The Histories, Comparative History, Global History, Politics, Ethnocentrism, Otherness.


The globalization of the earth, the old colonial dream of the sixteenth century, is still a challenge to historical understanding. In the contemporary debate, comparative history and global history have gained increasing interest as we try to explain the four parts of the planet in an overview, which allows us to think about the world, modernity, and universal history in a different way than a simple European expansion in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The theater of observation has become global when it relates Japan to China, India to New Spain, Portugal to Spain, Britain to the Netherlands to Indians, Malays to Javanese, East to West.

The plurality of initiatives, dialogues and cross-cultural exchanges have not only occurred during capitalist modernity. If universal history was born with the New World, the contacts, influences and interactions occurred in worlds of another magnitude that had become intertwined through multiple contacts arising from their condition of neighborhood.

Towards the fifth century B.C.E. the Greeks and the high civilizations, whom they called barbarians, played a leading role in this game of transfers from East to West. In The Histories, by Herodotus, he realizes the interactions between one and the other through the comparison of political systems, ethnographic characteristics and religion, with which he explained the causes of similarities and the peculiarity of differences. Therefore, The Histories maintains an approach that allows us to observe the creation of worlds and how to think about them.

In Alien Vision, Arnaldo Momigliano states:

The notion of a barbaric wisdom gained consistency and acceptance among those who considered themselves Greeks (…) The intellectual influence of the barbarians was, however, felt in the Hellenistic world only to the extent to which they were capable of expressing themselves in Greek.