History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" 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. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.

History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They 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 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. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, 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 thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as 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 (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", or, the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he 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.

History Media

1,996,876 media by topicpage 1 of 19969
Jerusalem from BL Eg 1070, f. 5

Jerusalem from BL Eg 1070, f. 5

Full-page miniature of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock Image taken from f. 5 of Book of Hours, Use of Paris ('The Hours of René d'Anjou'). Written in Latin, calendar and rubrics in French.

Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus., Abraham Ortelius

Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus., Abraham Ortelius

Covers northern Asia. Relief shown pictorially. From Abraham Ortelius's atlas: Theatrvm Orbis Terrarvm, 1603 ed. Hand col. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes tex... More

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man in the moon at large, British Cartoon Print

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man...

Print shows Edmund Burke sitting at a desk on a crescent moon, holding a quill pen, an open "pamphlet" and an inkwell are on the desk, broken chains hang from his wrists; a scene on the front of the desk, label... More

David Octavius Hill - The Scott Monument under Construction

David Octavius Hill - The Scott Monument under Construction

Robert Adamson, David Octavius Hill..1843..Accession no. PGP HA 424 .Medium Calotype print .Size 20.10 x 14.90 cm .Credit Provenance unknown..For more information please select here ( http://www.nationalgalleri... More

[Masonic chart] - Print, Library of Congress collection

[Masonic chart] - Print, Library of Congress collection

This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Humphreys.

Footbridges and Elaborate Commercial Building, S. China

Footbridges and Elaborate Commercial Building, S. China

Attributed to Felice A. Beato (Italy, 1825-1908) Italy, 1860 Photographs Albumen silver print. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Feldman (M.83.302.54)

[Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, seated and holding his spectacles and pencil (retouched to stand out)]
Women in Helsinki, 1906

Women in Helsinki, 1906

Pi och Ulla Berg, Pa Nyberg och Elsa Berg på Skatudden ca 1906. .Foto Frans Nyberg..slsa817_35_84.Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katajanokka ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katajanokka ) ..Ur boken Helsingfors... More

Man and child, lantern slide

Man and child, lantern slide

SFFf-1992078.0005..Description: The girl is probably Anna Øye, later married Nordang (1906-1997). The man holding her is Elling J. Øyehol (born 1841) from Heimste-Holen...Photographer: S. J. Beckett...www.fylke... More

Ruins of City Hall, [1906 earthquake, San Francisco, Calif.]
Berlin 1937, Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Berlin 1937, Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Beskrivelse:Domkirken i Berlin. Pyntede gater i Berlin, Arbeidets dag (1. mai)/ Berlins 700 års jubileum. Store folkemengder, flagg med hakekors. Maistang. Berliner Dom..Fotograf: Thomas Neumann.År: 1937.Kamera... More

Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Calif.
[Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]

[Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]

Title: [Boeing Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]...Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April 1943..Place: Mount Rainier, Washington..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Physical Desc... More

Alchemist, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1588.
Tasmanian Convicts. Collection of Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office
Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning

Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning

Description: Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning; Kristallnacht; November Pogroms..Creator/Photographer: Unknown..Medium: Black and white photographic print . .Date: 9 November 1939..Repository: Leo Baeck Institute ( ... More

C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Dorothy Lucke, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse, Clinton, Iowa
[U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

[U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

Title: [U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April or May 1943..Place: Mitchel Field Air Force Base, Long Island, New York..Part O... More

Mission Mfg., ''Miss Mission'' series in color

Mission Mfg., ''Miss Mission'' series in color

Title: Mission Mfg., ''Miss Mission'' series in color ..Alternative Title: [Mission Manufacturing Co., ''Miss Mission'' series in color]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: August 1944..Place: Housto... More

[Woman taping wire, Chrysler Corporation]

[Woman taping wire, Chrysler Corporation]

Title: [Woman taping wire, Chrysler Corporation] . .Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall (1908-1984) ..Date: 1944 ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photographs..Physical Description: 1 transparency: film, ... More

[Central Dome, Paris Exposition, 1889]

[Central Dome, Paris Exposition, 1889]

Originals in PR12, LOT 6634.

