What's the reason for spending money and time on studying ancient times?

Aug 2016
17
China
#1
Hi everyone,

I know this is a silly question, but when somebody asks me why I'm studying ancient history I could only say 'just for fun'. Although this is the reason I'm studying history, I wonder is there another good explanation which justifies the money and time that I've spent on this subject.

I know a popular reason for studying history is that history could helps us understand the modern society, and even predict the future, but it seems not many people believe this and even I'm skeptical to this view.

So I want to know what do you think about the significance of studying ancient history.
 
Jun 2017
2,512
Connecticut
#3
Hi everyone,

I know this is a silly question, but when somebody asks me why I'm studying ancient history I could only say 'just for fun'. Although this is the reason I'm studying history, I wonder is there another good explanation which justifies the money and time that I've spent on this subject.

I know a popular reason for studying history is that history could helps us understand the modern society, and even predict the future, but it seems not many people believe this and even I'm skeptical to this view.

So I want to know what do you think about the significance of studying ancient history.
You shouldn't be ashamed of studying history just for fun, it's awesome and it can have a ton of more benefits more than enjoyment.

I think of politics as basically the page of a story we are currently on, knowing the whole book when everyone around you knows a few pages will help you understand today's world very well in ways you just can't otherwise. Everything in your life is the way it is because a few people made a few decisions(or decided to marry a certain person depending on the region) and knowing why your life is the way it is, is very empowering. That feeling you get when you realize "so that's how it happened"is incredible and is honestly quite addictive. Do you watch any fantasy shows that have lore and stuff, whether it be kids cartoons, movies etc? Well humanity has the same exact thing, now let's say you were dropped off in some fantasy world not knowing what happened there beforehand, having that knowledge would come in handy wouldn't it? That's the situation we're all in.

My big example to prove this point is the British royal family. All glitz and glamour, big celebrity events. However the reason those things are happening was because a bunch of terrorists in northern France were so good at being terrorists they got bribed with land. That is the British royal family's origin story and the event I've described were like less than 20 lifetimes ago.

History can help you predict the future, not because of the whole "history repeats itself" nonsense but because you generally know how certain situations play out and why they play out the way they do. There's reasons things happen the way they do(for example the feudal, industrial, postindustrial jump) and just knowing about the modern world isolates from that. For example if you are reading a book or watching a movie do you ever know how the movie's going to end even though you don't because you've seen this sort of plot before? Well history's kind of the same way,

For example you live in China so a relevant example we can predict how population is going to go down there eventually. We are able to predict how countries populations spike and then recede based on how early they started industrializing because the larger the population you had pre industrialization, the more it will grow as a result. For example the area's of Europe that industrialized first had their population growth level off before the US which started later(and our population is about three times as large as the largest Euro country) and our population is leveling off before yours (your population is about three times the size of ours)and yours will level off before India's etc etc and as the world runs out of developing places the population of the world will probably stagnate. You can also study the rise and fall of great powers and see why great powers fall, why, how long it usually takes and what things are usually happening beforehand.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,172
Albuquerque, NM
#4
To better know and understand human development across the past five thousand years. The child is at the core of what the adult thinks, believes, values, and what choices he/she'll make in given situations. Never the same, but we are all alike whether history (written) has just been invented, or has evolved over thousands of years in countless places.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,198
Sydney
#5
.
The stories are better than movie scenarios ,

like horse racing , the odds are stacked on some but surprises are always possible

It warm the cockles of my heart to see the same mistakes and follies repeated each generations ,
that give me a strong sense of continuity

Wars were more fun before the gunpowder age , you usually could trade insults with the guy in front of you
 
Feb 2011
757
Kitchener. Ont.
#7
Hi everyone,

I know this is a silly question, but when somebody asks me why I'm studying ancient history I could only say 'just for fun'. Although this is the reason I'm studying history, I wonder is there another good explanation which justifies the money and time that I've spent on this subject.
Hi Narohan.

My reply would have been, "...because what we read is not always cut & dried" (if you understand the term).

There are many interpretations in ancient history which are taken for granted, but are not in any way known to be factual. So although I study ancient history, I have specific fields, and events, that I stick to. I feel it is better to specialize in one subject that interests you than to spread your interest too thin across the whole field of ancient history.
What will predictably happen is you end up learning a little about everything, but a lot about nothing.

You will see the benefits if you specialize, and you are then in a better position to correctly re-evaluate an historical event which has been misunderstood for centuries.
This, is where the 'fun' enters the equation for me.

Good luck!
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,321
Portugal
#8
To better know and understand human development across the past five thousand years. The child is at the core of what the adult thinks, believes, values, and what choices he/she'll make in given situations. Never the same, but we are all alike whether history (written) has just been invented, or has evolved over thousands of years in countless places.
Well said.
 

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