History vs Literature
History and literature are two important subjects to choose from when one has decided to pursue higher studies. When one is not interested in science or commerce but in humanities to go for degree in arts, he can choose history and literature as his subjects at the undergraduate level. Knowing the difference between history and literature can be good for a student to be able to choose a subject that is better suited to him.
From ancient times, there been a tradition to record events as and when they took place. This must have started with the invention of language and caught on with the imagination of people especially with the invention of the printing press. However, the tradition to record events had been going on much before the printing press as there have been rare manuscripts written on paper and leaves and dried skins of animals that show the propensity of the people of earlier times to record information in written form for future generations.
History is a subject that deals with facts recorded by men from the past who were entrusted by emperors and royalties to write about their achievements and conquests. Recording of events was done at the behest of the victors and hence it could not be neutral or unbiased at times. However, no matter the slant or bias, history is always treated as facts and information from the past.
Prose or poetry from the past and present is what constitutes the subject matter in literature. Description if what has been written in the past is what literature is all about. Literature confines itself to drama, poetry, fiction etc and involves creativity and imagination of the writers rather than on actual facts. Nonfiction also forms a part of literature. Biographies and autobiographies are also considered to be literature though they contain a lot of facts and actual information.
What is the difference between History and Literature?
• Both literature and history are important in letting us understand the world around us, especially the past.
• While history is all about recording events as they happened, literature can be far away from facts as it can often be based on flights of imagination of writers
• Epics belonging to prehistoric times are considered to be part of literature in different civilizations whereas wars, rise and fall of civilizations, reigns of emperors, revolutions etc are included in history