History and primary sources

How I have understood history as a student in the past, has had perhaps a negative impact on the reality of my personal and private interpretations. On many occasions in courses like world history, and U.S history in my early years in my high school career. History within the framework of those textbooks seems flat and static. The text told a historical account and for whatever reason, it seems to me it was to be taken as an infallible reality of objective truth. The idea that History itself can be elusive and bias depending on the primary sources and subject of study just hadn't occurred to me. For the past four years now I've been a pupil of philosophy and history. The first book I read that dealt with this issue was ironically Herodotus’s Histories. (If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.) From the onset of Herodotus's account on the conflict between the Persians and the Phoenicians, the perspective or rather perception of what happened to the women and lo the king’s daughter will forever change the history between the greek and the Persians. The gentleman for the youtube video “What’s The Difference Between History and The Past?” mentions quite a few intelligent things, especially when it comes to history as a narrative and I quite agree. He said with historical Narrative things tend to get left out. They are left out, out of necessity and this limitation in history shapes our understanding and overall what we understand history to be. Because history has ceased to exist the moment it’s moved from present to past. It is the job of the historian and those observers of history to conjure up the most accurate reality of the events that have transpired Which bring me the sources, Sources are the most fascinating subject to me. For a single primary source can be used accurately for presenting different ideas within its own context. The primary source simply has to be an immediate firsthand account, text, artifact, or original document.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store