Historiography

Historiography

Overview
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic. Scholars discuss historiography topically – such as the "historiography of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

," the "historiography of early Islam
Historiography of early Islam
The historiography of early Islam refers to the study of the early origins of Islam based on a critical analysis, evaluation, and examination of authentic primary source materials and the organization of these sources into a narative timeline....

," or the "historiography of China
Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography refers to the study of methods and assumptions made in studying Chinese history.-History of Chinese Historians:Record of Chinese history dated back to the Shang Dynasty. The Classic of History, one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts is one of the earliest...

" – as well as specific approaches and genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

s, such as political history
Political history
Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

 and social history
Social history
Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the ascent of academic history
Academic history
An academic history can mean a large, multivolume work such as the Cambridge Modern History, written collaboratively under some central editorial control....

, a corpus of historiographic literature developed.

The research interests of historians change over time, and in recent decades there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic, economic and political history toward newer approaches, especially social and cultural studies.
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Encyclopedia
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic. Scholars discuss historiography topically – such as the "historiography of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

," the "historiography of early Islam
Historiography of early Islam
The historiography of early Islam refers to the study of the early origins of Islam based on a critical analysis, evaluation, and examination of authentic primary source materials and the organization of these sources into a narative timeline....

," or the "historiography of China
Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography refers to the study of methods and assumptions made in studying Chinese history.-History of Chinese Historians:Record of Chinese history dated back to the Shang Dynasty. The Classic of History, one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts is one of the earliest...

" – as well as specific approaches and genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

s, such as political history
Political history
Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

 and social history
Social history
Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the ascent of academic history
Academic history
An academic history can mean a large, multivolume work such as the Cambridge Modern History, written collaboratively under some central editorial control....

, a corpus of historiographic literature developed.

The research interests of historians change over time, and in recent decades there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic, economic and political history toward newer approaches, especially social and cultural studies. From 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%. In the history departments of British universities in 2007, of the 5723 faculty members, 1644 (29%) identified themselves with social history
Social history
Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

 while political history
Political history
Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

 came next with 1425 (25%).
In the early modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

, the term historiography tended to be used in a more basic sense, to mean simply "the writing of history". Historiographer therefore meant "historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

", and it is in this sense that certain official historians
Official history
An official history is a work of history which is sponsored, authorised, or endorsed by its subject. The term is most commonly used for histories which are produced at a government's behest....

 were given the title "Historiographer Royal", in Sweden
Rikshistoriograf
The position of rikshistoriograf , existed in Sweden from the early 17th century until 1834....

 (from 1618), England
Historiographer Royal (England)
In England the office of Historiographer Royal, a historian under the official patronage of the royal court, was created in 1660 with an annual salary of £200 and a butt of sack.-Historiographers Royal:Holders of the office included:...

 (from 1660), and Scotland
Historiographer Royal
The Historiographer Royal is a member of the Royal household in Scotland. The office was created in 1681, and was in abeyance from 1709 until 1763 when it was revived for Principal William Robertson of Edinburgh University. The post, which now has no formal responsibilities or salary, is held by...

 (from 1681). The Scottish post is still extant.

Defining historiography


Furay and Salevouris (1988) define historiography as "the study of the way history has been and is written — the history of historical writing... When you study 'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians." However, some people might disagree with this viewpoint: specifically, how does one write history if one doesn't know what to write? It is therefore useful to study history, not just write it. History cannot be written in a vacuum.

Different views of historiography


This section does not attempt to present an exhaustive list of different views of historiography; it gives a few examples to provide an idea of what is meant by "historiography".
  • Histories, usually of the lineage of the king, transmitted orally. Although we are used to thinking of history as written, pre-literate societies have a long tradition of oral history also; thus, in their view historiography is supposed to be transmitted orally. Usually with an oral historiography specialized people are assigned the task of memorizing the history. Often they are taught starting at a very young age. Griot
    Griot
    A griot or jeli is a West African storyteller. The griot delivers history as a poet, praise singer, and wandering musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition. As such, they are sometimes also called bards...

    s among African kingships and empires such as the Mandinka and Hausa
    Hausa people
    The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. They are a Sahelian people chiefly located in northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, but having significant numbers living in regions of Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Chad and Sudan...

    , performing this function at ceremonial occasions. In the Western tradition, it is believed that people who were blind, called "Homers", performed the same task of memorization, to orally transmit history; thus creating what is now known as epic poetry, such as Homer
    Homer
    In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

    's Iliad
    Iliad
    The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

     and Odyssey
    Odyssey
    The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

    .

  • Histories based on the passions or actions of different gods, such as the story of the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus
    Romulus and Remus
    Romulus and Remus are Rome's twin founders in its traditional foundation myth, although the former is sometimes said to be the sole founder...

    , and the myths of Greece.

  • Histories based on the discoveries of technological tools, such as fire, the use of cross-bows, trebuchets, gun powder, Greek fire
    Greek fire
    Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

    , using a compass to navigate seas and oceans with sailing ships, etc.

  • Histories based on compilations of earlier histories, often not mutually consistent.

  • Empirical
    Empirical
    The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation or experimentation. Empirical data are data produced by an experiment or observation....

     histories, which are based firmly on primary evidence
    Primary source
    Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied....

     (both textual
    Historical document
    Historical documents are documents that contain important information about a person, place, or event.Most famous historical documents are either laws, accounts of battles , or the exploits of the powerful...

     and material
    Material culture
    In the social sciences, material culture is a term that refers to the relationship between artifacts and social relations. Studying a culture's relationship to materiality is a lens through which social and cultural attitudes can be discussed...

    ), but which avoid theory, argument, or speculation. Critics of empirical histories argue that they lack a sense of historical context and process, and sometimes dismiss them as antiquarianism
    Antiquarian
    An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts...

    .

  • Histories based on a theory of historiography that requires the use of specialized scientific techniques, such as logic (discussed in the following subsection).

Modern historiography


There are alternative views of historiography. A major view is that held by Marxists, using Historical Materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

 and Dialectical Materialism
Dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism synthesizing Hegel's dialectics. The idea was originally invented by Moses Hess and it was later developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

. What do these terms mean? People such as Henri Lefebvre
Henri Lefebvre
Henri Lefebvre was a French sociologist, Marxist intellectual, and philosopher, best known for his work on dialectics, Marxism, everyday life, cities, and space.-Biography:...

 have pointed out that there are as many different definitions of these subjects as there are people who discuss them.

It would be best to start at the beginning.

The Marxist viewpoint is that different social organizations (such as slavery, feudalism, capitalism, etc.) are based upon social laws. Some laws are in common to all social structures, some are specific to particular social structures.

Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, in fact, asked these same questions. According to Aristotle, the question centers on the use of "logic" (or "dialectic") for a "scientific" view (targeting the educated), rhetoric for an "unscientific" view (targeting the uneducated). Thus it is clear that in some sense logic is in the same category as dialectic. Why does this make a difference? A historiography that is viewed as unscientific may be discounted as being Utopian, and thus ignored.

However, Aristotle in fact developed more than one system of logic. Late in his life, Aristotle asked questions that founded what is now called Modal Logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

 (in different forms such as temporal logic
Temporal logic
In logic, the term temporal logic is used to describe any system of rules and symbolism for representing, and reasoning about, propositions qualified in terms of time. In a temporal logic we can then express statements like "I am always hungry", "I will eventually be hungry", or "I will be hungry...

