By K. Lawson Younger
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Extra resources for Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (JSOTSup)
E. l39 Since reading a text entails 'expanding [etoiler] upon the text rather than gathering it together',140 R. Barthes proposed anthrology—'the science of the components'141—to account for the interweaving of code and message in the system of a text. 143 Consequently, it is our assertion that by using semiotics in conjunction with a contextual method, it will be possible to achieve a better understanding of the biblical historical narrative. It must be emphasized that 1. Preliminary Issues 57 we are not arguing that the semiotic approach will give us 'the final, definite, and authoritative interpretation' of any historical text.
Carr sarcastically criticized this idea, wrongly attributed to Ranke ('wie es eigentlich gewesen'), stating: Three generations of German, British, and even French historians marched into battle intoning the magic words 'wie es eigentlich gewesen' like an incantation—designed, like most incantations, to save them from the tiresome obligation to 1. Preliminary Issues 33 think for themselves ... [According to this view] the facts are available to the historian in documents, inscriptions and so on, like fish on the fishmonger's slab.
While the 'Ideal Chronicle' is complete in the way in which an ideal witness might describe it, 'this is not enough'. C. ['Ideal 1. Preliminary Issues 41 Chronicle']. The whole truth concerning an event can only be known after, and sometimes only long after the event itself has taken place, and this part of the story historians alone can tell. 71 Hence, without referring to the future, without going beyond what can be said of what happens, as it happens, the way it happens, the historian could not write in 1618, argues Danto, 'the Thirty Years War begins now'.