2 Terrell, David G. additional historiographical methods were introduced by Braudel? What criticisms were levied against
historians? What trends emerged in the post-Braudelian
paradigm? Since classical times, historians in the West have written in a variety of genres. The first dominant paradigm was narrative or exemplar history, used most often to chronicle political and military events. It had the practical goal of training the next generation of citizens and leaders by providing
selected examples “in the didactic sense of being illustrative of what the society, through the historian, desires to inculcate and what it wants to warn against.”
Such histories evolved from Herodotus’ pure
rration, making no connection between events and conditions, through Thucydides’ systematic explanations, to Polybius’ methodical application of observations of human nature to the explanation of
historical context. Extolling the great deeds of great men remained the dominant form of history through subsequent centuries of piecemeal modification, first by Christian and then by humanist historians until the narrative form was challenged during the Enlightenment, around the middle of the eighteenth century. E
nlightenment writers, becoming interested in a “history of society” that would include laws and
trade, morals, and manners, strived to create their vision of a rational,
historiography. These h
istorians, as “rational individuals operating in a
world where natural laws endowed and safeguarded
, examined events, hoping to discover universal laws of human development. Historians of the Enlightenment
focused on history’s
usefulness in promoting nationalism and cultural pride
In the fragmented German states
, historians were admonished “to understand the unique situation
existing at a given time and place and to use general terms and insights solely to elucidate the concrete.
They allied themselves with classical philology and drew upon legal studies and text analysis, in an
French Historical Method: The Annales paradigm.
(Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1976), 26.
Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern.
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 200.