69

"History is written by victors" may itself be an example of history written by the losers! While the quote is commonly misattributed to Winston Churchill, it's origins are unknown and it might be inspired by Hermann Göring's quote: We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains. On a (perhaps) more serious note, ...


39

All the bad press given to Vikings (and the like) by angry monks suggests not always. Depends if the victors build a tradition of literacy and of documenting history or whether they just go build more longboats and get drunk.


25

An important example from ancient history is the Peloponnesian war. The most important account of it comes from Thucydides, "the father of history". Thucidydes was an Athenian, and Athens lost the war. I am not aware of any Spartan accounts of this war that survived.


17

Here are some other examples: The US Civil War. Much of the history was driven by the South's need to justify itself especially after the first 20 years up to about 1960 or so. The Fall of the Roman Republic Virtually all of the surviving histories were written by the conservative factions of Rome and not by the Caesarian side. Augustus didn't mind that ...


17

Indeed, Japanese diplomatic codes had been broken. But the message sent to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, intended to be delivered before the attack (but in fact delivered later) did not contain a formal declaration of war, so although Washington knew a few hours before the attack that diplomacy was coming to an end, and war was coming, they did not ...


16

The Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arabs lost to Israel in 4 wars (1948, 1967, 1973, 1982) but their version of history is the most accepted today (even the universal acceptance of the term "Palestinian people"). Thus Israelis are portrayed "colonizers", Zionism was portrayed as racism in the UN, and Israel as an apartheid state. This while Israel is the ...


10

Although the Japanese attack was unexpected in its timing, The US Navy was well aware: (a) that the Japanese were in the habit of attacking before a formal declaration of war; and (b) that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was both possible and likely to be devastating, having itself simulated such an attack several times over the past 15 years as outlined ...


10

The entire Bible is pretty much written by the losers of history, written from the perspective of the Hebrew slaves, the prophets, and the exiles, rather than the Pharaoh, the king, and the conquerors, respectively. Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their empires, but the perspective was taken from a particular people who ...


9

The reason is that it was too large to be governed effectively. Already Genghis Khan understood this when he split it to uluses and assigned them to his sons. It was supposed that the Great Khan in Karakorum will perform the general governance. The system was not effective. When Mongol armies broke to Poland and Hungary, they had to interrupt their conquest ...


9

I am reading Andrew Weatcroft's's The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburg, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe (see also here). It contains this relevant statement in relation to a (from some perspective) loosing party rewriting history: Of course, once the great [Ottoman attack on Vienna in 1683] failed, history was rewritten and the sultan portrayed as wisely ...


9

Theory of history is so closely related to "historiography" or the practice of writing and criticising history that we may as well consider them to be basically coaligned. Therefore you will want to read EH Carr's "What is History?" and a textbook aimed at honours / post-graduate coursework students on historiography. Ranke started modern history with the ...


8

The Spanish Civil War is an example of loser-dominated historiography. That the Rebels won is beyond doubt, but the Loyalists wrote all the history... it's hard to think of a history of the war which is sympathetic to the winning side.


7

I'm not sure the "disintegrated so rapidly" assertion is correct. As Alex answered, they dispersed intentionally (into Siberia, China, India, Persia). Second, "so rapid demise of ..." is also relative. Kazakh Khanate lasted until 19th century. Both co-founders of this Khanate (khans kerei and zhanibek) were direct descendants of Genghis Khan. In short, ...


7

Your question deals more with historiography, and philosophy of history, whereas most of the questions on this site are about specific historical events. That is the short answer to your question and my reasoning for that answer is what follows. My history classes focused mainly on three things: particular geographic areas of the world, particular time ...


7

If you are looking for examples: The history of most major invasions of Europe is written or significantly influenced by the Europeans (who happened to be on the loosing end). The Huns and Attila, the Mongols, the Vikings (OK, they are European, too), the Ottoman Turks; even if there is a significant body of information (e,g in case of Ottoman Empire), the ...


