I have the hardest time convincing some students that Jesus, regardless of what they think of His claims or the Church’s teaching about His Deity, was a real historical person. When I tell them that there is more documentary evidence for the historicity of Jesus than there is of Julius Caesar, invariably the response is, “Who was Julius Caesar?”
But it’s worse that I thought. According to a survey commissioned by UKTV Gold, 21% thought Winston Churchill was a fictional character. It wasn’t just Sir Winston whose reality was called into question. The further back in history, the more doubt prevailed. Thus 27% thought Florence Nightingale was mythical and 47% though Richard the Lionheart never existed.
On the other hand 58% thought Sherlock Holmes really lived. Only 53% acknowledge Richard I.