> Others may follow a different school of thought. Mine has been to try to
> identify with the old scholars, who listened and learned from their ancestors
> I don't fly with the orthodox systems currently in vogue.
Afraid I missed / misread / discarded the original message for this
discussion, but I have a different rule of selection. For general
introductions I like to start with the recent material to get an overview
of the current state of the research. To some extent historical research
does make progress -- we moderns have also learned from our ancestors -- dwarfs
standing on the shoulders of giants as it were. And then, not all the "old
scholars" were giants; some had their own axes to grind and their interpreta-
tions don't hold up (witness the modern revision on the state of the "Celtic
Church"). There are old histories that have passed the test of time; they
should not be forgotten -- but I wouldn't recommend them as a place to start.
Good Luck -- Steve McCluskey