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Article Collaboration and Improvement DriveThis article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of May 9, 2021.

A list of mistakes to be minded as a history teacher or historian?[edit]

cf. 5 Historical methods: "... seven mistakes that he thought that historians regularly committed". Are there no such guidelines? Herewith a kick-off:

  1. ...Partisanship towards a creed or opinion... to sensationalize historical events and, in particular, exaggerate numerical figures...
  2. ...Over-confidence in one's sources...
  3. ...The failure to understand what is intended...
  4. ...A mistaken belief in the truth... he was aware that much knowledge of the past had been lost ...
  5. ...The inability to place an event in its real context
  6. ...The common desire to gain favor of those of high ranks, by praising them, by spreading their fame...
  7. ...The most important is the ignorance of the laws governing the transformation of human society...
  8. ...not taking into account the number of inhabitants, exponential évolution of population density, population growth, the impact of diseases, nr of military, natural phenomenon, climate, évolution of these numbers...

ThySvenAERTS (talk) 07:51, 28 December 2019 (UTC)

List of documents on which the a 5th-century BC Herodotus must have based himself to practise history and his historic method are not in the list wikipedia article on "List of oldest documents"?[edit]

Cf "Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", .." and then the List of oldest documents, with documents from

  1. 25th century BCE
  2. 21st century BCE
  3. 18th century BCE
  4. 14th century BCE
  5. 2nd century BCE,

don't show any documents which Herodotus must have had access to in order to practise history and his historic method. Can anybody help out explaining/completing that?

This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.

Thy SvenAERTS (talk) 04:51, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

Please note that the list is qualified by documents which still exist and are somehow notable for being the oldest document of their particular kind. The simple answer is that Herodotus's sources have not survived. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 07:13, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

The use of scribes Suggestion[edit]

Shouldn't we mention the use ad influence of scribes on history, historic records, historic methodology?

Some extracts from the Wikipedia article on scribe:

  1. Much of what is known about ancient Egypt is due to the activities of its scribes and the officials. Monumental buildings were erected under their supervision,[7] administrative and economic activities were documented by them, and stories from Egypt's lower classes and foreign lands survive due to scribes putting them in writing. ... In addition to accountancy and governmental politicking, the scribal professions branched out into literature. The first stories were probably creation stories and religious texts. Other genres evolved, such as wisdom literature, which were collections of philosophical sayings from wise men. These contain the earliest recordings of societal thought and exploration of ideas in some length and detail.

In Mesopotamia during the middle to late 3rd millennium BCE, the Sumerians originated some of this literature in the form of a series of debates. Among the list of Sumerian disputations is the Debate between bird and fish.[10] Other Sumerian examples include the Debate between Summer and Winter where Winter wins, and disputes between the cattle and grain, the tree and the reed, silver and copper, the pickaxe and the plow, and the millstone and the gul-gul stone.[11]

An Ancient Egyptian version is A Dispute between a man and his Ba, which comes from the Middle Kingdom period.

  1. Corrections by the scribes (Tikkunei Soferim) refer to changes that were made in the original wording of the Hebrew Bible wording during the second temple period, perhaps sometime between 450 and 350 BCE. One of the most prominent men at this time was Ezra the scribe. He also hired scribes to work for him, in order to write down and revise the oral tradition.[17] After Ezra and the scribes had completed the writing, Ezra gathered the Jews who had returned from exile, all of whom belonged to Kohanim families. Ezra read them an unfamiliar version of the Torah. This version was different from the Torah of their fathers. Ezra did not write a new bible. Through the genius of his ‘editing’, he presented the religion in a new light.
  1. The scribe was a common job in medieval towns during the 10th and 11th centuries. Many were employed at scriptoria owned by local schoolmasters or lords. These scribes worked under deadlines to complete commissioned works such as historic chronicles or poetry. Because parchment was costly, scribes often created a draft of their work first on a wax or chalk tablet.

How to include this into the history article? {{Help}} Thy --SvenAERTS (talk) 14:05, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

I've commented out the {{help me}} request as it was not being used appropriately. Primefac (talk) 14:44, 30 December 2019 (UTC)


Combining the 2 last sections on "List of documents.." and "The use of scribes", it leads me to the belief that to be a historian, the person must do more than just record facts or tales that e.g. the noble person asks the scribe to record. There are many such scribes prior to 5th BC Herodotes. To be a historian, a person must use a historian methodology to go beyond what is merely written down. A scribe or translator don't do that. The first one known to have done that in Western culture was the 5th BC Herodotus. How do you call this process of collecting all the written texts, artefacts from a certain culture and era, so the historian can let their historical method loose on them? How do we put this insight in the article? I had to discover it myself and laid me back a couple of days. {{Help}} Thy --SvenAERTS (talk) 14:15, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

