How do we conquer "history is written by die victors" ?

Sep 2016
739
Georgia
#21
Thanks. And another issue, even into the early Middle Ages was that some peoples did not have a written language or bother to officially record their deeds. The Slavs, for example, have no written account of their interactions with the Saxons, Franks, Bohemians, Byzantines and Danes in the the 8th -10th centuries or later to my knowledge.
What Slavs are you talking about ? There are several groups. Eastern Slavs ( Russians, Ukrainians, Belorusians ) have ,, Tale of Bygone Years '' from early 12th century that tells history of Kiev Rus from about 850 to 1110, for example.

Their wars with Byzantine, Khazar Khaganate, Pechenegs and First Bulgarian Empire are depicted there.
 
Last edited:

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,297
US
#22
What Slavs are you talking about ? There are several groups. Eastern Slavs ( Russians, Ukrainians, Belorusians ) have ,, Tale of Bygone Years '' from early 12th century that depicts history of Kiev Rus from about 850 to 1110, for example.
Primarily West Slavs (The Saxons, Franks,, Bohemians and Danes). In regard to the Byzantines, the South Slavs of course. We have a written record from Byzantine chroniclers, but nary from the Slavs. As you have mentioned, I am thinking it may not have been until about the 11th or 12th century before there is a written chronicle from a Slav regarding their events.
 
Sep 2016
739
Georgia
#23
Primarily West Slavs (The Saxons, Franks,, Bohemians and Danes). In regard to the Byzantines, the South Slavs of course. We have a written record from Byzantine chroniclers, but nary from the Slavs. As you have mentioned, I am thinking it may not have been until about the 11th or 12th century before there is a written chronicle from a Slav regarding their events.
Polish have ,, Gesta Principum Polonorum '' from early 12th century. There is ,, The Chronicle of the Czechs '' from first half of 12th century as well. But yeah, we don't really have written records from 8th or 9th century.

How Franks and Saxons are Slavs ?
Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term is associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine.

Although the Frankish name does not appear until the 3rd century, at least some of the original Frankish tribes had long been known to the Romans under their own names, both as allies providing soldiers and as enemies. The new name first appears when the Romans and their allies were losing control of the Rhine region.

Saxons are also Germanic people.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,297
US
#24
Polish have ,, Gesta Principum Polonorum '' from early 12th century. There is ,, The Chronicle of the Czechs '' from first half of 12th century as well. But yeah, we don't really have written records from 8th or 9th century.

How Franks and Saxons are Slavs ?
Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term is associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine.

Although the Frankish name does not appear until the 3rd century, at least some of the original Frankish tribes had long been known to the Romans under their own names, both as allies providing soldiers and as enemies. The new name first appears when the Romans and their allies were losing control of the Rhine region.

Saxons are also Germanic people.
Thanks for the information. I am not saying that the Franks or Saxons were Slavs. As you have posted, they were Germanic. I was not clear in my post. I was referring to those who had contact with the West Slavs and recorded history as they saw it. In other words, West Slavs versus the Saxons, the Franks, etc. This is to further my point that some peoples did not offer their history for reasons such as they did not have a written language until a later date.
 
May 2011
2,674
Rural Australia
#25
Apologies if this has been covered before, but i'd like to know something.

History is written by die victors is something that we have all heard. The victors exaggerate their victories and their conquests. We cannot rely on that solely for the truth.

How we do conquer the exaggerations and the sometimes half truths or even flat out lies, to get the best possible and most accurate truth ?

Historical revisionism - Wikipedia
 
Oct 2013
1,275
Monza, Italy
#26
Apologies if this has been covered before, but i'd like to know something.

History is written by die victors is something that we have all heard. The victors exaggerate their victories and their conquests. We cannot rely on that solely for the truth.

How we do conquer the exaggerations and the sometimes half truths or even flat out lies, to get the best possible and most accurate truth ?
Democracies where theorically free speech is guaranteed are far from perfect when it's time to put those principles in practise, yet we should trust in the existance of historians who offer a different perspective (like Ernst Nolte or A. J. Gregor, just to put an example), otherwise historical research dies. Sorry if I repeat something already said by (an)other user(s).
 
Aug 2010
15,096
Welsh Marches
#27
All good historians offer new perspectives large and small on everything that they study, they don't need to turn central ideas upside down to do that; sometimes they will do that because their discoveries or reinterpretations lead them in that direction, the trouble with 'revisionists' is that they deliberately set out to do that for dubious reasons, for ideologicla reasons or simply to gain attention or make money.
 
Oct 2013
1,275
Monza, Italy
#28
All good historians offer new perspectives large and small on everything that they study, they don't need to turn central ideas upside down to do that; sometimes they will do that because their discoveries or reinterpretations lead them in that direction, the trouble with 'revisionists' is that they deliberately set out to do that for dubious reasons, for ideologicla reasons or simply to gain attention or make money.
Yeah, I agree with that...just wanted to say that in the end it's natural that history is mainly written by winners, that doesn't prevent us to take a fascist/stalinist historian as a serious researcher, even though we don't agree with his ideology or his thesis. Of course most people who write anti-mainstream biographies about Stalin or Hitler and prevent to be original are nothing short of sensationalistic charlatans...that's ok since even selling rubbish contributes to economy.... :)
 
Feb 2016
4,125
Japan
#29
The losers often get to rewrite history at some point.

Hastings- how much do you know from contemporary sources? How much from the Anglo Saxon made Bayaux tapestry.

The Boer War - Boers start the war to steal land, are utterly crushed, turn on each other, cause a massive refugee crisis, fail miserably in all war aims... apartheid revisionists and some anti-imperial leftists spun this as ... Boers are attacked by the British who want gold, utterly destroy them in massive battles, then fight a cunning guerilla campaign which the British only win by rounding up women and kids.

Indian Mutiny - local army mutiny grows into a local rebellion. Recast as a War of Independence quite recently.

War of 1812- Expansionist US warmongers use British maritime arrogance as a pretext to take Canada and force Britain to accept US demands. Britain, with 2nd tier troops and Canadian militia repels all invasion attempts, burns the US capital, blockades the US and it’s navy, sinks or capture most of the US privateer fleet and begins raiding the US coast at will.... respun by the defeated as a second war of independence which they won.

The ACW- while far from a common narrative, many southerners try to re-imagine it as a war in which poor southerners were only fighting for states rights not slavery. Popular in some parts of the us.

Korean War- just check what North Koreans claim there...

Infact any war you’ve read about in which the “bad guys” win us probably written from the losers eye.
 

Similar History Discussions