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Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history"

History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.

History can also refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", and, along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived.

Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.

Selected periods of history

Selected images

Selected histories by subject

Selected historical figures

Selected historical disciplines

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Selected historical concepts

On this day

February 23


Herbert II, Count of Vermandois (d. 943) · Nicholas Fuller (d. 1620) · Johnny Carey (b. 1919)

More anniversaries:

History in the making...

23 February 2019 – 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit Vietnam
Vietnam's Foreign Ministry announces that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will make an official visit to the country in the coming days, ahead of the upcoming summit between him and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi. (Reuters)
22 February 2019 – American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War
President Donald Trump agrees to keep about 400 U.S. troops in Syria. (CNN)
22 February 2019 – Crisis in Venezuela
In response to the concert, Nicolás Maduro announced a rival concert on the Venezuelan side of the border, and state-owned Venezolana de Televisión reported 150 artists would participate, but no artists were signed. (Billboard)
22 February 2019 –
Flooding is reported throughout Tennessee amid heavy rain. Rain is expected to continue, possibly making the flooding worse. (WSMV)
22 February 2019 – 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit Vietnam
The Trump Administration weighs softening demands ahead of the second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi. (CNN)
22 February 2019 –
US President Donald Trump nominates US Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft to be the new US Ambassador to the United Nations. (CNN)
19 February 2019 – Insurgency in Egypt (2013–present)
Sixteen militants are killed in two different raids in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. A number of weapons and explosives are also found in the raids. (Al Jazeera)
19 February 2019 –
A house fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, kills seven children from a Syrian family. (BBC)
19 February 2019 – 2020 United States presidential election, 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announces on Vermont Public Radio that he is running for President of the United States as a Democrat in 2020. (NPR)
18 February 2019 – Kashmir conflict
Two reported Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, one civilian and four Indian soldiers are killed in a skirmish in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir as police search for suspects in Thursday's suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary police. (arynews)
18 February 2019 –
A suicide bombing kills the bomber and three police officers in Cairo, Egypt. Two others are injured. (Wall Street Journal)
18 February 2019 – List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019
Four people are killed in a shooting at a home in Solon Township, Kent County, Michigan, United States, with police investigating it as a possible murder–suicide. (NBC News) (CBS News)
18 February 2019 – National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States
Sixteen states sue U.S. President Donald Trump, calling his national emergency declaration made last week "unlawful and unconstitutional". (USA Today)
18 February 2019 – 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis
In a speech, U.S. President Donald Trump urges the Venezuelan military to abandon Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro or "lose everything". (Reuters)
18 February 2019 –
United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is reported to be stepping down from his position in mid-March. (Reuters), (Fox News)
17 February 2019 –
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces the country's major political parties computer networks had been hacked by a "sophisticated state actor." (BBC)
17 February 2019 – 2019 Daytona 500
Denny Hamlin wins the 2019 Daytona 500. It is his second win in the event, the first coming in 2016. (Fox News)
16 February 2019 – Sinai insurgency
Militants attacked an army checkpoint in Sinai Peninsula killing and injuring 15. It is believed that 11 were killed but that has not been confirmed. Seven militants also died in the attack. (The National) (The Times of Israel)
16 February 2019 – Afghanistan War
32 Afghan border security troops are killed by a Taliban attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (The New York Times)
15 February 2019 – 2019 Kaduna State massacre
66 people were killed by gunmen in Nigeria's Kaduna State including 34 victims being either women or children. The attack happened one day before the scheduled election before it was delayed another week. (Al Jazeera) (BBC)


History (timelines) – records of past events and the way things were. It is also a field responsible for the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about the past.


History by region – Ancient Egypt • Ancient Greece • Ancient Rome • History of China • History of the Middle East • History of Mesoamerica • History of India

History by continent – Africa • The Americas • Antarctica • Asia • Australia • Eurasia • Europe • North America • Oceania • South America

List of time periods Prehistory • Protohistory • Ancient history • Modern history • Future history

The Ages of history – Stone Age • Copper Age • Bronze Age • Iron Age • Dark Ages (historiography) • Middle Ages • Age of Discovery • Renaissance • Age of Enlightenment • Industrial Age • Space Age • Information Age

History by subject

Cultural history Money • Sport
History of art Dance • Film • Music • Painting • Theatre
History of philosophy Ancient • Medieval • Modern • Contemporary
History of logic
History of science Theories/sociology • Historiography • Mathematics • Pseudoscience • Scientific method
History of the natural sciencesAstronomy • Biology • Chemistry • Ecology • Geography • Physics • Geology
History of the social sciencesAnthropology • Economics • Education • Geography • Linguistics • Political science • Psychology • Sociology
History of science by era In early cultures • In Classical Antiquity • In the Middle Ages • In the Renaissance • Scientific Revolution
History of technology Agriculture & agricultural science • Architecture • Biotechnology • Chemical engineering • Communication • Computing (Computer science, Software engineering) • Electrical engineering • Invention • Materials science • Measurement • Medicine • Military technology • Transport

Recognized content

Featured articles

Good articles


History by period
History by decade
1910s • 1920s • 1930s • 1940s • 1950s • 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s • 2010s
History by century
19th century • 20th century
History by era
Archaeology • Quaternary prehistory • Silurian
Ancient history
Classical civilization (Ancient Olympic Games)
Ancient Egypt • Ancient Germanic Culture • Ancient Greece • Ancient Japan • Ancient Near East • Ancient Tamil civilization • Ancient Rome (Military of ancient Rome)
Middle Ages
Byzantine Empire • Holy Roman Empire • Medieval Britain
Colonialism • Piracy
Modern history
Civil rights movement • Early modern Britain
Current events
Sports • National Register of Historic Places
History by region
American Old West • Anglo-Saxon England • Austria-Hungary • British Empire • Bulgarian Empire • Imperial China • East Germany • European military history • German Empire • Canada • Holy Roman Empire • Indian independence movement • Khitan • Mesoamerica • Nazi Germany • New France • North America • Ottoman Empire • Russian Empire • Sasanian Empire • Soviet Union • Transylvania • Weimar Republic
History by subject
Crown of Aragon • Disasters • Heraldry • History of art • History of the Latter Day Saint movement • History of Science
Aztec mythologyGreek mythologyHindu mythology
Ancient Olympic Games
War of 1812 • American Revolutionary War • American Civil War • Ancient warfare • Arab–Israeli conflict • Cold War • Crusades • Italian Wars • Liberation War • Military history of France • Military history of Africa • Military history of the Ottoman Empire • Napoleonic Wars • September 11 attacks • Spanish American wars of independence • Syrian Civil War • World War I • World War II

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