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Tara Wallace
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Tara Wallace
Tara Wallace
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Origin of the word history: Ancient Greece

Etymology of the word history

The word history comes from the Greek ἱστορί α . The etymology of the Greek word originates from the Indo-European root Weid - , which was a semantic field associated with the vision and knowledge. From this Indo-European origin, it passed into Greek. What did history mean? If we stick to the words of the Greek alphabet , noun hístor meant the witness, and the verb historein - to know, to explore, to talk or to testify. From this we can conclude that history tells a testimony through a witness .                 

An example of this value is passed to us by Campillo in his article "Three concepts of history," in which he commented that the term historian appears in the "Iliad " to refer to a witness. This witness is someone who knows something because he saw it that way. And as a consequence, you can testify about what happened. Of course, this is all very exciting. But if you do not have time to delve into all this and need help with history quickly - contact essay help .       

Herodotus: the father of history

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484-425 BC) was the historian of Ancient Greece. He was the one who grasped this sense of history by creating a new discipline. He is considered the father of history, since history as a science is born with him. He was the author of the book "History " , also known as the " Nine books on history" .      

According to Herodotus, history tries to present facts through the study of sources and evidence, using a certain methodology and formulating specific questions. Ultimately, history must explore and explain. But the very etymology of the word tells us that this narrative is based on evidence.      

Based on this definition, this first Greek historian in his work gave us a series of descriptions of events in antiquity, and also made interpretations and assessments. And here also the obvious fact is provided: the attitude of the historian to history, which I will talk about later. 

Herodotus' legacy

Herodotus laid the foundations for the discipline of history. The birth of this discipline coincided with the consolidation of the Greek polis and the transition from myth to logos. He moved from a story about Greek deities to a story about a man, a witness of earthly times.    

Greek culture continued the proposal of Herodotus. The most direct heir was Thucydides (460-396 BC), a well-known fact that he wrote "The History of the Peloponnesian War " . And here Thucydides noted that the method of investigation used was due to the fact that he was a direct eyewitness or on the basis of testimony that went through the stage of criticism and investigation. In the end, Thucydides established some guiding principles to be followed with regard to the method of the historical act: storytelling through research and criticism. In a sense, this was an empirical study in which we could find parallels with other sciences outside of the humanities.    

What is history?

After we've seen the RAE definitions of history and the origins of the word, we're going to delve a little deeper into the concept of the story itself today. But for this we have to make two distinctions: history as past events and history as a scientific discipline. Because although they use the same word and are related, both concepts are different from each other. All this is a deep analysis process that we will carry out in another article. If you would like more information on history in order to possibly solve problems at school with this subject - contact the history homework help .  





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