Some of the important definitions of history given by different historians are given below:
The English word ‘History’ is derived from their Greek noun ‘Historia’. ‘History’ or ‘Historia’ simply means ‘enquiry’ or ‘research’.
The term ‘History’ has been taken from the German word ‘Geschichle’ means an intelligible and significant narration of the past events.
Infact development of history started with the ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus and Thucydides.
Herodotus popularly known as the ‘Father of History’ wrote about the Graeco-Persian wars this contains a mine of information including those relating to the ancient Egyptians and Persians. Thucidides developed this subjects on scientific lines. He wrote the “Pelopenesian Wars’ on the basis of evidence and showed the relation between causes and effects or results.
Thomas Charlyle “World History is a biography of great men”.
Prof. Renier: “History is the memories of societies.”
Will Durant: “History is a narrative of what civilized men have thought or done in past time.”
E.H. Carr: “History is an unending dialogue between the present and the past and the chief function of historian is to master and understand the past as a key to the understanding of present.”
Prof. G.R. Elton: “History is concerned with all those human sayings, thoughts, deeds and sufferings which occurred in the past and have left present deposit; and it deals with them from the point of view of happening change and particular.”
Lord Acton: History is the unfolding story of human freedom.”
Prof. A.L. Rowse: “History is essentially the record of the life of men in societies in their geographical and their physical environments. Their social and cultural environments arises from the interaction of the one with the other, the society and its geographical condition.”
Prof. Carl G. Gustavson: “History is a mountain top of human knowledge from whence the doings of our own generation may be scanned and fitted into proper dimensions. History enables a person to see himself as part of that living process of human growth which has emerged out of the past and will inexorably project itself out beyond our own life time. We are the product of the past but not the complete product.”
From the above definitions one can easily assume the scope, value and objectives of history which will be discussed in proceeding topics.