, chronological logic, tense logic, the logic of counterfactuals, etc.). Aristotle's ideas about modal logic were mostly lost, however. Every few centuries people such as Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Hegel, Engels, etc., would refer to Aristotle's ideas about what are now called Modal Logics. However, Aristotle's idea about modal logic never became too popular due to the fact that these subjects were not studied exoterically
Exoteric
Exoteric refers to knowledge that is outside of and independent from anyone's experience and can be ascertained by anyone. Compare Common sense. It is distinguished from internal esoteric knowledge. Exoteric relates to "external reality" as opposed to one's own thoughts or feelings. It is knowledge...

 (they were effectively censored), and in addition there were
central philosophical problems in modal logic that remained unexplained. Various people such as A. N. Prior, Nicholas Rescher
Nicholas Rescher
Nicholas Rescher is an American philosopher at the University of Pittsburgh. In a productive research career extending over six decades, Rescher has established himself as a systematic philosopher of the old style and author of a system of pragmatic idealism which weaves together threads of...

, Georg Henrik von Wright
Georg Henrik von Wright
Georg Henrik von Wright was a Finnish philosopher, who succeeded Ludwig Wittgenstein as professor at the University of Cambridge. He published in English, Finnish, German, and in Swedish. Belonging to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland, von Wright also had Finnish and 17th-century Scottish...

, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Jan Łukasiewicz, Jaakko Hintikka
Jaakko Hintikka
Kaarlo Jaakko Juhani Hintikka is a Finnish philosopher and logician.Hintikka was born in Vantaa. After teaching for a number of years at Florida State University, Stanford, University of Helsinki, and the Academy of Finland, he is currently Professor of Philosophy at Boston University...

 and others, but especially Saul Kripke
Saul Kripke
Saul Aaron Kripke is an American philosopher and logician. He is a professor emeritus at Princeton and teaches as a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center...

 circa 1959, finally managed to solve the central philosophical problem of the semantics of modal logics.

During the last century, people studying slavery, feudalism and capitalism have begun to agree that these institutional structures change with time and place. Thus, the birth of comparative studies: comparative in time or place.

Historians such as Lucy Dawidowicz
Lucy Dawidowicz
Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz was an American historian and an author of books on modern Jewish history, in particular books on the Holocaust.-Life:...

 also make explicit reference to time: Dawidowicz uses Continuity
Continuity
Continuity may refer to:In mathematics:* The opposing concept to discreteness; common examples include:** Continuous probability distribution or random variable in probability and statistics...

. However, continuity can be based on time as well as position.

At first, historiography was based on the view that the gods made society and history. This view was one of Catastrophism
Catastrophism
Catastrophism is the theory that the Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope. The dominant paradigm of modern geology is uniformitarianism , in which slow incremental changes, such as erosion, create the Earth's appearance...

, the view held by many creationists. Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

 changed this with his idea that society and history were made by Man, not God.

Another view of historiography that followed Machiavelli is that society (made by Man or God) is static. Now other views are being developed in which societies (made by Man) are dynamic. This viewpoint is held by historians with a historiography based on comparative studies, and by Lucy Dawidowicz, who (as noted above) believes in a historiography based on continuity.

Historiographic theories must be developed that support logics or dialectics (and their associated theories of Rhetoric
Rhetoric (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Rhetoric is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion, dating from the 4th century BC. In Greek, it is titled ΤΕΧΝΗ ΡΗΤΟΡΙΚΗ, in Latin Ars Rhetorica. In English, its title varies: typically it is titled Rhetoric, the Art of Rhetoric, or a Treatise on...

) based on changes in time, place, and on other modalities.

Why a theory of historiography?


A theory of historiography enables historians to compare changes; it tells historians what to look for that might otherwise be overlooked.
  • Gerald Bender points out that in the eighteenth century in Angola, the Portuguese feared other Portuguese far more than the Africans, who were hard-working, sober, honest and not drunk with a penchant to violence as found in many Portuguese in Angola. Yet just before Angolan independence in 1975, the Portuguese feared indigenous Africans and mixed-race people, who by then viewed the Portuguese as parasites who did almost nothing to create a society for all people in Angola. Is this true? The truth is secondary, the historiography reflects the changed viewpoint.

  • Slaves and mixed-race people in Brazil were viewed as ineducable circa the nineteenth century (the ideology of slavery held that slaves and mixed-race people were not capable of culture). After Freyre
    Gilberto Freyre
    Gilberto de Mello Freyre was a Brazilian sociologist, anthropologist, historian, writer, painter and congressman. His best-known work is a sociological treatise named Casa-Grande & Senzala...

    's racist theory of Lusotropicalism
    Lusotropicalism
    Lusotropicalism or Luso-Tropicalism was first coined by Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre,to describe the distinctive character of the Portuguese imperialism in several lectures, and is a belief and movement especially strong during the António de Oliveira Salazar dictatorship in Portugal ,...

     became popularized, Brazilians felt that all Brazilians could contribute to a modern Brazil. Is this true? The truth is secondary, the historiography reflects the changed viewpoint.


Sometimes historical facts are affected by subjective views and are "edited" (censored).

A historian's historigraphical (ideological) viewpoint dictates the historian's view of history. For an example, see Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive
Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive
At the end of World War II, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society was renamed the Max Planck Society, and the institutes associated with the Kaiser Wilhelm Society were renamed "Max Planck" institutes. The records that were archived under the former Kaiser Wilhelm Society and its institutes were placed in the...

.

Narrative


According to Lawrence Stone
Lawrence Stone
Lawrence Stone was an English historian of early modern Britain. He is noted for his work on the English Civil War and marriage.-Biography:...

, narrative has traditionally been the main rhetorical device used by historians. In 1979, at a time when the new Social History
Social history
Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

 was demanding a social-science model of analysis, Stone detected a move back toward the narrative. Stone defined narrative as follows: it is organized chronologically; it is focused on a single coherent story; it is descriptive rather than analytical; it is concerned with people not abstract circumstances; and it deals with the particular and specific rather than the collective and statistical. He reported that, "More and more of the 'new historians' are now trying to discover what was going on inside people's heads in the past, and what it was like to live in the past, questions which inevitably lead back to the use of narrative."

Historians committed to a social science approach, however, have criticized the narrowness of narrative and its preference for anecdote over analysis, and its use of clever examples rather than statistically verified empirical regularities.

Topics studied


Some of the common topics in historiography are:
  1. Reliability of the sources used, in terms of authorship, credibility of the author, and the authenticity or corruption of the text. (See also source criticism
    Source criticism
    A source criticism is a published source evaluation . An information source may be a document, a person, a speech, a fingerprint, a photo, an observation or anything used in order to obtain knowledge. In relation to a given purpose, a given information source may be more or less valid, reliable or...

    ).
  2. Historiographical tradition or framework. Every historian uses one (or more) historiographical traditions, for example Marxist, Annales School
    Annales School
    The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

    , "total history", or political history
    Political history
    Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

    .
  3. Moral
    Morality
    Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

     issues, guilt assignment, and praise assignment
  4. Revisionism
    Historical revisionism
    In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

     versus orthodox
    Orthodoxy
    The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

     interpretations
  5. Historical metanarratives

The history of written history


Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, and the telling of history has emerged independently in civilisations around the world. What constitutes history is a philosophical question (see philosophy of history
Philosophy of history
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

). The earliest chronologies
Chronology
Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time, such as the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".Chronology is part of periodization...

 date back to Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name. For the purposes of this article, history is taken to mean written history recorded in a narrative format for the purpose of informing future generations about events.

