We have been having a lively discussion about historic truth on our Imperial Rome discussion group. I noticed that the program "The Real Jason and the Argonauts" was going to air again this weekend and found this article about the project interesting - especially the director's philosophical sensitivity about historical truth.
"'You have to be careful dealing with myths because they have a lot to do often with people's sense of self and national identities, and there's no need to shatter things like that.
'What I'm looking at complements rather than undermines. It's just a different way of understanding these stories in different ages, I think.
'These days, the modern inquiring mind requires that we find out who the real people are, but it doesn't mean those myths are any less true for the people of other ages.
'There's a fine balance between literal truth and artistic truth, and often we learn more about ourselves from artistic truth than literal truth."
I was also interested to note that the article pointed out that even the Romans were convinced of the historical nature of the story and attempted to find evidence of the real Jason in ancient Georgia.