With Close Reference to the Issues Raised by Munslow, Critically Evaluate the Role of the Historian in the Construction of History Support Your Argument with Reference to at Least Two Sources You Have Studied.

Topics: History, Herodotus, Critical thinking Pages: 4 (1295 words) Published: March 19, 2012
With close reference to the issues raised by Munslow, critically evaluate the role of the historian in the construction of history Support your argument with reference to at least TWO sources you have studied. “God can’t change history but historians can” – Samuel Butler The role of the historian, in regards to the construction of history, is one of paramount importance. When constructing history it is imperative that historians do not reduce the integrity of historical sources and maintain credibility and accuracy within their accounts. An historian must strive towards objectivity, and eliminate bias, use relevant sources that are reliable and credible and also aim to represent the ‘truth of the past’ accurately which will ultimately allow an historian to construct a credible and accurate representation of the past. An important aspect of constructing or creating history is using relevant sources to create an accurate and credible representation of the past. Herodotus, known as the ‘father of history,’ is heavily criticized for his fabrication of evidence and sources and for being profoundly influenced by Homer’s works - Iliad and the Odyssey. Munslow, however, argues that sources are manipulated and moulded in order to fit with the purpose of the historian’s viewpoint or argument which then leads to a distortion of the truth and an inaccurate representation of the past. He also notions that historians play a crucial role in interpreting the sources they use and although historians such as Thucydides place effort in trying to assess the validity and accuracy of their sources, there can still be inconsistencies as their own ‘empiricism’, analysis and individual interpretation can accurately or inaccurately misconstrue the particular sources; “…how can we be sure that empiricism and interference really does get us close to the meaning of the past. In history how can we trust our sources …because of the claims empiricism is forced to make about our ability not...
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