Historiography : Development in the West Introduction

Historiography : Development in the West
Historical research, writing and studies are carried out with an objective of understanding the chronology of the past events and their interconnections. This is a continuous process.
In the physical and natural sciences the empirical method (laboratory method of experiments and observation) is used to verify the available knowledge. This method allows formulating laws that remain true irrespective of time and space. Those laws can be tested and proved repeatedly.
In historical research it may not be possible to use the method of laboratory experiments and observation. This is so because we were not present in the historical time and space and the historical events cannot be recreated. Also in history it is not possible to formulate laws that remain true irrespective of time and space.
To begin, we need an expert who knows the language and script of a historical document in order to read it and understand its meaning. Also, the experts can examine the authenticity of the document by using criteria such as lettering style, author’s style of writing, manufacturing date and type of paper, stamps of authority, etc. Such a document is further scrutinised by a historian with the help of relevant historical references.
Methods of various disciplines are useful in historical research. For example, Archaeology, Archival Science, Manuscriptology, Epigraphy (Study of inscriptions), Analysis of lettering style, Linguistics, Numismatics (Study of coins), Genealogy (Study of lineage), etc.

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