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Recorded history or written history is a
historical narrative History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems are considered ...

historical narrative
based on a written record or other documented communication. It contrasts with other narratives of the past, such as
myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...
ological,
oral The word oral may refer to: Relating to the mouth * Relating to the mouth, the first portion of the alimentary canal that primarily receives food and liquid **Oral administration of medicines ** Oral examination (also known as an oral exam or oral ...
or
archeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
traditions. For broader
world history World history or global history as a field of historiography, historical study examines history from a global perspective. It emerged centuries ago; leading practitioners have included Voltaire (1694–1778), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Hegel ( ...
, recorded
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
begins with the accounts of the
ancient world Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from t ...

ancient world
around the 4th millennium BCE, and coincides with the
invention of writing The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other marks and also the studies and descriptions of these developments. In the history of how writing systems A writing system is a method of visually repr ...
. For some geographic regions or cultures, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history because of the limited use of written records. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all of the information relevant to later historians, such as the full impact of natural disasters or the names of individuals. Recorded history for particular types of information is therefore limited based on the types of records kept. Because of this, recorded history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the topic. The interpretation of recorded history often relies on
historical method The term historical method refers to the collection of techniques and guidelines that historians use to research and write history, histories of the past. Secondary sources, primary sources and material evidence such as that derived from archaeo ...
, or the set of techniques and guidelines by which historians use
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
s and other evidence to research and then to write accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility of an effective method for interpreting recorded history, is raised in the
philosophy of history Philosophy of history is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality ...
as a question of
epistemology Epistemology (; ) is the concerned with . Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic , the of , and various related issues. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major ...

epistemology
. The study of different historical methods is known as
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
, which focuses on examining how different interpreters of recorded history create different interpretations of historical evidence.


Prehistory

Prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, ...
traditionally refers to the span of time before recorded history, ending with the invention of
writing systems A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, p ...
.Shotwell, James Thomson. An Introduction to the History of History. Records of civilization, sources and studies. New York: Columbia University Press, 1922. Prehistory refers to the past in an area where no written records exist, or where the writing of a culture is not understood.
Protohistory Protohistory is a period between prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the invention of writing systems. The u ...
refers to the transition period between prehistory and history, after the advent of
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
in a society but before the writings of the first
historians This is a list of historians only for those with a biographical entry in Wikipedia. Major chroniclers and annalists are included. Names are listed by the person's historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Anci ...
. Protohistory may also refer to the period during which a
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
or
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
has not yet developed writing, but other cultures have noted its existence in their own writings. More complete writing systems were preceded by
proto-writing Proto-writing consists of visible marks Communication, communicating limited information. Such systems emerged from earlier traditions of symbol systems in the early Neolithic, as early as the 7th millennium BC in Ancient China, China. They used i ...
. Early examples are the
Jiahu symbols 100px, Example of Jiahu symbols. The Jiahu symbols () consist of 16 distinct markings on prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the desc ...
(c. 6600 BCE), Vinča signs (c. 5300 BCE), early
Indus script The Indus script (also known as the Harappan script) is a corpus of symbols produced by the . Most inscriptions containing these symbols are extremely short, making it difficult to judge whether or not these symbols constituted a used to recor ...

Indus script
(c. 3500 BCE) and
Nsibidi Nsibidi (also known as nsibiri, nchibiddi or nchibiddy) is a system of symbols or early writing indigenous to what is now southeastern Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It borders N ...

Nsibidi
script (c. before 500 CE). There is disagreement concerning exactly when prehistory becomes history, and when proto-writing became "true writing". However, invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
in the late
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
of the late 4th millennium BCE. The
Sumerian
Sumerian
archaic
cuneiform script Cuneiform is a - that was used to write several languages of the . The script was in active use from the early until the beginning of the . It is named for the characteristic wedge-shaped impressions (: ) which form its . Cuneiform was origi ...
and the
Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent ...
are generally considered the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from 3400–3200 BCE with earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BCE.


Historical accounts

The earliest chronologies date back to the earliest civilizations of
Early Dynastic Period Egypt
Early Dynastic Period Egypt
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
and the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native (local, noble) lor ...

Sumer
ians, which emerged independently of each other from roughly 3500 BCE. Earliest recorded history, which varies greatly in quality and reliability, deals with
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. ...

Pharaoh
s and their
reigns A reign is the period of a person's or dynasty's occupation of the office of monarch of a nation (e.g., Saudi Arabia, List of Belgian monarchs, Belgium, Co-prince of Andorra, Andorra), of a people (e.g., List of Frankish kings, the Franks, List of ...
, as preserved by
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
ians. Much of the earliest recorded history was re-discovered relatively recently due to
archaeological dig sites
archaeological dig sites
findings. A number of different traditions have developed in different parts of the world as to how to interpret these ancient accounts.