Hellenic world




The earliest known systematic historical thought in the Western world emerged in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, a development which would be an important influence on the writing of history elsewhere around the Mediterranean
History of the Mediterranean region
The history of the Mediterranean region is the history of the interaction of the cultures and people of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea —the central superhighway of transport, trade and cultural exchange between diverse peoples...

 region. Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 historians greatly contributed to the development of historical methodology. The earliest known critical historical works were The Histories
Histories (Herodotus)
The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that...

, composed by Herodotus of Halicarnassus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 (484 BC–ca.425 BC) who later became known as the 'father of history' (Cicero). Herodotus attempted to distinguish between more and less reliable accounts, and personally conducted research by travelling extensively, giving written accounts of various Mediterranean
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 cultures. Although Herodotus' overall emphasis lay on the actions and characters of men, he also attributed an important role to divinity in the determination of historical events.

The generation following Herodotus witnessed a spate of local histories of the individual city-states (poleis
Polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

), written by the first of the local historians
Local history
Local history is the study of history in a geographically local context and it often concentrates on the local community. It incorporates cultural and social aspects of history...

 who employed the written archives of city and sanctuary. Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus. His literary style was Attistic — imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime.-Life:...

 characterized these historians as the forerunners of Thucydides, and these local histories continued to be written into Late Antiquity, as long as the city-states survived. Two early figures stand out: Hippias of Elis, who produced the lists of winners in the Olympic Games that provided the basic chronological framework as long as the pagan classical tradition lasted, and Hellanicus of Lesbos
Hellanicus of Lesbos
Hellanicus of Lesbos was an ancient Greek logographer who flourished during the latter half of the 5th century BC. He was born in Mytilene on the isle of Lesbos in 490 BC and is reputed to have lived to the age of 85...

, who compiled more than two dozen histories from civic records, all of them now lost.

Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

 largely eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element which set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings. He was also the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event, while his successor Xenophon
Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

 (ca. 431–355 BC) introduced autobiographical elements and character studies in his Anabasis
Anabasis (Xenophon)
Anabasis is the most famous work, in seven books, of the Greek professional soldier and writer Xenophon. The journey it narrates is his best known accomplishment and "one of the great adventures in human history," as Will Durant expressed the common assessment.- The account :Xenophon accompanied...

.

The proverbial Philippic
Philippic
A philippic is a fiery, damning speech, or tirade, delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered several attacks on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BC....

 attacks of the Athenian orator Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

 (384–322 BC) on Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

 marked the height of ancient political agitation. The now lost history of Alexander's campaigns by the diadoch Ptolemy I (367–283 BC) may represent the first historical work composed by a ruler. Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

 (ca. 203–120 BC) wrote on the rise of Rome to world prominence, and attempted to harmonize the Greek and Roman points of view.

The Chaldea
Chaldea
Chaldea or Chaldaea , from Greek , Chaldaia; Akkadian ; Hebrew כשדים, Kaśdim; Aramaic: ܟܐܠܕܘ, Kaldo) was a marshy land located in modern-day southern Iraq which came to briefly rule Babylon...

n priest Berossus
Berossus
Berossus was a Hellenistic-era Babylonian writer, a priest of Bel Marduk and astronomer writing in Greek, who was active at the beginning of the 3rd century BC...

 (fl. 3rd century) composed a Greek-language History of Babylonia
Babylonia
Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia , with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as a major power when Hammurabi Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as...

for the Seleucid king Antiochus I, combining Hellenistic methods of historiography and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

n accounts to form a unique composite. Reports exist of other near-eastern histories, such as that of the Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon is the purported Phoenician author of three lost works originally in the Phoenician language, surviving only in partial paraphrase and summary of a Greek translation by Philo of Byblos, according to the Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea...

; but he is considered semi-legendary and writings attributed to him are fragmentary, known only through the later historians Philo of Byblos
Philo of Byblos
Philo of Byblos was an antiquarian writer of grammatical, lexical and historical works in Greek. He is chiefly known for his Phoenician history assembled from the writings of Sanchuniathon.-Life:...

 and Eusebius, who asserted that he wrote before even the Trojan war
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

.

China




In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the Classic of History
Classic of History
The Classic of History is a compilation of documentary records related to events in ancient history of China. It is also commonly known as the Shàngshū , or simply Shū...

is one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

 and one of the earliest narratives of China. The Spring and Autumn Annals
Spring and Autumn Annals
The Spring and Autumn Annals is the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 BCE to 481 BCE. It is the earliest surviving Chinese historical text to be arranged on annalistic principles. The text is extremely concise and, if all the commentaries are excluded, about 16,000...

, the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 BC to 481 BC, is among the earliest surviving Chinese historical texts to be arranged on annalistic
Annals
Annals are a concise form of historical representation which record events chronologically, year by year. The Oxford English Dictionary defines annals as "a narrative of events written year by year"...

 principles. It is traditionally attributed to Confucius
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

. The Zuo Zhuan
Zuo Zhuan
The Zuo Zhuan , sometimes translated as the Chronicle of Zuo or the Commentary of Zuo, is among the earliest Chinese works of narrative history and covers the period from 722 BCE to 468 BCE. It is one of the most important sources for understanding the history of the Spring and Autumn Period...

, attributed to Zuo Qiuming
Zuo Qiuming
Zǔo Qīumíng was a court writer of the State of Lu, and contemporary of Confucius during the Spring and Autumn period. The work Commentary of Zuo is traditionally attributed to him. He is also possibly a contributor to Guoyu. One tradition according to Shiji holds that he became blind ....

 in the 5th century BC, is the earliest Chinese work of narrative history and covers the period from 722 BC to 468 BC. Zhan Guo Ce
Zhan Guo Ce
The Zhan Guo Ce is a renowned ancient Chinese historical work and compilation of sporadic materials on the Warring States Period compiled between the 3rd to 1st centuries BCE...

was a renowned ancient Chinese historical compilation of sporadic materials on the Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC.

Sima Qian
Sima Qian
Sima Qian was a Prefect of the Grand Scribes of the Han Dynasty. He is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography for his highly praised work, Records of the Grand Historian , a "Jizhuanti"-style general history of China, covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to...

 (around 100 BC) was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing. His written work was the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian
Records of the Grand Historian
The Records of the Grand Historian, also known in English by the Chinese name Shiji , written from 109 BC to 91 BC, was the Magnum opus of Sima Qian, in which he recounted Chinese history from the time of the Yellow Emperor until his own time...

), a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BC, and it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people, and also explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras. His work influenced every subsequent author of history in China, including the prestigious Ban family of the Eastern Han Dynasty era.

Traditionalist Chinese historiography describes history in terms of dynastic cycles. In this view, each new dynasty is founded by a morally righteous founder. Over time, the dynasty becomes morally corrupt and dissolute. Eventually, the dynasty becomes so weak as to allow its replacement by a new dynasty.

Roman world


The Romans adopted the Greek tradition, writing at first in Greek, but eventually chronicling their history in a freshly non-Greek language. While early Roman works were still written in Greek, the Origines, composed by the Roman statesman Cato the Elder
Cato the Elder
Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman statesman, commonly referred to as Censorius , Sapiens , Priscus , or Major, Cato the Elder, or Cato the Censor, to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger.He came of an ancient Plebeian family who all were noted for some...

