2005

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0541  Wednesday, 23 March 2005

From:           Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Mar 2005 08:30:55 -1000
Subject: 16.0534 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0534 Date of King John

This discussion has become painfully banal. Clearly there are different
kinds of proof, and historical proof, which vary according to the nature
of the question and the context of the discipline. Isotope decay,
dendrochronology and glottochronology, for instance, produce distinct
but valuable data that may intersect and confirm one another in
determining the archaeology of a particular site or civilization. These
issues are well explored by Jared Diamond in two recent books, Collapse
and Guns, Germs, and Steel. The latter incidentally concludes with a
masterly discussion of precisely these issues (what is evidence?) which
all contributors to the current thread could read with benefit.

When it comes to attribution studies a variety of tests and procedures
may prove useful, some more, some less subjective. For his own reasons
Vickers, who is certainly aware of this debate, declines to speak up in
his own defense, but skeptics obviously need to apply their eyes to his
telescope.  Even then they may refuse to acknowledge what they see
because it doesn't match their paradigm-the notion that King John
preceded The Troublesome Reign is a (or the) case in point.  I'm
reminded of the gentleman who encountered a giraffe for the first time
and declared, 'There ain't no such animal!'

--Michael Egan

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