An Introduction to the History of History

9780217775168: An Introduction to the History of History
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1922. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... SECTION I INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I DEFINITION AND SCOPE OF HISTORY Until recently, history itself has lacked historians. There have been histories of almost everything else under the sun, of literature, philosophy, the arts and sciences, and, above all, of politics. But until the last few years, -- with the exception of a few works for students, -- the story of history has remained unwritten. Clio, though the oldest of the Muses, has been busy recording the past of others but has neglected her own; and apparently her readers have seldom inquired of her about it. For even yet the phrase "history of History" conveys but little meaning to most people's minds, seeming to suggest some superfluous academic problem for which a busy world should afford no time, rather than what it really is, that part of the human story which one should master first if one would ever learn to judge the value of the rest. The prime reason for this state of affairs is probably that which has just been hinted at. Clio was a Muse; history has generally been regarded as a branch of literature. Historians have been treated as masters of style or of the creative imagination, to be ranked alongside poets or dramatists, rather than simply as historians, with an art and science of their own. Thucydides has been read for his Greek, Livy for his Latin. Carlyle ranks in book-lists with the word-painter Ruskin. Now and again historical criticisms of the "great masters" have appeared, and scholarly studies of limited fields. But so long as history could be viewed as primarily a part of literature its own history could not be written; for the recovery of the past is a science as well as an art. The history of History, therefore, had to await the rise of scientific historical criticism before it attracted the...

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