The auxiliary sciences or auxiliary disciplines are those that, without being entirely devoted to a specific area of study, are linked to it and provide assistance, since their possible applications contribute to the development of said area of study.
Most of the auxiliary sciences History have to do with specific fields in which it may be interested, such as Literature, an autonomous and independent area of knowledge, whose encounter with History gives rise to the birth of the History of Literature: a punctual and specific branch.
This type of meeting caters to themes of interest and to the contents addressed by History, and can be recognized because they open new segments of historical study, from which they become the object of study.
The other possible case attends to disciplines of existence inseparable from History as such, and that attend to the methods, to the ways of understanding documentation or of dealing with historical events or even the way of recording and archiving. Such is the case of the Chronology, for example, whose goal is to fix the temporal order of historical events on a timeline.
The latter can often be called the historical sciences.
List of auxiliary sciences of History
- Economy. Just as this social science studies the ways in which man transforms nature for his benefit, that is, the ways of producing goods and services and satisfying human needs with them, its connection with history opens up a whole branch of study: History of the Economy, which delves into the changes that society has given in economic matters since our beginnings.
- Literature. As we have seen before, literature and history can collaborate to give rise to the History of Literature, a form of History of Art that is much more focused on its object of study, since it focuses on the historical evolution of literature from its origins. early mythical forms to this day.
- Chronology. As we have said, it is a subdivision of History, specifically focused on the temporal ordering of events. Its name comes from the union of the Greek words Chronos (time) and logos (writing, knowing).
- Epigraphy. Auxiliary science of history and also autonomous by nature, it deals with ancient inscriptions made in stone or other durable physical supports, studying their preservation, reading and deciphering. In this, it is also linked to other sciences such as paleography, archeology or numismatics.
- Numismatics. Perhaps the oldest of the auxiliary sciences in history (born in the 19th century), it is exclusively interested in the study and collection of coins and banknotes officially issued by some nation in the world at a given time. This study can be theoretical and conceptual (doctrinal) or historical (descriptive).
- Paleography. Auxiliary science in charge of the critical and systematic study of ancient writings: the preservation, decipherment, interpretation and dating of written texts in any medium and from ancient cultures. It is often found in close collaboration with Information Sciences, such as Library Science.
- Heraldry. Auxiliary discipline of history that systematically describes and analyzes the typical figures and representations of the coats of arms, very frequent in the families of lineage in the past.
- Codicology. Discipline that focuses its study on ancient books, but understood as objects: not so much their content as the way of making them, their evolution in history, etc., paying special attention to files, codices, papyri and other forms of support of ancient information.
- Diplomat. This historical science focuses its attention on the documents, whatever their author, attending to the intrinsic elements of writing: the support, the language, the formalism and other elements that allow conclusions to be drawn about their authenticity and allow their correct interpretation.
- Sigillography. Historical science dedicated to the stamps used to identify letters and documents of official provenance: their specific language, their conditions of creation and their historical evolution.
- Historiography. Often considered the meta-history, that is, the History of History, it is a discipline that investigates the way in which the official (written) History of nations is constructed and the way in which it was preserved in documents or in writings of any nature.
- Art. The study of art is a completely autonomous discipline, which focuses its interest on the various forms of manifestation of art in human society and tries to answer the infinite question of what it is. However, when combined with history, they produce the History of Art, which only contemplates art in the passage of time: the initial forms it had, its evolution and its way of reflecting the passage of time, etc.
- Right. Like the two previous cases, the collaboration between History and Law produces a branch of historical study that circumscribes its object of study to the ways in which humanity has known how to legislate and administer justice, since ancient times (especially Roman times, considered of vital importance for our understanding of justice) to modernity.
- Archeology. Archeology is officially the study of the ancient remains of disappeared human societies, in favor of the reconstruction of the life of ancestral peoples. This makes your object of interest broad, as it can be books, art forms, ruins, tools, etc., as well as the ways to recover them. In that sense, it is an autonomous science whose existence would be impossible without History and which, at the same time, provides important evidence regarding its theoretical formulations.
- Linguistics. This science, interested in the languages of man, that is, in the various sign systems available for communication, can often be combined with history to constitute Historical Linguistics or Diachronic Linguistics: the study of the transformation over time of methods of verbal communication and the different languages invented by man.
- Stratigraphy. This discipline is a branch of geology, whose object of interest is the arrangement of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks in the earth’s crust, visible in cases of tectonic cuts. By collaborating with history, it gives birth to archaeological stratigraphy, which uses this knowledge about stones and strata to establish the history of the formation of the earth’s surface.
- Mapping. A branch of geography, interested in the methods of spatial representation of the planet, that is, the elaboration of maps and atlases or planispheres, can collaborate with history to form the History of Cartography: a mixed discipline that seeks to understand the future history of man from the way in which he represented the world on his maps.
- Ethnography. Ethnography is, broadly speaking, the study and description of peoples and their cultures, which is why many consider it a branch of social or cultural anthropology. The truth is that it supplies a lot of information to History, since one of the tools most used by ethnographers is Life History, in which individuals are interviewed and their life journey is used as an approximation to the culture to which they belong. belongs.
- Paleontology. Paleontology is the science that studies the fossils of organic beings that inhabited our world in past times, with the aim of understanding how they lived and better understand the enigma of life on the planet. In this they are very close to history, since they address the times before the appearance of man, giving historians the opportunity to think about history before history.
- Philosophy. The science of all sciences, Philosophy, is supposed to be the science concerned with thought itself. In conjunction with history, they can give rise to the History of Thought, a study of the changes in the way of thinking about oneself and the universe of man from ancient times to today.