Trivia

Hard

In Ancient Greece, The People Of Boeotia Were Renowned For Their?

Shipyards
Scholarship
Bravery
Stupidity
An 18th century map of ancient Boeotia.
J. J. Barthelemy/Wikimedia

Answer: Stupidity

In Ancient Greek culture, people from the Boeotian region—which included the ancient city of Thebes—were considered, especially by Athenians, to be proverbially dull and incapable of appreciating music or poetry.

Now, lest you assume that the Boeotians were, in fact, very dull, you should understand that singling out a town, state, or other geographic region from within a larger cultural and political body for its “stupidity” is an age old tradition that is found in many cultures around the world.

In England, for example, the citizens of the village of Gotham were considered fools (and were immortalized in a nursery rhyme depicting them as such). Germans assigned the same mantle of stupidity to the citizens of Schilda. The Danes considered the people of Mols to be fools. In fact, in practically every culture around the world, you can find tales about the stupid people of (insert town/region here).

With that in mind, and given the many famous historical figures that hailed from the Boeotian region like Pindar, Hesiod, Epaminondas, Pelopidas, and Plutarch, it would be wise of us to give Boeotia a pass and assume their only real problems were bad PR and the mean-spirited attitude of their Athenian detractors.

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