Europe

Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
knew of seven predecessors of
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ge ...
, including
Hellanicus of Lesbos Hellanicus (or Hellanikos) of Lesbos ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Lésvios''), also called Hellanicus of Mytilene ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Mutilēnaῖos'') was an ancient Greek logographer who flourished during the latter half of the 5th ce ...
,
Xanthus of Lydia Xanthus of Lydia ( el, Ξάνθος ὁ Λυδός, ''Xanthos ho Lydos'') was a native Lydia Lydia ( Assyrian: ''Luddu''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of anc ...
and
Hecataeus of Miletus Hecataeus of Miletus (; el, Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Μιλήσιος; c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), son of Hegesander, was an early Ancient Greece, Greek historian and geographer. Biography Hailing from a very wealthy family, he lived in Miletus ...
. He described their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ge ...
(484 BCE – 425 BCE) has generally been acclaimed as the "father of history" composing his ''The Histories'' from the 450s to the 420s BCE. However, his contemporary
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
(c. 460 BCE – c. 400 BCE) is credited with having first approached history with a well-developed historical method in his work the ''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written by ...
''. Thucydides, unlike Herodotus, regarded history as being the product of the choices and actions of human beings, and looked at cause and effect, rather than as the result of divine intervention. History developed as a popular form of literature in later Greek and Roman societies in the works of
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the ...

Polybius
,
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
and others.
Saint Augustine In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being ...

Saint Augustine
was influential in
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...
and
Western thought Western philosophy refers to the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of s ...
at the beginning of the medieval period. Through the Medieval and
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
periods, history was often studied through a
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male ...
or religious perspective. Around 1800, German philosopher and historian
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German people, German philosopher. He is considered one of the most important figures in German idealism and one of the founding figures of Western philosophy, with hi ...
brought
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
and a more
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...

secular
approach into historical study. According to John Tosh, "From the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
(c.1000–1300) onwards, the written word survives in greater abundance than any other source for Western history."Tosh, ''The Pursuit of History'', 90. Western historians developed methods comparable to modern historiographic research in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and Germany, where they began investigating these source materials to write histories of their past. Many of these histories had strong ideological and political ties to their historical narratives. In the 20th century, academic historians began focusing less on epic nationalistic narratives, which often tended to glorify the nation or great men, to attempt more objective and complex analyses of social and intellectual forces. A major trend of historical methodology in the 20th century was a tendency to treat history more as a
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
rather than as an
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use o ...

art
, which traditionally had been the case. French historians associated with the Annales School introduced quantitative history, using raw data to track the lives of typical individuals, and were prominent in the establishment of
cultural history Cultural history combines the approaches of anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and va ...
.


East Asia

The ''
Zuo zhuan The ''Zuo Zhuan'' (; ), generally translated ''The Zuo Tradition'' or ''The Commentary of Zuo'', is an ancient Chinese narrative history that is traditionally regarded as a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle ''Spring and Autumn Annals ...

Zuo zhuan
'', attributed to
Zuo Qiuming Zuo Qiuming, Zuoqiu Ming or Qiu Ming (556–451 BC) was a Chinese historian who was a contemporary of Confucius that lived in the Lu (state), State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. The influential ''Zuozhuan'' (''Com ...
in the 5th century BCE covers the period from 722 to 468 BCE in a narrative form. The
Book of Documents The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Shangshu'' ("Esteemed Documents"), is one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of ...
is one of the
Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China written before 300 BC. The Four Books and the Five Classics are the most important classics of Chinese Confucianism. Four Books The Four Books () are Chi ...
of
Chinese classic texts Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles ( ...
and one of the earliest narratives of China. The ''
Spring and Autumn Annals The ''Spring and Autumn Annals'' or ''Chunqiu'' is an ancient Chinese chronicle that has been one of the core Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated ...
'', the official chronicle of the
State of Lu Lu (, c. 1042–249 BC) was a vassal state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), ...
covering the period from 722 to 481 BCE, is arranged on annalistic principles. It is traditionally attributed to
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
(551–479 BCE). ''
Zhan Guo Ce The ''Zhan Guo Ce'', ( W-G: Chan-kuo T'se), also known in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
'' was a renowned ancient Chinese historical compilation of sporadic materials on the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spri ...
compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE.
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
(around 100 BCE) was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing. His written work was the ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'', a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BCE, and it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people, and also explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras. His work influenced every subsequent author of history in China, including the prestigious Ban family of the
Eastern Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
era.


