If we talk about the concept of History, since Herodotus (480-430 B.C.) first used the concept as «research through the formulation of corresponding questions about the human past», we have such enthusiastic definitions as that of Cicero (55 B.C. ): «History is the testimony of time, the light of truth, the life of memory, the teacher of life, the reflection of antiquity», and as taciturn as that of Gibbon (1776): «History is, in fact, little more than the record of the crimes, follies and adversities of mankind».
But these, like others, suffer from generalization or partiality, so we will have to wait for Bloch’s now classic (1944): «History is the science of men in time», as subsuming and spurring others, such as that of Ortega y Gasset (1941): «The mission of History is to make other men plausible to us», that of Sánchez-Albornoz (1943): «History is the science of the ‘whys’ «, that of Koselleck (1975), who contemplates History as a: «Historical […], a transcendental category that brings together the conditions of a possible history with those of its knowledge», that of Mendieta, when he says that: «History does not take place in time but through time», or that of Klauer, who understands it as: «the scientific study of how peoples, through time, have faced [their dilemmas] and the consequences of [them]».
We can also define history as humanity’s passage through time and the intellectual debate on what we know and do not know of that passage. History is also a matter of perspective. For its effectiveness, it is convenient to have an overall view as well as a retail view in detail, while practicing exhaustiveness, without neglecting any of these parameters.
I invite everyone to read Matias’ post on the topic of the day.