A question with the focus on

(To clarify, I am asking whether there was typographical error in the aforementioned chronicle)

What is the reasoning behind these huge numbers for participants in the Battle of Grunwald 1410?

gets two answers.

One answer is mainly wrong and spends a lot of time to show how many sources do not answer the question then goes on a speculative field trip to imagine footnotes where there aren't any, that a late source edition would have copied erroneously this non-existent footnote in the midst of a Roman numeral into an Arabic numeral, from where it would have been copied on. All relying on reading a real 'C' for a 'G' and that Roman numerals would have to conform to a modern school curriculum version of formatting, while attacking a range of famous history scholars indirectly as lousy copy acts despite them being known for their general reliability and meticulous workmanship.

The other answer identifies, locates and shows the original manuscript in question. Explains it and the likely historiographic motivations behind it.
Disproves with high-resolution facsimile pictures every relevant detail of the other answer and its fantastical, and personal, and anachronistic, and prescriptive, theories, with primary sources, in line with the accepted historiography and scholarship.

The 'C' is really a 'C' and not a 'G', obviously, as shown in a zoom, the original manuscript author did use an unfamiliar writing format for modern eyes, but no-one in all this used any footnotes to the effect the wrong answer speculates about, but the source edition scholars transcribed it absolutely correctly into printed books.

One answer is obviously wrong, one is correct.

One answer speculates from late source editions and apparently misreads a lot of the material along the way. The other answer shows you directly the only one relevant primary source in existence in a high resolution image from the original.

The wildly wrong answer gets 11 upvotes, plus the accept tick, the clearly correct answer stands with a net-negative voting.

Since even asking the question poster why he accepts such an answer with futile details was fruitless, I ask here, the regulars, the meta users, those who evidently downvoted my answer:

Why accept an answer even after the primary source manuscript QP asks about is presented to him — in the dismissed answer. Why is there an 'accepted' answer that is proven with primary sources to be wrong?

An 'accepted' answer that is shown on the same internet page to be utterly wrongheaded in its stubborn insistence on knowing better than eminent scholars, reliable source edition transcribers, knowing better even than the original author of the medieval manuscript: how to write down numbers.

Why downvote an answer that digs up a medieval manuscript and shows direct evidence? Why continue to upvote a wrong answer after seeing the proof for its wrongness?

Well, I mean disliking my answers is nothing new here for certain demographics and user circles. Also, I know perfectly well that the accept tick can be arbitrarily applied, per design.

But still upvote a competing answer despite being just shown how very wrong it is?

What's going on here?

  • 2
    There is no meaningful difference between the two answers with regards to the question's main focus. Though technically wrong on occasion, Mark's answer is by no means irredeemable. Were the question, on the other hand, to have been mainly about (liberties in) medieval usage of ancient Roman numerals, then yes, Mark's answer would have been down-voted into oblivion. However, as it stands, you basically posted an answer a day later, consisting of a wall of text, which brought no relevant additional information; technical, yes; but not essential. That might have annoyed some.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 23:19
  • @Lucian How do you read that Q? ('What's real number' vs 'How came that number to be, is there really such a src'? I opt for latter.) — Realize the edit history → my comments were needed to push that A ½-way into relevant (all stuff about 'this books says nothing about it' is distraction)? That my A wasn't 'a wall', but got DVd for using the original src w/ correct numerals, defending the editors? I therefore edited in the refutation addressing UVd comment nonsense about 'valid numerals' (~ ⅓ of the wall in that A, that's mainly&centrally wrong)? That only my A IDs the MS & shows it? Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 23:33
  • You might indeed opt for the latter (which is why your answers are usually topnotch), but apparently your down-voters opted for the former; to paraphrase Shakespeare's I come to burry Caesar, not to praise him, I sought merely to describe their perspective, not defend it. It seems counterproductive to down-vote valid answers.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 0:09
  • @Lucian I realize these perspectives (&thx btw), but it puzzles me how starting from the 1st comment on Q that reading is so dominant. It is not the Q as I read it, at all (was there/error in chronicle?! Quite a difference.), & alas QP seems disinterested in clarifying this. If that 'what's real' angle is the intent, then the other A has that covered, but all the rest is bogus. But for that intent, shouldn't the Q be heavily rephrased? To 'redeem' the other A, I'd cut most of it away, leaving just the (my reading) tangential 'real number/other src comparison' table. An edit I won't attempt. Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 0:23
  • 1
    By erroneous chronicling, the OP probably meant a crass typo and/or easily detectable misinterpretation, somewhere along the line of transmission, clearly absolving the author's intent and/or original manuscript of any and all wrongdoing; clearly, this simply isn't the case, as both answers show; Mark's answer goes further than that, by adding that, while the reading XXVIIIC might be incorrect, a secondary source nevertheless has MMDCCC, and that this could indeed constitute a possible exaggeration; but then you go on to show that even that's not really the case; the final nail in that coffin.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 0:33
  • @Lucian Huh, "a secondary source nevertheless has MMDCCC"? Which 2nd-ary src has "MMDCCC"? As I read srcs: 0. The point is that transmission 'to chronicler' is faulty (two hearsay 'witnesses'), but then he wrote down "xxviijc̣ duze ͡t" (+ construct spelling out 5.1 million in pure words, not any numerals), which was correctly transmitted each time into editions as either XXVIIIC & 2800. Only misreading happens on H:SE when a C is declared G and far-reaching theories are based on that without internal consistency w/ regard to 5.1 mil later on that quoted page in all srcs, orig or editition. Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 1:05
  • @Lucian Yeah, changing the 'quote' (as that C is presumed G & just left out of 'quote'). I use that src as well, with screenshot, showing clearly XXVIIIC, just as the chronicler used it. And that src again states 4 lines later 5.1 mil. So that isn't a quote but an interpretative reading, and false. Leaving us again with what's 'the main Q'. Would you suggest/make an edit to the Q? Asking perhaps "What's the real number"? ("Reasoning" also asks for (possible) motive) I'm afraid this would 'deviate too much from QP intentions', although those are obviously disputable, shown here ;) Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 1:24
  • 1
    Yeah. He got that one wrong (due to understandable unfamiliarity with medieval use of Roman numerals); but he (still) makes it clear that it is indeed (tens of) hundreds of thousands in the other two; so, not perfect, but still.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 1:29


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