7th Class Social Science Tracing Changes through A thousand Years

  • question_answer 9)
    What are the difficulties historians face in using manuscripts?  


    The historians face several difficulties in using manuscripts. There was no printing press in those days so scribes copied manuscripts by hand. Manuscript copying is not an easy job. As scribes copied manuscripts, they also introduced small changes—a word here, a sentence there. These small differences grew over centuries of copying until manuscripts of the same text became substantially different from one another. This is a serious problem because we rarely find the original manuscript of the author today. We are totally dependent upon the copies made by later scribes. As a result historians have to read different manuscript versions of the same text to guess what the author had originally written.  

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