Page semi-protected


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history"

History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.

History can also refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "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, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. 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 known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.

Ancient 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 thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

Selected periods of history

Selected images

Selected histories by subject

Selected historical figures

Selected historical disciplines

Did you know...

Need help?

Do you have a question about History that you can't find the answer to?

Consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Get involved

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's History-related articles, see WikiProject History.

Selected historical concepts

On this day

January 25: Feast day of Gregory of Nazianzus (Eastern Orthodox Church); Tatiana Day in Russia

Battle of Mikatagahara
Battle of Mikatagahara

Leo IV the Khazar (b. 750) · Helene Bresslau Schweitzer (b. 1879) · Ali Hassan al-Majid (d. 2010)

More anniversaries:

History in the making...

25 January 2019 –
At least 59 people are killed when flooding and landslides hit Sulawesi, Indonesia. Twenty-five others are missing and thousands have been displaced. (Al Jazeera) (Yahoo! News)
24 January 2019 –
Brazilian legislator and LGBT rights activist Jean Wyllys announces he will leave his office and his country after death threats against him increase in number and intensity. Wyllys will be replaced by fellow PSOL politician David Miranda. (The Guardian)
23 January 2019 – Sebring, Florida shooting
A gunman kills five people at a SunTrust Banks branch in Sebring, Florida, United States, following a hostage situation. The suspect later surrenders himself to the authorities. (The Independent)
22 January 2019 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
A Hamas militant is killed and two others are injured when an Israeli tank fires into the Gaza Strip after a protest turned violent. The Israel Defense Forces action is retaliation for a shooting which lightly injured an officer, and for the brief incursion of two Palestinians into Israel. (Reuters)
22 January 2019 – 2019 Venezuelan protests
A 16-year-old boy is shot and killed at around midnight on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning during protests in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. Three others are killed in overnight protests in Estado Bolívar. (The Washington Post), (Business Standard)
22 January 2019 –
Five foreign demining experts, identified as two South Africans, one Croatian, one Bosnian and one Kosovar, are killed in an accidental explosion in Yemen. (BBC)
22 January 2019 – Kuril Islands dispute, Japan–Russia relations
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow to discuss a peace treaty and the Kuril Islands dispute. (TASS) (Al Jazeera)
22 January 2019 – Transgender personnel in the United States military
The U.S. Supreme Court allows, by a 5–4 vote, the Trump administration to begin implementing the policy that prohibits transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition from serving. Unresolved challenges remain in lower courts. (BBC)
22 January 2019 – 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
The National Baseball Hall of Fame announces the results of voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) to determine players to be formally inducted in July 2019. Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, Mike Mussina, and Mariano Rivera are elected and will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith, elected by a Hall committee in December 2018, at the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York. Rivera is the first player ever to be elected unanimously by the BBWAA. (ESPN)
21 January 2019 – War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
A Taliban attack on a National Directorate of Security compound in the central Maidan Wardak Province, kills 126 security personnel, according to local officials. (The Guardian)
21 January 2019 – Syrian Civil War
A suicide car bomb attack kills five members of the Syrian Democratic Forces while they were out on a patrol with U.S. troops in northeastern Syria. (Telegraph)
21 January 2019 –
At least 11 crew members are killed after two ships caught fire, as one vessel was transferring fuel to the other, in the Kerch Strait near Crimea. (BNO) (BBC)
Two men are killed in separate avalanches at U.S. ski resorts, one near Aspen, Colorado, and another in Kachina Peak at Taos Ski Valley, approximately 125 miles (201 km) northeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico. (NBC News)
21 January 2019 – 2020 United States presidential election, 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
Democratic U.S. Senator Kamala Harris from California announces she will run for President in 2020. (NPR)
Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, is reported to be exploring an independent candidacy for President of the United States in 2020. (CNN)
20 January 2019 – Northern Mali conflict
At least ten United Nations peacekeepers are killed and several others injured in a Islamist militant attack on their base in Mali's northern Kidal Region. (Al Jazeera)
19 January 2019 – 2018–19 North American winter
A state of emergency is declared in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a large winter storm makes its way to the northeastern United States. Three people have already been killed due to it. (AccuWeather) (The Weather Channel)
19 January 2019 – List of earthquakes in 2019
A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile. Light damage is reported and thousands of homes lose power. (Devdiscourse)
19 January 2019 –
President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré announces in a televised statement that Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and the cabinet have resigned from their positions effective immediately. No reason is given. (BBC)
18 January 2019 – Syrian Civil War
A massive explosion targetting a Tahrir al-Sham base in Idlib kills 15 people and wounds 20 others. A car bomb is reported to have been used in the attack. (AMN)