 (234–149 BC), was written in Latin, in a conscious effort to counteract Greek cultural influence. It marked the beginning of Latin historical writings. Hailed for its lucid style, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's (100 BC–44 BC) Bellum Gallicum
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting local armies in Gaul that opposed Roman domination.The "Gaul" that Caesar...

exemplifies autobiographical war coverage. The politician and orator Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 (106–43 BC) introduced rhetorical elements in his political writings.

Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 (63 BC–c. AD 24) was an important exponent of the Greco-Roman tradition of combining geography with history, presenting a descriptive history of peoples and places known to his era. Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 (59 BC–AD 17) records the rise of Rome
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 from city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 to empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

. His speculation about what would have happened if Alexander the Great had marched against Rome represents the first known instance of alternate history.

Biography, although popular throughout antiquity, was introduced as a branch of history by the works of Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 (c. 46–127) and Suetonius
Suetonius
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

 (c. 69–after 130) who described the deeds and characters of ancient personalities, stressing their human side. Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 (c.56–c.117) denounces Roman immorality by praising German
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 virtues, elaborating on the topos
Topos
In mathematics, a topos is a type of category that behaves like the category of sheaves of sets on a topological space...

 of the Noble savage
Noble savage
The term noble savage , expresses the concept an idealized indigene, outsider , and refers to the literary stock character of the same...

.

Christendom


Christian historiography began early, perhaps as early as Luke-Acts
Luke-Acts
Luke-Acts is the name usually given by Biblical scholars to the hypothetical composite work of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. Together they describe the Ministry of Jesus and the subsequent lives of the Apostles and the Apostolic Age.Both the books of Luke and...

, which is the primary source
Primary source
Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied....

 for the Apostolic Age
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

, though its historical reliability is disputed
Historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles
The historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles, the primary source for the Apostolic Age, is a major issue for biblical scholars and historians of Early Christianity. The historicity of Acts became hotly debated between 1895-1915...

. In the first Christian centuries
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

, the New Testament canon was developed
Development of the New Testament canon
The Canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation...

. The growth of Christianity
Early centers of Christianity
Early Christianity spread from Western Asia, throughout the Roman Empire, and beyond into East Africa and South Asia, reaching as far as India. At first, this development was closely connected to centers of Hebrew faith, in the Holy Land and the Jewish diaspora...

 and its enhanced status in the Roman Empire after Constantine I
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...

 (see State church of the Roman Empire
State church of the Roman Empire
The state church of the Roman Empire was a Christian institution organized within the Roman Empire during the 4th century that came to represent the Empire's sole authorized religion. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches claim to be the historical continuation of this...

) led to the development of a distinct Christian historiography, influenced by both Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

 and the nature of the Christian Bible, encompassing new areas of study and views of history. The central role of the Bible in Christianity is reflected in the preference of Christian historians for written sources, compared to the classical historians' preference for oral sources and is also reflected in the inclusion of politically unimportant people. Christian historians also focused on development of religion and society. This can be seen in the extensive inclusion of written sources in the Ecclesiastical History
Church History (Eusebius)
The Church History of Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea was a 4th-century pioneer work giving a chronological account of the development of Early Christianity from the 1st century to the 4th century. It was written in Koine Greek, and survives also in Latin, Syriac and Armenian manuscripts...

written by Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon...

 around 324 and in the subjects it covers. Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

 considered time as linear, progressing according to divine plan. As God's plan encompassed everyone, Christian histories in this period had a universal approach. For example, Christian writers often included summaries of important historical events prior to the period covered by the work.

Writing history was popular among Christian monks and clergy in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. They wrote about the history of Jesus Christ, that of the Church and that of their patrons, the dynastic history of the local rulers. In the Early Middle Ages historical writing often took the form of annals
Annals
Annals are a concise form of historical representation which record events chronologically, year by year. The Oxford English Dictionary defines annals as "a narrative of events written year by year"...

 or chronicle
Chronicle
Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

s recording events year by year, but this style tended to hamper the analysis of events and causes. An example of this type of writing is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great...

s, which were the work of several different writers: it was started during the reign of Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 in the late 9th century, but one copy was still being updated in 1154. Some writers in the period did construct a more narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

 form of history. These included Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...

, and more successfully Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 who wrote both secular and ecclesiastical history and is known for writing the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

During the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, history was written about states or nations. The study of history changed during the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

. Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

 described the history of certain ages that he considered important, rather than describing events in chronological order. History became an independent discipline. It was not called philosophia historiae anymore, but merely history (historia).

Islamic world


Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 historical writings first began to develop in the 7th century, with the reconstruction of the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's life in the centuries following his death. With numerous conflicting narratives regarding Muhammad and his companions
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 from various sources, it was necessary to verify which sources were more reliable. In order to evaluate these sources, various methodologies were developed, such as the "science of biography
Ilm ar-Rijal
Biographical evaluation, , literally: "knowledge of men", refers to a discipline of Islamic religious studies within hadith terminology in which the narrators of hadith are evaluated. Its goal is to distinguish authentic hadith from hadith unacceptable in establishing sanctioned religious...

", "science of hadith
Science of hadith
Hadith studies are a number of religious disciplines used in the study and evaluation of the Islamic hadith by Muslim scholars. It has been described by one hadith specialist, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, as the science of the principles by which the conditions of both the sanad, the chain of...

" and "Isnad" (chain of transmission). These methodologies were later applied to other historical figures in the Islamic civilization
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

. Famous historians in this tradition include Urwah (d. 712), Wahb ibn Munabbih
Wahb ibn Munabbih
'Wahb ibn Munabbih' was a Muslim traditionist of Dhimar in Yemen; died at the age of ninety, in a year variously given by Arabic authorities as 725, 728, 732, and 737 C.E....

 (d. 728), Ibn Ishaq
Ibn Ishaq
Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer...

 (d. 761), al-Waqidi
Al-Waqidi
Abu `Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami , commonly referred to as al-Waqidi , was an early Muslim historian.He was born and educated in Medina...

 (745–822), Ibn Hisham
Ibn Hisham
Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham , or Ibn Hisham edited the biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq. Ibn Ishaq's work is lost and is now only known in the recensions of Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari. Ibn Hisham grew up in Basra, Iraq, but moved afterwards to Egypt, where he gained a name...

 (d. 834), Muhammad al-Bukhari
Muhammad al-Bukhari
Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari , popularly known as Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, , was a Sunni Islamic scholar of Persia...

 (810–870) and Ibn Hajar (1372–1449).

Historians of the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 also developed an interest in world history
World History
World History, Global History or Transnational history is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective...

. The historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari
Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari was a prominent and influential Sunni scholar and exegete of the Qur'an from Persia...

 (838–923) is known for writing a detailed and comprehensive chronicle of Mediterranean
History of the Mediterranean region
The history of the Mediterranean region is the history of the interaction of the cultures and people of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea —the central superhighway of transport, trade and cultural exchange between diverse peoples...

 and Middle Eastern
History of the Middle East
This article is a general overview of the history of the Middle East. For more detailed information, see articles on the histories of individual countries and regions...

 history in his History of the Prophets and Kings in 915. Until the 10th century, history most often meant political and military history, but this was not so with Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 historian Biruni (973–1048). In his Kitab fi Tahqiq ma l'il-Hind (Researches on India) he did not record political and military history in any detail, but wrote more on India
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

's cultural
Culture of India
India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality....

