The science of history is the methodically secured research of aspects of the human past or history on the basis of a critically analyzed and interpreted tradition (sources) under a specific question .
Definition and tasks
History is a cultural or human sciences that deals with the history of people and human communities, while natural history belongs to the individual natural sciences . Today, the history of science, especially with related issues ( historical anthropology ), is therefore also a special area of anthropology .
The science of history is characterized by a critical method, i.e. its prerequisites, methods, trains of thought and results must be rationally debatable or intersubjectively verifiable (and at least in principle falsifiable ), and one always proceeds in a verifying manner and striving for extensive objectivity ( see historical-critical method ). Historical sources , which are collected in the course of research and then evaluated according to the rules of the subject, form the basis. The focus here is on the written certificates . History is also closely related to archeology , which mainly uses non-written sources, and political science . Due to the special importance of texts and hermeneutics for historical research, there are also points of contact with literary studies .
In the study of history, it is less a matter of merely preserving and disseminating the existing knowledge about man's past, but rather of increasing it. The historical material and the historical material are basically infinite, since new sources and perspectives on the past are constantly emerging. The latter in particular ensures that new insights are continually achieved and older positions are revised due to changed questions and paradigm shifts, also with regard to epochs far back. The sources - written as well as material - always require interpretation in this context, they do not speak for themselves. Methodical rules must be observed, which modern historical science has formulated over the course of two centuries, in order to avoid plausible and logically permissible interpretations from inadmissible ones to be able to separate.
Researching, interpreting, linking and deepening are the focus of the work of historians. The researcher always leaves
- approach his subject with a specific interest in knowledge , a question ,
- collects and then sifts through the available sources,
- interprets these according to the methodological rules of the subject
- and finally presents its results in order to present them for public discussion.
As in any science, there is an increase in knowledge in the attempt to uncover and correct errors and one-sidednesses of earlier researchers (research history). The questions asked of the past change over time. They are often related to new social science theories, in the light of which the sources and relationships can be interpreted differently.
Historians are called historians (from ancient Greek history / Historia = "exploration, exploration"). A branch of historical science that deals with the basics of the subject history, is the History . The subject is practiced worldwide primarily at universities and specialized institutes, as well as at larger and local museums. There are also many people who are historically active outside of their profession on a scientific level, e. B. in regional and local history . There are also numerous historically interested laypeople who sometimes make important contributions, but who often make serious errors due to methodological deficiencies.
In a gray area for historical studies, there are popular scientific presentations that are aimed at a broader audience without precise evidence . It can happen that they oversimplify the story or even falsify it (intentionally or unintentionally). Sometimes the borderline to pseudoscience is blurred in popular scientific work , which works in a methodologically inadmissible manner and thus produces scientifically untenable results. Good popular scientific works, on the other hand, spread historical knowledge outside the specialist world. Ideally, they can also make it clear to a broader public that the current picture of the past is always a more or less plausible (re-) construction and interpretation . Some historians like Golo Mann even believe that good historiography is more of a literary art than a science, but an art that is based on the knowledge of science.
History of historical science
The science of history has its own history. The history of historiography is about earlier historians , their works, partly about the circumstances under which historiography was previously practiced, and also about how interests and issues have changed. Herodotus is considered the father of historiography . His, however, did not yet follow the rules of modern research, but saw itself as a literary-philosophical work of art. Even in antiquity, historiography set some standards with authors like Thucydides , which Giambattista Vico has drawn on in modern times. But it was not until the 19th century ( historicism ) that historical researchers in Europe began to deal more closely with history , taking into account scientific criteria ( heuristics , source criticism , textual criticism , objectivity ). In the 1920s, under the aegis of Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the Annales School began to be established in France , which today is closely related to the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris . This still publishes the magazine founded by the two historians.
History, history didactics and methods
The theory of history (history) deals on a theoretical level with the fundamentals of the subject, especially with the question of how historical knowledge is possible, how it comes about and what it is used for. By recognizing his own, often unconscious, assumptions, a historian can avoid mistakes.