History (timelines) – records of past events and the way things were. It is also a field responsible for the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about the past.


History by region – Ancient Egypt • Ancient Greece • Ancient Rome • History of China • History of the Middle East • History of Mesoamerica • History of India

History by continent – Africa • The Americas • Antarctica • Asia • Australia • Eurasia • Europe • North America • Oceania • South America

List of time periods Prehistory • Protohistory • Ancient history • Modern history • Future history

The Ages of history – Stone Age • Copper Age • Bronze Age • Iron Age • Dark Ages (historiography) • Middle Ages • Age of Discovery • Renaissance • Age of Enlightenment • Industrial Age • Space Age • Information Age

History by subject

Cultural history Money • Sport
History of art Dance • Film • Music • Painting • Theatre
History of philosophy Ancient • Medieval • Modern • Contemporary
History of logic
History of science Theories/sociology • Historiography • Mathematics • Pseudoscience • Scientific method
History of the natural sciencesAstronomy • Biology • Chemistry • Ecology • Geography • Physics • Geology
History of the social sciencesAnthropology • Economics • Education • Geography • Linguistics • Political science • Psychology • Sociology
History of science by era In early cultures • In Classical Antiquity • In the Middle Ages • In the Renaissance • Scientific Revolution
History of technology Agriculture & agricultural science • Architecture • Biotechnology • Chemical engineering • Communication • Computing (Computer science, Software engineering) • Electrical engineering • Invention • Materials science • Measurement • Medicine • Military technology • Transport

Recognized content

Featured articles

Good articles



History by period
History by decade
1910s • 1920s • 1930s • 1940s • 1950s • 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s • 2010s
History by century
19th century • 20th century
History by era
Archaeology • Quaternary prehistory • Silurian
Ancient history
Classical civilization (Ancient Olympic Games)
Ancient Egypt • Ancient Germanic Culture • Ancient Greece • Ancient Japan • Ancient Near East • Ancient Tamil civilization • Ancient Rome (Military of ancient Rome)
Middle Ages
Byzantine Empire • Holy Roman Empire • Medieval Britain
Colonialism • Piracy
Modern history
Civil rights movement • Early modern Britain
Current events
Sports • National Register of Historic Places
History by region
American Old West • Anglo-Saxon England • Austria-Hungary • British Empire • Bulgarian Empire • History of Imperial China • East Germany • European military history • German Empire • History of Canada • Holy Roman Empire • Indian independence movement • Khitan • Mesoamerica • Nazi Germany • New France • Ottoman Empire • Russian Empire • Sasanian Empire • Soviet Union • Transylvania • Weimar Republic
History by subject
Crown of Aragon • Disasters • Heraldry • History of the Latter Day Saint movement • History of Science
Aztec mythologyGreek mythologyHindu mythology
Ancient Olympic Games
War of 1812 • American Revolutionary War • American Civil War • Ancient warfare • Arab–Israeli conflict • Cold War • Crusades • Italian Wars • Liberation War • Military history of France • Military history of Africa • Military history of the Ottoman Empire • Napoleonic Wars • September 11 attacks • Spanish American wars of independence • Syrian Civil War • World War I • World War II

Associated Wikimedia

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






Learning resources



Purge server cache