, scientific, social and religious
Religion in India
Indian religions is a classification for religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These religions are also classified as Eastern religions...

 history. He expanded on his idea of history in another work, The Chronology of the Ancient Nations. Biruni is considered the father of Indology
Indology
Indology is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literature of the Indian subcontinent , and as such is a subset of Asian studies....

 for his detailed studies on Indian history
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

.

Archaeology in the Middle East began with the study of the ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...

 by Muslim historians in the medieval Islamic world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 who developed an interest in learning about pre-Islamic cultures. In particular, they most often concentrated on the archaeology and history of pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabic civilization which existed in the Arabian Plate before the rise of Islam in the 630s. The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.-Studies:...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

. In Egyptology
Egyptology
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

, the first known attempts at deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that combined logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood...

 were made in Islamic Egypt by Dhul-Nun al-Misri
Dhul-Nun al-Misri
Dhul-Nun al-Misri was an Egyptian Sufi saint. He was considered the Patron Saint of the Physicians in the early Islamic era of Egypt, and is credited with having specialized the concept of Gnosis in Islam...

 and Ibn Wahshiyya
Ibn Wahshiyya
Ibn Wahshiyya was an Iraqi alchemist, agriculturalist, farm toxicologist, egyptologist and historian born at Qusayn near Kufa in Iraq.Ibn Wahshiyya was one of the first historians to be able to at least partly decipher what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, by relating them to the...

 in the 9th century, who were able to at least partly understand what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, by relating them to the contemporary Coptic language
Coptic language
Coptic or Coptic Egyptian is the current stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century. Egyptian began to be written using the Greek alphabet in the 1st century...

 used by Copt
Copt
The Copts are the native Egyptian Christians , a major ethnoreligious group in Egypt....

ic priests in their time. Muslim historians such as Abu al-Hassan al-Hamadani of Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 (d. 945), Abdul Latif al-Baghdadi (1162–1231) and Al-Idrisi of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 (d. 1251) developed elaborate archaeological methods
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 which they employed in their excavations and research of ancient archaeological sites.

Islamic historical writing eventually culminated in the works of the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Muslim historian and historiographer Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 (1332–1406), who published his historiographical studies in the Muqaddimah
Muqaddimah
The Muqaddimah , also known as the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun or the Prolegomena , is a book written by the Maghrebian Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun in 1377 which records an early view of universal history...

(translated as Prolegomena) and Kitab al-I'bar (Book of Advice). Among many other things, his Muqaddimah laid the groundwork for the observation of the roles of the state, in history, and he discussed the rise and fall of civilization
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

s. He also developed a method for the study of history, and is thus considered to be the founder of Arab historiography, or the "father of the philosophy of history
Philosophy of history
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

". In the preface to the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun warned of seven mistakes that he thought historians often committed. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural differences of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to consider the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past. Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data." As a result, he introduced a method to the study of history, which was considered something "new to his age", and he often referred to it as his "new science", now associated with historiography. The Muqaddimah is also the earliest known work to critically examine military history
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

, criticizing certain accounts of historical battles that appear to be exaggerated, and takes military logistics
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

 into account when questioning the exaggerated sizes of historical armies reported in earlier sources.

Modern era


Modern historiography emerged in 19th century German universities, where Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke was a German historian, considered one of the founders of modern source-based history. Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources , an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics .-...

 revolutionized historiography with his seminars and critical approach; he emphasized politics and diplomacy, dropping the social and cultural themes Voltaire had highlighted. Sources had to be hard, not speculations and rationalizations. His credo was to write history the way it was. He insisted on primary sources with proven authenticity. Hegel and Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 introduced the concept of spirit and dialectical materialism, respectively, into the study of world historical development. Former historians had focused on cyclical events of the rise and decline of rulers and nations. Process of nationalization of history
Nationalization of history
Nationalization of history is the term used in historiography to describe the process of separation of "one's own" history from the common universal history, by way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that results with construction of history as history of a nation...

, as part of national revival
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

s in 19th century, resulted with separation of "one's own" history from common universal history
Universal history
Universal history is basic to the Western tradition of historiography, especially the Abrahamic wellspring of that tradition. Simply stated, universal history is the presentation of the history of humankind as a whole, as a coherent unit.-Ancient authors:...

 by such way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that constructed history as history of a nation. A new discipline, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, emerged in the late 19th century and analyzed and compared these perspectives on a larger scale.

The French Annales School
Annales School
The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

 radically changed the focus of historical research in France during the 20th century. Fernand Braudel
Fernand Braudel
Fernand Braudel was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects, each representing several decades of intense study: The Mediterranean , Civilization and Capitalism , and the unfinished Identity of France...

 wanted history to become more scientific and less subjective, and demanded more quantitative evidence. Furthermore, he introduced a socio-economic and geographic framework to historical questions. Other French historians, like Philippe Ariès
Philippe Ariès
Philippe Ariès was an important French medievalist and historian of the family and childhood, in the style of Georges Duby. Ariès has written many books on the common daily life. His most prominent works regarded the change in the western attitudes towards death.Ariès regarded himself as a...

 and Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, described the history of everyday topics such as death and sexuality. Carlo Ginzburg and Natalie Zemon Davis pioneered the genre of historical writing sometimes known as "microhistory," which attempted to understand the mentalities and decisions of individuals - mostly peasants - within their limited milieu using contracts, court documents and oral histories.

Foundation of important historical journals


The historical journal, a forum where academic historians could exchange ideas and publish newly discovered information, came into being in the 19th century. The early journals were similar to those for the physical sciences, and were seen as a means for history to become more professional. Journals also helped historians to establish various historiographical approaches, the most notable example of which was Annales. Économies. Sociétés. Civilisations., a publication instrumental in establishing the Annales School
Annales School
The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

.

Some historical journals are as follows:
  • 1840 Historisk tidsskrift (Denmark)
  • 1859 Historische Zeitschrift
    Historische Zeitschrift
    Historische Zeitschrift, founded in 1859 by Heinrich von Sybel is considered to be the first and for a time the foremost historical journal. The creation of this journal inspired Gabriel Monod to found the French Revue historique in 1876. In 1886 the English Historical Review was founded and in...

    (Germany)
  • 1866 Archivum historicum, later Historiallinen arkisto (Finland, published in Finnish)
  • 1867 Századok (Hungary)
  • 1871 Historisk tidsskrift (Norway)
    Historisk Tidsskrift (Norway)
    The Historisk Tidsskrift is a Norwegian history journal. It was established in 1871 by Ludvig Ludvigsen Daae and Michael Birkeland. It is published quarterly by the Editing Norwegian Historical Association, and until 1955 the editor-in-chief was identical with the chairman of that organization....

  • 1876 Revue Historique (France)
  • 1881 Historisk tidskrift (Sweden)
  • 1886 English Historical Review (UK)
  • 1894 Ons Hémecht (Luxembourg)
  • 1895 American Historical Review
    American Historical Review
    The American Historical Review is the official publication of the American Historical Association, established in 1895 "for the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research." It targets readers...

