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Edward Gibbon and his contribution to Historiography - Research Paper Example

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The importance of history and its research is of great importance in understanding the course of events of the past that affect us in the contemporary society. Gaining an understanding of the writings presented by historians is vital in this endeavor…
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Edward Gibbon and his contribution to Historiography
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"Edward Gibbon and his contribution to Historiography"

Download file to see previous pages In order to know more about him comprehensively, we have to answer questions about who he was, what drove him to write, and what perceptions of his work were adopted by both his contemporaries and modern day readers. The term historiography refers to the theory and history of writing.1 It can also be defined as the academic prospect of writing history and how historians came to understand these records.2 Due to the complexity and inaccuracy associated with historical study, historiography thus enables us to identify and appreciate these discrepancies in a bid to find the truth. It also helps us gain insight on humanity; the knowledge that would enable us to avoid mistakes made in the past that led to catastrophes and borrow those that were beneficial.3 For example, the study of the fall of the Roman Empire would easily be relevant in the modern day superpowers and thus the statement; history repeats itself. The historiography’s progression, and its methods and conception, changed and developed substantially. All of the past sources of history, to the seventeenth century started accumulating in the enlightenment period. One of the major influential historians and academician of the period was Edward Gibbon. Edward Gibbon (April 27, 1737-January 16, 1794) was a historian in the 18th century, and his writing on history was an important element among his contemporaries and is still an important topic of study in modern day academic scholars of historiography.4 In his life time he served as a soldier during the English seven-year war, managed his family’s business and was also a member of parliament. He was born in Putney, England in a period of ‘enlightenment.’ Edward Gibbon was born April 27, 1737 to Edward and Judith Gibbon in Putney, London, England5. He was raised as the only child after his six siblings died at infancy. His father was an heir to an affluent family.6 During this period, there was a wide revolutionary thinking on the perception and acceptance of Christian theology and church dogma. He was born to an affluent family, according to the standards of the period; his early education was profound, as demonstrated by his ability to engage in scholastic research and writing at a relatively young age.7 His childhood was marred by poor health and he describes himself as “a weakly child” and nearly succumbed to death several times. He was vastly ignored by his parents who were occupied with their social life and was abandoned to inadequate caregivers who were household servants and physicians.8 One of the ways that he uses method or conception from the past is evident in the classical period. By the Enlightenment and eighteen century, we find that Classical writers have been highly common in academic all over the European continent, with similarities in all his works, from writers of the ancient Rome and Greece. A Greek writer, Heredotus, wrote “The Persian Wars’ that has the theme of geography and ethnography, of the Near East people. Gibbon also appears to have the same theses in the “He is popular for several publications, but the major one is the ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ by the manner in which he comprehends all the Europe’s ‘barbaric’ people. In addition, another idea that he appears to have adopted from the ancient Greece is that of universal history; this idea ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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