It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update as I’ve been attempting, amid great groaning, to write my first dissertation chapter. Amid my research this weekend, I came across a great section in Plutarch’s Demosthenes about the difficulties of historical research. Enjoy! (or not, depending on where you fall in his criteria…)
“However, when one has undertaken to compose a history based upon readings which are not readily accessible or even found at home, but in foreign countries, for the most part, and scattered about among different owners, for him it is really necessary, first and above all things, that he should live in a city which is famous, friendly to the liberal arts, and populous, in order that he may have all sorts of books in plenty, and may by hearsay and enquiry come into possession of all those details which elude writers and are preserved with more conspicuous fidelity in the memories of men. ” Plutarch, Demosthenes, II.