What is Auxiliary Sciences history and what they study

Auxiliary Sciences

The auxiliary sciences of history are all disciplines that emerged over time and dedicated to different objects of study within this branch of knowledge. However, in this case, it is necessary to make a clearer distinction.

Certainly all knowledge has birth and evolution, but this does not necessarily imply that historians use this knowledge to establish how events happened. For this reason, there are disciplines created to contribute to the development of History and others that are more differentiated.

In addition, current processes associated with knowledge imply a joint effort that draws on many specialties at the same time. For this science, we will try to establish which are the most straightforward and others that are very useful.

Auxiliary Sciences of History

1- Archeology

This discipline, also associated with paleontology, uses remains of ancient materials to interpret how past cultures lived. This type of knowledge is closely linked to history, because it is about retelling what happened.

Fossils, graves, structures, tools, art and literature reveal social, cultural and artistic aspects of a given society. This allows you to reconstruct their civilization, what their customs were and how their members lived at that specific time.

2- Geography

As part of the known world, the location of events is of vital importance from a historical point of view. The development of living beings and especially of humanity is conditioned by the place where they settled and flourished.

The story can refer to the universe itself, the formation of Earth and how it got to the present. All of this requires spatial location to understand where events took place, why that location is important, and how it influenced subsequent events.

3- Cartography

This science focuses on making accurate maps of territorial and geographic borders that can have different dimensions.

Although it was one of the disciplines most influenced by technology, the old illustrations show the ingenuity, imagination and perception that people had at a given time about the mapped regions.

4- Stratigraphy

Born from geology, this knowledge is based on the classification of different types of rocks in soil strata.

The identification of sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic stones allows establishing the events related to the Earth’s crust. With the support of archaeology, it is possible to recreate geographical conditions, climatic and geological events of importance.

5- Chronology

This discipline is focused on establishing facts chronologically; that is, the exact time when they happened.

This is essential to determine exactly the historical periods, the most relevant dates, the dating of the sources, the context of the documents, among other significant aspects.

6- Demography

Also associated with geography and sociology, it statistically determines the growth and development of populations. It provides data on how populations increase, are maintained, or decrease in a specific country or location.

This is based on indices such as birth, mortality, morbidity, migration, immigration and a whole host of variables that have historical value.

7- Ethnology

Related to anthropology, this discipline is responsible for classifying, describing and discovering the races of peoples, how they were constituted and the customs they have.

From a historical point of view, it is essential to know the entire path or biography of ethnic groups, clans and families that have influenced their environment and the legacy they represent for that community.

8- Genealogy

Related to ethnography, this discipline refers to the lineage of ancestors followed by families that appeared throughout history. It also refers to the offspring that may have occurred at a given time.

It is of vital importance for the study of dynasties, lineages, kings and queens, clans and families that played a leading role in their locality or country. It also serves to know our ancestors, how the last name was transmitted and how they reached other latitudes.

9- Numismatics

Considered the oldest of the auxiliary sciences in history, it is related to the analysis of medals, coins and notes from a particular period or civilization.

Associated with political and economic elements, this study can be considered descriptively or theoretically, depending on the context you want to consider as a historical reference.

10- Epigraphy

Framed in the literary and philological context, this science aims to make known and interpret ancient inscriptions in materials such as stone, clay, granite or in caves and temples that have survived.

Its main function is to transmit this ancestral knowledge through the contextual interpretation of these writings. It is important for the historian to know the precise meaning of an image or hieroglyph that prevents him from falling into inaccurate or speculative interpretations.

11- Paleography

Unlike the previous one, this discipline treats any type of ancient text for its adequate decipherment in relation to the historical moment. It is also responsible for preserving, dating and making a systematic and critical study of the writing in question.

It may be associated with linguistics, library science, papyrology or archeology, among others. It is essential for the study of literature, thought and ideas transmitted by different cultures that have managed to survive various circumstances.

12- Heraldry

This science, which is closely linked to lineages and families from earlier times, refers to the study of the images depicted on coats of arms.

It can be focused on alcurnia surnames, as well as on countries that at some point raised this type of symbol. Within history, they are important references about the values ​​that identified them.

13- Diplomatic

This is another discipline that studies the documents that were produced throughout history. It does not take into account who the author was, but focuses on its internal and external qualities for its proper interpretation and authenticity.

These factors include language, writing, presented format, the way it was written, and other elements.

14- Sigilography

Related to some of the previous disciplines, the main function of this science is to unravel the meaning of ancient stamps used on documents, official communications and letters.

In addition to verifying its legitimacy, it also takes into account historical circumstances, linguistic conditions and the importance it had in the events of the time.

15- Bibliography

Book and text references are essential for any science, especially when it comes to recreating history.

As a study of the process responsible for publishing and storing books in physical and digital format, it seeks the best implementation for recovery. This implies facilitating consultation, making documents more accessible and using a standardized system.

16- Ecology

When this discipline is understood as man’s interaction with his environment, their biological relationship also contains historical nuances. Indeed, its importance has been reinforced by the effects that human activity has had on the environment.

Although it is a relatively recent branch, the interactions between living beings in their ecosystems are something that dates back to the creation of the Earth. These manifestations explain cyclical or cultural behaviors that occurred over the centuries.

17- Political and legal sciences

Along with law, these sciences are an indivisible part of the historical process of the nations that have had the greatest influence in the world. Electoral processes and the evolution of laws go hand in hand with the formation of societies.

In addition to the cultural, economic or artistic context, nations had to go through an arduous path of colonization, independence, revolution, political and legal models that represented the great changes that history tells.

18- Linguistics

The transition from magical and oral traditions to written ones is one of the points that clearly defines the beginning of history. The various languages ​​spoken represent systems of symbols that recorded the most significant facts of each culture.

Although records are often incomplete, the development of languages ​​allows us to reconstruct the circumstances or thoughts of an era. In addition, it is integrated into all forms of communication that have arisen in the future of humanity.

19- Philosophy

Considered by many as the mother of all sciences because it speaks of thought itself, it is central to the ideological formation of civilizations. It includes deduction, interpretation, dialectics, ethics, logic, and much more.

It is the foundation of the scientific method that integrates all disciplines that need experimentation and hypothesis testing to confirm theories. The ability to theorize is common to all the disciplines we know.

There are many disciplines that could be included in this list. Everything related to art, literature and music or more exact sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

To understand the world in historical terms, it is necessary to balance a whole range of knowledge that interrelates and complements each other.

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