Temporal Fields of Study

The periodization of history has long provided the raw material of intense intellectual debate, with the principal conflicts concerning the moments of transition from one period to another. These labels are understood today as a convenient shorthand for grouping process and problems. Moreover, we need to recall that some of these labels, like “medieval,” are relevant only to certain regions of the world, and that understandings of how civilizations and cultures develop in time always present the raw material for conflict and debate.