Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gibbon on Primary Sources

How's this for a great quote? The thought was actually a radical one at the time.
I have always endeavoured to draw from the fountainhead; my curiosity, as well as a sense of duty, has always urged me to study the originals; and if they have sometimes eluded my search, I have carefully marked the secondary evidence on whose faith a passage or a fact were reduced to depend.
It's just this that gives him claim of being one of the first modern historians.