I've commented out the {{helpme}} as it was not being used appropriately. Primefac (talk) 14:43, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
librarians and archivists do that. Rjensen (talk) 14:17, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 February 2020[edit] (talk) 20:16, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

I would like to add information that I learned because I am a history professor and would like to add more information if you would like you may watch it and if you do not like what I have written you can block me and email me at

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 23:38, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Uhhh, Herodotus is known to some as "Father of lies"?[edit]

What the fuck? What Christard came by and thought they were cute slipping this in? Wikipedia needs to be more vigilant about this shit especially with these types of subjects. The article for "secular morality" is essentially entirely written by some illiterate Christard. Or it was the last time I saw it.

Fuck Christianity and shame on you Wikipedia for allowing this shit to happen.

-Some guy.

Actually, Herodotus really was called the "father of lies". He reported a great deal of legend as fact, including the story of the phoenix. But he is also the first historian, and I strongly recommend reading him. Thucydides, too.Rick Norwood (talk) 20:45, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

::Should we cite Plutarch's "De Herodoti malignitate" as the likely place where the "Father of Lies" moniker got its start, or just leave it as is? Murfman (talk) 15:12, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

I found the origin and added a secondary and primary source. If I overstepped my bounds in doing so I apologize. Murfman (talk) 15:12, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

A deeply unsatisfactory article[edit]

History is one of the major academic disciplines with long traditions and various longstanding philosophical disputes. This article is absolutely amateurish, a hodge-podge of non-connected individual points and sheer diletantism. Surely we can do better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

Probably true; it's an article I seldom visit despite having it in my watchlist. Articles on specific histories are interesting to me, while an article on history as a field is less so. Perhaps what's missing is a proper section on the field's, er... history. UpdateNerd (talk) 07:57, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
As a professional historian myself, I think it's pretty good. It covers lots of themes that interest actual historians. Rjensen (talk) 08:58, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
I believe some of the philosophical debate can be found in the Historiography article. I agree that this article is somewhat disjointed and seems partial to perhaps a modernist/empiricist view of history as opposed to for example a post-modernist/post-structuralist view. PCChris23 (talk) 04:02, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

History is not "the study of the past"[edit]

History is the study of written records. Paleontology, geology, planetary science, astronomy and cosmology also study the past. Are astrophysicists historians? Serendipodous 20:08, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

That is an interesting point, but actually, yes, astronomers talk about the history of the solar system, geologists talk about the history of the planet Earth. You, I gather, would have history being with the earliest human artifacts, or maybe the earliest written word, but history is more than that. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:27, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
So if they're all studying history, what do historians do? Serendipodous 20:31, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Certainly, the vast majority of historians study human activity since the introduction of writing. That is and should be, the main focus of this page. But history is not limited to what historians do, any more that mathematics is limited to what mathematicians do.Rick Norwood (talk) 10:53, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Except all non-mathematcians employing math are using math invented by mathematicians. That's why they call it applied mathematics. Paleontology is not applied history. Serendipodous 13:04, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
"...the vast majority of historians study human activity since the introduction of writing." That creates issues in places like Australia, where Aboriginal Australians did not have a written language. It implies that no history occurred in Australia before 250 years ago when James Cook bumped into the place. Such a view leads some of the more racist people in Australia to further denigrate the Aboriginal people as only being part of PRE-history, and hence be less important, despite having lived successfully on the one continent for 70,000 years, and having a very complex culture. HiLo48 (talk) 23:15, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
Aborigines have an oral history which is now, I hope recorded. These oral records can now be read historically. Serendipodous 23:46, 7 October 2020 (UTC)
True, but sadly, not enough was recorded before much of it was lost. HiLo48 (talk) 02:53, 8 October 2020 (UTC)
And that's sad, but historical loss is hardly confined to oral tradition. We still can't read the Minoan script, for instance. Serendipodous 09:11, 8 October 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 October 2020[edit]

Mojave Desert

Semi-protected edit request on 7 December 2020[edit]

Caused By: Thomas Stancliffe 682-213-3218 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:6C56:7700:A9C5:9563:F71C:F43E:CE19 (talk) 22:31, 7 December 2020 (UTC)


This article has multiple issues:

1) it lists memory under history, which is contention because memory is always personal, informal and pre-linguistic (pre-narrative) 2) it uses narrative as a broad term, which basically encompasses everything, both written, spoken, thought including living experience.

On the whole, very bad article to be rewritten. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:38, 29 April 2021 (UTC)