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History as study discipline

History is a branch of knowledge in which we study about events that taken place in the past. The word ‘History’ comes from Greek Word Historia meaning inquiry i.e. the knowledge gained from investigations. Aristotle used the word in his Peri Ta Zoa Istória ~ in Latin – Historia Animalium. The term is devised from hístōr means wise man, witness, or judge. In late 16th Century Francis Bacon used the term when he wrote “Natural History”. In words of  Francis Bacon historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time". In 1390 the word “History” meaning "relation of incidents, story" find the place in English Language. In Middle English the meaning of “History” was “story”.  The adjective “historical’ taken into practice in 1661 and “historic” in 1669.
In “History”, we study our past; the events that have taken place hundreds of years ago from now. Special focus is given to the written record of the activities of human beings over time. The people who study and write about past are called Historians. The Historians uses storyline to investigate and conclude the order of events and very frequently make attempts to find without bias the outlines of grounds and consequences that conclude events. History teaches us about our ancient past. Historians often argue about the nature of History and the lesson that History teaches.

In words of George Santayana "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The work that Historian produces to which they are observers and participants are written from the viewpoint of their own time and sometimes with due concern for possible lessons for their own future. History is added by the pattern of a true discourse of past through the production of narrative and analysis of past events linking to human race.  Benedetto Croce said, "All history is contemporary history". 

All events that happened in the past and available in some authentic form so see, watch or listen makes historical record. The purpose of historical conversation is to make sure the source that can contribute to the production of accurate of past. Some Historians classify history as part of humanities and other as part of Social Sciences. So history can be assumed as a bridge between those two wide areas. In modern times History largely classified as part of Social Sciences. French historian Fernand Braudel reinforced the study of history in 20th century; he used disciplines like economics, anthropology, and geography for the study of Global History.

History can be studied from all three types of sources i.e. what is written, what is said, and what is physically preserved. Historians use all three types of sources for the study and teaching of human past. History can be categorized in many ways like chronologically, culturally, territorially, and thematically. The historical method encompasses the methods and strategies by which historians use primary sources and other substantiation to research and then to write history. Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BC – ca.425 BC) has usually been celebrated as the "father of history". His contemporary Thucydides (ca. 460 BC – ca. 400 BC) is ascribed with having begun the scientific approach to history in his work the Greco-Persian Wars.

The study of history can be classified into three main ways –

1.    Ancient History
2.    Medieval History and
3.    Modern History.

However we sometimes classify history on the basis of geographic locations too like World History, Global History, History Of Asia, History of Rome, History of India, History of America etc. History also classified as Geographic History, Political History, and Economical History etc.

Academically, the study of History in Indian School Curriculum starts from junior classes onwards. History chapters also taught in Primary classes as part of Social Sciences and sometimes as parts of literature Indian or Foreign. The Indian students require learning of History at least till completion of class 10th standard. However, 11th standard onwards they have given choice to study humanities / sciences / commerce etc. History makes part of humanities.

Students who study history at college level receive Bachelor in Arts (BA) degree and who do masters in history receives Master in Arts (MA) degree. Many students further their education in history at research level and acquire degrees like Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and many do post doctoral research and sometimes study History for life to become historian. The contributions of Historians to the society are well known to the world. Following is given list of historians from India and List of Historians from other countries of the world.


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