The Testament of William Thorpe was published around 1530 as an appendix to Thorpe's longer Examination. Many scholars, however, doubt the attribution of the Testament to Thorpe because, whereas the Examination is dated 1406, the Testament is dated 1460. One scholar has recently argued that the 1460 date be amended to 1409, based on the observation that when these numbers are expressed as Roman numerals, MCCCCLX and MCCCCIX, it becomes easy to see how the dates might have become confused through scribal error.


Which of the following, if true, would most support the scholar's hypothesis concerning the date of the Testament?



(A) The sole evidence that historians have had that William Thorpe died no earlier than 1460 was the presumed date of publication of the Testament.


(B) In the preface to the 1530 publication, the editor attributes both works to William Thorpe.


(C) Few writers in fifteenth-century England marked dates in their works using only Roman numerals.


(D) The Testament alludes to a date, "Friday, September 20," as apparently contemporaneous with the writing of the Testament, and September 20 fell on a Friday in 1409 but not in 1460.


(E) The Testament contains few references to historical events that occurred later than 1406.


We always start by identifying the premises and the conclusion in the given argument. 


Premises

The Testament of William Thorpe was published around 1530 as an appendix to Thorpe's longer Examination.


Many scholars however doubt the attribution of the Testament to Thorpe because, whereas the Examination is dated 1406, the Testament is dated 1460.


Conclusion/ Scholar’s hypothesis-


One scholar has recently argued that 

  • the 1460 date be amended to 1409, based on the observation that when these numbers are expressed as Roman numerals, MCCCCLX and MCCCCIX, it becomes easy to see how the dates might have become confused through scribal error.


We need to find an option that supports the scholar’s hypothesis concerning the confusion regarding the date of the Testament.


  1. The sole evidence that historians have had that William Thorpe died no earlier than 1460 was the presumed date of publication of the Testament.


This is of no relevance to the hypothesis. Eliminate


(B) In the preface to the 1530 publication, the editor attributes both works to William Thorpe.


The hypothesis is regarding the confusion in dates and not the author. Eliminate


(C) Few writers in fifteenth-century England marked dates in their works using only Roman numerals.


So? Does this give clarity regarding the confusion in dates? No. Eliminate


(D) The Testament alludes to a date, "Friday, September 20," as apparently contemporaneous with the writing of the Testament, and September 20 fell on a Friday in 1409 but not in 1460.

Option D provides support that the date of the Testament is actually 1409 and not 1460. This strengthens the hypothesis that the dates would have been interchanged because of the similarity.


(E) The Testament contains few references to historical events that occurred later than 1406.


Totally irrelevant to the conclusion. Eliminate