INTRODUCTION: History is the study of the past, including the prehistory of man, all the way back until our origin in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Modern history is generally thought to begin in Classical Antiquity, around 800 BCE, when large numbers of scholars began to write things down. Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BCE – ca. 425 BCE) and Thucydides (ca. 460 BCE – ca. 400 BCE) are generally considered the "fathers of history," with the latter taking special care to use a scientific approach in the study of history, attributing major events to human choice rather than divine intervention.
Today, history forms a huge component of human knowledge in general, alongside cultural and scientific knowledge, both of which overlap with history. Historians place a great emphasis on primary sources; people writing based on events they or their immediate friends actually experienced, rather than secondary sources, writing merely based on hearsay. Also important are comparisons between primary sources — without comparisons, it can be difficult to validate historical claims. Obviously, the history of an invasion will be written differently by the conquerors and the conquered.
This traditional definition is broad enough to compass the study as it is known by most people. Notice how it states that history is a “chronological record” and how “events” are emphasized in each sub-definition. Assuming this, history is grounded in the arrangement and explanation of events in the order in which they occur; that is chronology at its root. At its best, timelines can make excellent visual aids. At its worst, history becomes a field of study that one must endure endless memorization of places, figures, and dates.
The History department of Jagjiwan College, Ara was established in 1959.