In another language than English, I read something about the distinction between the theory of periodization and the theory of "long period" (if I well translate it in English, as I don't know the technical term for it used in English).

Basically, I know what periodization is, obviously, but I read that the theory of periodization is opposed by the theory of the long period. Namely, according to a small number of historians is better to interpret historical facts without referring to periodizations but referring to a single long time.

I would like to know more about this view from you and I am also wondering if you can indicate to me some relevant bibliography.

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    It is written in the wikipedia page for "periodizzazione". cfr. "Il concetto di periodizzazione della Storia, anche se molto diffusa, è in contrasto con quello del "Tempo lungo". it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempo_lungo Dec 4 '15 at 11:05
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    As you can see, there isn't much information. Also googling keywords in English, I don't find that much. Perhaps, I should keep searching... Dec 4 '15 at 11:06
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    It feels like its just talking about taking a macro view of history. I don't think it is entirely correct to classify using or not using historical periodisations as opposing theories. The extreme brevity and lack of citations is a bit suspect.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 4 '15 at 11:11
  • Please edit the comments into the question. comments are barn cats. I have a half memory of reading a discredited historgraphic assumption called "long period", but I can't call it to mind. The only constructive advice I can give is to adjust your search to look for discredited theories.
    – MCW
    Oct 6 '18 at 14:55

That Italian Wikipedia article seems rather unconnected to other pages and to other pages in other languages. Still, it appears to describe a variant of Longue durée. This French term then is used at least in English and German historiography – and apparently in Italian as well? So take the following with the appropriate amount of salt and maybe further clarify the question if it shouldn't fit perfectly.

Those names of researchers to look out for at the start are therefore those influenced by the French annales school of thought: Bloch, Braudel, Febvre. Basically this school of thought sees more continuity in history as opposed to the ideation of disruption of the flow of time that follows from most characterisation of history in periods. The longue durée tries to look at history on three levels of analysis:

  • longue durée (proper) – the really long time that gives the structure, lays foundations, slowly changes and provides the most keys for understanding the other levels (example pharaonic Egypt as a point of orientation)

  • moyenne durée (intermediate length) – primarily oriented on economic processes, like business cycles (example of a long moyenne durée may be found in Kondratiev waves)

  • événement (~event) – the most similar to traditional historiography and according to annalists the least insight-providing one. Before Braudel this was almost identical to ordinary political history

It should be clear now that this not about opposing theories anymore. Like in any good dialectic process the most fruitful way to proceed is in considering a synthesis of approaches. In that tradition of reading an antithesis ex negativo you might find Joseph Tendler (: "Opponents of the Annales School", Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2013.) a nice recent writeup for your needs. This is more postively complemented with a slightly olde Peter Burke: "The French Historical Revolution: Annales School, 1929-1989", Polity Press, 1990.

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