What is History?
interpretation of the past
gathering evidence & analyzing it, making interpretations
way to construct arguments about past based on evidence
goal of class is to teach how to think historically
ca. 484-420 BC
Greek writer of “The History of the Persian Wars”
used the word Historion (greek word - questioning, inquiry, investigation, gathering of evidence) his work is an investigation on a war etc.
it’s something active - History is investigation/questioning.
Primary sources and Secondary Sources
Primary - first hand account of events, ex: diary; evidence from the time period that you're studying Secondary - source created by using primary sources, ex: text book, professor, 2nd half of our book - sources, contemporary historians providing you w/their interpretation of the past based on their reading of primary sources ex: professor, hear her interpretation of the past; students offering their interpretations of the primary sources
Types of Evidence:
things that help historians write histories: newspapers, facebook, movies, clothes, bones/bodies (nutrition, foods we ate), journals/diaries, video games, stadium/helmets/pads, fee bills, letters home If you give 2 diff historians diff things from above, there may be diff interpretations - b/c of evidence or the type of person they are look @ evidence & ask questions -
have to buy new books about old shit - b/c there is NEW evidence, cultures change over time - diff interests, diff questions about the past, every society looks @ past with questions that concern it
Types of History
political, social, intellectual, cultural, women/gender, religious, military, economic, science, institutional & more if all the evidence is destroyed and only history of LSU was one dude’s baseball cap, can you reconstruct this world? No. Is this history lost completely? Cap = artifact in class we will look @ some things that we don’t have a lot of evidence about. Ex: construct history using only one love poem
How to read a Primary Source:
Level 1 (easy stuff)
Who wrote it? (she will ask us to do this on the exams)
Historians like written sources
Archeologists like material sources
if you don’t know their name, you can guess that it’s written by an egyptian priest etc. When was it written?
What type of document is it?
you’ll treat it diff if it’s graffiti, or written by a king, or love letter Main storyline
Intended Audience -
Why was it written?
What are the assumptions made in the source?
- ex: talks about various surgeries, and fine for messing it up - assumptions is that they practice surgery on people’s eyes b/c there is law code about it -- society that wanted to regulate medical practice
Can I believe this document? - could this be untrue propaganda? (emperor is hot and greatest man ever lived - written b/c emperor would kill you if you didn’t) What can I learn about the society/person who created this document? How does it relate to its context?
- how does love poetry relate to what I know about Egypt? - give hat on a student in classroom at LSU suddenly hat makes more sense than it does by itself seeing things in context w/other pieces of evidence helps you to interpret things - know that baseball cap promotes LSU, shows pride, etc.
Year of king’s rule - most popular way to keep track of time Olympic years - Greeks did this every 4 years, kept track of time using year of Olympmics Significant events -
Anno Mundi, AM 5771 - beginning of the world
Anno Hegirae, AH 1432
Anno Domini, AD 2011
also called CE for Common Era
Christian connections - year of our lord
before this, goes backwards and is called BC
Fifth century = 400s, either AD or BC
What is Western Civilization?
nice essay in book = What is the West?
it’s more of an idea than a place...
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