Anachronism

Chronological inconsistency / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An anachronism (from the Greek ἀνά ana, 'against' and χρόνος khronos, 'time') is a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of people, events, objects, language terms and customs from different time periods. The most common type of anachronism is an object misplaced in time, but it may be a verbal expression, a technology, a philosophical idea, a musical style, a material, a plant or animal, a custom, or anything else associated with a particular period that is placed outside its proper temporal domain. (An example of that would be films including non-avian dinosaurs and prehistoric human beings living side by side, when they were, in reality, millions of years apart.)

Ancient Greek Orpheus with a violin (invented in the 16th century) rather than a lyre. A 17th-century painting by Cesare Gennari

An anachronism may be either intentional or unintentional. Intentional anachronisms may be introduced into a literary or artistic work to help a contemporary audience engage more readily with a historical period. Anachronism can also be used intentionally for purposes of rhetoric, propaganda, comedy, or shock. Unintentional anachronisms may occur when a writer, artist, or performer is unaware of differences in technology, terminology and language, customs and attitudes, or even fashions between different historical periods and eras.