Roger Collins Quotes
“The literary and other evidence relating to these events comes from a variety of different periods, ranging from the immediately contemporary to ones several centuries later. The testimony of these sources thus differs greatly in value and usefulness. As a rule of thumb, reliability, and also brevity of narrative, are usually in direct proportion to chronological proximity. Thus, the fullest and most elaborate versions, which provide the most detailed accounts, tend to be those most removed in time from the events they are supposed to describe. The soundest methodological approach would be to take the earliest evidence ﬁrst, and then proceed to the later sources in roughly chronological order, in so far as that can be established. This way it will be possible to see at what period the different elements ﬁrst enter the story. In other words, the literary evidence can be treated in an almost archaeological fashion to establish the strata in which the various components of the narrative ﬁrst appear.”
- Description: Roger J. H. Collins (born 1949) is an English medievalist, currently an honorary fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh.