Central Subjects and Historical Narratives

History and Theory 14 (3):253-274 (1975)
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A central subject is the main strand around which the fabric of an historical narrative is woven. Such a subject must possess both spatial and temporal continuity. It is integrated into an historical entity through the relationship between those properties which make it an individual, and their interaction with the historical event. Scientific theory is useful in the reconstruction of past events and the definition of the central subject. Ideas used as central subjects present the problem of finding internal principles of integration which will make the idea continuous over time. The purpose of narratives is to explain an event by integrating it into an organized whole



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