Senior Seminar

Notable Historians, Their Books, and Movements in Historical Thought

Assigned Reading: Gilderhus, History and Historians, chapters 2-7. These chapters survey the history of historical writing from the ancient world to the present and describe speculative and analytical philosophies of history. While reading these chapters, you should take notes (at least a paragraph) on the following concepts, historians, and books. Historians and books may be treated as one item. Each term will be discussed in class, so you are expected to have your notes in class when an assigned topic is covered. The test on historiography will be based on these terms and on the specific historians discussed in class.

Chapter 2: The Beginnings of Historical Consciousness

Early Religion and Concepts of the Past
Sumerian and/or Assyrian Conceptions of History
Conceptions of History in Ancient Israel
The Greek Conception of History (Critical History)
Herodotus of Halicarnassus (c. 490-c. 430 BC)
Thucydides (c. 456-c. 404 BC)
The Histories (Polybius)
The Roman Conception of History
Commentaries on the Gallic Wars (52 BC)
Cornelius Tacitus (c. AD 56-c. 117)
The Histories and the Annals of Imperial Rome
The Christian Conception of History
Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260-c. 339)
The Ecclesiastical History or the History of the Church
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354-430) and The City of God
The Characteristics of Medieval Annals and Chronicles
Characteristics of Medieval Historical Writing
Gregory of Tours (538-594), History of the Franks
The Venerable Bede (c. 675-c. 735)
Otto of Freising (c. 1113-1158)
The Deeds of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the History of the Two Cities
Matthew Paris (c. 1200-c. 1273)
John Froissart (1337-c. 1404)
Procopius (6th century) and History of the Wars

Chapter 3: Historical Consciousness in the Modern Age

Character of Historical Writing Since the Renaissance
The Study of History as a Profession
Characteristics of Historical Writing During the Renaissance
Francesco Petrarca
The Prince and The History of Florence
Philology and History Writing
Lorenzo Valla, Discourse on the Forgery of the Alleged Donation of Constantine
The Reformation and the Writing of History
The Scientific Revolution and History Writing
Jean Bodin
Jean Mabillon, On Diplomatics
History Writing and the Enlightenment
Voltaire as a Historian
David Hume and The History of England
Edward Gibbon and The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Giambattista Vico and The New Science (1725)
History Writing During the Nineteenth Century
History Writing and the French Revolution
Jules Michelet and The History of France
Thomas Babington Macauley (1800-1859) and The History of England
Johann Gottfried Herder
Immanuel Kant
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), Philosophy of History
Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)
History "wie es eigentlich gewesen ist" (Leopold von Ranke)
Karl Marx and History

Chapters 4-7: Philosophies of History and Professional History in Recent Times

Arnold Toynbee and A Study of History
Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West
Philosophy of History
Speculative Philosophy of History
Analytical Philosophy of History
"Scientific" versus "Traditional" History
Dialectical Materialism (Karl Marx and History)
Positivism, Auguste Comte, and the "Law of Three Stages"
Idealist Concept of History
The Problem of "Objectivity" in History
Ernest Breisach & Four Characteristics of Modern History Writing
The "New History" (James Harvey Robinson)
Frederick Jackson Turner and the Frontier Thesis
Progressive History and Carl Becker
W. E. B. Dubois and Carter Woodson
"That Noble Dream"
The "Annales" School (France): "mentalité" and "longue durée"
Fernand Braudel
Quantification and Social Science Methodology
Sigmund Freud and Psychohistory
"New Left" History
Women's History
The "Culture Wars" and History
The Enola Gay Controversy and History Writing
Postmodernism and History

This Page is Maintained by Robert W. Brown;
Last Update: 25.VII.2007

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