ON SOME PAPYRI AND JOSEPHUS' SOURCES AND CHRONOLOGY FOR THE PERSIAN PERIOD * BY DANIEL R. SCHWARTZ Hebrew University, Jerusalem A frequent problem in the history and other sciences is the deter- mination of the extent to which new data affect previously-accepted doctrine. Usually, it seems, the problem is one of excessive conser- vatism : scholars may at first tend to limit the new data's effect, localizing it to this or that detail, while in fact the new information is eventually recognized to have fundamental and far-reaching implications'). It may also happen, however, that scholars err on the side of radicalism, wrongly assuming that a change or addition of data implies that the entire body of knowledge, to which it is rele- vant, must be changed or abandoned. This is especially likely to oc- cur, it seems, if those supplying the new data are not, primarily, practioners of the field to which it applies. For, on the one hand, they may not be fully familiar with all the underpinnings of the old theory or the ramifications of the new one. And, on the other hand, it is easier to give up some previously-held theory if it was not
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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