History v. historiography

One of the biggest puzzles with history is historiography, or how history is made. By investigating the sources for what we think is true and weighing them against how these sources were used in the production of what Napoleon Bonaparte called “a fable agreed upon”, we can trace the development and implementation of ideas through time.

Matthieu calls the life story he gives Jarun “a true history”, but that doesn’t mean that everything he says is true in a factual sense. As the final editor of what lessons he intends for Jarun to learn, he only selects the episodes that will teach important principles. Even during the course of the story, empirical truth usually ends up in second place behind the need to survive and worry about the consequences later.

Ultimately, his goal is to be active in shaping the way his life is remembered, as he wasn’t always active in the way it was lived. Though many call him either traitor or usurper, he doesn’t see his actions that way and so wants to make his feelings clear for future generations. Not to say that those future generations all agree with him, but he certainly tries.

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