The Study of HistoryThe Study of History
Unit 1. Introduction to the Study of History
PH1007 Evolution of the Great Civilizations
Created by Carmen Zamora
What is history?
• The record of what people
have done in the past.
Does this means that if it’s
not recorded somehow, its
• Also, history is a
methodological study of
evidence of the human past.
• Historians rely on other disciplines to study the evidence
of the past...
• because we cannot fully understand it from only one
• Time is linear ...
•for some cultures...
• for others time is actually circular.
• Throughout history, many different ways of measuring the
passing of time have been developed.
• Jews and Muslims use lunar calendars to mark their
•The Chinese calendar counts years according to 60-
year periods, which repeat over and over.
• The Maya used a combination of various calendars, but did
not count the years.
• We use the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar
designed so Easter would coincide with the spring
• During the French revolution a “republican” calendar
replaced the Gregorian one.
• We divide history into blocks of time (periods or eras), so it’s
easier to analyze.
• These blocks vary according to:
Periodization of history
• B.C. (Before Christ) or B.C.E. (Before the Common
C.E. - what happened to A.D.?
The Muslim calendar starts to count in the year 622 C.E.
According to the Jewish calendar, it is the year 5771.
AncientAncient MedievalMedieval ModernModern Contemp
ModernModern ContempContempClassicalClassical Early
World War I
World War II
• Primary sources
• Secondary sources
A Historian’s Tools