Questions tagged [historiography]

Tag for questions on the study of history itself, such as methodologies or techniques.

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47
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18answers
9k views

What is a major historical event historians are deeply divided over?

I am teaching a middle school history class and need an example of a historical event that has legitimate historians highly divided into at least two camps. My goal is demonstrate that, though ...
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0answers
52 views

Are there any approximate statistics on the breakdown of the types of evidences used to form historical narratives?

For example, say in the mainstream Ancient Greek Historical Narrative, 40% of all the available evidence used in reconstructing the narrative is written, 35% is artifact/building based while 25% is ...
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0answers
138 views

What do these lines from The Decline of the West, mean? [closed]

the means to identify dead forms is mathematical law, the means whereby to understand living forms is analogy. What does this mean? When I looked it up I got a history textbook and it was talking ...
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2answers
128 views

Will we ever be able to understand history with 100% accuracy [closed]

First of all, I am not a historian or anything of the like, but this question was bothering me for quite some time. As far as I understand, the current methodology historians use to explain our ...
1
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1answer
221 views

Do historians use Rig Veda as a reliable source of historical event?

Rig veda is the oldest text in Hinduism, it is as old as 1500 BCE. It contains many historical reference so, do historians use the historical accounts mentioned in the Rig Vedas as reliable sources of ...
4
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2answers
640 views

What are the best primary textual sources I could point to regarding the existence of Julius Caesar? [closed]

I recently got in a discussion with a man claiming that there is more reliable historical proof of the existence of Jesus Christ than of Julius Caesar. On face value, this claim seems ridiculous — ...
2
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1answer
337 views

Has anyone (other than Churchill) indicated that the Germans might have won a negotiated peace in World War II?

I have long believed that it was possible for the Germans to get to a strong position that might have led to a "stalemate" and hence a negotiated peace in World War II/ The main ways were: 1)...
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0answers
72 views

How different schools of historiography characterise a colony?

The title pretty much resembles the question - I'd like to compare what criteria different schools of historiography (including national and historical) use to determine whether a country/territory is ...
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0answers
100 views

What do historians do when limited sources are available? [closed]

Although my area of history is focusing on 1980s and 1990s, in general, when you're studying an era of history or a particular topic and there are little to no sources available (for example, areas of ...
2
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2answers
322 views

Has historical revisionism ever led to problems in history?

Just came across a post from a Jesuit claiming Historical revisionism is one of the worst, and dangerous, mistakes one can make. It appears to be with regards to the latest news of Jesuits in US ...
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2answers
391 views

Does history use hypothesis testing using statistical methods?

To what extent does the study of history use hypothesis testing? By Hypothesis testing I mean the usage of p-values and significance levels to dictate how an actual event differs from the event by ...
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0answers
73 views

Is it true that the term “Byzantine” is less present in historians of Protestant tradition? [closed]

Trying to answer the question Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire", I find a presentation by the ...
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2answers
327 views

How long does a generation last?

Question: Generetion, as a time period, is a widespread concept (or perhaps an idea) in History, in Social Sciences, and also in common language. Do historians have some sort of consensus on the time ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Where can I obtain the full “British Statistical Blue Books” of British colonies in Africa?

I'm a poli sci grad student looking to access the full British statistical blue books which catalog statistics for British colonies. Does anyone know where I can obtain access to them, preferably free ...
1
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1answer
180 views

When did it become popular to drop the A.D. in dates?

Since when did it become popular to shorthand years from 2020 A.D. to 2020? I haven't seen anything after a google search, and in fact I wonder if it was even popular to use A.D., ever. I don't recall ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Is there a term for the principle of preferring earlier statements over later statements made by historical eye witnesses?

Back when I was majoring in History in college, one professor explained to the class that when a person made multiple statements about a time or event they lived through or were involved with, and ...
5
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1answer
251 views

What criteria are used to determine the popularity of Medieval European rulers?

It is relatively common to see certain monarchs described as "popular" while others are "unpopular". It confounds me as to what specific evidence has been used to determine this, ...
4
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3answers
277 views

Are there alternatives to tripartite periodisation of history?

Human history is usually divided in three parts, ancient history, medieval (or post-classical) history and modern history (sometimes divided in early and late modern), as can be seen in the wikipedia ...
8
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1answer
369 views

How are historical nutrition data gathered?

In the book 'Sapiens', Yuval N. Harari mentions that after the Agricultural Revolution child mortality soared because of malnutrition. While I can see how eating only carbohydrate-based products leads ...
2
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0answers
119 views

Is there a term historians use for an unknown person? [closed]

History documentaries (especially about the ancient past) often use representative actors to illustrate the narration. This usually happens when describing events where the participant's names are ...
2
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1answer
85 views

Is there a name for the critical method of assessing historical narratives via the consultation of primary sources?

In natural science, an educated guess at scientific fact is called a hypothesis. Hypotheses are rigorously tried by experiments conducted repeatedly under carefully controlled conditions. This is ...
15
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1answer
616 views

Why was the Gilgamesh flood tablet such a sensation?

In 1872 George Smith translated the famous Flood Tablet (tablet XI of the Standard Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh), causing a sensation due to its striking similarity to the story of Noah'...
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2answers
237 views

How were ancient Indian mathematical texts found to modern scholarship?

Unlike e.g. Greco-Roman or Chinese texts, which were written on relatively durable writing material, most ancient Indian literature was done on palm-leaf manuscripts, which typically don't survive ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Are the historical sources from the ancient history trustable?

Are the historical books of Herodot or Polybius or any other historian from ancient history usually correct? Did they add some 'drama' in their books or did they desire to gain favor of those of high ...
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3answers
2k views

How to build historical maps?