South Asia

In Sri Lanka, the oldest historical text is the Mahavamsa ( 5th century CE). Buddhist monks of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya maintained chronicles of Sri Lankan history starting from the 3rd century BCE. These annals were combined and compiled into a single document in the 5th century by the Mahanama of Anuradhapura while
Dhatusena of Anuradhapura Dhatusena was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled from 455 to 473 AD. He was the first king of the List of Sri Lankan monarchs#Moriya monarchs (459–684), Moriyan dynasty. In some records, he is also identified as Dasenkeli. Dhatusena reunited the count ...
was ruling the
Anuradhapura Kingdom The Anuradhapura Kingdom ( Sinhala: , translit: Anurādhapura Rājadhāniya, Tamil: ), named for its capital city, was the first established kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅk ...

Anuradhapura Kingdom
. It was written based on prior ancient compilations known as the ''
Atthakatha Aṭṭhakathā (Pali for explanation, commentary) refers to Pali-language Theravada, Theravadin Buddhist commentaries to the canonical Theravadin Tipitaka. These commentaries give the traditional interpretations of the scriptures. The major comment ...
'', which were commentaries written in Sinhala. An earlier document known as the '' Dipavamsa'' (4th century CE) "Island Chronicles" is much simpler and contains less information than the ''Mahavamsa'' and was probably compiled using the ''Atthakatha'' on the ''Mahavamsa'' as well. A companion volume, the '' Culavamsa'' "Lesser Chronicle", compiled by
Sinhala Sinhala may refer to: * Something of or related to the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka * Sinhalese people * Sinhala language, one of the three official languages used in Sri Lanka * Sinhala script, a writing system for the Sinhala language ** Sinhala ...
monks, covers the period from the 4th century to the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815. The ''Culavamsa'' was compiled by a number of authors of different time periods. The combined work, sometimes referred to collectively as the ''Mahavamsa'', provides a continuous historical record of over two millennia, and is considered one of the world's longest unbroken historical accounts. It is one of the few documents containing material relating to the
Nāga The Nāga (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific ...
and
Yakkha people Yakkha or Dewan (Nepali याक्खा, Yākkhā) is an indigenous ethnic group from the Indian subcontinent, mainly in modern-day Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, स ...

Yakkha people
s, indigenous inhabitants of
Lanka Lanka (, ) is the name given in Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It i ...

Lanka
prior to the legendary arrival of Prince Vijaya from Singha Pura of Kalinga. The Sangam literature offers a window into some aspects of the ancient South Indian culture, secular and religious beliefs, and the people. For example, in the Sangam era ''
Ainkurunuru Ainkurunuru ( meaning ''five hundred short poems'') is a classical Tamil literature, Tamil poetic work and traditionally the third of the Eight Anthologies (''Ettuthokai'') in the Sangam literature. It is divided into five groups of 100 short stan ...
'' poem 202 is one of the earliest mentions of "pigtail of
Brahmin Brahmin (; sa, ब्राह्मण, brāhmaṇa) are a varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gulf of Varna **Lake Varna *Vahrn, or Varna, a muni ...

Brahmin
boys". These poems also allude to historical incidents, ancient Tamil kings, the effect of war on loved ones and households. The '' Pattinappalai'' poem in the
Ten Idylls The Ten Idylls, known as Pattuppāṭṭu ( ta, பத்துப்பாட்டு) or Ten Lays, is an anthology of ten longer poems in the Sangam literature – the earliest known Tamil literature. They range between about 100 and 800 lines ...
group, for example, paints a description of the
Chola The Chola dynasty ( ta, சோழ வம்சம்) was a Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India, Sri Lanka and some other parts of Asia **Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka **Tamil Malaysian ...
capital, the king
Karikala Karikala ( ta, கரிகால சோழன்) was a Chola dynasty king who ruled southern India. He is credited with the construction of the flood banks of the river Kaveri. He is recognised as the greatest of the Early Cholas The ...
, the life in a harbor city with ships and merchandise for seafaring trade, the dance troupes, the bards and artists, the worship of the Hindu god
Murugan Kartikeya ( sa, कार्त्तिकेय, ), also known as Skanda, Kumāra, Murugan, Shanmugha and Subrahmanya , is the Hinduism, Hindu god of war. He is a son of Parvati and Shiva, brother of Ganesha, and a god whose life story ...

Murugan
and the monasteries of Buddhism and Jainism.
Indica__NOTOC__ Indica is classical Greek and Latin for "of India". It may refer to: Indian Species plant for example Mangifera indica (Mango tree) or Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) Historical ethnographic accounts of India * Indica (Arrian), ''Indica' ...
is an account of
Maurya The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age list of ancient great powers, historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE. Quote: "M ...

Maurya
n India by the Greek writer
Megasthenes Megasthenes ( ; grc, Μεγασθένης, c. 350BCE– c. 290 BCE) was an ancient Greek historian, diplomat and Indian ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history b ...
. The original book is now lost, but its fragments have survived in later Greek and Latin works. The earliest of these works are those by
Diodorus Siculus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern ...
,
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
(''
Geographica The ''Geographica'' (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...
''),
Pliny Pliny may refer to: People from antiquity * Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, historian, and author of ''Naturalis Historia'' (''Pliny's Natural History'') * Pliny the Younger (died 113), ancient Roman statesman, ...

