Types of Sources
Understanding the Sources
The Study of Documents
The Study of Seals
This chapter illustrates various approaches to the analysis of sources using a single small example. The structure of the chapter is based on the principle that historical insight is always constructed via many smaller steps: " The question, and the search for the question, are the first steps of historical research." (Droysen) This includes the collection and choice of secondary literature and primary sources (heuristics) from which it might be possible to find answers to the questions one is asking. Finally comes their analysis, evaluation and interpretation using various processes to arrive at nuanced insights about complex material.
Henry IV kneels before Mathilda of Tuscany. Left: Abbot Hugh of Cluny, Rome, Bibl. Vat. Lat. 4922 fol. 49r.