Is there an online tool that allows one to create a historical map given a time period and region/country of interest? I have found this question, What are good online sources for historical maps?, ...
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4answers
1k views

How does history as a scholarly discipline or disciplinary practice justify its existence as a social practice?

The discipline of history as emergent in the 19th century in its scholarly practice or intellectual discipline exists as a social phenomena in many contemporary societies. Contemporary societies ...
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1answer
208 views

How widely accepted are Tolstoy's views on history within the academic community?

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a historic fiction and part essay in which Tolstoy regularly expresses his views on how events happen. More specifically, Tolstoy says that the actions of great men such ...
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3answers
2k views

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

I have recently been reading into the European Middle Ages, where one of the challenges is the limited sources available. I have often seen seen this described as a source bias towards the elite ...
12
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3answers
847 views

Which 'evidence' is there for a claim that 'Chinese discovered America in 636'?

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is a branch of the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management. On its own website it has a history timeline with a few curious dates: catálogo ...
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2answers
905 views

How do archaeologists date cave paintings?

Imagine I get hold on 15000 yr old pigments and I draw an iguana next to a bison at "Altamira Caves"... how does one know that that drawing wasn't made 15000 years back? Would people then start saying ...
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0answers
63 views

How and in what ways has our understanding of the historical method improved since the publication of E. H. Carr's “What is History” in 1961?

This is partially answered in this question, but that only characterizes the modern consensus on what history is able to answer - it does not go into depth about how that modern consensus has evolved. ...
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5answers
870 views

Were Allied high commanders that bad at the end of WW2?

I have heard by some friends, speaking of military history, that Allied commanders were well known for being, at best, mediocre in their performance of fight. They were not able to give precise ...
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4answers
2k views

How useful are mythological king lists and geneologies for historians? [closed]

(some sources distinguish between mythology and legends; for the purpose of this question, I'm asking about narrations about human beings. For example stories of everyday human beings, genealogies of ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Why do all my history books divide Chinese history after the Han dynasty?

I will be teaching middle school World History this year. I surveyed seven different textbooks from different publishers and notice, unlike all other histories of other regions in the world, Chinese ...
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1answer
406 views

Can world systems theory apply to empires?

World systems theory categorizes the economic relationships of countries by placing them in a core or a periphery. In this model, core countries exploit resources in the peripheral countries. This ...
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1answer
66 views

Entry-level articles on USA slavery?

I am a first period history student in Brazil, and have been studying the formation of American colonial societies during the 16th and 17th centuries. We have only now started studying the formation ...
5
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1answer
162 views

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text?

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text? I'm not looking for a translation, rather, I need to have the typographics normalized. ...
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15answers
13k views

Are there any important biographies of nobodies?

Biographies usually cover interesting people who said and did notable things. I'm curious about lives notable just for their contexts: the stories of unremarkable people in historically remarkable ...
2
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2answers
400 views

What do we mean when we say history is a science?

When Mark the moderator says "history is a science", what does he mean? I know what someone means when they say "biology is a science". They mean "I can express my rationality in terms of the living ...
4
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2answers
208 views

Why did the recorded history of Poland start after the reign of Miezsko I?

Norman Davies says this in his book, God's Playground, Volume I regarding Miezsko I: He started the recorded history of the Poles which has continued without a break from that day to this. Even I ...
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3answers
304 views

Micromanagement before the modern era?

We read a lot about the problem of micromanagement today, particularly in examples of failed leadership. And Google Ngram Viewer shows the first occurrences of the word in the 1970s. Did ancient (...
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1answer
197 views

Which historians argue that WWII was caused by Fascism as a reaction to Communism?

It's been suggested that fascist movements of post-WW1 Europe emerged in reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and against worker sympathies to similar internationalist socialist movements ...
2
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2answers
341 views

Is this movie “History of the World: Every Year” credible?

I love history and one thing, which was showed to me recently in a university course, helped very much to arrange things in my mind. I'm talking about a video of the map world year by year - History ...
18
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4answers
4k views

What kind of evidence (if any) could be used to identify a large conquest in the time before writing?

From what I understand, writing wasn't completely developed during the Bronze Age. So, if there was an Alexander-the-Great-style conquest that united the known world for a short period of time, what ...
3
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3answers
588 views

Is there a consensus on when history began? [closed]

When did history begin, according to the most accepted view among Western historians'? (credible sources would be appreciated) I vaguely remember from my Marxist-oriented history courses in high ...
6
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3answers
976 views

What were the flaws in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey?

According to this source, "Some historians have identified flaws in the [U.S. Strategic Bombing] survey, based on contemporary evidence." I have unsuccessfully searched the internet for these ...
4
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1answer
253 views

What is the year of Ethelred the Unready's Laws of London?

I refer to De Institutis Lundonie (Laws of London) by Ethelred the Unready (or Æthelred II) (Google Books). According to Britannia and Jerome Arkenberg, it is of the year 978. According to this book,...
127
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7answers
39k views

Do historians agree that most wars are caused by religion?

I'm not a historian, but this is a very common claim that crops up in debates over God's existence and religious scripture. What is the opinion of the community of professional historians?
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0answers
172 views

How is Goswami's stand on nationalism distinct from Andersons'?

Benedict Anderson in his 'Imagined Communities' argued that nationalism is modular, that is transplanted to the third world without acknowledging the agency of the intellectual elite, by simply ...
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0answers
105 views

Why don’t historians tolerate eisegesis, when they continuously engage in it?

Historians disrespect excessively eisegetic readings when producing their works. Eisegesis is the production of meaning in reading texts through external inspiration. The inspiration could be divine, ...

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