Lecture 5

We’ve begun looking at sources, using Aristotle as an example. This is a bit of a shame, as I’ve encountered Aristotle before and always found him to be extremely negative,  but he is extremely useful for illustration of point. After all, he’s certainly pushing an agenda, he’s writing for a specific group and he’s very clear about his views, and yet they seem to tally so well with those Macedonians he’s friendly with…

One of the things I hadn’t thought of though, was applying the “could they have known?” principle (one day we’ll invent a word for that) to secondary sources. I’d always sort of taken it for granted that if they asserted something that I didn’t know about they probably had access to evidence I’d never seen. I suppose that’s part of the transition from Sixth Form to University.

I haven’t yet decided on which artifact or source passage to look to for my source critique; I’d really like to look at a loaded die from Vindolanda, but, as delightful as it is, I don’t think I can write 1000 words on it, and it’s not really that useful in the wider context, as artifacts go.


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