Portal:History

The History Portal


History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of these events. Historians seek knowledge of the past using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, art and material artifacts, and ecological markers.

History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze past events, and investigate their patterns of cause and effect. Historians often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history as an end in itself, as well as its usefulness to give perspective on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient cultural influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian, is often considered the "father of history" in the Western tradition, although he has also been criticized as the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of past events and societies. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was reputed to date from as early as 722 BC, although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. (Full article...)

Cscr-featured.png Featured article – show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Featured picture

Did you know...

HMS Doterel.jpg

Cscr-featured.png Featured biography – show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Statue of Giovanni Villani in the
Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence

Giovanni Villani (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanni vilˈlaːni]; c. 1276 or 1280 – 1348) was an Italian banker, official, diplomat and chronicler from Florence who wrote the Nuova Cronica (New Chronicles) on the history of Florence. He was a leading statesman of Florence but later gained an unsavoury reputation and served time in prison as a result of the bankruptcy of a trading and banking company he worked for. His interest in and elaboration of economic details, statistical information, and political and psychological insight mark him as a more modern chronicler of late medieval Europe. His Cronica is viewed as the first introduction of statistics as a positive element in history. However, historian Kenneth R. Bartlett notes that, in contrast to his Renaissance-era successors, "his reliance on such elements as divine providence links Villani closely with the medieval vernacular chronicle tradition." In recurring themes made implicit through significant events described in his Cronica, Villani also emphasized three assumptions about the relationship of sin and morality to historical events, these being that excess brings disaster, that forces of right and wrong are in constant struggle, and that events are directly influenced by the will of God.

Villani was inspired to write his Cronica after attending the jubilee celebration in Rome in 1300 and noting the venerable history of that city. He outlined the events in his Cronica year for year, following a strictly linear narrative format. He provided intricate details on many important historical events of the city of Florence and the wider region of Tuscany, such as construction projects, floods, fires, famines, and plagues. (Full article...)

On this day

October 18: Mawlid (Sunni Islam, 2021); Feast day of Saint Luke (Christianity); Alaska Day (1867)

Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima
Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima
More anniversaries:

Selected quote

What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

— Voltaire, 18th century French philosopher

Subportals

Topics

Categories

C Puzzle.png
Select [►] to view subcategories

HistoryBy periodBy regionBy topicBy ethnic groupHistoriographyArchaeologyBooksMapsImagesMagazinesOrganizationsFictionalMuseumsPseudohistoryStubsTimelinesChronologyPeopleWikipedia historians

WikiProjects

Things you can do

NaodW29-nowiki286369b71e7b327900000001
   Here are some Open Tasks :

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Portals