The History Portal
(c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history"
History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof. Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.
Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
The inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre
were held in AD
80, on the orders of the Roman Emperor Titus
, to celebrate the completion of the Colosseum
, then known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin
: Amphitheatrum Flavium
began construction of the amphitheatre
around AD 70, and it was completed by Titus soon after Vespasian's death in AD 79. After Titus' reign began with months of disasters – including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
, a fire in Rome, and an outbreak of plague – he inaugurated the building with lavish games which lasted for more than a hundred days, perhaps partially in an attempt to appease the Roman public and the gods.
Little documentary evidence of the nature of the games (ludi) remains. They appear to have followed the standard format of the Roman games: animal entertainments in the morning session, followed by the executions of criminals around midday, with the afternoon session reserved for gladiatorial combats and recreations of famous battles. The animal entertainments, which featured creatures from throughout the Roman Empire, included extravagant hunts and fights between different species. Animals also played a role in some executions which were staged as recreations of myths and historical events. Naval battles formed part of the spectacles but whether these took place in the amphitheatre or on a lake that had been specially constructed by Augustus is a topic of debate among historians.
Joan of Arc
, in French Jeanne d'Arc
(French pronunciation: [ʒan daʁk]
) or Jehanne
– 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans
" (French: La Pucelle d'Orléans
), is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase
of the Hundred Years' War
, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint
. She was born to Jacques d'Arc
and Isabelle Romée
, a peasant
family, at Domrémy
in north-east France. Joan claimed to have received visions of the Archangel Michael
, Saint Margaret
, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria
instructing her to support Charles VII
and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans
as part of a relief army. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims
. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.
On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age.
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On this day
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
— Sun Tzu, Ancient Chinese military strategist
History of China
"No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality. The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry..."
— Irving Babbitt
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