The story

What is history for


When we look up a dictionary, we will find the following definition for the entry history:

"Methodical narration of the remarkable facts that occurred in the lives of peoples, in particular in the life of humanity in general", or "Collection of knowledge, acquired through tradition and / or through documents, about the evolution of humanity's past."

FERREIRA, Aurélio Buarque from Netherlands. New Aurelius 21st Century: the dictionary of the portuguese language. 3 ed. Rio de Janeiro. New Frontier, 1999.

There are also other explanations and other meanings elaborated by historians (history specialists) or not. See other examples:

"History is the record of human society, or world civilization; of the changes that take place in the nature of that society…; of revolutions and insurrections of one set of people against another…; of men's different activities and occupations, whether to earn their living." or in the various sciences and arts, and, in general, of all the transformations undergone by society… "

KHALDUN, Ibn, quoted in HOBSBAWN, Eric. About history. Sao Paulo. Company of Letters, 1998.


"Discipline dealing with the study of facts concerning man over time ..."

New Barsa Encyclopedia. Sao Paulo. Encyclopaedia Britannica of Brazil, 1999. v.7.


"History includes all the trace and trace of everything that man has done or thought since his first appearance on earth."

ROBISON, James Harvey, quoted in BURK, Peter. The writing of history: new perspectives. Sao Paulo. Unesp, 1992.

There are several other definitions of history and many ways of conceptualizing it. From now on we can say that history studies everything that is related to the presence, activities, tastes and ways of being of people and events.

History is basically a human experience; a constant build, deconstruct and rebuild. Therefore, we believe that History is an area of ​​knowledge that is under permanent construction.

The ways of history

As we go back in time, we will find the use of the word history for the first time in ancient Greece. It originates from histor, Greek word meaning testimony. Then the story was identified as narration, that is, the historian would be a memoirist writing in the present about past events. Later, it continued to be understood as narrative, but gained a didactic purpose - to teach and create behavioral models for humans. This way of making history, despite the changes suffered in the middle of the modern age, continued from antiquity to the twentieth century.

From the eighteenth century, there was a history of explaining really significant events and relating the facts to each other. In the nineteenth century, the way of thinking and writing history underwent major transformations. Historians tried to establish scientific bases for the study of the facts and to discover laws that explain, always accompanied by abundant documentation.

From the twentieth century, historians, to explain the development of history, came to value even more the economic relations between people, groups and peoples. Thus, it ceased to be just a narrative to become 'interpretive possibilities of the past'. It is therefore up to the historian to interpret the human societies of the past and not just to narrate the facts, dates and personalities.