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Source Exercise 3: The Medieval Universe 8

  • Definitely true There is strong evidence of this. To start with, Ralph dates the event in terms of the king on the throne and the castellan of Orford, where nowadays we might simply give a date: this suggests that taking one's bearings from who the king and his officials were was common practice. The text suggests that the matter was immediately brought before the castellan, rather as we might take a case immediately to the police. The castellan's orders for a guard to be placed on the man seem to have been followed and it is made clear at the end that the man's eventual escape was due to negligence on the guards' part: there is no hint of people taking pity on the man and defying the castellan. Insofar as any such statement can be shown to be definitely true, we may conclude that there is indeed strong evidence to support it.
  • Probably true We might certainly expect this to be true, but the description of events suggests that the castellan's authority was sought and obeyed and it offers no evidence of its being defied. While 'probably true' is not wrong, we could safely go a step further and argue that the truth of the statement has in fact been demonstrated.
  • Possibly true There is stronger evidence to support the statement than this judgement allows for.
  • Definitely untrue There is no evidence to support this judgement.
  • Not shown by the evidence There is strong evidence in the text to support the statement.

D. Baptism was believed to save people from all their sins.

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

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