Read this article to learn about history and its auxiliary sciences!
Several other disciplines are there in order to factualize the history and its events. A historian must use the results achieved by the workers in other fields of human knowledge.
They are called ancillary disciplines or auxiliary sciences such as- Chronology, palaeography, graphology, sigillography, diplomatic, epigraphy, numismatics and archaeology besides the number of social sciences which have already examined in the foregoing paragraphs.
All these subjects are mainly digests of practical experience. The best way to acquaint with them is to practise them. The need for these are inter-related.
Even medicine requires history because without a proper background of the case diagnosis is impossible. The main ancillary disciplines are given below: –
Chronology help us to fix the time determines the frame work of the narrative. The time element is central to the concept of history without which its real perspective would be lost. Space, time and cause are fundamental to any phenomenon or experience and these three aspects are the modes of understanding and interpretation.
In history it arranges the important events which took place in the past in their chronological sequence. It was perhaps invented in the early ages for two equally utilitarian purposes viz, fixation of dates for religious operations. A sound knowledge of chronology has become indispensable for the student of history as the dates and eras are so confusing in the records that fixation of correct chronology in respect to several dynasties, itself become great research.
“Paleography” is the systematic study of old hand writing. The shape of alphabets has varied from period to period and from region to region. It describes the evolution of each letter in time and in space. A paleographer cannot letter in times and in space.
A paleographer cannot only read old manuscripts or inscriptions but also date them and he can tell us the history of these characters and how they have changed over a period. In the past as also today, education had the effect of understanding the shape of letters used in each centre of culture. For example in India the problem is still more complicated with score of different languages and different scripts in use.
Paleography also deals with the abbreviations used by the scribes who were more in demand before the invention of printing. There are dictionaries which list the abbreviation used in manuscripts. It gives scope to mental alertness and to the development of empirical capacities. It develops the ability to face the difficulties as they present themselves in solving puzzles and problems. A team of scholars is attempting to decipher the script of the Indus valley civilization through computer science.
“Graphology” is the science of evaluating the character of a person by studying his hand writing. Research has shown that an undoubted connection exists between a persons character and his hand writing which betrays what sort of a person he is Graphologist of a person, he should keep an eye on a few factors such as the material used for the writing, the place and position of the writer, the circumstances under which the writing was done.
For example, you are traveling in a moving bus or train cannot write properly. Similarly, agitated moods, in sufficient light or pen or ill health are bound to effect the handwriting. It may betray laziness, needless haste, carelessness and self indulgence.
Diplomatic is the systematic study of the form of the official pattern of behaviour and writing. The word “Diploma” meant a piece of writing folded double came to be used in course of time for a passport or letter or recommendation given to persons traveling in province. Its meaning changed further as it referred to any manuscript or document of legal or historic or literary value and finally to indicate any kind of official writing.
It is observed that such documents were prepared with the help of government officials. Although these documents were composed under a particular order but when the findings of paleography and diplomatic coincides its values is increased. In brief diplomatic is a useful aid to history in trying to find out the real meaning of a document.
“Sigillography” is originated from the word “Sigil” means a “Seal” or signature. It also means a “Mark” or sign supposed to exercise occult power. Particularly, in history it signify the study of seals and can be looked upon as a department of diplomatic.
It is also know “Sphragistic” meaning the study of engraved seals including their authenticity, age, history, content etc. the seals of the Indus Valley civilization have remained undeciphered because of the script used in it.
During the Medieval Indian history seals played a very important role in the administration without which no document was valid. They help us a lot in giving us much information about the name of ruler, his title, the extent of his empire, the date of document, religion or dynasty he belonged to as well as the date and era of the issue. These seal also indicates the level of cultural development of the period.
Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics:
Archaeology, Epigraphy and Numismatics are the hand-maids of history. These disciplines are scientific in character and precise in their methodology. Ancient Indian history owes to these three branches for the reconstruction of many of its chapter. The explorations, the coping and reading of inscriptions, the study of coins and soon have brought to light numerous chapters in the history of the world.
Physics is helpful in determining the possible archaeological sites. Engineering chemistry and photography are summoned to the help of archaeologist. Whose business is to dig scientifically? It is a scientific study of the remnants of the past. Ancient sites, relics, monuments, counts, inscriptions and other artifacts all enable an archaeologist to reconstruct history in a most plausible manner.
Epigraphy is a paleography and diplomatic of inscriptions placed upon monuments or given to individuals on copper plates as title deeds of land grants. The historian should have the ability to read these records or get them deciphered and translated for him by those who know the language.
In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka there are thousands of such inscriptions such as a historian Lewis Rice collected as many as ten thousand inscriptions in a part of Karnataka which was then known as Mysore State. They are valuable factual source of information on politics, literature, warfare, religion social, economic and administrative details etc.
Philology, Anthropology, etc:
“Philology” or study of languages both in their past and present conditions has conferred on history a lot of advantages. The “anthropologist” deals with the human races and their characteristics, it studies human institutions especially in their early stages. Paleo-botany can decide the age of the fossils and of dead-wood where as medical science is helpful in determining the nature and possibly the age of skeletal remains. Even natural sciences can be extremely useful in historical research.
Research in History:
Let us first understand what is meant by research. It is the activity undertaken to bring out something new to extend the horizon of knowledge and to contribute some original idea. According to long-men’s dictionary describes it as” serious and detailed study of a subject that is aimed at learning new facts, scientific laws, testing ideas etc.”
It involves some sort of specialization in a particular field in which the researcher is interested. It can also imply new arrangement, a new point of view, a new proof and so forth. It is an attempt to make a diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject, in order to discover facts or revise the known facts or put the facts into theories.
But it invariably involves original planning and a breakthrough at the theoretical and speculative level. In other words research does not consist only in dealing with an untouched subject it also covers the treatment of some subject, which has been explored earlier, in an original manner.