A while ago while watching Crash Course World History, John Green mentioned how Alexander the Great died from the flu despite many people from that time claiming that he died in battle (because this is more heroic and fitting for a king). Also, in an archeology textbook, I read about how the popular representation of Neanderthals (depicted as ape-like hairy beasts) is completely wrong because plenty of archaeologists in the early 20th century thought that all “cave men” were unintelligent and savage.
Given that for most of human history, all that we know from our past comes from spoken word or fragments of written records. How can we discern what actually happened from fabrications? Perhaps is it more important to know more about who’s telling the story than the actual story in this case?