History as Chronicle

Jun 2013
438
Connecticut
#1
When you read about what is history, oftentimes it's mentioned that it is not a chronicle of events. But isn't it really just that?

The historian needs to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The stringent drive for objectivity via trusted historical methods does not leave any room for bias, prejudice or subservience to an agenda. So really it's just a chronological event record. New data gets studied on how it fits into this chronicle.

The historian's narrative is based more on how grammatically nice the flow of his story is.

What do you think?
 
Jun 2018
98
New York
#2
Well, if I remember correctly, in the past recorded history was sometimes called a Chronicle, but because of how people have developed in this field, how history is recorded has changed. But it is all one long record of events. If anything the difference between a chronical and a modern history book is the methods on how the author researches and writes the events down.

Then we get into the question of if those chronicles can be considered history. Like the Icelandic Sagas, which were considered history for many centuries but today is questioned on their validity as a history.

In the end one can consider any writing on history a chronicle as it records past events.
 
Likes: Talbot Vilna
Jan 2010
4,356
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#3
We’ve discussed this before. First, there cannot really be an objective chronicle, as every chronicler must necessarily choose what to write about. Second, even if it were possible, such a chronicle would be so dull we wouldn’t want to read too much of it. Interpretation is what makes written history live.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,876
Portugal
#4
When you read about what is history, oftentimes it's mentioned that it is not a chronicle of events. But isn't it really just that?

The historian needs to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The stringent drive for objectivity via trusted historical methods does not leave any room for bias, prejudice or subservience to an agenda. So really it's just a chronological event record. New data gets studied on how it fits into this chronicle.

The historian's narrative is based more on how grammatically nice the flow of his story is.

What do you think?
I think that this is an outdated vision of how to write history, even if it is one still quite strong one. By the way, your second paragraph is controversial. Anyway, the theme is recurrent. I recall that in my post-graduation I had a discipline that was in a great part about this.

At least since the Annales School and the consequent development of history there was a changed of the vision of history solely as a narrative, or a narrative of the truth, that last truth about the theme, as it had been previously seen by the positivists, even if the narrative is necessary as in any science or discipline. How can I write a report without using a narrative, even if a small one? Today History is inter-disciplinary, the analysis is essential, and the last word about the past is yet to be written.

For simple reference:

Annales school - Wikipedia

And two articles around the theme, I wanted to post another one, but is in Portuguese and in paper (the first one is from 1985, so we can see that the theme is in discussion for a while… well maybe for even more, some 90 years):

SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research

History and Narrative: An Overview | Carrard | Narrative Works
 
Jun 2013
438
Connecticut
#5
What's mostly written, what mostly appears on this forum, especially what's taught in schools is a list of political-diplomatic events, ideas, movements and definitely leaders. Whether we like it or not the "great man", and his influence, is all over especially on this forum for example.

Political history is structured around a political state. This is usually broken down to listing the state's advancement and regression, cultural development, economics, war (military history), etc., etc.

Take military history for example. It follows the same method as chronicling something. That something can be a crisis event or leader or war or war's effects on civilians or armies or battles or types of soldiers or soldier's weaponry or how the weaponry was developed...and on and on.

The historian explains by simply collecting as much data about something and tries list them in chronological order. The only way to look at the past is to list the events and what characters did. The more organized the detail the better. Historian's don't explain WHY; they explain WHAT.
 

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