Presentation on theme: "What does an historian do?. Definition What is history? History is … Herodotus’ Histories and historie."— Presentation transcript:
What does an historian do?
Definition What is history? History is … Herodotus’ Histories and historie
Tools: Primary sources – texts and archaeological remains The written word: Alphabets (abecedarium) and dialectsabecedarium The “stuff” of philologists: texts Historical Poetic Epic Lyric – odes and hymns Epinician – victory poems Dramatic – tragedies and comedies Private: curses, epitaphs, contractscursesepitaphs Public: laws (codes), treaties, decrees, dedications, inventories, voting ticketsdecreesdedications voting tickets Archaeological remains: non-written materials
Tools: Primary sources – media Papyrus Parchment and the manuscript tradition Stone Metal Perishable materials
Methodology: ancient Ancients and moderns do not use the same approach Cause and effect was not applied systematically “Great deeds by great men” the norm Ancient historians focused on values and morals, politics and the affairs of the citizen
Methodology: modern Don’t reinvent the wheel: secondary sources, or scholarship Ask questions Interrogate evidence Analyze evidence Postulate solutions Test solutions Share with intellectual community and receive feedback and critiques Use comparative data and studies
Epigraphy: inscriptions Definition and locales (ubiquitous!) Ancient use: curses, epitaphs, contracts, laws, treaties, decrees, dedications, inventories, manumissions Modern purpose: read and interpret Challenges: not all extant; capital letters, almost no punctuation or word breaksnot all extant Analogy: unfinished crossword puzzle White spaces = missing letters Clues = knowledge
The epigrapher’s skill set Linguistics Cultural content Stylistic formulae Dialectal differences Alphabetical variations Difference between error and new knowledge Understanding of the stonemason’s craft Patience!
The epigrapher’s toolbox Photographs, photographic equipment Raking light Magnifying glass Rulers, measuring tapes, calipers Eyes and fingers Recording equipment: notebook, computer, PDA Squeeze paper, water and brush Squeeze paper