Do you know how marriage was defined in ancient Greece? Noel said in a calmer tone. Its really simple. A virgin goes to mans house with the family gathered as witnesses. The virgin and the man share a fire, a meal, and a bed. If the girl wasn't a virgin in the morning, then the couple was considered married. That's it
It is often much harder to get rid of books than to acquire them. They stick to us in that pact of need and oblivion we make with them, witnesses to a moment in our lives we will never see again. While they are still there, it is part of us.
Both incest and the Holocaust have been subject to furious denial by perpetrators and other individuals and by highly organised groups such as the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and the Committee for Historical Review. Incest and the Holocaust are vulnerable to this kind of concerted denial because of their unfathomability, the unjustifiability, and the threat they pose to the politics of patriarchy and anti-Semitism respectively. Over and over, survivors of the Holocaust attest that they were warned of what was happening in Poland but could not believe it at the time, could not believe it later as it was happening to them, and still to this day cannot believe what they, at the same time, know to have occurred. For Holocaust deniers this is a felicitous twist, for their arguments denying the Holocaust and therefore the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state capitalize on the discrepancies of faded memory. In the case of incest, although post-traumatic stress disorder, amnesia, and dissociation represent some of the mind's strategies for comprehending the incomprehensible, incest deniers have taken advantage of inconsistencies to discredit survivor testimony.
It is a considerable point in all good legislation to determine exactly the credibility of witnesses and the proofs of a crime. Every reasonable man, everyone, that is, whose ideas have a certain interconnection and whose feelings accord with those of other men, may be a witness. The true measure of his credibility is nothing other than his interest in telling or not telling the truth; for this reason it is frivolous to insist that women are too weak [to be good witnesses], childish to insist that civil death in a condemned man has the same effects as a real death, and meaningless to insist on the infamy of the infamous, when they have no interest in lying.
None of these apparent sightings interested Hawksmoor, since it was quite usual for members of the public to come forward with such accounts and to describe unreal figures who took on the adventitious shape already suggested by newspaper accounts. There were even occasions when a number of people would report sightings of the same person, as if a group of hallucinations might create their own object which then seemed to hover for a while in the streets of London. And Hawksmoor knew that if he held a reconstruction of the crime by the church, yet more people would come forward with their own versions of time and event; the actual killing then became blurred and even inconsequential, a flat field against which others painted their own fantasies of murderer and victim.
Plainly it is not every error made by a witness which affects his credibility. In each case the trier of fact has to make an evaluation; taking into account such matters as the nature of the contradictions, their number and importance, and their bearing on other parts of the witness's evidence.