6

Question: Was the attack on the American forces at Pearl Harbor totally unexpected? Short Answer Commanders across the pacific had been warned for weeks of an impending Japanese attack. Specifically Admiral Kimmel and General Short in command at Hawaii's navy and army forces respectively, had responded to these warnings and taken steps to safeguard ...


5

No, wars break out because of finite resources and outcome is never 100% certain Wars generally start when there is a finite amount of something ( land, oil, cattle, women, gold ...) and both sides want that something for their own use. This goes for all kind of wars , including religious (both sides want to organize society in a single territory according ...


5

Wenceslaus I (c. 907-935) was Duke of Bohemia from 921-935. His mother Drahomira was a pagan who persecuted Christians until Wenceslaus took control of the government and exiled her about 924/5. Wenceslaus I was assassinated by nobles favoring his younger brother Duke Boleslav I in September 935 and almost immediately became popularly believed to be a ...


4

An interesting article in History Today by Katherine Weikert is devoted to this very topic. The three examples studied in depth are: Byrhtnoth, the Saxon leader who lost - and was killed in - the battle of Maldon. Nevetheless, he is the subject of an Old English poem which glorifies his valour; he is also praised in the Ely chronicle. As Dr. Weikert ...


4

Howard Zinn, in his A People's History of the United States, claimed to be endevoring to do something quite similar to that. If you are interested in USA history, I highly reccomend it for two reasons. The first is that many others with that same interest will be familiar with it, so you can at least hold your own in conversations. The other is that it ...


4

The "core" Mongol group was too small, relative to its empire. Even today, "Mongolia" has just over 2 million people. In 1200, it was more like 1 million, with an army of 100,000. Compare this with the fact that China had about 100 million people, Persia, perhaps 20 million, and Russia, perhaps 10 million (population sizes vary depending on how these "...


4

I am of the opinion that your assertion is flawed. Merriam-Webster simple definition of Historian: a person who studies or writes about history Merriam-Webster simple definition of History: the study of past events. : events of the past. : past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc. MacMillan Dictionary definition of ...


4

I'll apply the same caveat as Mr. Geerkens, and go beyond that to acknowledge that this is a bad answer because it involves no sources. This is a frame challenge. Historians are deeply interested in questions of “who” did what? I'm skeptical. Both the Annales school and the Marxists (Arguably the Marxists are eisegetical (thank you for the new word)) ...


3

Disclaimer The approach described below is my own. It is informed by my personal life experience, which includes a fascination with history that stretches back over more than five decades. I make no claim that it otherwise represents the viewpoints of professional historians or historiographers. Your mileage may vary. All those sentient beings ...


3

Some academics have studied this issue. The very popular theory today concerning it is the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory or the Four Turnings, which I believe only applies to US history. They created this theory to try to help some of the problems which will occur, since we can expect them. Strauss and Howe lay the groundwork for the theory in their ...


2

Actually no one knows what '666' stands for. There is no evidence that it has some connection to Roman numeral, but not, say, Greek (or Jewish) numeral. Thus there are dozens of guesses, but no single answer. Some examples to produce '666' are: Nero: N+R+O+N + Q+S+R in Jewish numerals Domitianus: A. KAI. ΔOMET. ΣEB. ΓE. i.e. "Imperator Caesar ...


2

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 ...


2

Axis forces predominantly stopped short of Moscow due to freezing temperatures. Russian reinforcements were used to counterattack and push them back (which, after amazing gains, collapsed in spectacular defeat). The Japanese Empire was not a significant threat the the Soviet Union (despite Stalin's fears). Vladivostok could have been taken, and this would ...


2

Confining your perspective to just one approach is bound to yield highly subjective results. Modern history tries to implement scientific theory into its proceeding: Gathering evidence, establishing the factual basis, confronting source material (be it written, chemical, archeological...). Quantify what is quantifiable. Postulating a falsifiable hypothesis ...


1

If the question is Did the US Administration expect an attack at Pearl Harbor by significant Japanese forces? then the answer HAS to be NO. The US Pacific Fleet was concentrated and headquartered in Hawaii. The US Army was responsible for the defense of Hawaii, on the ground but more importantly in the air. There was no illusion anywhere that the Army ...


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