Portal:History

Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.
Page semi-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The History Portal


History (derived from Ancient Greek ἱστορία (historía) 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the systematic study and documentation of human activity. The time period of events before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of these events. Historians seek knowledge of the past using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, art and material artifacts, and ecological markers. History is not complete and still has debatable mysteries.

History is also an academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze past events, and investigate their patterns of cause and effect. Historians 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 as an end in itself, as well as its usefulness to give 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 verifiable evidence. However, ancient cultural 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 a 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 the "father of history" (as he was one of the first historians) in the Western tradition, although he has also been criticized as the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of past events and societies. 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 reputed to date from as early as 722 BC, although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. (Full article...)

Cscr-featured.png Featured articles – show another

Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Featured picture

Did you know (auto generated)

Nuvola apps filetypes.svg

Cscr-featured.png Featured biography – show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

John Calvin Museum Catharijneconvent RMCC s84 cropped.png
Anonymous portrait, c. 1550

John Calvin (/ˈkælvɪn/; Middle French: Jehan Cauvin; French: Jean Calvin [ʒɑ̃ kalvɛ̃]; 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, including its doctrines of predestination and of God's absolute sovereignty in the salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation. Calvinist doctrines were influenced by and elaborated upon the Augustinian and other Christian traditions. Various Congregational, Reformed and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.

Calvin was a tireless polemicist and apologetic writer who generated much controversy. He also exchanged cordial and supportive letters with many reformers, including Philipp Melanchthon and Heinrich Bullinger. In addition to his seminal Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible, confessional documents, and various other theological treatises. (Full article...)
List of featured biographies

On this day

February 1: Saint Brigid's Day/Imbolc in Ireland; the Fajr decade begins in Iran; Black History Month begins in Canada and the United States

Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
More anniversaries:

Selected quote

What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

— Voltaire, 18th century French philosopher

Related portals

More Did you know...

Beak Doctor.jpg

Topics

Categories

C Puzzle.png
Select [►] to view subcategories

HistoryBy periodBy regionBy topicBy ethnic groupHistoriographyArchaeologyBooksMapsImagesMagazinesOrganizationsFictionalMuseumsPseudohistoryStubsTimelinesChronologyPeopleWikipedia historians

WikiProjects

Things you can do


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals