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Source Exercise 3: The Medieval Universe 6

  • Definitely true There is strong evidence in these sources to support this claim. The reaction to the ‘wild man’, and Ralph’s suggested categories at the end of the passage, strongly suggests that the people of Orford considered seriously the possibility that the man was not human. The physical description and the description of his way of eating, reminiscent of an animal, supports this, and it would also explain why they went to such lengths, even torture, to get him to speak: speech is one of the main characteristics that sets humans apart from animals. What is implied in the way the ‘wild man’ is treated is confirmed in Ralph’s conclusion. The decoration on the font also points to widespread belief in evil spirits.
  • Probably true The evidence is stronger than ‘probable’. The reaction to the ‘wild man’, and Ralph’s suggested categories at the end of the passage, strongly suggests that the people of Orford considered seriously the possibility that the man was not human. The physical description and the description of his way of eating, reminiscent of an animal, supports this, and it would also explain why they went to such lengths, even torture, to get him to speak: speech is one of the main characteristics that sets humans apart from animals. What is implied in the way the ‘wild man’ is treated is confirmed in Ralph’s conclusion. The decoration on the font also points to widespread belief in evil spirits.
  • Possibly true The evidence is stronger than ‘possible’. The reaction to the ‘wild man’, and Ralph’s suggested categories at the end of the passage, strongly suggests that the people of Orford considered seriously the possibility that the man was not human. The physical description and the description of his way of eating, reminiscent of an animal, supports this, and it would also explain why they went to such lengths, even torture, to get him to speak: speech is one of the main characteristics that sets humans apart from animals. What is implied in the way the ‘wild man’ is treated is confirmed in Ralph’s conclusion. The decoration on the font also points to widespread belief in evil spirits.
  • Definitely untrue There is good evidence in these sources of just such a belief. The reaction to the ‘wild man’, and Ralph’s suggested categories at the end of the passage, strongly suggests that the people of Orford considered seriously the possibility that the man was not human. The physical description and the description of his way of eating, reminiscent of an animal, supports this, and it would also explain why they went to such lengths, even torture, to get him to speak: speech is one of the main characteristics that sets humans apart from animals. What is implied in the way the ‘wild man’ is treated is confirmed in Ralph’s conclusion. The decoration on the font also points to widespread belief in evil spirits.
  • Not shown by the evidence There is good evidence in these sources of just such a belief. The reaction to the ‘wild man’, and Ralph’s suggested categories at the end of the passage, strongly suggests that the people of Orford considered seriously the possibility that the man was not human. The physical description and the description of his way of eating, reminiscent of an animal, supports this, and it would also explain why they went to such lengths, even torture, to get him to speak: speech is one of the main characteristics that sets humans apart from animals. What is implied in the way the ‘wild man’ is treated is confirmed in Ralph’s conclusion. The decoration on the font also points to widespread belief in evil spirits.

B. A ‘wild man’ was fished out of the sea at Orford some time in the late 1160s or 1170s.

  • Definitely true;
  • Probably true;
  • Possibly true;
  • Definitely untrue;
  • Not shown by the evidence.

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