We should not sniff at the recourse to authority agreed to be common amongst the early medievals. They were writing at a time of relative societal, indeed intellectual simplicity; the writings of the past, particularly the classical past, were evidently from a time when men had such resources at hand as could only be dreamed of in 1100 or for some centuries after. Books to read, the conversation of an experienced intelligentsia of a size quite remarkable to one writing in the depopulated middle ages. And most important, the present had so little in the way of equipment and instrumentation to allow them to make empirical observations. In such a situation is it surprising that they preferred to take the word of those who had all of these things?