[Pavilion Perusson, exhibit of bricks, enamels, terre-cotta and ceramics, for M. Perusson and Desfontaines, architect T. Ferret, located near the base of Eiffel Tower, Paris Exposition, 1889]
Coffin and Corn Mummy with Osiris mask
Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor
Lion-Headed Goddess, Egypt, Late Period (525-332 BCE)
Isis nursing Horus, Egypt, Late Period (525-332 BCE)

Isis nursing Horus, Egypt, Late Period (525-332 BCE)

From Egypt; Said to be from Hurbeit (Pharbaethos) Late Period–Ptolemaic Period

Chinese Oracle bone fragment

Chinese Oracle bone fragment

Accession Number: 18.56.72 Shang dynasty (ca. 1600–1046 B.C.)

Papyrus, 'Wine delivery order'
Papyrus, 'Declaration of Surety for a Ship Owner'
Amenhotep III with nemes headdress

Amenhotep III with nemes headdress

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, MMA excavations, 1922–23 New Kingdom

Sa Amulet, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Relief of Queen Nefertiti, Amarna Period, Ancient Egypt
Scarab Inscribed with Hieroglyphs, Egypt, Second Intermediate Period (1782 - 1570 BCE)
Scarab, scroll, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Greek Statuette of a woman
Cuneiform tablet: account of oxen given to ploughmen, Ebabbar archive

Cuneiform tablet: account of oxen given to ploughmen, Ebabbar archive

Mesopotamia, probably from Sippar (modern Tell Abu Habba) Neo-Babylonian

Turkish Archaic Gold stater
Roman Marble relief with Hermes
Westzijde van het Parthenon, Athene
Grave stele with Hoplite Battle Scene
Panel from a Hathor Column
Amun, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC)

Amun, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC)

From Egypt Third Intermediate Period–Saite Period

Limestone statuette of a childbirth scene
Standing Figure of Re-Harakhty
Sarcophagus of Harkhebit, Late Perod, Ancient Egypt, 664 BC - 332 BC
Applique in the shape of a lion's head
Herm Bust of a Greek Philosopher
De tempel van Padrosos met Careatiden op de Acropolis in Athene
Schatkamer van de Atheners in Delphi
Relief Depicting Meryneith Inspecting His Stables and Ships Unloading Merchandise, from his tomb at Saqqara
Cuneiform cylinder: inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II describing work done on a wall and moat
Mask of a woman with corkscrew locks and bang
Limestone statue of Apollo
Head of a male statue
Paulus voor de leden van de Areopagus in Athene
Cuneiform tablet: account of barley and date disbursements, Ebabbar archive
Stela of Siamun and Taruy worshipping Anubis
Bottle, Feline Face, arts of africa oceania and the americas
Papyrus, 'Sale of Land and House-property'
"Book of the Dead" Papyrus of Gautsoshen
Roman Relief of Jupiter
Double-Sided Engraved Gem with Magical Inscription
Auspicious Emblem with Four Dancing Figures, India
Rattle in the Form of a Crouching Yaksha (Male Nature Spirit)
Limestone statue of Hera or Demeter (?)
Pre Columbian Hieroglyphic Panel
Empress Theodora and Members of Her Court
Byzantine Miraculous Draught of Fishes
Passage of the Red Sea
Buddha Seated Under the Bodhi Tree
Cuthbert at a synod from BL YT 26, f. 53v

Cuthbert at a synod from BL YT 26, f. 53v

Miniature of Cuthbert accepting the bishopric at a synod of fellow monks, from Chapter 24 of Bede's prose Life of St Cuthbert. Image taken from f. 53v of Prose Life of Cuthbert; extracts from the Historia Eccle... More

Seated scribe from BL YT 26, f. 2

Seated scribe from BL YT 26, f. 2

Miniature of a scribe writing at a desk (thought to be Bede), from the preface to Bede's prose Life of St Cuthbert. Image taken from f. 2 of Prose Life of Cuthbert; extracts from the Historia Ecclesiastica (His... More

Dice, 10th century, Khurasan
Lintel, sculpture collection Rijksmuseum

Lintel, sculpture collection Rijksmuseum

This monster – who is traditionally identifed with the demon Kala – protected the entrances to Hindu and Buddhist temples against evil spirits. The stone was once placed above the entrance to one of the 240 sma... More

Canon table from BL Royal 1 E VI, f. 6

Canon table from BL Royal 1 E VI, f. 6

Canon table with a zoomorphic decoration in the 'Trewhiddle Style'. Image taken from f. 6 of Gospels, imperfect (the 'Royal Bible'). Written in Latin.

