Glossary of Historical Terms

A Glossary of Historical Terms in Alphabetical order


A.D. Anno Domini – In the year of our lord
Absolute Monarchy When a monarch has total rule over a country or region
Anachronism Something that is placed in the wrong time period
Anarchy When law and order breaks down
Anthropology The study of humans and their behaviour over time
Antiquities Things that have survived from Ancient History
Archaeology The study of the past through excavation of historical sites
Archive A storage of files or documents from the past
Artefact An object that has survived from the past
Autobiography A history of someone’s life written by themselves
B.C. Before Christ – Before the birth of Jesus Christ
B.C.E. Before the Common Era – Before the year 0
Bias A one-sided view of something
Bibliography A list of works used in the completion of another piece of work
Biography A history of someone’s life written by another person
Causation The cause of an event
C.E. Common Era – After the year 0
Century A period of 100 years
Charter A legal grant of property or title
Chronicle An account or description of a period of time in chronological order
Chronology The study of a sequence of past events
Citation A method of referencing sources
Culture The values shared by a society
Data A collection of information, facts or statistics
Date An exact period of time
Domino Effect When an event causes another chain of events to happen
Economic History A study of money and economic change
Evidence Things that can help us understand the past
Fossil The preserved remains of a plant or animal from a past geological age
Historian Someone who studies the past
Historiography A study of the methods used by historians
History A study of the past
Imperialism Taking control of other countries or peoples, creating or enlarging an empire
Lacuna A gap in a manuscript or other historical document
Local History The study of the past events of a locality
Manuscript A hand-written document
Military History The history of a period with a focus on war and warfare
Millennium A period of 1,000 years
Paleography The study of ancient handwriting
Periodisation Using periods in History to divide the past
Philology The study of language
Political History The study of political ideologies, events and leaders
Prehistory The period before the development of writing
Primary Source A piece of evidence originating from the time being examined
Propaganda Information that is used to persuade people to believe a certain set of facts or values
Provenance The history of an item or artefact’s location and ownership
Reference A collection of facts and information with no analysis, opinion or conclusions
Research To find evidence
Revisionism A review of historical thinking in the light of new evidence
Secondary Source A piece of evidence created later than the event being examined
Social History The history of the lives of people
Statistics A collection of data that shows information, change and development
Suffrage The legal right to vote in elections
Technological History The development of technology and medicine
Tertiary Source An article or account that uses Primary and Secondary Sources to give an overview of a period
Toponymy The study of place names
Unit of Time A standardised or variable measurement of time


Citation Information for Glossary of Historical Terms:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020 – 2022). Glossary of Historical Terms. Available: Last accessed May 4th, 2024