To put matters more statistically, as TOF knew you would expect, the objects and documents of the past are not a random sample, but a haphazard congeries and there is room in the gaps for all sorts of startling things to happen.
A commentator elsewhere wonders why there is no document in the "Egyptian records" that mentions the escape of the Hebrew slaves in the Exodus. This tellingly reveals the Late Modern mindset, which cunningly expects the bureaucratic paperwork regime of the Modern scientific State to be replicated in earlier ages. It so happens that for the reign suspected of including the Exodus, there are only three inscriptions that have survived to the present day. Whatever else may have been written down has perished in the shipwrecks of time.
|1949 or 1969?|
(*) obliterated. The Roman habit of razing especially obstreperous cities is why one needn't wait for Titus' legions in order to weep over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41 et seq.). The late dating of Luke is predicated on the "impossibility" of Jesus weeping over the destruction of Jerusalem if Jerusalem had not already been destroyed by the time Luke wrote. By this reasoning, Heinlein could not have written "The Man Who Sold the Moon" before 1969.And so it goes. There was only one near-contemporaneous account of Hypatia of Alexandria: that of Socrates Scholasticus, whose Ecclesiastical History was one of many attempts to write a continuation of Eusebius. And Socrates was writing in Constantinople based on what people told him. Hearsay, our skeptics would have it, especially when they learn the account does not support their mythology and they must add to it certain ideological assumptions. A second contemporary account, by the Arian Philostorgius, is lost except for an epitome written centuries later by Photius. Other accounts are two generations later (Damascius, as copied into the 10th cent. Suda Lexicon) or two centuries later (John of Nikiu).
All that the historian has is a bunch of isolated dots. The historian's job is to connect the dots. This often requires assessing sources, weighing their prejudices, comparing one against another. This is complicated by the fact that outside the Grecosphere, history was usually a branch of court propaganda. It's purpose was to make the Leader look cool and powerful, so stories of his defeat were unlikely to be written except by the victor. For example, both the Hittites and the Egyptians claimed victory at Qadesh, but by comparing the two accounts modern historians can reconstruct what probably did happen in the battle.
The Shipwrecks of TimeBut TOF, we hear you say, what has this to do with that eagerly awaited novel of scientific fiction entitled as above?
|2/128th Inf., 32nd (Red Arrow) Division keeps white mob at bay|
Milwaukee Sentinel, Aug. 29, 1966
It wasn't pretty. History can up and smack you in the face. A mob of several thousand whites shouting obscenities and screaming curses swarmed around a picketing group led by Fr. Groppi of about 150 blacks and 50 whites. The National Guard had been called up that morning and served as a buffer between the civil rights demonstrators and those I must call the civil wrongs defenders. Consequently, the Guard and the police came in for their share of invective, being called "lovers of Negroes," though not in those particular words. Some of the more printable cries were "Send 'em back to the Congo," "We don't want any cannibal's here," and the ever popular "Kill 'em! Kill 'em!" or more specifically "Kill the n******!" or "Kill the white n*****-lovers!" The Guardsmen were also asked "Why aren't you in Vietnam!"
Carole and Frank are there; the former because she had some idea of showing solidarity and Frank to protect her. Frank says Nelson should be here, since his field is modern history; Carole looks about the shouting, raving mob and says, No, Wilma's field is the barbarian invasions.
Sometimes a stroll down memory lane can remind us how far we have actually come and place present unpleasantries in a whole sh*tload of context. Don't ever say there's been no progress.