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So - in this organizational structure - where does the Roman Empire live?


hey man, this is cool, keep up the good work.


History is a huge topic. It doesn't have to be limited to one top-level organization scheme. -- STG


Is the geographical indexing the only kind we will offer from this point? Should we offer any others (for example, History of X where X is an academic discipline, a persistent type of human behavior like religion or philosophy, or other cross sections of human history? -- Dick Beldin

When I started the page I made a couple of time slices, but except for the very early ones (neolithic, bronze age, maybe iron age) they really don't work too well except in localized areas. That's why the geographic overviews are at the top. But histories of disciplines wouldn't hurt to add. -- Josh Grosse

Some typical ways to divide up history that I recall include: by geographical region; by nation-state or empire; by time period (or a region in a time period such as history of medieval Europe); by sector or function within society (history of the church, history of the state which is what much history is thought to be, intellectual history, social history, military history, history of exploration, etc.). See http://dmoz.org/Society/History/ and http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/History/. I'm not suggesting we replicate their category schemes (which wouldn't make sense for an encyclopedia), but just use that for ideas about how to expand ours. I'd lend a direct hand but I haven't studied history in a long time. --LMS


Another possible organisational scheme might be by civilization; i.e. Meditarranean, East (sprang up from eastern Roman empire), West, China, Japan, etc.


One of the things I'm beginning to perceive about wikipedia is its inherent organizational flexibility. So long as the name of the article is clear enough it can be linked into any number of organizational schemes. There's no reason the history page shouldn't end up as complicated as the home page - a geographical organization, a chronological organization, historiographic approaches organization (history of religion, history of technology) --- all of these floating over the same body of entries. The hard part is letting go of an ideal top-level schema while composing new entries. --MichaelTinkler


Ain't it grand? ;-) --Larry Sanger


Historians, would you please look at [1] and offer opinions as to whether they have a good top-level category scheme for the history page? This was suggested on a history newsgroup and it looks generally pretty good to me. If you agree, perhaps what we have right now can be worked into that larger and more complete category scheme. --Larry Sanger


the distinction between 'history' and 'archaeology' in the "definition" of history here is idiosyncratic. Professional historians work with all kinds of materials, including the archaeological materials distinguished in this 'definition.'

True, historians use archaeology, but history is limited to the period of human written records, archaeology is not.


Hi Larry -- AHA member weighing in here. I like the AHA's category scheme, but have always found the overlaps to be a pain. Still, I think it's better than anything else I've seen. -- J Hofmann Kemp

I'm not so sure about that biography link -- we have links to individuals, but Biography is no often NOT history 9or so often written as panegyric, or somewhat fictionalized, or, like that recent bio of Reagan, the author creates a fictional "fly-on-the-wall" character, that I'm not sure why there's a separate link. Anybody else think this is redundant? J Hofmann Kemp


Redundant because the 9 "historical figures" already have the field covered? :-)

Perhaps it's "fictionalized biography" that deserves an index of its own, outside the main biography index.


Still don't think there needs to be a bio section, we have individual entries, and these are not usually termed bios in other encyclopedia. Also, that 9 was a typo...

More imporatintly, I think we need to change the title system for individuals. Right now, we act as if we're doing dictionary entries. For example, Henry VII is 1) one person, and 2) another person. Would it be possible to either make the entry, e.g., Henry VII of England? Putting the first names in their proper language might be another solution, I suppose, so we'd have Henry, Heinrich, Henri.... At any rate, I don't think what we have is going to work well in the long run -- it will be very cumbersome very quickly. J Hofmann Kemp

I think we should use *English* forms of the name as much as possible (this is English-wikipedia, after all) and in the case of monarchs the name of the nation. For Emperors we should use 'Emperor Frederick I', 'Emperor Frederick II' on the model of the papal nomenclature. I don't think ANY of the names will overlap between the Byzantine emperors, HRE Emperors, Chinese Emperors, etc. so they could all be called Emperor So-and-so the Numberth. This means renaming all the Byzantine and HRE and Roman Emperors, but hell, we did the popes, and there are more than 200 of those. The Spanish are already handled this way (though some of those folks weren't really kings of SPAIN, per se. --MichaelTinkler

My 2 groats worth: This is definitely a problem. Henry I could be any one of perm one to fifteen. But hell, every time I want to reference Henry I, if we qualify by nationality, I have to do: Template:Henry I of Lemuria (where { = [ ). This can be a real pain in the neck where you might be referencing ten or twelve monarchs in an article, but highly necessary. The rule of thumb from my point of view is simple: if they're English, they don't need a national qualifier. If they aren't e.g. they're Scots, French, Martian, even Cornish (and we do have the names of some of our kings...) then they need to be qualified. sjc


The tightening of the 1st para is a nicely worked revision. sjc