History didactics belongs to the science of history, not to education , because teaching contemporaries about history was the original concern of historians. It is primarily concerned with the way in which the historical consciousness in school and extracurricular educational processes as well as in the historical culture deals with the past and tradition .
Methods of historical science
The historical-critical method was developed and refined in examination of the written sources in the 18th and 19th centuries. As before, texts are clearly at the center of historical studies. However, there are no written sources for many historical facts.
Social science methods (including statistics in particular ), which can also quantitatively record mass phenomena , go beyond them. Furthermore, scientific methods - e.g. B. the C14 method , dendrochronology and DNA analysis (especially for grave finds) - increasingly the historical methodology . New and / or improved data analyzes have also become possible with the invention and continuous further development of the modern computer . Complex statistical methods of time series analysis are becoming increasingly important in historical sciences.
Spatial and temporal sections
Spatially and geographically, history can be broken down into world history and the history of individual continents ( Europe , America , Asia , Africa , Australia ). These include countless national , regional and local stories as well as migration stories such as the migration of peoples or the settlement in the east .
In terms of time, history is divided into epochs .
- The Prehistory and Early History covers the period between the first deliberately made stone tools before about 2.5 million years ago to the first written records. History in the narrower sense is only spoken of when written documents are available. The end of prehistory is at a different point in time in each culture, depending on when writing was introduced or developed.
- The first written documents can be found in the phase of advanced civilizations from approx. 4000 BC. Chr.
- Since Christoph Cellarius ( 1638 - 1707 ) the history of Europe and the Mediterranean area has been divided into the periods of ancient history , medieval history and modern history . This European periodization in ancient , medieval and modern times (from an originally Protestant point of view) is controversial today and cannot be easily applied to non-European high cultures, for example to Chinese history or to Japan, India or Central and South America.
The three major eras in European history are
- Ancient history (Greeks, Romans and their neighboring peoples) (until approx. 600 AD),
- Medieval history (approx. 500/600 to approx. 1500 AD) and
- Modern times (since around 1500). The modern age is again divided into sections
History specializes accordingly.
World history means the attempt to present human history in its entirety beyond national or sectoral restrictions. However, the specific representation is always structured according to time and space (see below). Jürgen Osterhammel has made a recent attempt for the 19th century .
Of general history is spoken when the story is meant without themed sections.
Important sub-areas are:
- Political history
- Social history
- Legal history
- Cultural history
- Gender history
- Educational history
- History of ideas
- Economic history
- Technology history
- Sports history
- History of mathematics , history of statistics
The topics are often also the subject of a specialist science, so economic history is also part of economics . It often depends on tradition whether a field is more represented in history (e.g. social history) or in specialist science ( social science ). Contemporary history in particular can hardly be separated from political science .
Different approaches are
Regions and cultures:
Basics of the subject:
Sources, secondary literature and resources
Sources are the basis for the work of a historian ; New knowledge comes from this occupation. His research results are published in monographs and articles in specialist journals, that is, as secondary literature ("representations"). Third, you use tools. The reference books include:
- Overall presentations and manuals such as the Handbuch der Deutschen Geschichte or the Handbuch der historical places
- Manual dictionaries such as the basic historical terms
- Specialized lexicons such as the Old World Lexicon
- Historical atlases such as Putzger's historical world atlas
- Certain chronical and thematic overviews, tables and statistics such as the pocket book of the calculation of the German Middle Ages and Modern Times by Hermann Grotefend
- Marc Bloch : Apology of the science of history or the profession of the historian . Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2002.
- Egon Boshof / Kurt Düwell / Hans Kloft: Basics of the study of history. An introduction . 5th edition Cologne / Weimar / Vienna: Böhlau, 1997 (= Böhlau study books ). ISBN 3-412-15296-X [introductory literature with numerous further references.]
