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There is no particular definition to the word ‘History’ ,because ,the subject is viewed from different perceptives, intuitives ,insights or point of views of professional and non-professional scholars/historians.However a definition of history should be seen and coined from two different ways or pictures,which are :What history is and what history is not.


History is not about the past: The main reason history is not about the past is that, the totality of the past cannot be captured,recovered,seen or penned down.

Fables:History is not about fictitious narration,tales telling or things that cannot be put to test.It is not about  spirits,angels and witches.

History is not metaphysical:It is not metaphysical ,in that,it is not beyond earth,planet of human society.

History is not an ordinary collection of fact.it is not about praise singing and therefore historian avoid what is known as HAGIOGRAPHY.


History is the reconstruct of the past on the basis of available and confirmable or verifiable evidence.The evidence at the disposal of historian is obtained from many sources ,which are classified as -Primary Source and Secondary source.

The evidence available is the subject to an analysis ,because, historians have to answer questions include;What,Who,How,Where and When.

History is focused on human activities in the society.

Historians don’t write in a hurry,they use generated materials.The material is subjected to critical and rational analysis,in that,they are conscious of the possibility of a revision of their narrative and analysis ,based on new evidence .This is why historians write  ‘A History of’ and not ‘The history of ‘.

Historians must be seen to be faithful to evidence and be fair to the subject at her disposal.

Historians presenting his/her analysis, combines two things,which are Narrative and Analysis

Historian pays more attention to CHRONOLOGY, otherwise ,he/she will be guilty of an offense called ANACHRONISM

History is a living subject ,Because,it covers all range of time ‘present and future’

Hagiography: The biography that treats its subject with undue reference.

Anachronism:Is a chronological inconsistency  in some arrangement,especially a juxtaposition of people,events,objects,language, terms and customs from different periods.

Chronology:The arrangement of event or date in order of their occurrence or the study of historical records to establish the date of past event.

Stratigraphy: Is the branch of geology that deals with formation composition sequence and correlative of stratified rocks.


history is an old subject and is as old as the time men started to organize themselves into separate territory based on political communities. It functioned in various ways as a bedrock of human society. practically, each society has a name for it and acknowledges its importance .The word ‘History’ itself is derived from the Greek word ‘Historia’ and it has equivalence in other languages .For instance: History-English
,Historische-Germany,Shi-Japanese,Tarikh-Arabic, Itan-Yoruba, I’histoire- French .
  Consequently every society has a record of each history kept in various forms,such as : Songs,festivals ,drama and oral traditions.Art works also depicted from aspects of history of a society.


There are two classes of historian,which are : Amateur Historian
Professional Historian

Amateur Historian:It consist of court historian,popular historian,who did not have a former training,knowledge or who is incompetent or inept in history. In modern times some literate writers who did not have a degree of certification  but produced account of history of there own towns or biography. However,they gather facts and put dates to events without the competence of a  certified or trained historians. Several Nigeria’s community has their local historians,But,the most popular non- professional historian is ‘Samuel Johnson’ who wrote ‘The History of the Yorubas’

Professional Historian:Unlike Amateur historian,professional historian have had formal training or knowledge at least in an institution and has certificate ,minimum of  degree level and he is competent of it.
  However,the professional historian is one who continue his training of research in history with the verifiable evidence of publication in academic journals and books. Undergraduate and post graduate students of history are therefore be called as Apprentice historian.

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