What does history mean?

University of Cologne

What has differentiated historiography since antiquity from other forms of visualizing the past - for example in novels, epics, films - is the claim that the historical image it has designed must always be measured against the sources. Although he can never achieve complete objectivity, the historian must strive for the greatest possible detachment from his own perspectives of relevance and identity horizons. This way of dealing with history is of course - in contrast to reference to the past and historical awareness as anthropological constants - an artificial skill that is difficult to learn. Although there can never be a conclusive and permanently valid story for the reasons outlined above, the results of historical research at least have a strong resemblance to truth. This way of dealing with the past is largely a specific feature of the western world based on ancient heritage.