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Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into discrete named blocks. Most sciences that study the history of their respective objects of study have their own periodization. Commonly known periods for example from geology are the Cretaceous and Jurassic period. This article uses periods from European human history to elaborate the problem of periodization. The Cretaceous Period is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 200 Ma (million years ago), at the end of the Triassic to 146 Ma, at the beginning of the Cretaceous. ...



Periodization is a complex issue. To the extent that history is continuous, all systems of periodization are more or less arbitrary. Nevertheless, it is pragmatically useful to divide up history in order to make sense of the past and to articulate changes over time. Different nations and cultures, which experience different histories, require different models of periodization. Periodizing labels are challenged and redefined all the time. Thus a historian may claim that there was no such thing as the Renaissance, while others will defend the concept. Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ...

The reasons for this are complex. Periodizing blocks will inevitably overlap, or even seemingly contradict one another. Furthermore, certain periodizing concepts only apply under specific conditions. Some have a cultural usage (but 'the Romantic period' seems to exclude Ingres). Others refer to historical events ('the Inter-War years: 1918–1939'), yet others are defined by decimal numbering systems ('the 1960s', 'the 17th Century'). Other periods are named from influential or talismanic individuals ('the Victorian Era', 'the Edwardian Era', 'the Napoleonic Era'). Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (August 29, 1780 - January 14, 1867) was a French painter. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her Ascension to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian Era of Great Britain marked the height of the British industrial revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... The Edwardian period or Edwardian era in the United Kingdom is the period 1901 to 1910, the reign of King Edward VII. It is sometimes extended to include the period to the start of World War I in 1914 or even the end of the war in 1918. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ...


Some of these usages will also be geographically specific. This is especially true of periodizing labels derived from individuals or ruling elites, such as the Jacksonian Era in America, the Meiji Era in Japan, or the Merovingian Period in France. Cultural terms may also have a limited reach. Thus the concept of the 'Romantic period' may be meaningless outside of Europe and European-influenced cultures. Likewise, 'the 1960s', though technically applicable to anywhere in the world according to Common Era numbering, has a certain set of specific cultural connotations in certain countries. For this reason it may be possible to say such things as 'The 1960s never occurred in Spain.' This would mean that the sexual revolution, counterculture, youth rebellion and so on never developed during that decade in Spain's conservative Roman Catholic culture and under Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime. Likewise it is possible to claim, as the historian Arthur Marwick has, that 'the 1960s' began in the late 1950s and ended in the early 1970s. His reason for saying this is that the cultural and economic conditions that define the meaning of the period covers more than the accidental fact of a 10 year block beginning with the number 6. This extended usage is termed the 'long 1960s'. This usage derives from other historians who have adopted labels such as the 'Long Nineteenth Century' (1789–1914) to reconcile arbitrary decimal chronology with meaningful cultural and social phases. Similarly an Eighteenth Century may run 1714–1789. Eric Hobsbawm has also argued for what he calls the 'Short Twentieth Century', encompassing the period from the First World War through to the end of the Cold War. Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829-1837), first governor of Florida (1821), general of the Battle of New Orleans (1815), a co-founder of the Democratic Party, and the eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. ... History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei The Meiji period (Japanese: Meiji Jidai 明治&#26178... There are other articles with similar names; see Merovingian (disambiguation). ... The Common Era (CE or C.E.), sometimes known as the Current Era or Christian Era, is the period of measured time beginning with the year 1 (the traditional birthdate of Jesus) to the present. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In sociology, counterculture is a term used to describe a cultural group whose values and norms run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition or swimming against the tide. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Francisco El Caudillo Franco. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The 1950s was the decade spanning the years 1950 to 1959. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Dr Eric John Blair Hobsbawm CH (born June 9, 1917) is a British Marxist historian and author. ... Combatants Allied Powers: France Italy Russia Serbia United Kingdom United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Ottoman Empire Commanders Ferdinand Foch Georges Clemenceau Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Wilhelm II Paul von Hindenburg Reinhard... For other uses, please see Cold War (disambiguation). ...