    (USA)
  • 1914 Mississippi Valley Historical Review (renamed in 1964 the Journal of American History
    Journal of American History
    The Journal of American History is the official academic journal of the Organization of American Historians. It covers the field of American history and was established in 1914 as the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, the official journal of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association...

    ) (USA)
  • 1916 The Journal of Negro History
  • 1916 Historisk Tidskrift för Finland (Finland, published in Swedish)
  • 1918 Hispanic American historical review
  • 1928 Scandia
    Scandia (journal)
    Scandia: tidskrift för historisk forskning is an academic journal for history which has been published since 1928, when it was established by the Swedish historian Lauritz Weibull...

    (Sweden)
  • 1929 Annales. Économies. Sociétés. Civilisations
    Annales School
    The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

  • 1952 Past & present: a journal of historical studies
    Past & Present
    Past & Present is a British historical academic journal, which was a leading force in the development of social history. It was founded in 1952 by a combination of Marxist and non-Marxist historians. The Marxist historians included members of the Communist Party Historians Group, including E. P...

    (Great Britain)
  • 1953 Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Germany)
  • 1956 Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Nigeria)
  • 1960 Journal of African History (Cambridge)
  • 1960 Technology and culture: the international quarterly of the Society for the History of Technology
    Technology and Culture
    Technology and Culture is a quarterly academic journal founded in 1959. It is an official publication of the Society for the History of Technology, whose members routinely refer to it as "T&C." Besides scholarly articles, the journal publishes reviews of books and museum exhibitions. Occasionally,...

    (USA)
  • 1975 Geschichte und Gesellschaft. Zeitschrift für historische Sozialwissenschaft (Germany)
  • 1976 Journal of Family History
  • 1982 Storia della Storiografia — History of Historiography — Histoire de l'Historiographie — Geschichte der Geschichtsschreibung
  • 1982 Subaltern Studies
    Subaltern Studies
    The Subaltern Studies Group or Subaltern Studies Collective are a group of South Asian scholars interested in the postcolonial and post-imperial societies of South Asia in particular and the developing world in general. The term Subaltern Studies is sometimes also applied more broadly to others...

    (Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    )
  • 1986 Zeitschrift für Sozialgeschichte des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts, new title since 2003: Sozial.Geschichte. Zeitschrift für historische Analyse des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts (Germany)
  • 1990 Gender and history
  • 1990 L'Homme. Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft (Austria)
  • 1990 Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften (ÖZG)
  • 1992 Women's History Review
  • 1993 Historische Anthropologie

Approaches to history


How a historian approaches historical events is one of the most important decisions within historiography. It is commonly recognised by historians that, in themselves, individual historical facts dealing with names, dates and places are not particularly meaningful. Such facts will only become useful when assembled with other historical evidence, and the process of assembling this evidence is understood as a particular historiographical approach.

The most influential historiographical approaches are:
  • Comparative history
    Comparative history
    Comparative history is the comparison of different societies which existed during the same time period or shared similar cultural conditions. The comparative history of societies emerged as an important specialty among intellectuals in the Enlightenment in the 18th century, as typified by...

  • Cultural history
    Cultural history
    The term cultural history refers both to an academic discipline and to its subject matter.Cultural history, as a discipline, at least in its common definition since the 1970s, often combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural...

  • Diplomatic history
    Diplomatic history
    Diplomatic history deals with the history of international relations between states. Diplomatic history can be different from international relations in that the former can concern itself with the foreign policy of one state while the latter deals with relations between two or more states...

  • Economic history
    Economic history
    Economic history is the study of economies or economic phenomena in the past. Analysis in economic history is undertaken using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and by applying economic theory to historical situations and institutions...

  • Environmental history
    Environmental history
    Environmental history, a branch of historiography, is the study of human interaction with the natural world over time. In contrast to other historical disciplines, it emphasizes the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs. Environmental historians study how humans both shape their...

    , a relatively new field
  • Ethnohistory
    Ethnohistory
    Ethnohistory is the study of ethnographic cultures and indigenous customs by examining historical records. It is also the study of the history of various ethnic groups that may or may not exist today....

  • Family history
    Family history
    Family history is the systematic narrative and research of past events relating to a specific family, or specific families.- Introduction :...

  • Feminist history
    Feminist history
    Feminist history refers to the re-reading of history from a female perspective. It is not the same as the history of feminism, which outlines the origins and evolution of the feminist movement. It also differs from women's history, which focuses on the role of women in historical events...

  • History of Religion and Church History; the history of theology is usually handled under Theology
    Theology
    Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

  • Intellectual History
    Intellectual history
    Note: this article concerns the discipline of intellectual history, and not its object, the whole span of human thought since the invention of writing. For clarifications about the latter topic, please consult the writings of the intellectual historians listed here and entries on individual...

     and History of ideas
    History of ideas
    The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history...

  • Labor history
    Labor history (discipline)
    Labor history is a broad field of study concerned with the development of the labor movement and the working class. The central concerns of labor historians include the development of labor unions, strikes, lockouts and protest movements, industrial relations, and the progress of working class and...

  • Latin American History
    History of Latin America
    Latin America refers to countries in the Americas where Romance languages are spoken. This definition, however, is not meant to include Canada, in spite of its large French-speaking population....

  • Local History
    Local history
    Local history is the study of history in a geographically local context and it often concentrates on the local community. It incorporates cultural and social aspects of history...

     and Microhistory
    Microhistory
    Microhistory is the intensive historical investigation of a well defined smaller unit of research...

  • Marxist historiography
    Marxist historiography
    Marxist or historical materialist historiography is a school of historiography influenced by Marxism. The chief tenets of Marxist historiography are the centrality of social class and economic constraints in determining historical outcomes....

     and Historical materialism
    Historical materialism
    Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

  • Military history
    Military history
    Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

    , including naval and air
  • Oral history
    Oral history
    Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

  • Political history
    Political history
    Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

  • Public history
    Public history
    Public history is a term that describes the broad range of activities undertaken by people with some training in the discipline of history who are generally working outside of specialized academic settings. Public history practice has quite deep roots in the areas of historic preservation,...

    , especially museums and historic preservation
  • Quantitative history
    Quantitative history
    Quantitative History is an approach to historical research that makes use of quantitative, statistical and computer tools. It is considered a branch of social science history and has three leading journals: Historical Methods , Social Science History , and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History...

    , Cliometrics
    Cliometrics
    Cliometrics, sometimes called new economic history, or econometric history, is the systematic application of economic theory, econometric techniques, and other formal or mathematical methods to the study of history . It is a quantitative approach to economic history...

     (in economic history); Prosopography
    Prosopography
    In historical studies, prosopography is an investigation of the common characteristics of a historical group, whose individual biographies may be largely untraceable, by means of a collective study of their lives, in multiple career-line analysis...

     using statistics to study biographies
  • Social history
    Social history
    Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

     and History from below
    History From Below
    History From Below is the follow-up album to 2008's critically acclaimed Ode to Sunshine by San Diego's Delta Spirit. The album was released on June 8, 2010.The band began streaming "White Table" on its website, http://www.deltaspirit.net, on May 6....

    ; along with the French version the Annales School
    Annales School
    The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

     and the German Bielefeld School
    Bielefeld School
    The Bielefeld School is a group of German historians based originally at Bielefeld University who promote social history and political history using quantification and the methods of political science and sociology. The leaders include Hans-Ulrich Wehler‎, Jürgen Kocka and Reinhart Koselleck...

