What is History?

Definition of history / What is History? The English word "History" has come from the Greek word "Historia". The word Historia was first used by Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century B.C.). He is famous as the father of History. It was he who first of all used this word after the name of his research work whose dictionary meaning is investigation into the truth or research

Definition of history / What is History?



The English word "History"  has come from the Greek word "Historia". The word Historia was first used by Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century B.C.). He is famous as the father of History. It was he who first of all used this word after the name of his research work whose dictionary meaning is investigation into the truth or research. He believed that history is to investigate or write what in true sense existed or took place. He investigated into different issues of the war that had taken place between Greece and Persia through his research. In this research he gave description of the obtained information, important events and the stories of victory of the Greek so that next generations do not forget these events and these events inspire them and imbue them with patriotism. It was Herodotus who first combined the two concepts. History and Investigation. As a result, History turned into science, became completely information-based and became a subject of research. Actually, never-ending flow of events in human society is called History.
Again, According to Rapson “History is the sequential and scientific description of events.
The father of modern History, the German historian Leopold Von Ranke thinks that – “History means the research and the true description of what took place. He opines that History is stark true. So, it can be said that History means the sequential and true description of different activities related to the transformation of human society. Therefore, authentic history is written based on the truth.


Theme of World History

The main Theme of world History and Scope of History
History is the evidence and written document of chronological changes of people, their society and their civilization. Of modern historians Vico thinks about the theme of History “in the way that human society and the origin and the growth of humanitarian institutions are the theme of history.” Therefore, it is seen that all the important achievements that have been able to contribute to the development and progress of human society and civilization are all subjects included in History. Such as: art, literature and culture, philosophy, sculpture, politics, warfare, religion, laws etc. which as a whole have influenced directly or indirectly society and civilization are all focus of History.



Scope of History

All activities performed by man are included in the scope of History. The periphery of history extends to those branches where man’s thinking, planning, activities are extended. But the limit of this extension is not static. The scope of History is being modified with the changes in man’s thinking and activities. For example:  During the first phase of prehistoric period, man’s activities were limited to collecting foods. Production strategy was still unknown to them. As a result, at that time the scope of History was extended to the activities of food collection. The periphery of man’s activities has increased with evolution of time and the progress of civilization. Along with this, scientific methods are being adopted in research and inculcation of History. As a result, the number of the branches of History has increased, and its limit is also expanding. In the nineteenth century though History was a subject of politics, after the preaching of Marxism History of Economics, History of Society, History of Fine Arts started being written. Thus one after another new subjects are being included in History and its scope is expanding.


The main sources of world history

history refer to the information and evidence based on which it is possible to establish the historical truth. The importance of historical sources knows no bounds in writing the actual history. The sources of history can be divided into two groups, such as
(a) written sources.
(b) unwritten sources.
Now I shall decision about this to sources of world history in details:


1. Written Sources:

The written sources of writing history include literature, overseas account, documents etc. There is some information available also in different literary works of the then time.
As for example: The Vedas, Kautilya’s Arthasastro, Kalahan’s Rajatarangini, Minhaj-us-Siraj’s Tabkat-E-Nasiri, Abul Fazal’s Ain-E- Akbari etc.
Descriptions of the overseas travelers are always considered the most important sources.
As for example: The descriptions of the Chinese travelers Fa-hien, Hiuen- Tsang, and Itsing respectively who came to Bengal from fifth to the seventh century. In the subsequent times, there was description about this area/zone in the writings of others including Ibn Batuta. Quite much information was obtained from these descriptions about the then society, economy, politics, religion, and rituals and customs. Literary sources also include fairy tales, hearsays, stories etc. The description of Tibetan writer Lama Taranath about the ascending of Gopal, the founder of Pal Dynasty, to the throne is a kind of fantasy. Yet, there remain many true events behind many historical events which the historians discover through meticulous analysis and investigation. Moreover, it is also possible to collect reliable information from government documents, letters etc.



2. Unwritten or archeological Sources:

Unwritten or archeological evidence refer to those things or sources from which we can get a variety of historical information about a particular time, place or person. Archeological testimonies are included in unwritten elements. For example: coins, stone inscriptions, column inscriptions, copper inscriptions, edifices etc. We can have some knowledge about political, social and economic condition of the people of that time by dint of scientific experiments and analysis of this archeological evidence. It is possible to form an idea about civilization, religion, lifestyle, urbanization, things used every day, the condition of trade and business, agricultural equipment of the ancient people. For example, we can describe the archeological testimonies of the Indus civilization, and some places of Bangladesh such as Mohasthangar, Paharpur, Maynamati etc. New archeological discoveries can change the history of a nation. For instance: the recent archeological discovery of Wari-Bateshwar in Narsingdi. It has been proved in the archeological testimony of that place that even before two thousand five hundred years back there was the existence of urban civilization in Bangladesh. As a result of this discovery, a new horizon of the civilization of ancient Bengal is going to be exposed and people’s conceptions about the ancient civilization of Bengal are getting changed day by day. The time is not too far when the ancient history of Bengal will have to be written afresh.


Get more at Importance of reading world history.

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Knowledge World: What is History?
What is History?
Definition of history / What is History? The English word "History" has come from the Greek word "Historia". The word Historia was first used by Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century B.C.). He is famous as the father of History. It was he who first of all used this word after the name of his research work whose dictionary meaning is investigation into the truth or research
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