Similar problems attend other labels. Is it possible to use the term 'Victorian' outside of Britain? It sometimes is used when it is thought that its connotations usefully describe the politics, culture and economic conditions characteristic of the last two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless periodizing terms often have negative or positive connotations which may affect their usage. This would include 'Victorian', which is often used negatively to suggest sexual repression, class conflict, heavy industry and so on. Other labels such as 'Renaissance' have strongly positive characteristics. As a result, these terms will sometimes be extended in meaning. Thus the 'English Renaissance' is virtually identical in meaning to the 'Elizabethan Period'. However the Carolingian Renaissance is said to have occurred during the reign of the Frankish king Charlemagne. There is a space of approximately seven hundred years between these two renaissances. Other examples include the 'American Renaissance' of the 1820s-60s, referring mainly to literature, and the 'Harlem Renaissance' of the 1920s, referring mainly to literature but also to music and the visual arts. Sample of Carolingian minuscule, one of the products of the Carolingian Renaissance. ... For other uses, see Franks (disambiguation). ... Charlemagne, portrait by Albrecht Dürer. ... For the white nationalist magazine, see American Renaissance (magazine). ... Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African American art, literature, music and culture in the United States led primarily by the African American community based in Harlem, New York City. ...

Because of these various positive and negative connotations, some periods are luckier than others regarding their names, although this can lead to problems such as the ones outlined above. The conception of a 'rebirth of Classical Latin learning is first credited to an Italian poet Petrarch, the father of Humanism, a term that was not coined until the 19th century, but the conception of a rebirth has been in common use since Petrarch's time. The dominant usage of the word Renaissance refers to the cultural changes that occurred in Italy, and which culminated in the High Renaissance at around 1500. This concept applies dominantly to the visual arts, referring to the work of Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. Secondarily it is applied to other arts, but it is disputed whether it is useful to describe a phase in economic, social and political history. Most professional historians (defined as paying members of organizations devoted to the propagation of history in higher education, like the American Historical Association) now refer to the historical period commonly known as the Renaissance as 'the Early Modern Period'. There has been no substantive change in the courses taught or books published to correspond to the change in period nomenclature, but this in part reflects differences between social history and cultural history. The timeframe is also slightly different, in that 'Renaissance' tends to refer to events over a much longer and generally earlier period than 'Early Modern'. From the c. ... Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter,architect and poet. ... This page is about the artist. ... Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was a talented Italian Renaissance Roman Catholic[1] polymath: architect, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, inventor, geometer, scientist, mathematician, musician, and painter. ... The American Historical Association (AHA) is a society of historians and teachers of history founded in 1884 and incorporated by the United States Congress in 1889. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period in Western Europe and its first colonies, between the Middle Ages and modern society. ...

Notable periods

The term Middle Ages also derives from Petrarch. He was comparing his own period to the Ancient or Classical world, seeing his time as a time of rebirth after a dark intermediate period, the Middle Ages. The idea that the Middle Ages was a 'middle' phase between two other large scale periodizing concepts, Ancient and Modern, still persists. It can be sub-divided into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages. The term Dark Ages is no longer in common use among modern scholars because of the difficulty of using it neutrally, though some writers have attempted to retain it and divest it of its negative connotations. The term 'Middle Ages' and especially the adjective medieval can also have a negative ring in colloquial use ("the barbaric treatment of prisoners in such-and-such a prison is almost medieval") but this does not carry over into academic terminology. However other terms, such as Gothic architecture, used to refer to a style typical of the High Middle Ages have largely lost the negative connotations they initially had, acquiring new meanings over time (see Gothic architecture and Goth subculture). The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Classics, particularly within the Western University tradition, when used as a singular noun, means the study of the language, literature, history, art, and other aspects of Greek and Roman culture during the time frame known as classical antiquity. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, a significant architectural contribution of the High Middle Ages. ... Dante by Michelino The Late Middle Ages is a term used by historians to describe European history in the period of the 14th and 15th centuries (1300–1500 A.D.). The Late Middle Ages were preceded by the High Middle Ages, and followed by the Early Modern era (Renaissance). ... Petrarch, who conceived the idea of a European Dark Age. From Cycle of Famous Men and Women, Andrea di Bartolo di Bargillac, c. ... See also Gothic art. ... See also Gothic art. ... New York City goth band The Naked and the Dead (1985) The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture prevalent in many countries. ...

The Gothic and the Baroque were both named during subsequent stylistic periods when the preceding style was unpopular. The word 'Gothic' was applied as a pejorative term to all things Northern European and, hence, barbarian, probably first in the generation of Francois Rabelais. The word 'baroque' (probably) was used first in late 18th century French about the irregular natural pearl shape and later about an architectural style perceived to be 'irregular' in comparison to the highly regular Neoclassical architecture of that time. Subsequently these terms have become purely descriptive, and have largely lost negative connotations. However the term 'Baroque' as applied to art (for example Rubens) refers to a much earlier historical period than when applied to music (Händel, Bach). This reflects the difference between stylistic histories internal to an art form and the external chronological history beyond it. Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche portrays the Goths as cavalrymen. ... Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Pieter Pauwel (Peter Paul) Rubens (June 28, 1577 - May 30, 1640) was a Flemish baroque painter. ... George Frideric Handel (German Georg Friedrich Händel), (February 23, 1685 – April 14, 1759) was a German Baroque music composer who lived much of his life in England. ... Bach redirects here. ...

