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Old July 31st, 2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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Is history really accurate?


I'm interested in whether people think that ancient history is either more accurate than inaccurate, or do you think it's the other way around? Why is that?
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Old July 31st, 2006, 07:38 PM   #2

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There's always gonna be the "winners write history" scenario. I would say it is pretty accurate. It's always good to have multiple sources for events such as wars where you don't just hear the winner's story. You have to remember back in the "day", I mean waaaaay back in the "day", civilization was a little bit simpler. They didn't have tv or pc's or cell phones to keep them occupied, so they would have ample time to record what was going on around them.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:16 AM   #3

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I have to disagree with you here Lord_Cronus, I think history might be a bit more inaccurate than accurate. I don't mean that all history is wrong mind you, I just mean that a good portion of history is skewed. This does not even have to be toward the winner, it can be for a particular person too. I think it was Caligula (I am not sure on that, it just seems like something he would do) who actually attempted to burn all books that had any history before him so it seemed like history started with him. Obviously some people saw the stupidity in this and made sure it did not happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord_Cronus
You have to remember back in the "day", I mean waaaaay back in the "day", civilization was a little bit simpler. They didn't have tv or pc's or cell phones to keep them occupied, so they would have ample time to record what was going on around them.
While your right that there would have been much more free time due to the lack of these things, the lack of these things also caused a very low rate of literacy. Sure there was a lot more free time to write about what was happening, but that was only if you were one of the few that could write. Recording history was always in the hands of the elite few who could manipulate it any way they wanted. And as I said before, they may not have just manipulated the events they recorded, remember all the official Russian government records of their history were, until the fall of communism, written in pencil.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:26 PM   #4
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As a historian I love to see different aspects of accounts, the winner may have one the battle...but the loser may have one also. Of course not militarily but perhaps their culture relies more on honor and courage, the winner may only rely on military strength. Both sides could have won but how they won it is completely immersed in their own point-of-views.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:15 AM   #5
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I think history is more often forgotten than it is inaccurate. So many events happened that we probably will never know of.

I think history from the last thousand plus years is accurate. Obviously the further back in time you go, the more chance there is for error.

History was passed down by word of mouth for so long. It would have been very easy to misunderstand someone and change the story
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 03:17 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahn
I think history is more often forgotten than it is inaccurate. So many events happened that we probably will never know of.

I think history from the last thousand plus years is accurate. Obviously the further back in time you go, the more chance there is for error.

History was passed down by word of mouth for so long. It would have been very easy to misunderstand someone and change the story
Not only forgotten, but lost. Imagine how much more knowledge we would have if the Great Library had not been burned.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 03:34 AM   #7

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History is usually a modern interpretation of past events based at best, on incomplete or inaccurate data. Everyone witnessing the same event now will see it differently. Now look at the same event 100-200 years from now, and you will have as many accounts of the event as were witnesses, plus all those "historians" who have used a particular witness' account and changed its significance, basically "spun it", to follow their own agendas or pet theories. It's the job of a historian to pick through all the haystack to find the needles of fact. It's not easy.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:53 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belisarius
History is usually a modern interpretation of past events based at best, on incomplete or inaccurate data. Everyone witnessing the same event now will see it differently. Now look at the same event 100-200 years from now, and you will have as many accounts of the event as were witnesses, plus all those "historians" who have used a particular witness' account and changed its significance, basically "spun it", to follow their own agendas or pet theories. It's the job of a historian to pick through all the haystack to find the needles of fact. It's not easy.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Every battle and every debate has two sides to it. You can't always based historical accuracy from one side's point of view. A historian must look through the facts and decifer what really happened.

Unfortunately, that can be quite difficult when so many records have been lost over time.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:48 PM   #9

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In my oppinion history can't be accurate :
1. Sources, see an event in TV and discuss it after a month with others, you will see that all have their own perspective. The same thing is in history to, not mention that victors write usual the history.
2. Many knoledge has lost or from conspiracy or natural disasters or crime.

The most difficult problem in history is to find reliable sources, make a theory and try to prove it so always it depends from each one.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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Re: Is history really accurate?


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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
I'm interested in whether people think that ancient history is either more accurate than inaccurate, or do you think it's the other way around? Why is that?
i think for the most part it is distorted,they may be similar outcomes but the in betweens is what i find to be at the highest level of inaccuracies
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