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قديم 05-04-2012, 01:46 AM   #3
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نقطة مهمة 5

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Explain what a Primary Source is ).

The only way we can have knowledge of the past is through studying the relics and traces left by past societies, the primary sources. Primary sources, or the basic ‘raw material’ of history, are the sources that came into existence within the period being investigated. The articles and books written up later by historians, drawing upon these primary sources, converting the raw material into history, are secondary sources.
The distinction between primary and secondary sources is a critical one, and there is always some excitement about being in contact with a genuine primary source, but one will not learn very much from a single source. If the ordinary reader, or history student, wants to learn quickly about the role and status of women during the Renaissance, or about the causes of the First World War, they will be well advised to go to the secondary authorities, a knowledge of the principles of history being useful in separating out the more reliable from the less. However, if he/she is planning to make an original contribution to historical knowledge, he/she is unlikely to stick strictly to other people’s work, that is, the secondary sources - to which, it should be stressed the re****** historian will frequently return throughout all stages of re****** and writing.
Historians do not rely on single sources, but they are always seeking corroboration, qualification, correction. The production of history is very much a matter of accumulating details, refining nuances. The technical skills of the historian lie in sorting these matters out, in understanding how and why a particular source came into existence, how relevant it is to the topic under investigation, and, obviously, the particular codes or language in accordance with which the particular source came into being as a concrete artefact. Philosophers, and others ignorant of history, get confused because they think ‘primary’ means ‘more truthful’, and ‘secondary’ means ‘less truthful’. That is not the distinction at all. A good secondary source will be as reliable as the historian can possibly make it. Primary sources are full of prejudices and errors. They were not written to serve the interests of historians but the interests of those who created them.
You need to understand not just the distinction between primary and secondary sources, but also the different types and levels of secondary source. These range from the most highly specialized re******-based work, through high-quality textbooks which incorporate some personal re****** as well as summarize the work of others, to the simple textbooks, and then on to the many types of popular and non-academic history.
Historians use two main types of sources in their re******, primary sources, and secondary sources. Primary sources consist of documents and other records produced during the period being studied. They include books, diaries, letters, and government records. Motion pictures and tape recordings may serve as primary sources for events of the 1900’s. Secondary sources are materials prepared later by people who studied the primary sources. Historians choose the documents that reveal most accurately the facts they wish to know. Therefore, they prefer primary sources to secondary ones, and confidential reports to public ones. Historians who study recent events use a special type of source. They go to participants in those events and record their oral testimony. Such oral history supplements documentary history.
The scarcity of sources is a great problem for historians, whose work sometimes resembles that of detectives. Many activities and thoughts of ordinary people, plus other useful data, were never recorded. Much of that was written down has been lost or destroyed through the years, also, historians often must rely on the writings of only a few people. Such writings are mere fragments on which to base a reconstruction of the past. Historians analyze the documents with which they work to determine the reliability of these sources. They compare documents with other sources and check for such flaws as errors in the order of events or variations in writing style. In addition, the historian must determine whether the author's account of events can be trusted. Basic historical facts are data generally accepted by all historians because the evidence for them seems unquestionable. However, historians often disagree about the meaning and significance of such facts. These experts try to be as unbiased as possible, but their own beliefs and prejudices influence their interpretation. For example, a historian's social, economic, and religious views help determine what he or she accepts as ‘normal’ in another person. This judgment, in turn, determines what the historian accepts as reliable testimony or as a likely sequence of events. Such interpretation explains why historians who use the same data may disagree about events and their significance.
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نقطة مهمة 6

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Classicism is a philosophy of art and life that emphasizes order, balance, and simplicity. The ancient Greeks were the first great classicists. Later, the Romans, French, English, and others produced classical movements. Each group developed its own unique characteristics, but all reflected certain common ideals of art, humanity, and the world.
Classicism contrasts with the philosophy of art and life called romanticism. Classicism stresses reason and analysis, while romanticism stresses imagination and the emotions. Classicism seeks what is universally true, good, and beautiful. Romanticism seeks the exceptional and the unconventional. Classical art looks to the past for its models. It often revives ancient Greek and Roman values, and it is then called neoclassicism. Romanticism is often sympathetic to revolutions in society and art. Classical artists follow formal rules of composition more closely than romantic artists do.
Classicists know that reality is complex, but they try to approach it through simple structures. For example, the classical playwright concentrates on essentials by restricting a play to a single line of action that could happen within one day, in one place, or in
nearby places.


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