Posted: Feb 27, 2010 10:43 am
by Monkey's Nephew
Ok, one last try, then I'm (really) out for the night.

What you have is a handful of old documents that all seem to talk about the same character, but no other evidence. So say "what we have here is a handful of documents that seem to point to the existence of this character. We're going to run with the hypothesis that they're correct for now, and see where that takes us."

That would be a perfectly legitimate, and intellectually honest, way to carry out the job of a historian. "This guy existed, and I'm going to go on believing that until you show me solid evidence to the contrary" is not so much. Do you really not see that? If nothing else, it ignores the established fact that an enormous proportion of all published work is fiction.