History (from Greek ἱστορία - historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about these events. The term includes cosmic, geologic, and organic history, but is often generically implied to mean human history. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
History can also refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them.
Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "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, because they do not support the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Events occurring prior to written record are considered prehistory.
Herodotus, a 5th century B.C. Greek historian is considered to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their influence has 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 thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in University studies.
Read more about History: Etymology, Description, History and Prehistory, Historiography, Philosophy of History, Historical Methods, Areas of Study, Historians, The Judgement of History, Pseudohistory, Teaching History
Famous quotes containing the word history:
“If you look at history youll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.”
—Desiderius Erasmus (c. 14661536)
“Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.”
—Mao Zedong (18931976)
“Considered in its entirety, psychoanalysis wont do. Its an end product, moreover, like a dinosaur or a zeppelin; no better theory can ever be erected on its ruins, which will remain for ever one of the saddest and strangest of all landmarks in the history of twentieth-century thought.”
—Peter B. Medawar (19151987)