Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [MedievalSawdust] RE: Painted wood

Expand Messages
  • Iain Odlin
    ... This works great for positive evidence, true, but have a care not to take this documntation source too far from its area of usefulness either. Yes, you get
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:

      >The only documentation you can have a really, really high confidence in is
      >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
      >18th
      >century counterfeit created to force a change in someone's title or lands.

      This works great for positive evidence, true, but have a care not to
      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
      reality.]

      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
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.