  • Women's history
    Women's history
    Women's history is the study of the role that women have played in history, together with the methods needed to study women. It includes the study of the history of the growth of woman's rights throughout recorded history, the examination of individual women of historical significance, and the...

     and Gender history
    Gender history
    Gender history is a sub-field of History and Gender studies, which looks at the past from the perspective of gender. It is in many ways, an outgrowth of women's history.-Impact:...

  • World history
    World History
    World History, Global History or Transnational history is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective...

     and Universal history
    Universal history
    Universal history is basic to the Western tradition of historiography, especially the Abrahamic wellspring of that tradition. Simply stated, universal history is the presentation of the history of humankind as a whole, as a coherent unit.-Ancient authors:...



Scholars typically specialize in a particular theme and region. see:
  • Historiography of the British Empire
    Historiography of the British Empire
    The historiography of the British Empire refers to the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to study the history of the British Empire. Scholars have long studied the Empire, looking at the causes for its formation, its relations to the French and other empires,...

  • Historiography of China
  • Historiography of the Cold War
    Historiography of the Cold War
    As soon as the term "Cold War" was popularized to refer to postwar tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, interpreting the course and origins of the conflict became a source of heated controversy among historians, political scientists, and journalists. In particular, historians...

  • Historiography of early Islam
    Historiography of early Islam
    The historiography of early Islam refers to the study of the early origins of Islam based on a critical analysis, evaluation, and examination of authentic primary source materials and the organization of these sources into a narative timeline....

  • Historiography of feudalism
  • Historiography and nationalism
    Historiography and nationalism
    Historiography is the study of how history is written. One pervasive influence upon the writing of history has been nationalism, a set of beliefs about political legitimacy and "cultural identity". Nationalism has provided a significant framework for historical writing in Europe and in those former...

  • Historiography of the French Revolution
  • Historiography of science
    Historiography of science
    Historiography is the study of the history and methodology of the discipline of history. The historiography of science is thus the study of the history and methodology of the sub-discipline of history, known as the history of science, including its disciplinary aspects and practices and to the...

  • Historiography of Switzerland
    Historiography of Switzerland
    The historiography of Switzerland is the study of the history of Switzerland. Up until the late twentieth century, it was largely shaped by the centuries-old traditional account of the founding of the Old Swiss Confederacy through the Federal Charter of 1291 as a defensive alliance of small...

  • Soviet historiography
    Soviet historiography
    Soviet historiography is the methodology of history studies by historians in the Soviet Union . In the USSR, the study of history was marked by alternating periods of freedom allowed and restrictions imposed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , and also by the struggle of historians to...


Related fields


Important related fields include:
  • Antiquarianism
    Antiquarian
    An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts...

  • Genealogy
    Genealogy
    Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

  • Numismatics
    Numismatics
    Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the...

  • Paleography
  • Philosophy of history
    Philosophy of history
    The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

  • Pseudohistory
    Pseudohistory
    Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism, often involving sensational claims whose acceptance would require rewriting a significant amount of commonly accepted history, and based on methods that depart from standard historiographical conventions.Cryptohistory...

    , that is false history

See also

  • Historical method
    Historical method
    Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the...

    • Primary source
      Primary source
      Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied....

       — documents, correspondence, diaries
      • Secondary source
        Secondary source
        In scholarship, a secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. A secondary source contrasts with a primary source, which is an original source of the information being discussed; a primary source can be a person with direct...

         — interpretations, written history
        • Tertiary source
          Tertiary source
          In scholarship, a tertiary source is a term used to describe a work which is chiefly a selection or compilation of other primary and secondary sources. The distinction between a secondary and tertiary source is relative, whereas the difference between primary and secondary sources is more absolute...

           — textbooks and encyclopedias
  • Historiography at Wikiversity, where it is part of the School of History
  • List of historians
  • Magistra vitae
    Magistra vitae
    Historia est Magistra Vitae is a Latin expression, taken from Cicero's De Oratore, which suggests that "history is life's teacher"...

  • Popular history
    Popular history
    Popular history is a broad and somewhat ill-defined genre of historiography that takes a popular approach, aims at a wide readership, and usually emphasizes narrative, personality and vivid detail over scholarly analysis...

  • Biohistory
    Biohistory
    Biohistory is a relatively new school of historiography although its development can be found in the late nineteenth century. Biohistory is defined, according to Stephen Boyden, a noted biohistorian,, as a "coherent system of knowledge, or field of study, which reflects the broad sequence of...

  • Auxiliary sciences of history
    Auxiliary sciences of history
    Auxiliary sciences of history are scholarly disciplines which help evaluate and use historical sources and are seen as auxiliary for historical research...


Theory and philosophy

  • Alun Munslow. The Routledge Companion to Historical Studies (2000)
  • Arthur Marwick
    Arthur Marwick
    Arthur John Brereton Marwick was a professor in history. Born in Edinburgh, he was a graduate of Edinburgh University and Balliol College, Oxford. - Career :...

    , The Nature of History, London: Macmillan, 1970, ISBN 0-333-10941-4
  • Arthur Marwick
    Arthur Marwick
    Arthur John Brereton Marwick was a professor in history. Born in Edinburgh, he was a graduate of Edinburgh University and Balliol College, Oxford. - Career :...

    , The New Nature of History: knowledge, evidence, language, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-333-96447-0
  • Aviezer Tucker, ed. A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography Malden: Blackwell, 2009
  • David Cannadine
    David Cannadine
    Sir David Nicholas Cannadine, FBA is a British historian, known for a number of books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy and Ornamentalism. He is also notable as a commentator and broadcaster on British public life, especially the monarchy. He serves as the generaleditor...

     (editor), What is History Now, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002
  • David Hackett Fischer
    David Hackett Fischer
    David Hackett Fischer is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. Fischer's major works have tackled everything from large macroeconomic and cultural trends to narrative histories of significant events to explorations of...

    , Historians' Fallacies: Towards a Logic of Historical Thought, Harper & Row, 1970
  • E. H. Carr, What is History?
    What is History?
    What Is History? is a 1961 non-fiction book by historian Edward Hallett Carr on historiography. It discusses history, facts, the bias of historians, science, morality, individuals and society, and moral judgements in history....

    1961, ISBN 0-394-70391-X
  • Frank Ankersmit
    Frank Ankersmit
    Franklin Rudolf Ankersmit is professor of intellectual history and historical theory at the University of Groningen....

     (ed), A New Philosophy of History, 1995, ISBN 0-226-02100-9
  • Gardiner, Juliet (ed) What is History Today...? London: MacMillan Education Ltd., 1988.
  • Geoffrey Elton, The Practice of History, 1969, ISBN 0-631-22980-9
  • Harlaftis, Gelina, ed. The New Ways of History: Developments in Historiography (I.B. Tauris, 2010) 260 pages; trends in historiography since 1990
  • Hayden White
    Hayden White
    Hayden White is a historian in the tradition of literary criticism, perhaps most famous for his work Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe...

    , The Content of Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, Johns Hopkins, 1987, ISBN 0-8018-4115-1
  • Hayden White, The Fiction of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1957–2007, Johns Hopkins, 2010. Ed. Robert Doran
  • John Tosh
    John Tosh
    John Tosh is a British historian and Professor of History at Roehampton University. He gained his BA at the University of Oxford and his MA at the University of Cambridge. Tosh was awarded his PhD by the University of London in 1973; his thesis topic being Political authority among the Langi of...

