Modenist vs Medievilist

SnowmanSnowman Posts: 86 ✭✭
To start off, I presume we can talk about general history here and not just history relating to Johns videos so if I'm wrong I apologise in advance.

Secondly are you a Modernist or a Medievilist a.k.a what history do you prefer?

To me from the French Revolution to the modern day, is very intresting. Pre French Revolution I'm not so keen... unless it's the Mongols.

Comments

  • SamnellSamnell Posts: 22
    Mostly modern, since it's easier to relate to, but I read a bit of both. Generally more modern history, either in time or mindsets, presents ideas and events that link up immediately with current concerns. More distant history does not and so reads a bit more like a kind of fiction even though it's real.
  • bnoffeepibnoffeepi Posts: 98 ✭✭
    I used to prefer modern history as it spelt out what happens today and, I'm British and medieval English history is a bit weird, far off from today. However, upon watching John's videos I have learnt that the later histories of other countries like china can be very interesting! 
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  • smurfitesmurfite Posts: 7
    I'm very much a Modern Historian. What I find most interesting about history is usually the political side of it such as Khrushchev vs Kennedy or the Peelites vs the Tories. The plight of the Chartists and the struggles of the French Revolution. Heck, I cant think of a more interesting time than the leadership struggle after the death of Lenin! (A perfect show that political sliminess is nothing new)

    I do however realise that my History is very Eurocentric and that I may find these kinds of excitements in China or elsewhere at an earlier point in human history. However overall I would very much define myself as a Modernist rather than a Medievalist 
  • BelisariusBelisarius Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    Personally, my academic speciality is Late Antiquity (c. 284-602) but I am certainly not limited to that period alone; I am very interested in anything remotely Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Persian, or Gothic. Other areas that are of particular interest to me include (in no particular order): Russian history; Scottish history; the American Revolutionary period; Bismark, Austria, and the formation of Germany; the history of the Balkans and the Yugoslav Wars; early/middle Islamic history.

    Samnell said:
    Mostly modern, since it's easier to relate to, but I read a bit of both. Generally more modern history, either in time or mindsets, presents ideas and events that link up immediately with current concerns. More distant history does not and so reads a bit more like a kind of fiction even though it's real.
    My emphasis. I have to disagree with you on this point. History is not centred on ideas or events (although writers of history can construct it this way), but rather on humanity itself regardless of specifics. Thus, while the events of the more distant past certainly have some major differences with those of the present - for instance, the lack of electronics, or the advancement of mechanised warfare, or emphasis on profit-based capitalism - many of the messages and events of the past have much to offer for a better understanding and appreciation of the present. Thus, as Churchill said: "Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft."
  • SamnellSamnell Posts: 22
    Personally, my academic speciality is Late Antiquity (c. 284-602) but I am certainly not limited to that period alone; I am very interested in anything remotely Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Persian, or Gothic. Other areas that are of particular interest to me include (in no particular order): Russian history; Scottish history; the American Revolutionary period; Bismark, Austria, and the formation of Germany; the history of the Balkans and the Yugoslav Wars; early/middle Islamic history.

    Samnell said:
    Mostly modern, since it's easier to relate to, but I read a bit of both. Generally more modern history, either in time or mindsets, presents ideas and events that link up immediately with current concerns. More distant history does not and so reads a bit more like a kind of fiction even though it's real.
    My emphasis. I have to disagree with you on this point. History is not centred on ideas or events (although writers of history can construct it this way), but rather on humanity itself regardless of specifics. Thus, while the events of the more distant past certainly have some major differences with those of the present - for instance, the lack of electronics, or the advancement of mechanised warfare, or emphasis on profit-based capitalism - many of the messages and events of the past have much to offer for a better understanding and appreciation of the present. Thus, as Churchill said: "Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft."
    Sorry, I meant to say that for me subjectively the more distant periods don't generate those kinds of connections, not to say that they didn't exist.
  • meg4nerdmeg4nerd Posts: 86 ✭✭
    My main aspect of personal historical study is the Russian Revolution. But I will really study anything and do love learning about the ancient worlds. 
  • QEDQED Posts: 198 ✭✭✭
    I like a bit of everything, my interest tends to wander from period to period. 
  • inmylife228inmylife228 Posts: 36
    Belisarius said:
    History is not centred on ideas or events (although writers of history can construct it this way), but rather on humanity itself regardless of specifics. Thus, while the events of the more distant past certainly have some major differences with those of the present - for instance, the lack of electronics, or the advancement of mechanised warfare, or emphasis on profit-based capitalism - many of the messages and events of the past have much to offer for a better understanding and appreciation of the present. Thus, as Churchill said: "Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft."
    What this guy said! ^^

    For this reason I quite like both modern and pre-modern era history. I tend not to fixate on certain eras of history so much (fluid as they are) but rather the different aspects of society from those different points in time. For example, I'm pretty into labour and work history and the history of occupations. When occupations arose and how people structured their work and leisure time and how they defined themselves in terms of what they did to earn a living are all topics of interest to me. You can also learn a lot of about social class and interaction from looking at people's occupations. Obsolete occupations are endlessly fascinating. It's also pretty amazing to discover how many people's surnames are derived from their occupations. For example, mine is Farrer, derived from ferrier or ferrum, which basically refer to blacksmiths and ironworkers. So my ancient ancestors were probably blacksmiths who specialised in making horse shoes.

    This quickly turned into a little gush about how much I like history of work. But the point is, I don't go for eras, I go for aspects :)
  • A little from column A and a little from column B!As of recent I've been very keen on the 20th century (Rise of Conumisim,cold war, foundation of the EU and alot of Irish history)But I've been fascinated with the Medievil ages since I was a child.
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,637 ✭✭✭
    Generally I just like the extreme ends: from 1900 on and up to around 1500. The middle period makes me think of the sound ugh. Its just boring to me for some unknown reason. Nothing against the people who like that period, just not for me.
    When is a door not a door? When someone steals the hinges.
  • I'm a Modern Russianist by trade, though there's all sortsa historical goodies out there, so I wouldn't confine learning to one area
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