hist-brewing: oral tradition

BurrLoomis at aol.com BurrLoomis at aol.com
Thu Dec 31 05:06:51 PST 1998

In a message dated 12/30/98 1:14:56 PM EST, lindahl at pbm.com writes:

 However, there is no proof in this case that the memory is
 accurate. You can speculate all you like about whether any memory can
 be accurate, but that won't prove or disprove the accuracy of the
 statement we're considering.
	Agreed.  But what worries me is the modern scholars tendency to dismiss out
of hand anything which comes from oral tradition.  
	Instead, we should treat oral tradition as either a secondary or tertiary
source, requiring corroborative evidence.  Thus Homer's _Iliad_, collected
five hundred years after the Trojan War, and written down two hundred years
after that, is only a tertiary source, _until_ Schliemann went to the place
described and dug up Troy.

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