The History Portal
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, 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, by some, 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.
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The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil and (until 1828) Uruguay. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II. A colony of the Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil became the seat of the Portuguese colonial Empire in 1808, when the Portuguese Prince regent, later King Dom João VI, fled from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal and established himself and his government in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. João VI later returned to Portugal, leaving his eldest son and heir, Pedro, to rule the Kingdom of Brazil as regent. On 7 September 1822, Pedro declared the independence of Brazil and, after waging a successful war against his father's kingdom, was acclaimed on 12 October as Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil. The new country was huge, sparsely populated and ethnically diverse.
Unlike most of the neighboring Hispanic American republics
, Brazil had political stability, vibrant economic growth, constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, and respect for civil rights of its subjects, albeit with legal restrictions on women and slaves, the latter regarded as property and not citizens. The empire's bicameral parliament was elected under comparatively democratic methods for the era, as were the provincial and local legislatures. This led to a long ideological conflict between Pedro I and a sizable parliamentary faction over the role of the monarch in the government. He faced other obstacles. The unsuccessful Cisplatine War
against the neighboring United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
in 1828 led to the secession of the province of Cisplatina
(later to become Uruguay
). In 1826, despite his role in Brazilian independence, he became the king of Portugal; he immediately abdicated the Portuguese throne in favor of his eldest daughter
. Two years later, she was usurped by Pedro I's younger brother Miguel
. Unable to deal with both Brazilian and Portuguese affairs, Pedro I abdicated his Brazilian throne on 7 April 1831 and immediately departed for Europe to restore his daughter to the Portuguese throne
. Read more...
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King Arthur (Welsh: Brenin Arthur, Cornish: Arthur Gernow, Breton: Roue Arzhur) was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and modern historians generally agree that he is unhistorical. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.
Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain
. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth
's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae
(History of the Kings of Britain
). In some Welsh
tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn
. How much of Geoffrey's Historia
(completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Read more...
On this day
What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
— Voltaire, 18th century French philosopher
The following are images from various History-related articles on Wikipedia.
Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, a form of Zeus 1st century AD. Gods, could sometimes be transferred or adopted by many civilizations, and then adjusted for local conditions.
Egyptian soldiers from Hatshepsut's expion to the Land of Punt as depicted from her temple at Deir el-Bahri.
Technical drawing of Roman Ballista mechanism.
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 ion of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Painting of Murong Xianbei archer, in Late Antiquity, nomads across Eurasia, began to use the stirrup. Horse riding warriors could be devastating in combat.
The Iron Age kingdom of Israel (blue) and kingdom of Judah (yellow)
Cossacks became the backbone of the early Russian Army.
A painting depecting the Qing Chinese celebrating a victory over the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. This work was a collaboration between Chinese and European painters.
Battle of Vienna, 12 September 1683
The early Muslim conquests
Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
Expansion during the Patriarchal Caliphate, 632–661
Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750
Map of the approximate political boundaries in Europe around 450 AD
A possible representation of a "yogi" or "proto-Shiva", 2600–1900 BCE
The Chinese Han Dynasty dominated the East Asia region at the beginning of the first millennium AD
Model for the Three Superior Planets and Venus from Georg von Peuerbach, Theoricae novae planetarum.
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Gutenberg reviewing a press proof (a colored engraving created probably in the 19th century)
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
Engraved world map (including magnetic declination lines) by Leonhard Euler from his school atlas "Geographischer Atlas bestehend in 44 Land-Charten" first published 1753 in Berlin
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. From a Xiongnu tomb. 4th–3rd century BC
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
Europe and the Merranean Sea in 1190
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
Nok sculpture of a sitted person
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
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