The map is one of the oldest forms of nonverbal communication. Humans were probably drawing maps before they were writing texts. Mapmaking may even predate formal language. As far as historians and geographers can determine, every culture in every part of the world uses and makes maps. This deep lineage reflects the descriptive usefulness of a map—a map is one of the best proofs that a “... Read More »
The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Gerald Danzer analyzes maps of the world. In the primary sources menu below, you can examine two world maps two maps of the world. The first, a Mercator projection, probably seems familiar to you because Mercator maps are among the... Read More »
Everywhere you go, there it is.
Even when we are not listening, music is around us. It blares from radios and headphones, kicks off sporting events, energizes crowds at demonstrations, and intrudes on our shopping experiences. Just now, a tune tinkling from a passing ice-cream truck interrupted the writing of these words. The commercial marketing of recorded music has been a fact of... Read More »
The famous Cantino planisphere was made in 1502 by an anonymous Portuguese official at the request of Alberto Cantino, an Italian agent in Lisbon of Ercole d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. It is the earliest map showing the recent discoveries by the explorer Vasco da Gama, who, using a new portable version of astronomers’ astrolabe, charted Brazil, Newfoundland, Greenland, Africa, and India. Besides... Read More »
Census data is one way for historians to better understand the lives of average people who otherwise might be largely invisible to scholars. This excerpt from the 1910 census conducted by the Hapsburg Monarchy. The census data was collected for most towns and cities throughout the Monarchy every few years from between 1880 and 1910. It covers occupation, disease, language, and literacy for men... Read More »