Pliny
, and
Arrian Arrian of Nicomedia (; Ancient Greek, Greek: ''Arrianos''; la, Lucius Flavius Arrianus; ) was a Greek people, Greek historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the Roman Greece, Roman period. ''The Anabasis of Alex ...

Arrian
(''
Indica__NOTOC__ Indica is classical Greek and Latin for "of India". It may refer to: Indian Species plant for example Mangifera indica (Mango tree) or Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) Historical ethnographic accounts of India * Indica (Arrian), ''Indica' ...
'').


Middle East

In the preface to his book, the ''
Muqaddimah The ''Muqaddimah'', also known as the ''Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun'' ( ar, مقدّمة ابن خلدون) or ''Ibn Khaldun's Prolegomena'' ( grc, Προλεγόμενα), is a book written by the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; a ...
'' (1377), the Arab historian and early sociologist,
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arabs, Arab The Historical Muhammad', Irving M. Zeitlin, (Polity Press, 2007), p. 21; "It is, of course ...
, warned of seven mistakes that he thought that historians regularly committed. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle
superstition A superstition is any belief or practice considered by non-practitioners to be irrational or supernatural, attributed to fate or magic (supernatural), magic, perceived supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly ap ...
and uncritical acceptance of historical data." As a result, he introduced a
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
to the study of history, and he often referred to it as his "new science". His historical method also laid the groundwork for the observation of the role of
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
,
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

communication
,
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
and
systematic bias Systematic may refer to: * Something related to systematics Biology, Biological systematics is the study of the diversification of living forms, both past and present, and the Correlation and dependence, relationships among living things through ...
in history,H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", ''Cooperation South Journal'' 1. and he is thus considered to be the "father of historiography" or the "father of the philosophy of history". Dr. S. W. Akhtar (1997). "The Islamic Concept of Knowledge", ''Al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought & Culture'' 12 (3).


Methods of recording history

While recorded history begins with the invention of writing, over time new ways of recording history have come along with the advancement of technology. History can now be recorded through
photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...

photography
,
audio recording Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion ...
s, and
video recording Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications med ...
s. More recently,
Internet archives The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, ...
have been saving copies of webpages, documenting the history of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. Other methods of collecting historical information have also accompanied the change in technologies; for example, since at least the 20th century, attempts have been made to preserve
oral history Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview conducted with a member of the public F ...
by recording it. Until the 2000s this was done using
analogue recording Analog or analogue may refer to: Computing and electronics * Analog signal An analog signal is any continuous signal for which the time-varying feature of the signal is a representation of some other time-varying quantity, i.e., ''analogous ...
methods such as and
reel-to-reel tape Reel-to-reel audio tape recording, also called open-reel recording, is the form of Magnetic tape#Audio recording, magnetic tape audio recording in which the recording medium is held on a reel that is not permanently mounted in an enclosed casset ...
s. With the onset of new technologies, there are now
digital recording In digital recording, an audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural scienc ...
s, which may be recorded to compact disks. Nevertheless, historical record and interpretation often relies heavily on written records, partially because it dominates the extant historical materials, and partially because historians are used to communicating and researching in that medium.Tosh, ''The Pursuit of History'' 58-59


Historical method

The
historical method The term historical method refers to the collection of techniques and guidelines that historians use to research and write history, histories of the past. Secondary sources, primary sources and material evidence such as that derived from archaeo ...
comprises the techniques and guidelines by which
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
s use
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
s and other evidence to research and then to . Primary sources are first-hand evidence of history (usually written, but sometimes captured in other mediums) made at the time of an event by a present person. Historians think of those sources as the closest to the origin of the information or idea under study. These types of sources can provide researchers with, as Dalton and Charnigo put it, "direct, unmediated information about the object of study." Historians use other types of sources to understand history as well.
Secondary source In scholarship A scholarship is an award of Student financial aid, financial aid for a student to further their education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary college, university, or other academi ...
s are written accounts of history based upon the evidence from primary sources. These are sources which, usually, are accounts, works, or research that analyse, assimilate, evaluate, interpret, and/or synthesize primary sources.
Tertiary source A tertiary source is an index or textual consolidation of primary and secondary sources.


See also

*
Big History Big History is an academic discipline which examines history from the Big Bang to the present day, present. Big History resists specialization, and searches for universal patterns or trends. It examines long time frames using a multidisciplin ...
*
Source text A source text is a text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory) Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory), any object that can be read, including: **Religious text, a writing that a religious tradition considers ...


References


Works cited

* *


Further reading

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Recorded History World history History of writing