- Gunilla Budde / Dagmar Freist / Hilke Günther-Arndt (ed.): History. Studies - Science - Profession , Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-05-004435-4 (= Academy Study Books - History Base Book ).
- Joachim Eibach / Günther Lottes (Hrsg.): Compass of historical science. A manual . Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002 (= UTB for science: Uni-Taschenbücher , vol. 2271), ISBN 3-8252-2271-3 .
- Ulrich Enderwitz: Critique of History. Historical relativism, the category of the source and the problem of the future in history. Ça Ira, 1988, ISBN 3-925789-09-X .
- Christoph Cornelißen (Hrsg.): History. An introduction . Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2nd edition 2000 (Fischer-Taschenbuch, Vol. 14566), ISBN 3-596-14566-X .
- Hans-Jürgen Goertz (Ed.): History. A basic course . Reinbek near Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2nd edition 2001 (= Rowohlts Enzyklopädie; rororo , vol. 55576), ISBN 3-499-55576-X .
- Hans-Werner Goetz : Modern Medieval Studies . Status and perspectives of medieval research . Darmstadt: Scientific Book Society, 1999.
- Bettina Hitzer, Thomas Welskopp (ed.): The Bielefelder social history. Classical texts on a historical program and its controversies . Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1521-0 .
- Peter Lambert / Phillip Schofield (Eds.): Making History: An Introduction to the History and Practices of a Discipline . London: Routledge 2004, ISBN 0-415-24255-X .
- Paul Nolte : Why Science of History? In: Florian Keisinger u. a. (Ed.): Why humanities? Controversial arguments for an overdue debate . Frankfurt am Main / New York 2003, ISBN 3-593-37336-X .
- Lutz Raphael: History in the Age of Extremes. Theories, methods, tendencies from 1900 to the present , Munich: CH Beck, 2003.
- Pietro Rossi (ed.): Theory of modern historiography. Frankfurt am Main 1987.
- Theodor Schieder : History as Science. An introduction . 2nd edition Munich / Vienna 1968.
- Winfried Schulze (Ed.): History in Science and Education 60, 2009/3 (special issue on the unity of history ).
- Thomas Wozniak , Jürgen Nemitz, Uwe Rohwedder (Hrsg.): Wikipedia and history. de Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin et al. 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-037634-0 , e- ISBN 978-3-11-037635-7 .
- Volker Depkat, Matthias Müller, Andreas Urs Sommer (eds.): Why history (s)? Historical science and philosophy of history in conflict. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08419-3 .
- Andrea Griesebner : Feminist History. An introduction . Löcker, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-85409-410-8 .
- Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller : Introduction to the historiography of homosexualities. edition diskord, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-89295-678-2 .
- Guido Koller: History digital. Re-measuring historical worlds. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-17-028929-1 .
- Gabriele Lingelbach , Harriet Rudolph: Study history. A practice-oriented introduction for historians from matriculation to entry into the profession . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-531-14557-6 .
- Lutz Raphael : History in the Age of Extremes. Theories, methods, tendencies from 1900 to the present. CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-49472-2 .
- Philipp Sarasin : History and Discourse Analysis. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-518-29239-0 .
- Uwe Danker. Astrid Schwabe : History on the Internet. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-17-022433-9 .
- Historical Abstracts - covers mostly English-language literature published since 1955
- Print edition: Yearbook of historical research in the Federal Republic of Germany , since 1974
- online: Historical bibliography and yearbook of historical research online
- Horst W. Blanke: On the relationship between historiographic history and history. An analysis of the conference volumes “Theory of History” and “History Discourse”. In: Tel Aviver Yearbook for German History , 29, 2000, pp. 55–84.
- Michel de Certeau : Writing History . Campus, Frankfurt 1991.
- Eduard Fueter : History of the recent historiography . Zurich 1985 (reprint of the 3rd edition 1936).
- Günter Johannes Henz: Leopold von Ranke in historical thinking and research . 2 vols. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2014.
