What's for dinner? I'd love to come! ;)<quoted text>
And what do these dates have to do with historical writing? How is history recorded? Somebody either witnesses it and writes it down, or somebody talks to somebody who was there at a specific event or series of events and writes them down. They don't need to be contemporaries of the events. A perfect example is Bruce Catton and the American Civil War. Bruce Catton was born in 1899. The American Civil War ended in 1865. That's a thirty-four year gap, and yet Catton's books are still highly regarded as some of the best writing on the subject! How did Mr. Catton learn what he did about the American Civil War? He talked to veterans! What are veterans? People who have served in a military organization in the past.
"As a child living in a small town in Michigan, Catton was stimulated by the reminiscences of the Civil War that he heard from local veterans."
Hearsay applies only in court cases where there is a risk of civil and/or criminal liability to the accused. That's the reason. It doesn't apply to history. All of history is "hearsay" if not witnessed by the recipient of the report. There are no photographs of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. We have photographs of Lincoln's funeral train and his coffin, but none of the act itself.
For those who will want to claim irrelevance or otherwise dismiss this, I'll amputate the legs right off that potential argument before you can even raise it:
It's relevant because the principles of ethical historical research are still the same for any event not witnessed by the writer, regardless of event, time period, etc.:)
I'll dissect your Mithras comparison in my next post. Not sure it will be today as we're expecting company for dinner. I'd invite you if you were closer.:)
I think the easiest way to state this would be when you're looking at something like 'hearsay' the correct example would probably be this...
Rameses II recorded virtually everything that happened in his life In stone. it's on temples all over Egypt.
A pregnant virgin, a new star in the sky, birth announcements that somehow reach all the way to wise men from the east, a flight to Egypt and a massacre of babies? If it all sounds too outrageous to be true that's because it is.
Are Christians any better than anyone else? And just what is the truth about that modern saint Mother Teresa? Was Christopher Hitchens correct?
"Jesus better documented than any other ancient figure" ?
Don't believe a word of it. Unlike the mythical Jesus, a real historical figure like Julius Caesar has a mass of mutually supporting evidence.
I've noticed your posts sometimes contain scripture here's the site I think you will really enjoy. ;)