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What is History?

Historians grapple with a difficult subject.

'All human life is there'. But is it - and can it be interpreted on a par with the chronicles of the great and good? Five social historians discuss the relevance of history without 'kings and things'.

Historians ask, what constitutes the history of popular culture?

Stephen Yeo ends our discussion...

Dai Smith, senior lecturer at University College, Cardiff, offers his thoughts.

'Art for art's sake' – but not for many historians. The fine and decorative arts, their styles and iconography, have been mined for insight into the politics, religion and social obsessions of the past. Placing key images alongside the views of six contributors we continue the search.

Distilled 'spirit of the age' or a branch of sociology? Great men and their thoughts - with a lucky dip for culture vultures - or elite ideas whose time had come? Five historians discuss ground rules for the study of intellectual history. 

Historians ask what constitutes the history of the developing world.

The history of ecclesiastical structures? The link between denominations and social change? The history of Christian doctrine? The study of formal beliefs? What people believed? Eight historians answer the question...