- Hayden White: The Problem of Narration in Modern History . In: Pietro Rossi (ed.): Theory of modern historiography . Frankfurt 1987.
- Giambattista Vico : Principles of a New Science on the Common Nature of Peoples. Vol. 1–2, Scienza nuova, (first published in 1721) Translated and edited by Vittorio Hösle and Christoph Jermann, PhB special edition. 2009, ISBN 978-3-7873-1932-9 .
Historiography in Germany
- Nicolas Berg: The Holocaust and the West German Historians. Exploration and memory . Wallstein, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-610-5 .
- Ulrich Enderwitz: Critique of History. Historical relativism, the category of the source and the problem of the future in history . Medusa-Verlag, Berlin / Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-88602-061-4 .
- Ernst Engelberg : Theory, empiricism and method in the science of history. Collected essays . Edited by Wolfgang Küttler and Gustav Seeber . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1980, .
- Alexander Fischer , Günther Heydemann (Ed.): History in the GDR . 2 vols. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1988/1990, ISBN 3-428-06560-3 .
- Daniel Fulda: Science from Art. The emergence of modern German historiography 1760–1860 . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1996, ISBN 3-11-015014-X .
- Günther Heydemann: History in divided Germany. Development history, organizational structure, functions, theory and method problems in the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-8204-6179-5 .
- Georg Iggers : German History. A critique of the traditional view of history from Herder to the present . 3. Edition. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-205-98681-4 .
- Ulrich Pfeil (Ed.): The return of German historical science to the "ecumenism of historians". A science-historical approach . Oldenbourg, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-58795-1 ( http: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.perspectivia.net%2Fcontent%2Fpublikationen%2Fphs%2Fpfeil_geschichtswwissenschaft~GB%3D~IA%3D~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3D~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D ).
- Martin Sabrow : The dictate of consensus. History in the GDR 1949–1969 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-486-56559-1 .
- Peter Schöttler (Ed.): Historiography as a science of legitimation 1918–1945 . Suhrkamp (stw), Frankfurt / Main 1997.
- Ernst Schulin (ed.): German history after the Second World War (1945-1965) (= writings of the historical college. Vol. 14). Oldenbourg, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-54831-X . ( online ).
- Winfried Schulze : German history after 1945 . Oldenbourg, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-54811-5 .
- Winfried Schulze, Otto Gerhard Oexle (ed.): German historians in National Socialism . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-596-14606-2 .
- Wolfgang Weber : Priest of the Klio. Historical and social studies on the origins and careers of German historians and on the history of German historical studies 1800–1970 . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1984, ISBN 3-8204-7435-8 .
Historiography in France
- Gabriele Lingelbach : Klio is making a career. The institutionalization of historical studies in France and the USA in the second half of the 19th century , Göttingen 2003.
- Lutz Raphael : The heirs of Bloch and Febvre: Annales historiography and nouvelle histoire in France. 1945–1980 , Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1994.
- Philippe Poirrier: Aborder l'histoire . Seuil, Paris 2000.
- Philippe Poirrier: Les enjeux de l'histoire culturelle . Seuil, Paris 2004.
- Arnd Hoffmann: Chance and Contingency in the Theory of History. With two studies on theory and practice in social history . Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-465-03369-1 .
- Peter Schöttler: The “Annales” historians and German history . Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-16-153338-9 .
Historiography in Great Britain
- Roger Charles Richardson: The debate on the English Revolution. 3rd ed., Manchester [u. a.]: Manchester Univ. Press, 1998.
Historiography in Latin America
- Mark Thurner: Yet another history of history , in: Latin American Research Review , Vol. 41, No. 3, October 2006, pp. 164-174.
Historiography in Switzerland
- Boris Schneider (ed.): Historical research in Switzerland: balance sheet and perspectives . Basel: Schwabe, 1992.
History in the United States
- Peter Novick , That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
- The state of US history , ed. By Melvyn Stokes, Oxford [u. a.]: Berg, 2002.
