• What are the aims and purposes of history?
• How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
• Why have the approaches to history changed over time?
Most of the Histories is constructed from oral evidence that Herodotus collected in his travels. In four places he mentions oral informants by name. More frequently, he prefaces reports with phrases such as ‘the Spartans say’….
Fifty Key Thinkers Marnie Hughes-Warrington page 160
Use the following sites and your own knowledge to answer the questions
What is oral history?
Oral history can be defined as the recording, preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences and opinions of the speaker. It may take the form of eye-witness evidence about the past, but can include folklore, myths, songs and stories passed down over the years by word of mouth. While it is an invaluable way of preserving the knowledge and understanding of older people, it can also involve interviewing younger generations.
How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
Oral history was the only form of history in the pre-literate societies and many of the earlier written sources are based off oral history as well, with Thucydides’ book “The Peloponnesian War” and Herodotus’ work “The Histories” being two prime examples of this. Thucydides records that he drew heavily on eye-witness accounts “whose reports (he) has checked with as much thoroughness as possible.”
What examples exist of oral history in both the ancient and modern world?
Thucydides’ and Herodotus’ works are both examples of recorded oral histories. Thucydides’ recollection of the Peloponnesian war is based off eye-witness testimony reports that he “has checked with