History is the systematic study of time. The word “historical” was first used in the 16th century to describe the general idea of the discipline. Early history is regarded as prehistorical; events prior to the invention of written records are often thought of as prehistoric. ” Historik” is German for “historical” and “geschichte” (historical study) is a German term that means “writing history.”
Throughout the history of mankind, many different disciplines have attempted to put writing into chronological order, though not all have succeeded. Archaeology attempts to place events in chronological order through the discovery and recording of artifacts. Biography uses personal writings and other records to record historical events. Comparative linguistics attempts to organize languages by constructing grammatical categories.
While the history of mankind has been the subject of many books, short stories, and poems, historians have looked beyond the written medium to chronicle the real events of the past. Historians conduct historical research in a variety of ways including archaeological, literary, documentary, or political. A number of historians argue against any single explanation of how events in the past are recorded and categorized, pointing out that different methods may be used to collect evidence and draw inferences. Still others subscribe to a particular method of studying history, often employing forensic techniques in attempts to prove crimes or other theories.
While there are several types of historians who each use a different approach, all attempt to present evidence and make interpretations from primary sources. Primary sources include primary documents such as diaries, letters, and books; secondary sources include other forms of written information not intended as part of a documentary account such as pamphlets that are not published in the primary source. Both primary and secondary sources provide information about the history of a region, but only primary sources tell the story in full and allow historians to draw causal conclusions about specific events.
While studying history can give us insights into the lives and times of those who lived long ago, it can also be a helpful tool for current affairs. As history is constantly evolving and changing, its importance should not be overlooked. Through the use of different types of historical study, we can better understand the people and circumstances that shaped us as a people and our relationships with one another. As we learn more about our past, we can examine how we got to where we are today and how to move forward.
Today, many people rely on the Internet and digital media to obtain secondary sources of historical information. With the expansion of the Internet, scholars have begun using blogs and social networks as additional means of conveying their findings. In this way, the reader can follow along with the various arguments made by the historians as they interpret the evidence. History lessons can be interesting and relevant. When properly approached, the world of history can be fascinating and engaging.