Everyday history, that is the historiography describing the life of the “normal people”, is a rather young phenomenon. For this reason, there is still a great need for research here.
The story of the heroes
The historiography of the past has dealt strongly with the formative influence of individuals; Thus, some of the earliest surviving works are divine and heroic legends, and later centuries attempt to praise the glorious deeds of great, virtuous kings and generals, also with the goal of inspiring the descendants and strengthening the cohesion of their own nation. This tradition, though subject to strong changes and fluctuations, lasted far into our time.
Only late did they pay more attention to everyday life because, first, they provided a more realistic picture of the living conditions of those who had not been the focus of historical research, and, secondly, provided information about the circumstances in which a large part of the population lived.
This certainly does not mean relegating great historical events such as battles and revolutions, but examining the effects of these events on the lives of ordinary people; how did he live, what did a Roman legionnaire believe in? How did he feed himself? Which products featured a medieval marketplace? How were they made and processed? What was traded, which were the everyday and the luxury goods?
Special features of the field
Everyday history is a treasure trove for numerous historical considerations. It reveals mundane, but also amazing, and should therefore be seen as an essential complement to other fields of historiography.
Newcomers who wish to approach this particular form of history should also be aware of the specifics; Because the life of “normal people” or “little people” rarely allows a biographical approach, since their fate is usually less well documented than that of politicians and generals. Instead, historians deal with unknowns and can therefore have no personal “relationship” to their research object.
In contrast to historians who only devote themselves to one epoch, some ghostwriters have a wider range of topics – also and especially in everyday life, which requires a special empathy, since the life circumstances, unless it is contemporary history, mostly only from objects or general descriptions.