Concept of History

1. History Concept

    Humans have the necessity to know about the life of their ancestors. Thanks to this knowledge of the past, we can understand the present better and predict the future to a certain extent.

    History is the science that studies the facts humans have created since their apparition on Earth, and tries to explain their evolution.

    The protagonists of history are not only kings and heroes, but all the women and men that have organized themselves into societies.

   A) Indicate whether the sentences below are true or false:

It is interesting to know what has happened in the past

The History studies the past 100 years

We can understand the present better

The only protagonists of history are kings

We can predict the future

Humans organize themselves into societies

    2. The Chronology

   Humans have always wanted to fix when facts have happened and to measure time. Years have been grouped into decades (10 years), in centuries (100 years), and eras, such as the Christian era which centers on the birth of Jesus Christ. Historical facts are divided into two spaces: before the birth of Christ (A.C.) and after His birth (D.C.).

    Usually, centuries are used to fixed historical dates. However, centuries do not correspond with the hundreds of years, but instead we must add one more. In the drawing above, we can see that the 1st century after Christ comprises from the 100 years to the 0; the 2nd century from the 100 years to the 199. The year 75 is within the 1st century; the year 250 is within the 3rd century; and the year 435 is within the 5th century.

   B) Indicate the century that the years below belong to

Year 30 D.C.

Year 25 A.C.

Year 227

Year 131

Year 247

Year 14

Year 450

Year 253

Year 313

   3. Historical Sources

   We can learn about History by studying its remains, in other words, remains that can be found in excavations (refer to the picture) or in museums. Moreover, the documents that humans have written can be found and studied in archives.

   4. The Auxiliary Sciences of History

   These sciences are called as such because they are the sciences that help understand History. The most important ones are:

    - Chronology, which studies the way to measure time.

    - Paleography, which studies writing.

    - Numismatics, which studies coins.

    - Geography, which identifies the places where historical events have occurred.

    Archaeology, which studies the civilizations of prehistory and antiquity.

   C) Indicate whether it belongs to a historical source or an auxiliary science:

An excavation


A museum



An archive


   5. The Division of History

   Historians have divided historical facts in Ages, separated by important events:

    1. Prehistory: from the origin of humankind on Earth until 3,000 A.C. when writing was invented.

    2. Antiquity: from 3,000 A.C. until 1476 D.C. with the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

    3. Middle Ages: from 476 D.C. until 1492, with the discovery of the Americas.

    4. Modern Ages: from 1492 until 1789 with the beginning of the French Revolution.

    Contemporary Age: from 1789 until today.

   D) To what Age do the following years belong to? Prehistory, Antiquity, Middle, Modern or Contemporary?

Year 250,000 A.C.

Year 2009 D.C.

Year 1495 D.C.

Year 500 D.C.

Year 1943 D.C.

Year 1 D.C.

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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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