In many cases people living through a period are unable to identify themselves as belonging to the period that historians may later assign to them. This is partly because they are unable to predict the future, and so will not be able to tell whether they are at the beginning, middle or end of a period. Another reason may be that their own sense of historical development may be determined by religions or ideologies that differ from those used by later historians.

It is important to recognise the difference between self-defined historical periods, and those which are later defined by historians. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a general belief that culture, politics and history were entering a new era - that the new century would also be a new era in human experience. This belief was repeated at the beginning of the 21st century, though in a very different way. Other cultural and historical phases have only been described many years, or even centuries, later. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The 21st century is the present century of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Origins of Periodization

The origins of periodization is very old and first became part of the Western tradition in the myths of Ancient Greece and The Bible. Virgil spoke of a distant Golden Age and recurrent cycles of history. The Bible outlines a narrative of history from Creation to the End of time. One Biblical periodization scheme commonly used in the Middle Ages was Saint Paul's theological division of history in to three ages: the first before the age of Moses (under nature); the second under Mosaic law (under law); the third in the age of Christ (under grace). But perhaps the most widely discussed periodization scheme of the Middle Ages was the Six Ages of the World, where every age was a thousand years counting from Adam to the present, with the present time (in the Middle Ages) being the sixth and final stage. A sculpture of Virgil, probably from the 1st century AD. For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... The Golden Age by Pietro da Cortona. ... Paul of Tarsus, also known as Paul the Apostle or Saint Paul (AD 3–14 — 62–69),[1] is widely considered to be central to the early development and spread of Christianity, particularly westward from Jerusalem. ... Moses strikes water from the stone, by Bacchiacca Moses (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה, Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: موسى, ; Geez: ሙሴ Musse) is a Biblical Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. ... From the Winchester Bible, showing the seven ages within the opening letter I of the book of Genesis. ... It has been suggested that Adam be merged into this article or section. ...

Periodization of Origins

It's easy to confuse the Origins of Periodization with the Periodization of Origins. The Periodization of Origins is an attempt to classify time periods in the distant past for which there is no direct record. As stated in the introduction above, any sort of periodization is subject to qualifications and contentions which should not be taken lightly. Periodization of Origins has its own challenges apart from, say, a periodization which relies on text, which are subtle and philosophically complex.

One tactic for Periodization of the distant past, as in Anthropology, is to rely on events, such as the invention of some tool or the origins of language, which are known to exist, but about which little is known in detail. Anthropology (from the Greek word , human or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ...

See also

A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. ... A logarithmic timeline, based on logarithmic scale, was developed by Heinz von Foerster, the philosopher and physicist. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


  • Lawrence Besserman, ed., The Challenge of Periodization : Old Paradigms and New Perspectives, 1996, ISBN 0-8153-2103-1. See Chapter 1 for an overview of the postmodernism position on Periodization.
  • Bentley, J. H. 1996. Cross-Cultural Interaction and Periodization in World History. American Historical Review (June): 749–770.

Andy Warhols iconic Marilyn Monroe // Postmodernism is an idea that has been extremely controversial and difficult to define among scholars, intellectuals, and historians, as it connotes to many the hotly debated idea that the modern historical period has passed. ...

History of Europe
Prehistoric Europe | Classical antiquity | Middle Ages | Renaissance | Early modern Europe | Modern Europe

  Results from FactBites:
Periodization Info - Encyclopedia WikiWhat.com (1227 words)
Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide historical time into discrete named blocks.
Periodizing labels are being challenged and redefined all the time.
He was comparing his own period to the Ancient or Classical world, seeing his time as a time of rebirth after a dark intermediate period, the Middle Ages.
Periodization - definition of Periodization in Encyclopedia (1308 words)
This is especially true of periodizing labels derived from individuals or ruling elites, such as the Jacksonian Era in America, the Meiji Era in Japan, or the Merovingian Period in France.
Thus the concept of the 'Romantic period' may be meaningless outside of Europe and European-influenced cultures.
Likewise it is possible to claim, as the historian Arthur Marwick has, that 'the 1960s' began in the late 1950s and ended in the early 1970s.
  More results at FactBites »



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