Other Names:
Ignorance of the past

An anachronism (from the Greek ἀνά ana, "against" and χρόνος khronos, "time") is a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of persons, events, objects, or customs from different 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 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 for purposes of rhetoric, comedy, or shock. Unintentional anachronisms may occur when a writer, artist, or performer is unaware of differences in technology, language, customs, attitudes, or fashions between different historical eras.


Examples include: condemnation of Columbus as a genocidal imperialist; revisionist approaches to Hiroshima and slave labour; anti-Communist positions of literary personalities


A characteristic problem of this generation is that it does not seem to understand what life was like for any previous generation. Anachronism rules. Leaders of the past are held accountable for failure to think as right-thinking people do today.


Problem Type:
J: Problems Under Consideration
Education Educational level
Date of last update
13.06.2018 – 17:13 CEST