I recall an interview where Reza Aslan described that History, in its present form, didn't always exist that way. That is the rigor, validation, and peer review wasn't present. Instead, it was a tool to convey an intuitive understanding, to "get the gist of" past events, cultures or conflicts.

Since people once thought the Earth was flat, I would assume humans linear understanding of time also went through an evolution of sorts.


  • How has the cultural concept and treatment of history (and time) evolved to its presently understood form?

...or, how did History become History?


While this question is way too broad, we have a really good example in terms of the international working class movement. EP Thompson's "Time, work-discipline and industrial capitalism" Past and Present, discusses the change from fields and craft times, including Saint Monday (the unofficial extension of the Sunday weekend forced by workers), into industrial time set by clocks motions and machines in the factory system. The railways, correspondingly, brought uniform time across local areas through telegraph synchronised timings.

As far as the birth of the modern conception of history in the workers movement, part of this comes from the adoption of liberal historiography (including Marxist historiography) from without, including the forced adoption of national narratives through schooling. Part of this comes through the self-education that the workers movement emphasised up to the 1970s, with lectures on the history and historical significance of workers themselves.

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