RE: [MedievalSawdust] RE: Painted wood
- "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:
>The only documentation you can have a really, really high confidence in isThis works great for positive evidence, true, but have a care not to
>paperwork. Inventories, invoices, shop manuals and the like. A listing of
>a "large coffer, painted green with a blue vine pattern" is documentation
>GOLD. If you can find it. And if you are willing to assume it's not a
>century counterfeit created to force a change in someone's title or lands.
take this documntation source too far from its area of usefulness either.
Yes, you get rock-solid documentation that there once existed a 'green
chest w/ the passion of our lord paynted thereupon,' but some of
these inventories ended with an entry that read "And the rest of the
items, none of note" and therefore cannot be trusted to also mention
the unadorned, nearly worn out three-legged stool sitting in the corner
next to Father's deathbed.
[It's the same today, of course. "Man Kills Six With Car" is FAR more
likely as a newspaper headline than "Man Drives To Store Without
Incident," regardless -- if not because -- of which is more usual in
Obviously, they aren't all like this. Several royal household rolls are
obsessively complete, for example. But you can no more accept an
average medieval inventory as "evidence of absence" -- or indeed
relative frequency -- than you can anything else.
-Iain of Malagentia