The past provides the justification for the present, and we are inclined to find causes and destinies in past events. We often excuse ourselves when we commit a mistake that turns out, in retrospect, to have been preventable but we unfairly tend to hold people in history to account for not knowing something they could not have possibly known. Knowledge of the past is important for us to make sense of the world around us, but by the same token we interpret the past through the present-day world.

~ Arthur Dudney, Delhi: Pages from a Forgotten History

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