The symbol of the Evangelist St. John: the eagle
The Evangelist St. Luke - miniature, medieval manuscript
Philosophy visiting Boethius from BL Harley 2688, f. 22v

Philosophy visiting Boethius from BL Harley 2688, f. 22v

Drawing of Philosophy visiting Boethius in prison. Image taken from f. 22v of Miscellany, including a wind rose (f. 17), a Greek and Latin grammatical list (ff. 19-22), and an excerpt from the 'Proverbia Salomo... More

The sword is given to Arthur from BL Add 10292, f. 100

The sword is given to Arthur from BL Add 10292, f. 100

The Archbishop presents the sword to Arthur before the people. The inscription on the stone is: 'Whoever pulls this sword out will be king of the land.' Image taken from f. 100 of L'estoire del Saint Graal (ff... More

Decorated scribal formula from BL Or 2393, f. 329v

Decorated scribal formula from BL Or 2393, f. 329v

Decorated scribal formula at the end of Tractate Neziqim. Image taken from f. 329v of Fragment of the commentary on Seder Nashim of the Mishnah. Written in Judeo-Arabic.

Architectural Support with Squatting Dwarf LACMA M.86.247.3

Architectural Support with Squatting Dwarf LACMA M.86.247.3

Wikimedia Commons image page ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Architectural_Support_with_Squatting_Dwarf_LACMA_M.86.247.3.jpg ) ..Description..Title.Architectural Support with Squatting Dwarf..Descripti... More

Abû Lahab and his followers hurl stones at Muhammad and Abû Bakr at the 'Ukâz Fair.

Abû Lahab and his followers hurl stones at Muhammad and Abû Bakr at th...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Muhammad, seated before a mihrab made of inlaid wood, talks to the leaders of the Kindah tribe.

Muhammad, seated before a mihrab made of inlaid wood, talks to the lea...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Abû Jahl, his speech restored, again urges the people to abandon their belief in the Prophet, telling them that Muhammad is a sorcerer.

Abû Jahl, his speech restored, again urges the people to abandon their...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

The seated Muhammad discusses prophethood with members of  the Quraysh.

The seated Muhammad discusses prophethood with members of the Quraysh...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Umm Hakîm, in white robes and a black net face veil, seated before the Prophet, tells Muhammad that Abû Bakr would like to give his daughter 'Â'ishah in marriage to him.

Umm Hakîm, in white robes and a black net face veil, seated before the...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Abû Jahl, Muhammad's most prominent opponent in Mecca, is angered at people of his tribe who will not listen to him.

Abû Jahl, Muhammad's most prominent opponent in Mecca, is angered at p...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Jibrîl (Gabriel) invites Hazrat Muhammad for his night journey (the Mi'râj).

Jibrîl (Gabriel) invites Hazrat Muhammad for his night journey (the Mi...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Muhammad visits Abû Tâlib, who is his uncle and head of the Banû Hâshim, trying to convince him on his deathbed to become a Muslim.

Muhammad visits Abû Tâlib, who is his uncle and head of the Banû Hâshi...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Garshâsp hits a lion with his mace.
Rûdâba giving birth to Rustam.
Rustam slays Qulûn. - Persian manuscript
Rustam kills Alkûs. - Persian manuscript
The baby Rustam in swaddling clothes is suckled by one of his ten wet nurses.
Jamshîd enthroned flanked by an angel and a swordbearer.
The king of Hâmâvarân sues Rustam for peace.

The king of Hâmâvarân sues Rustam for peace.

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

The birth of Rustam. - miniature, medieval manuscript

The birth of Rustam. - miniature, medieval manuscript

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Wrathful Eight-armed and Three-faced Goddess Tara Marichi, Leaf from a dispersed Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript
Green Tara, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript
Green Tara Dispensing Boons to Ecstatic Devotees: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)
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