As a discipline, history is the rational reconstruction of the past in terms of human thoughts, expressions, actions and experiences. Its special object is change over time.
The purpose of history is to seek knowledge of the truth about the human past and, through that study, understanding of human conduct.
History is a subject particularly appropriate to the University of Dallas, which defines its purpose in terms of the renewal of the Western heritage of liberal learning and the recovery of the Christian intellectual tradition. History provides a unique bridge between the two. As a discipline, it was created by the Greeks and taken up as an intellectual pursuit by the Romans, one of whom--Cicero--called it "The light of truth, the witness of time, the mistress of life." It represents the Greco-Roman cultural tradition which lies at the foundation of the Western heritage in an especially powerful way. History is also of particular relevance to the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which is predicated on the significance of events in time as revelatory of the relationship of man to God. As F. M. Powicke has written, "The Christian religion is a daily invitation to study history."