chapter  II
ON SOURCES AND EVIDENCE
Pages 11

A S I have already explained, I am taking' history' to mean not all that has happened since the terrestrial globe came into existence, but a consideration of the record that man has made of man's doings. Conclusions may be made not only from written matter, but from all manner of unwritten evidence, from tombs and temples down to statues, reliefs, ornaments, implements, and furniture. There are certain sections of history for which we have no written authority at all. Not only is this true of prehistoric periods, but also of epochs for which documentary material no doubt once existed, but has perished. Yet for some of these a sort of history can be reconstructed from other sources. Take, for example, the Greek kingdoms in India in the first and second centuries before the Christian era. The books of Apollodorus of Artemita and Isidore of Charax are lost, but we have from coins not only a long list of royal names, but sidelights as to the extent of the dominions of these kings, the conquests that they made, the sort of civilization in which their subjects lived, the gods that they worshipped, and the way in which their power came to an end. This is a case in which some sort of annals can be compiled-as witness the ingenious book recently published by Mr. Tarn, which is full of probable hypotheses backed by some sort of evidence, on which the specialist must form his own

23 conclusions. It is less easy to deal with lost civilizations like those of the Mayas in Central America, where what we possess is not legible coins, but vast surviving ruins, with plenty of architectural detail and carved relief, but no intelligible inscriptions or certain means for fixing dates. So, too, is it with the widespreading ground-plans of Mojendra-Daro in Scinde, which appear reasonably ancient, and the far more recent-looking discoveries in South Africa, such as the 'Zimbabwe Kraals '-as inscriptionless as the ruins of Scinde-possibly the relics of a dimly remembered ' Kingdom of Monomopata ' of which early Portuguese navigators told.