- Eric Foner: Who owns history? Rethinking the past in a changing world . New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2002.
- Dirk Hoerder: From National History to Many Texts. Deprovincialized / Transcultural / Internationalized Historiographies of the United States . In: Amerikastudien / American Studies 48.1 (2003), pp. 11–32.
- Michael Wachholz: Breaking the boundaries of history. An examination of the historical thinking of American postmodernism . Heidelberg: Winter, 2005.
- Gerard Serrade: Empty Times - or: The abstract image of history. Logos, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-89722-016-4 .
- John Higham / Leonard Krieger / Felix Gilbert: History , Englewood Cliffs 1965.
Historiography in Japan
- Hans Martin Krämer / Tino Schölz / Sebastian Conrad (eds.): History in Japan. Topics, approaches and theories . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-525-36297-6 .
- Gisela Bock : history, women's history, gender history . In: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 14 (1988), pp. 364-391.
- Andrea Griesebner: Feminist History. An introduction . Vienna: Löcker 2005, ISBN 3-85409-410-8 .
- Karin Hausen : History as a patrilineal construction and historiographical identification offer. A commentary on Lothar Gall, Das Bürgerertum in Deutschland, Berlin 1989 . In: L'Homme. Journal of Feminist History . 8th volume / booklet 2, 1997, pp. 109-131.
- Uta C. Schmidt: From the Edge to the Middle: Aspects of a Feminist Perspective in History . Edition Ebersbach in eFeF-Verlag, Zurich / Dortmund 1994, ISBN 3-905493-58-6 (dissertation University Bielefeld 1994, 271 pages table of contents ).
- Joan W. Scott: Gender . A useful category of historical analysis . In: Nancy Kaiser: SELF-KNOWLEDGE Women in the USA . Leipzig: Reclam, 1994, pp. 27-75.
- Mary Spongberg: Writing women's history since the Renaissance . Basingstoke [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
- Reading Jewish History: Texts of Jewish Historiography in the 19th and 20th Centuries . Edited and commented by Michael Brenner , Munich: Beck, 2003.
- Historians' dispute in Israel. The 'new' historians between science and the public . Edited by Barbara Schäfer, Frankfurt am Main [u. a.]: Campus-Verlag, 2000.
- Jewish historiography today: topics, positions, controversies . Edited by Michael Brenner and David N. Myers, Munich: Beck, 2002.
- Michael Brenner: Prophets of the Past. Jewish historiography in the 19th and 20th centuries , Munich: Beck, 2006.
- Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi : Zachor: Remember! Jewish history and memory , Berlin: Wagenbach, 1988.
- Historical literature in the catalog of the German National Library
- Humanities and Social Sciences online - Hnet - Access to numerous specialized mailing lists and reviews
- sehepunkte - monthly review journal
- H-Soz-Kult - current discussions and competent reviews
- Chronicon - specialist history portal
- Clio-online - specialist portal for the historical sciences
- Historical Social Research / Historical Social Research
- Contemporary history online
- Contemporary historical research
- Historicum.net - History on the Internet, extensive scientific texts and list of links
- eStudies - virtual subject, communication and publication space for students and young academics in history
- Gleichsatz.de - The historical value judgment
- Hartmut Kaelble : Historical Comparison , Version: 1.0, in: Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte , August 14, 2012
- Katja Stopka: Contemporary History, Literature and Literary Studies , Version: 1.0, in: Docupedia Contemporary History , February 11, 2010
- Golo Mann: Plea for the historical narrative , in: Theory of History, Vol. 3, Theory and narration in history, ed. v. Jürgen Kocka and Thomas Nipperdey , Munich 1979, pp. 40–56.
- Helmut Thome: Time series analysis. An introduction for social scientists and historians . Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-57871-5 .
- The transformation of the world. A story of the 19th century . Munich 2009; World history: from the university to the classroom . In: History for Today. 3/2009, pp. 5-13.