What is History
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Time Estimation[edit | edit source]
Time estimation for the completion of the required material in this section.
- Lecture = 30 min.
- Required Reading & Review Questions = 30 min.
- Test Yourself Questions = 30 min.
Lecture[edit | edit source]
- A definition of history as a discipline
- The birth of history by Herodotus
- Thucydides, the founder of scientifc history
Required Reading[edit | edit source]
- History. Read the introductory part above the Contents and Etymology and Description.
- Herodotus, Histories. Read the introduction and the first three paragraphs from History of Herodotus/Book 1.
- Thucidides, History of the Peloponnesian War. Read paragraphs 20-23 from History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 1.
Review Questions[edit | edit source]
- Where does the word ‘history’ come from?
- What were the uses of the word ‘history’ in ancient and modern times?
- Give a definition of history as a discipline.
- Name some of the complementary disciplines that historians use in order to understand the past?
- Why did Herodotus write his Histories?
- How did Herodotus learn about the events he refers to?
- Identify the part(s) of Herodotus writing in the first three paragraphs that he makes reference(s) to different versions of the same event.
- Identify the part(s) of Herodotus writing in the first three paragraphs that he makes reference(s) to stories he heard.
- Should historians, according to Thucydides, take for granted whatever they are told? Give examples of his opinion from the assigned paragraphs.
- What is the method that Thucydides used in order to find the true course of events?
- Why does Thucydides believe that his account may not attract much interest?
- Why has he written his account?
- Does Thucydides make any differentiation among the causes of the Peloponnesian War he is going to describe?
Test Yourself Questions[edit | edit source]
- Write a short paragraph explaining what history is.
- In a short essay compare and contrast the methods that Herodotus and Thucydides used in order to write their accounts.
Additional Information[edit | edit source]
- Herodotus biography
- Thucydides biography and comparision with Herodotus
- Herodotus speaking. (6 min.)
- Thucydides speaking. (5 min.)
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
- Carr, Edward Hallett. What is history ? This is a short book that offers some basic answers to what history is.
- Stern, Fritz. Ed. The varieties of history: from Voltaire to the present. This is a more demanding collection of writings of a number of historians from various historical schools since the age of Enlightenment. It will give you an idea of how many different aspects of the study of history (historiography) exist.