Most societies manipulate to some extent what they refer to as history to suit their own needs. This process of transformation and adaptation of the past for the use of the common people is what I refer to as the myth of history. This mythologizing of history is being conducted by historians, politicians or other key power groups, in the course of interpretation and re-interpretation of events.

Myth is the interrelated set of beliefs, attitudes, and values held by a society or cultural group. Throughout history social groups and nations have collected their stories, rumors, and legends to build a collective identity. In many of the cases, the stories are based on true events. Over time, social values were embedded into the plot, in order to add a moral value to the original story. The added social values are than being used as an educational tool, to teach the members of the society lessons important to their identity, cohesiveness, and in a sense – existence.

These myths vary across societies in their origin, content, and purpose. But they always serve as a collective memory, and reflect a path from the present back to the past. They function as a social filter that determines which of the “facts” of the past are relevant and should be remembered in the present. The filter also colors the relevant events in certain colors – those compatible with the myth and its morale. The non-relevant events, those, which do not contribute to the common societal needs, will be edited out. This edition process is the lesson of the past, taught to the younger generation.