What Is History

What is History?

The meaning of history is a topic debatable amongst historians. Interpretations of the concept of history have continuously changed subsequent to the medieval era when the word ‘history’ first entered the English language. It is the information given by the majority of both ancient records and modern written sources however, which allow for both the word and the concept of history to be defined as ‘the study of the human past’ as well as ‘what has happened with men.’

It is the characterization of history as being a ‘knowledge’ of the past by a number of Ancient and medieval historians which allows for the word history to be defined as the scholarly study of the past, and also as a word used to describe what has happened in the human past . The word history comes from the Ancient Greek historia, which means ‘inquiry’ or ‘knowledge acquired by investigation.’ The English Philospher Francis Bakon also wrote ‘Natural History’ in the 16th century with the understanding that history is "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time". The word history may be interpreted as meaning the ‘study’ of the past in the scholarly sense that it is defined by through its description as a ‘knowledge’ of the past. In modern academia, history is increasingly classified as a social science, or as being a part of the humanities. The classification of the concept by modern historians allows for the word history to become exclusively relevant to the study of the human sciences, so that the interpretation that history is the ‘study of the human past’ is made true.