Chronological Writing: Its Concepts and Development

Chronology, unlike history, is not confined to human experiences, disregards causes in the human sphere, and emphasizes the occurrence rather than the sense of an event. For the Jews chronology was tribal records, for the Church fathefs (and later for Protestants) a theological weapon, for the Byzantines a framework within which the Western Empire's sociopolitical dogmas were challenged. During the seventeenth century the very popularity and proliferation of chronologies began to bring them into disrepute. Historical studies nevertheless drew on chronological themes and concepts (e.g., history and ethnology assimilated racial genealogies). A coherent dating scheme, collections of primary sources, and critical techniques constitute chronology's little-acknowledged legacy to historiography.