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Article Collaboration and Improvement DriveThis article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of May 9, 2020.

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?

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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 the 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 plough, and the millstone and the gul-gul stone.[11]

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

  1. Corrections by the scribes (Tikkunei Soferim) refers 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 Herodotes. 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)