‘History Is the Record of What One Age Finds Worthy of Note in Another’. Discuss.

Topics: History, Historian, Intellectual history Pages: 3 (1025 words) Published: December 1, 2010
‘History is the record of what one age finds worthy of note in another’. Discuss. History is a rather strange subject as it is really only when some historian comes across a dusty book in their research, that those collections of writings become history. Prior to that they were just writing’s which were perhaps preserved for means that have no connection with history such as government records, and frequently it is just luck that these documents get into the hands of the historian. John Tosh puts this rather well stating ‘History is what people at the time think is interesting related to their own environment and not necessarily what they perceive to have some of future historical interest.’ This is the ‘power’ of the historian to change just normal everyday things such as diaries and records and turn them into history. To the people that wrote many of the documents that are used by historians, the documents that they created were just want they wanted the record for themselves at the time. Things like diaries or log books to keep track of their goods. These sorts of documents are invaluable to the modern historian as for the majority of studied history you cannot conduct an interview, so therefore you have to try and piece together what you can from the fragmented evidence that is available to us. Really is that not what history is people trying to rebuild the past trying to tell a story of the people before us so we can try an understand ourselves. This line of thought has been running for hundreds of years even the create philosopher Cicero had something to say on the matter ‘Not to know what took place before you were born is to remain forever a child’. To project this into the future all of today’s written documents be they physical or digital will only become history when the peoples of future find something of ours ‘worth note’. There is a problem here though about the use of the term history. As in the sense used here it is meant in mostly and...
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