Hexter’s Day

As a historian, my Day influences my results in different ways than others.  Based on the way I see things and the way I live every single day, I am probably more modest than others.  This means that I live a more conservative life, which also shows the type of historian I am.  Others may describe a certain event in history in one way, while I describe it in another.  Being more modest, I would most likely be less descriptive in gory details than those who feel that it is important to write every single gruesome fact.  Since I am a modest person, I would definitely write the facts and, unfortunately, go less into detail about whatever I am writing.  I would have to put in the additional effort to write what I know and what extra facts need to be added for others to know.

The Historian’s Craft

In the second chapter and on page 50 of The Historian’s Craft, Marc Bloch writes, “I ask questions.  I note, compare, and compute answers.”  Though he was talking about things happening in the present, it applies to history.  It spoke to me in particular, because it gives me an idea of how to write the upcoming paper.  I will have to ask questions about why I think the Fall of Rome occurred and why I think that is the cause.  Since there are many sources, I will have to compare all of them and draw a conclusion, according to Bloch.

In the third chapter, on page 111, Bloch writes, “depending upon the circumstances, agreement of one testimony with the other testimonies may lead to opposite conclusions.”  This means something to me, because it explains that the information I find may not be exactly what had happened, but it can give me a good idea of what did.  This is also helpful, because I will definitely find that the people have different views on the actual outcome.  It is something to look back on when comparing different sources.

In chapter four, on page 145, Bloch writes about a certain inscription.  Nothing very important, but it was written for a reason.  He says, “Yet, nothing can be more variegated than the evidences which there await the probing of the scholar’s lancet.”  This urges me to think about how to begin looking at the evidence.  I makes me want to start with looking for evidence of certain incidences, so I can break it down.  After I break it down, I will definitely be able to compare and contrast all of the gathered sources.

Peter Brown

Peter Brown was privileged to use letters and “inside” information as evidence.  It seems his writing is more of a commentary, so the sources he relies on are really secondary ones.  Though they may not have been seen in person, Brown relies on letters to get a feel for how the people lived and how they felt about certain issues.  The “inside” information about people of high standing, the clergy for example, was written by people like Jerome.  If someone was on the inside, or close to popular people, then they were able to get the “juicy” information.

Bryan Ward-Perkins

Bryan Ward-Perkins is privileged to use primary sources for evidence.  He starts off the first chapter explaining the Bishop of Rome’s letters to his colleagues.  The only way he could have gotten and explained the information in the letters is if Perkins was able to study them in person.  He later quotes what seams like a secondary source, based on the second person, plural used.  Perkins mostly relies on the primary source.  The letters and texts (Life of a fifth-century saint) are all primary sources and the secondary ones are based off of them.

Carl Becker’s Argument

Carl Becker argues that since “History is the memory of things said and done,” the common man is an historian.  Everyone has memories, sees things in a certain way, and imagines what will happen because of it.  History, in Becker’s argument, is anything that leads to something, including something as simple as opening a door.  After one opens the door, since it happened in the past, it becomes history.  A man becomes “his own historian” by the decisions he makes and on top of that, why and how he came to the conclusion that something should be done.

Historians can be very objective, because when writing historical facts, they write what they see and what they believe concerns them.  This being said, the things that historians write can be bias, so one can only see it from one point of view and not from what something looks like from another.