The History Portal
History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems 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. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also 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. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, 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 thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history," or, by some, the "father of lies." Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he 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.
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The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black Death pandemic in the 1340s, the high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years' War, and instability within the local leadership of London. The final trigger for the revolt was the intervention of a royal official, John Bampton, in Essex on 30 May 1381. His attempts to collect unpaid poll taxes in Brentwood ended in a violent confrontation, which rapidly spread across the south-east of the country. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans and village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records and opening the local gaols. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom, and the removal of the King's senior officials and law courts.
Inspired by the sermons of the radical cleric John Ball
and led by Wat Tyler
, a contingent of Kentish
rebels advanced on London. They were met at Blackheath
by representatives of the royal government, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to return home. King Richard II
, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London
, but most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London and, joined by many local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace
, set fire to law books and buildings in the Temple
, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day, Richard met the rebels at Mile End
and acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor
and the Lord High Treasurer
, whom they found inside. Read more...
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
Did you know...
- ... that Giovanni de Ventura, a plague doctor who may have worn a beak doctor costume (pictured), was restricted by a covenant to treat only infectious patients? In the nose of the mask, there were types of plants that were used to filter the sickness from the wearer.
- ... that in some archaic Greek alphabets, an Ε could look like a Β, a Β like a C, a Γ like an Ι, an Ι like a Σ, or a Σ like an Μ?
- ... that the Chinese government has published a list of sixty-four important cultural relics that are forbidden to be exhibited outside of China?
- ... that the 1886 novel Albertine expedited the abolition of public prostitution in Norway?
- ... that Carl Sagan worked with the US Air Force on detonating a nuclear device on the Moon?
- ... that Olympic gold medals have been made out of silver, jade, and glass?
- ... that in 1945 a Japanese battalion was rearmed to serve alongside the British 5th Parachute Brigade in the Far East?
- ... that Solomon was accidentally castrated as an infant?
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John Linton Treloar, OBE (10 December 1894 – 28 January 1952) was an Australian archivist and the second director of the Australian War Memorial (AWM). During World War I he served in several staff roles and later headed the First Australian Imperial Force's (AIF) record-keeping unit. From 1920 Treloar played an important role in establishing the AWM as its director. He headed an Australian Government department during the first years of World War II, and spent the remainder of the war in charge of the Australian military's history section. Treloar returned to the AWM in 1946, and continued as its director until his death.
Treloar's career was focussed on the Australian military and its history. Prior to World War I he worked as a clerk in the Department of Defence
and, after volunteering for the AIF in 1914, formed part of the Australian Army
officer Brudenell White
's staff for most of the war's first years. He was appointed commander of the Australian War Records Section
(AWRS) in 1917. In this position, he improved the AIF's records and collected a large number of artefacts for later display in Australia. Treloar was appointed the director of what eventually became the AWM in 1920, and was a key figure in establishing the Memorial and raising funds for its permanent building in Canberra
. He left the AWM at the outbreak of World War II to lead the Australian Government's Department of Information
, but was effectively sidelined for much of 1940. In early 1941 he was appointed to command the Australian military's Military History and Information Section with similar responsibilities to those he had held during World War I. He attempted to intervene in the management of the AWM during his absence, however, to the increasing frustration of its acting director. Treloar worked intensely in all his roles and suffered periods of ill-health as a result. Following the war, he returned to the Memorial in 1946 but his performance deteriorated over time, possibly due to exhaustion. He died in January 1952. Read more...
On this day
In truth history does not belong to us but rather we to history.
The following are images from various History-related articles on Wikipedia.
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 edition of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
The Chinese Han Dynasty dominated the East Asia region at the beginning of the first millennium AD
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
Technical drawing of Roman Ballista mechanism.
Engraved world map (including magnetic declination lines) by Leonhard Euler from his school atlas "Geographischer Atlas bestehend in 44 Land-Charten" first published 1753 in Berlin
A painting depecting the Qing Chinese celebrating a victory over the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. This work was a collaboration between Chinese and European painters.
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. From a Xiongnu tomb. 4th–3rd century BC
Cossacks became the backbone of the early Russian Army.
Painting of Murong Xianbei archer, in Late Antiquity, nomads across Eurasia, began to use the stirrup. Horse riding warriors could be devastating in combat.
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of the approximate political boundaries in Europe around 450 AD
Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, a form of Zeus 1st century AD. Gods, could sometimes be transferred or adopted by many civilizations, and then adjusted for local conditions.
The Iron Age kingdom of Israel (blue) and kingdom of Judah (yellow)
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
A possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva", 2600–1900 BCE
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
The early Muslim conquests
Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
Expansion during the Patriarchal Caliphate, 632–661
Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750
Gutenberg reviewing a press proof (a colored engraving created probably in the 19th century)
Model for the Three Superior Planets and Venus from Georg von Peuerbach, Theoricae novae planetarum.
Nok sculpture of a sitted person
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
Egyptian soldiers from Hatshepsut's expedition to the Land of Punt as depicted from her temple at Deir el-Bahri.
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Battle of Vienna, 12 September 1683
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
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