Documentation is the trade-mark of the twentieth-century historian. We take it for granted that we must be able to document points we make by reference to our sources. In a more particular sense we mean by 'documents' a certain type of source-material - the papers that belonged to the occasion itself, as distinct from the presentation of it in subsequent literary treatments. This corresponds to the distinction between primary and secondary sources. In the case of Roman history, we typically mean by 'documents' the coins, inscriptions and papyri that survive directly from the time, as distinct from the treatment of the history by ancient writers . By appealing to documents, we hope, we may replace the perspectives of the ancient historians by the more immediate record of what was actually said at the time. It is not often in ancient history that we have the opportunity of comparing a historian's version with the ‘original'. Such a case is provided by the epigraphic copy preserved from Lugdunum (Lyons) of the speech of Claudius in the senate in AD 48, advocating the admission of Roman citizens of Gallic descent into that chamber.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Ancient history : resources for teachers|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|