the independentist divide in 2 factions and start a civil war IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INDEPENDENCE WAR. All the while the spanish say "well, neat" and attack. That resulted in the defeat of the rebels, with them running to Argentina and causing the return of spanish rule until they came back 4 years later.

  • Mediterranean gang, let’s go!!

  • 1:43, I was sipping my tea, and said "mmm…good tea" at this exact moment.

  • …I’m supposed to be studying for a test on the French Revolution…

  • Meanwhile in the east, the first Greeks the Persians came across were the Ionians, on the coast of Asia Minor. So they called all Greeks Ionians, or some variation on it sounding like Yunan. And then so did everyone who came in contact with the Persians and their culture for the next two thousand years. The current Turkish name for Greece is Yunanistan.

  • I actually got to tell the Graia story at work today! Watching Youtube videos pays off!

  • Don't die Blue. You're not allowed to die until you've told me ALL the history.

  • That story about “Greece” is really funny, but it basically doesn’t hold any water. Aside from the fact that Cumae was founded by Euboeans, the word Graeci was first used by Aristotle in his Meteorology. He referred to it as an ancient name by which Hellenes had once been called. Autòs épha.

  • In norwegian, Greece is still called Hellas! You CAN also call it Grekenland, if you want to sound super oldfashioned

  • Liechtenstein sounds so cool

  • Hellas is not from Helen (Ελένη) of Troy, but from Hellen (Έλλην), son of Deucalion. He's the mythological progenitor of the greeks.

  • Prussian history is pretty meme-worthy as times.
    One of the kings (Fredrick The Great, I think) had a huge-ass statue of the queens of Austria and Russia holding up the Prussian crown on his palace. Said king also had a lot of parties where he'd play the flute.

  • "…proceeding to out Switzerland even the Swiss…"

    Ohhh…so that's why Switzerland invaded Lichtenstein 3 different times

  • 3:31 I love how Blue casually sneaks in prequel memes in videos

  • You missed the best part about Dante, which was the Ravennen (Ravennian?) monks moving him so many times for "safe keeping" (including hiding him during the war) that they completely LOST him for a few decades at one point!

  • Greece is a lie! So is Italy in Polish, everyone calls it Italia but nit Poles! We call it Włochy, just because everything over the mountains was Wołoszczyzna!

  • Great, my recommended section confused OSP videos with spirit "science" aka the "Jews came from Mars and that's genuine history because I felt like it was true" guy.
    Why does this always happen?

  • The fourth one was pure Vanilla. I love it.

  • If you ever find yourself needing history memes, or just funny historical tidbits, I can help.

    Albeit mainly from the 17th century and later.

  • Is that Age of Mythology music I hear at around 7:00?

  • Aren't the hellenist named after one of duecalion's sons?

  • That story is incredibly Swiss – but it's also incredibly Italian – an Italian guy wandered down the road – met some folks who told him about a place – he thought the place seemed nice – so he went back there with them. This coming from a country that would have the largest voluntary diaspora in European history. A culture-group of people who heard about a nice place, so they went.

  • ♪ Liechtenstein is awesome, they make war seem fun
    They sent out eighty soldiers and came back with eighty-one ♪

  • 8:13 Fire Emblem

  • Fun fact: the swiss invaded lichtenstein .

    by accident.


  • 0:45 Saint Cuthbert anyone?

    5:00 Magyar has entered chat

  • Lietchenstien: *Casually declares nutrality*

    Austria: I don’t care.

    Rando-Italian guy: Hey!! Wanna be friends?

    Liechtenstein: Sure!

    Switzerland: HOW TF.

  • Memes are fun.

  • Hellas was named after Helen?!

    Ummm… I'm almost positive that is definitely wrong.

    Edit: Yes, that is wrong. "Hellas"(or Ellada) is named after "Hellen," the son of Deucalion. Deucalion was the survivor of the Great Flood in Greek mythology.

    Romans called the Greeks in Italy and Sicily Graiki, but they didn't call Greece proper by that name. They called it Hellas, or Achaea. They weren't idiots. Romans had been travelling to and from the Greek mainland as well as receiving visitors since the early kingdom period. In fact, 2 of Rome's 7 original kings were Greek.

    Where's Red?! She's smart. Bring back Red!

  • Ok but for next time, you need to talk about Diogenes the cynic. Basically the original internet troll and personal pain in Plato’s ass

  • Dante alighieri: iconic corpse

  • the ancient greeks already knew the earth was spherical and could even calculate its circumferance fairely accurate. so Alexanders army did not tun back because they thought they fall off, they…just were tired. I mean, they fought through every major nation, east of them to the edge of the known world, with no home leave.
    they got fair a bit of pay, so of course they wanted to spend it and it looked like Alexander would just march onwards, till he dropped dead, or reached greek from teh west. whichever of those is more likely, I leave up to you.

