History is the analysis and interpretation of the human past
that enables us to study continuity and change over time.. It
is an act of both investigation and imagination that seeks to
explain how people have changed over time. Historians use
all forms of evidence to examine, interpret, revisit, and
reinterpret the past. These include not just written
documents, but also oral communication and objects such as
buildings, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. Historians
are trained in the methods of discovering and evaluating
these sources, and the challenging task of making historical
sense out of them. Nevertheless, historians do not always
agree on interpretations of the past. The
debated differences help expand and enhance our
understanding of human development.
What is History?
History is a means to understand the past and present. The
different interpretations of the past allows us to see the
present differently and therefore imagine—and work towards—
different futures. Through the study of history we can
investigate and interpret why society developed as it has and
determine what influences have affected the past and present
and shape the future. It helps one to understand the immense
complexity of our world and provides insights to help cope with
the problems and possibilities of the present and
future. History also provides a sense of identity to understand
the collective past that has have made us what we are today. In
one sense history is the only thing that is real. The way in which
people identify and interact with one another is by and large a
consequence of history, which shapes and conditions
individuals and societies whether they fully understand it or
Why Study It?
History is also a bridge to other disciplines. In order to
understand the other humanities and the sciences one needs
an historical overview. Writers, artists, scientists, politicians and
everyday people all are conditioned by the historical milieu in
which they lived. Historical knowledge is a prerequisite for
understanding the world in which we live.
History is magister vitae, "teacher of life." History prepares us
to live more humanely in the present and to meet the
challenges of the future because it provides us with
understanding of the human condition. History is a means of
disseminating and comprehending the wisdom and folly of our
History is fun. History fulfills our desire to know and understand
ourselves and our ancestors. History allows one to vicariously
experience countless situations and conditions, which
stimulates the imagination and creativity. It also trains its
students to read intelligently, think critically, and write
Why Study It?
The Gregorian calendar is today's internationally
accepted civil calendar and is also known as the
"Western calendar" or "Christian calendar". It was
named after the man who first introduced it in
February 1582: Pope Gregory XIII.
The Gregorian Calendar
The calendar is strictly a solar calendar based on a 365-
day common year divided into 12 months of irregular
lengths. Each month consists of either 30 or 31 days with
1 month consisting of 28 days during the common year.
A Leap Year usually occurs every 4 years which adds an
extra day to make the second month of February 29 days
long rather than 28 days.
The Gregorian Calendar
The Jewish calendar is essentially composed of three units that
depend on a heavenly body for proper calculation. The month is
dependent upon cycles of the moon, and the day and the year are
dependent upon cycles of the sun. For the purposes of our discussion,
we will focus on the "month" and the "year." ( The following discussion
is oversimplified for clarity's sake.)
The Jewish nation was instructed to bless and sanctify each new
month. The month is the period of time it takes for the moon to
complete a revolution around the earth. On the average, this takes
29.5 days. As we only have complete days in a month, some months
contain 29 days, and other contain 30.
As mentioned above, a year is a solar dependent unit of time. It is the
period of time it takes the sun to go through a complete cycle of the
Zodiac or the time it takes for the sun to repeat the same point in its
orbit. A solar month is really just 1/12th of this period of time. A solar
month has in it of itself has no specific tie to any cycle of any celestial
The Hebrew Calendar
• The Islamic calendar, Muslim calendar or Hijri calendar (AH) is
a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355
• It is used to date events in many Muslim countries (concurrently
with the Gregorian calendar), and used by Muslims everywhere to
determine the proper days on which to observe the annual fast
(see Ramadan), to attend Hajj, and to celebrate other Islamic
holidays and festivals.
• The first year was the Islamic year beginning in AD 622 during
which the emigration of the Islamic
Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra,
occurred. Each numbered year is designated either H for Hijra or
AH for the Latin anno Hegirae (in the year of the Hijra); hence,
Muslims typically call their calendar the Hijri calendar.
• The current Islamic year is 1434 AH. In the Gregorian calendar 1434
AH runs from approximately 14 November 2012 (evening) to 4
November 2013 (evening).
The Islamic Calendar
Historians and archaeologists work to
uncover facts and information about the
past. This can be information about animals
that lived in the past, old human cultures,
evolutionary traits, and causes of changes
in our environment. This information is
useful as it can help us predict future
trends in our environment and in animals
and plant life.
What Does an Historian or
Historians study and ideally write non-biased
descriptions and narratives of the past utilizing
historical documents and accounts.
Archaeologists study human material culture; the
physical things left behind by people. Archaeology
can be utilized to study any and all periods of
human occupation as long as there are material
remains to be studied. Historians study periods
associated with a written historical record.
What is the difference between an
archaeologist and a historian?