    , The Pursuit of History, 2002, ISBN 0-582-77254-0
  • Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt & Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth About History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994.
  • Keith Jenkins, ed. The Postmodern History Reader (2006)
  • Keith Jenkins
    Keith Jenkins
    Keith Jenkins is a British historiographer. Like Hayden White and "postmodern" historiographers, Jenkins believes that any historian's output should be seen as a story. A work of history is as much about the historian's own world view and ideological positions as it is about past events...

    , Rethinking History, 1991, ISBN 0-415-30443-1
  • Lionel Gossman
    Lionel Gossman
    Lionel Gossman is a Scottish-American scholar of French literature. He taught Romance Languages at Johns Hopkins University and Princeton University, and has written extensively on the history, theory and practice of historiography, and more recently, on aspects of German cultural...

    . “Towards a Rational Historiography.” American Philosophical Society, 1989. ISBN 142238196X.
  • Marc Bloch
    Marc Bloch
    Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian who cofounded the highly influential Annales School of French social history. Bloch was a quintessential modernist. An assimilated Alsatian Jew from an academic family in Paris, he was deeply affected in his youth by the Dreyfus Affair...

    , The Historian's Craft [1940?]
  • Michael Bentley, Modern Historiography: An Introduction, 1999 ISBN 0-415-20267-1
  • Peter Burke
    Peter Burke
    Peter Burke is a British historian and professor.He was born to a Roman Catholic father and Jewish mother . He was educated by the Jesuits and at St John's College, Oxford, and was a doctoral candidate at St Antony's College...

    , History and Social Theory, Polity Press, Oxford, 1992
  • R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, 1936, ISBN 0-19-285306-6
  • Richard J. Evans
    Richard J. Evans
    Richard John Evans is a British academic and historian, prominently known for his history of Germany.-Life:Evans was born in London, of Welsh parentage, and is now Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and President of Wolfson College...

     In Defence of History, 1997, ISBN 1862071047
  • Roger Spalding & Christopher Parker, Historiography: An Introduction, 2008, ISBN 0719072859
  • W.H. Walsh, An Introduction to Philosophy of History, 1951.

Guides to scholarship

  • Allison, William Henry. A guide to historical literature (1931) comprehensive bibliography for scholarship to 1930. online edition
  • Norton, Mary Beth, ed. The American Historical Association's guide to historical literature (Oxford University Press, 1995) vol 1 online, vol 2 online
  • Braudel, Fernand On History Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1982.

Histories of historical writing

  • Barnes, Harry Elmer. A history of historical writing (1962)
  • Barraclough, Geoffrey. History: Main Trends of Research in the Social and Human Sciences, (1978)
  • Bentley, Michael. ed., Companion to Historiography, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0-415-28557-7 990pp; 39 chapters by experts
  • Breisach, Ernst. Historiography: Ancient, Medieval and Modern, 3rd edition, 2007, ISBN 0-226-07278-9
  • Budd, Adam, ed. The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Cohen, H. Floris The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, Chicago, 1994, ISBN 0-226-11280-2
  • Gilderhus, Mark T. History an Historiographical Introduction, 2002, ISBN 0-13-044824-9
  • Iggers, Georg G. Historiography in the 20th Century: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge (2005)
  • Kramer, Lloyd, and Sarah Maza, eds. A Companion to Western Historical Thought Blackwell 2006. 520pp; ISBN 978-1-4051-4961-7.
  • Momigliano, Arnaldo
    Arnaldo Momigliano
    Arnaldo Dante Momigliano KBE was an Italian historian known for his work in historiography, characterized by Donald Kagan as the "world’s leading student of the writing of history in the ancient world." He became Professor of Roman history at the University of Turin in 1936, but as a Jew soon lost...

    . The Classical Foundation of Modern Historiography, 1990, ISBN 9780226072838
  • Rahman, M. M. ed. Encyclopaedia of Historiography (2006) Excerpt and text search
  • Woolf, Daniel, ed. A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing (2 vol. 1998)
  • Woolf, Daniel. "Historiography", in New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, ed. M.C. Horowitz, (2005), vol. I.
  • Woolf, Daniel. "A Global History of History" (2011)
  • "The Oxford History of Historical Writing". 5 vols. (2011- ).

Feminist historiography

  • Bonnie G. Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

     2000
  • Gerda Lerner
    Gerda Lerner
    Gerda Lerner is a historian, author and teacher. She is a professor emerita of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a visiting scholar at Duke University...

    , The Majority Finds its Past: Placing Women in History, New York: Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

     1979
  • Judith M. Bennett, History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism, University of Pennsylvania Press
    University of Pennsylvania Press
    The University of Pennsylvania Press is a university press affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

    , 2006
  • Julie Des Jardins, Women and the Historical Enterprise in America, University of North Carolina Press
    University of North Carolina Press
    The University of North Carolina Press , founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina....

    , 2002
  • Mary Ritter Beard
    Mary Ritter Beard
    Mary Ritter Beard was an American historian and archivist, who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement and was a lifelong advocate of social justice through educational and activist roles in both the labor and woman's rights movements...

    , Woman as force in history: A study in traditions and realities
  • Mary Spongberg, Writing women's history since the Renaissance, Palgrave Macmillan
    Palgrave Macmillan
    Palgrave Macmillan is an international academic and trade publishing company, headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom and with offices in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Delhi, Johannesburg. It was created in 2000 when St...

    , 2002

Thematic and teaching

  • Carlebach, Elishiva, et al. eds. Jewish History and Jewish Memory: Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Charlton, Thomas L. History of Oral History: Foundations and Methodology (2007)
  • Darcy, R. and Richard C. Rohrs, A Guide to Quantitative History (1995)
  • Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The Holocaust and Historians. (1981).
  • Ernest, John. Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794–1861. (2004)
  • Evans, Ronald W. The Hope for American School Reform: The Cold War Pursuit of Inquiry Learning in Social Studies(Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 265 pages
  • Farrell, Frank. Themes in Australian History: Questions, Issues and Interpretation in an Evolving Historiography (1990)
  • Hudson, Pat
    Pat Hudson
    -Education:In 1971 Hudson was awarded a B.Sc. Economics from the London School of Economics and this was followed in 1981 by a PhD in History and Economic History from the University of York.- Research :...

    . History by Numbers: An Introduction to Quantitative Approaches (2002)
  • Keita, Maghan. Race and the Writing of History. Oxford UP (2000)
  • Leavy, Patricia. Oral History: Understanding Qualitative Research (2011) excerpt and text search
  • Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, (1996)
  • Marc Ferro
    Marc Ferro
    Marc Ferro is a French historian. He has worked on early twentieth-century European history, specialising in the history of Russia and the USSR, as well as the history of cinema....

    , Cinema and History (1988)
  • Parish, Peter J., ed/ Reader's Guide to American History (1997), historiographical overview of 600 topics
  • Peter Novick
    Peter Novick
    Peter Novick is an American historian, best known for writing That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession and The Holocaust in American Life...

    , That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession (1988), ISBN 0-521-34328-3
  • Ritchie, Donald A. The Oxford Handbook of Oral History (2010) excerpt and text search
  • Tessa Morris-Suzuki, The Past Within Us: Media, Memory, History (2005), ISBN 1-85984-513-4

Journals


External links