  • common misconceptin about switzerland and neutrality.
    neutrality means not you are a pacificst.
    being neutral means you don´t get dragged in comlicated alliance wars, but it also means you have no allies, when someone invades you. thats why Swtzerland is one of the most militaried countries in teh entire world. up till the 90s evey bridge in switzerland was rigged with explosived, to be destriyed at any moment, if the country was to get incadet and swutzerland has one of the largest reservist pool in teh world, compared to its sise. Finnland aswell. being neutral and right at the border of the Soviet union, Finnland is also a country with a very professional and modern military.
    Neutal nations often have a very strong empheses on military, because as said, in teh case of a war, they. stand alone.

  • Okay I'm confused here, did the Macedonian people believed in a flat Earth? Even when Paramenides, Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Archimedes and Aristarchus of Samos all supported the idea of a round Earth?

  • I mean like if I ran into 80 guys being paid to chill out in a beautiful part of the country on more or less a camping trip (pre internet) while the rest of the word is killing each other I think I would ask to hang out with them too

  • 4:50
    I've read that 'Hellas' comes not from Helen of Troy but from Hellen the dude (unrelated to Jeff), son of Deucalion and Pyrrha- the sole survivors of a flood

  • More of the journey to the west pleeeease!!!

  • "Less like a military deployment and more like summer camp."


  • Can we just ascribe the name "Alexander" to the meaning of a conqueror on the level of the Alexander, thus giving sense to titling the Alexander as "Alexander the Alexander"?

  • Hello there! Actually in Greece we learn that the name Hellas comes from a dude named Hellenas which literally means Greek. He was the son of a demigod who survived a cataclysmic event and he was the founder of the Greek nation. Although the explanation you gave might be also true, after all this is mythology we are talking about.

  • Hi I like the red one

  • Oh Blue, I love your side of the channel!!!

  • 1:44 " Oh Delicious Tea"
    KISS IT,
    LIVE IT,

  • We would actually say Ellada (Ελλάδα) instead of Hellas. Hellas is more like a formal way to say Greece, while Ellada is the every day way. The extra formal way is the Hellenic Republic, and the ultra extra formal way that is also fictional but would be very much desired by most Greeks today is the Byzantine Empire.

  • The age of mythology gave me the biggest nostalgia ever

  • Wait, but wasn't Alexander personally tutored by Aristotle? That's what I remember from school, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll google it later. But if so, he should have known better. This just goes to show that even Alexander the Great gives up in the face of Flat Earth ignorance.

  • I loved just the mid technical difficulties honestly I started to die laughing

  • I am so going to tell people about the friend story. That is just the best.

  • 27k to 141 – this must be the best win % on YT? Ive never seen one like that. Usually it's 10/1 or at best 20/1. This is 0.005 % disapproval… AMAZING.

  • Hellas is named that after Hellen (with a double L), who was the Greeks' mythical founder.

    Helen (with a single L) is not the origin of the name.

  • A genuine shame Alexander didn't overextend himself into the actual population centres of ancient India and die a year earlier.

  • Alexander the rad
    Alexander the Alexander
    Alexander the plotarmor
    Alexander the cool King
    Alexander the Not yet aware of how globes work

    It will never stop will it?

  • Ramses II had to get a passport issued to his name in 1974, in his occupation it says: KING (DECEASED)

  • "the German Confederation which was dominated by Prussia"
    My friend, that is the NORTH German Confederation. If anyone was dominating the German Confederation it was the Hapsburgs (though it was more split into north and south along spheres of influence between the two).

  • "the German Confederation which was dominated by Prussia"
    My friend, that is the NORTH German Confederation. If anyone was dominating the German Confederation it was the Hapsburgs (though it was more split into north and south along spheres of influence between the two).

  • Hellas derives from Έλλην (Hellen – Hellēn) and not from Ελένη ( Helen – Helénē). According to myth Hellen was the progenitor of Hellenes and his three sons were the progenitors of the 3 major Greek tribes. Aeolus the Aeolians, Dorus the Dorians, and Xuthus the Achaeans and Ionians through his sons Achaeus and Ion.

  • Someone correct me:
    Is red and blue dating???

  • Real Question: Where is Alexander the Great actually from? As a North-Macedonian, I'm obviously inclined to think he's Macedonian, but then there's the Greeks saying he's Greek.
    It's super confusing and I just want a definitive answer.
    Macedonian or Greek?

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