Outline of history

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For the work by H. G. Wells, see The Outline of History.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to history:

History – discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented (the beginning of recorded history).

Nature of history[edit]

History can be described as all of the following:

  • Academic discipline – body of knowledge given to - or received by - a disciple (student); a branch or sphere of knowledge, or field of study, that an individual has chosen to specialise in.
    • one of the humanities – academic discipline that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences.
  • Field of science – widely-recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is published. There are many sociology-related scientific journals.
    • Social science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human society.

Essence of history[edit]

  • Chronology – science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time, such as in historical timelines.
  • Past – totality of events which occurred before a given point in time. The past is contrasted with and defined by the present and the future. The concept of the past is derived from the linear fashion in which human observers experience time, and is accessed through memory and recollection. The past is the domain of history.
  • Time – measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them. Time is often referred to as the fourth dimension, along with the three spatial dimensions. History describes what happened where, but also when (in time) those events took place.

Historical disciplines[edit]

  • Archaeology – study of past human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data
  • Archontology – study of historical offices and important positions in state, international, political, religious and other organizations and societies
  • Art history – study of changes in and social context of art
  • Chronology – locating events in time
  • Cultural history – study of culture in the past
  • Economic history – the study of economics in the past
  • Environmental history – study of natural history and the human relationship with the natural world
  • Futurology – study of the future: researches the medium to long-term future of societies and of the physical world
  • Historiography – both the study of the methodology of historians and development of history as a discipline, and also to a body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources, techniques, and theoretical approaches.
  • History painting – painting of works of art having historical motifs or depicting great events
  • Military history – study of warfare and wars in history
  • Natural history – history of the natural world, now usually referred to as science
  • Naval history – branch of military history devoted to warfare at sea or in bodies of water
  • Paleography – study of ancient texts
  • Philosophy of history
  • Political history – study of past political events, ideas, movements, and leaders
  • Public history – presentation of history to public audiences and other areas typically outside academia
  • Psychohistory – study of the psychological motivations of historical events
  • Social history – study of societies and social trends in the past
  • Universal history – study trends and dynamics in world history
  • Urban history – historical nature of cities and towns, and the process of urbanization
  • World history – study of global or transnational historical patterns

Auxiliary sciences of history[edit]

Auxiliary sciences of history – scholarly disciplines which help evaluate and use historical sources and are seen as auxiliary for historical research.[1] Auxiliary sciences of history include, but are not limited to:

History by period[edit]

History by period

History by chronology[edit]

Ages of history[edit]

Prehistoric Ages[edit]

Historic Ages[edit]

Other Ages[edit]

Regional histories[edit]

Further information: History of the world

Regional history

History by continent and country[edit]

Economic history by region[edit]

Military history by region[edit]

Eras by region[edit]

Main article: Era

History by field[edit]

History of Art[edit]

History of Culture[edit]

History of Mathematics[edit]

History of Philosophy[edit]

History of Religions[edit]

History of Science[edit]

History of Social sciences[edit]

History of Technology[edit]

History of interdisciplinary fields[edit]

Methods and tools[edit]

  • Prosopography – a methodological tool for the collection of all known information about individuals within a given period
  • Historical revisionism – traditionally used in a completely neutral sense to describe the work or ideas of a historian who has revised a previously accepted view of a particular topic
  • Historiography – study of historical methodology

General concepts[edit]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of historians.




  1. ^ Drake, Miriam A. (2003). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Dekker Encyclopedias Series 3. CRC Press. ISBN 0-8247-2079-2. 
  2. ^ Weart, Spencer (2004). "Uses of Radiocarbon Dating". American Institute of Physics. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]