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The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4

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The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 17 Sep 2018, 10:20
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The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 410 A.D, when the Visigoth armies breached the walls of Rome, looting the city. Many historians, however, dispute this account. They don’t argue that the events in question never happened. Rather, they argue that the way that history has traditionally understood the fall of Rome is limited by our perspective on what it means to be Roman. They argue that, depending on your definition of a “Roman” – whether the word is defined by religion, culture, or language – you could get any number of dates for the fall of Rome, from several centuries before the accepted date to over a millennium after.

Debates like this one fall under the blanket of what historians refer to as historiography, a word that literally means “history writing.” Historiography tries to take into account that, because historians are human, two historians might have vastly different interpretations of the same set of facts in light of their cultural contexts and the accounts they choose to value of the same event. So while one historian might reference the “Fall of Rome” when discussing the Visigoth attacks, another historian might reference it while discussing the end of World War I, when the last great empires considered “heirs” to the Romans were broken apart.

Importantly, historiography isn’t restricted to big events like the fall of the Roman Empire. Every time historians and teachers talk about the past, they decide which stories to privilege and which to discount. Sometimes this is because of the lack of historical documentation from certain groups, but other times it’s because those who are telling the story have an agenda. Regardless of the reason, students and scholars alike must understand that for any piece of history there are almost always multiple interpretations



The author would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
Historiography is mainly an issue of vocabulary rather than of the interpretation of events.
Historical interpretations of events are influenced by historians’ cultural backgrounds as well as the events themselves.
It is important for historians to expand their cultural contexts in order to increase the accuracy of their writings.
Differences in how an event is reported can be attributed to lack of historical resources.
Historiographical debates are often grounded in a desire to bring new narratives to light.


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Originally posted by globaldesi on 13 Sep 2018, 19:53.
Last edited by globaldesi on 17 Sep 2018, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2018, 20:19
globaldesi

please post OE for this.

Thanks!
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Re: The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2018, 07:54
please explain why the answer is D and not B?
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Re: The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2018, 10:19
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Apologies guys.
Correct answer is B
posting OA
Whenever you are asked for a statement that the author is "most likely to agree with", you are being asked an inference question, often about the core of the author's argument. To be successful on a question like this one, it helps to examine the answer choices within the context of the passage as a whole.

Choice (A) argues that vocabulary is the main difference in historiography, not interpretation. While vocabulary is mentioned as an aspect of historiographical debate (specifically the definition of the word "Roman"), the passage mainly discusses interpretation, not vocabulary, so (A) can be eliminated.

Correct answer choice (B) gives the definition of historiography - that historian's interpretations are influenced by both the events themselves and the writer's cultural context. This is correct. You can find concrete evidence for this in paragraph two ("Historiography tries to take into account that, because historians are human, two historians might have vastly different interpretations of the same set of facts in light of their cultural contexts and the accounts they choose to value of the same event.") and in paragraph three ("Every time historians and teachers talk about the past, they decide which stories to privilege and which to discount.").

Choice (C) also mentions cultural context, but is incorrect. While the author mentions historical context as a factor in historical interpretations, there is no argument about whether historians need to expand their contexts.

Choice (D) can be eliminated because of its scope. While the author does mention lack of historical documents as a reason for some historical interpretations, it isn't the only reason given.

Choice (E) can similarly be eliminated because while the author does mention that some historiographical writings do bring new perspectives to light, no indication is given as to whether this is the primary reason that these debates occur.
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Re: The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2018, 09:54
Hello globaldesi -

Could you please post all the questions of the RCs ?

Thanks,
Madhukar
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 11:48
Will post as I get more for this passage

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: The traditional timeframe for the fall of the Roman Empire is around 4 &nbs [#permalink] 18 Sep 2018, 11:48
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