On 9 Jul 2006, at 14:51, John Wood wrote:
> Gosh, what a response! A 'farrago of nonsense' and a 'worrying lack of
> historical perceptiveness'.! And at the weekend too!
> . . .
> Thanks to Julia Murphy for pointing out that children are taught about
> interpretation of sources in their history lessons, rather than
> grand narratives. Thank goodness for that. May the widest range of
> be available to them.
Surely children must be taught a narrative (not of course 'grand') if
they are to get a sense of the past, and become able to place the
Romans, the rise of Islam, the reformation, the industrial revolution
etc etc. It is because I was not taught the narrative of Scottish
history (between Antoninus Pius - or perhaps Macbeth - and Mary Queen
of Scots) that I find visits to Scottish monuments much more difficult
than English ones. The interpretation of sources is secondary - no
purpose in interpreting sources unless one knows what they are sources
> And finally, regarding Peter Pickering's point about Calgacus: quite
> contrary Peter. I realise very well that the speech was recorded by
> Tacitus. Whether Calgacus actually said it, or whether it was simply a
> rhetorical device, it indeed shows that some Romans at least were
> capable of
> reflection about their own actions. Would that we were as capable!
Well, Ogilvie and Richmond in their edition of the Agricola have no
doubts that the speech is a rhetorical exercise, having much in common
with passages in Tacitus' predecessor Sallust; they point out, for
instance, that the example drawn from the position of slaves
presupposes Roman, not Caledonian, society.
> John Wood of Highland