History shows that little has really changed…
We have found birthday invitations sent to the garrison at Hadrian’s Wall. The plays of Shakespeare, now almost 500 years old, still speak to us. And if you look close enough, you can sometimes still see rude doodles in the margins of medieval manuscripts, the work of bored or mischievous scribes. Certain tendencies, aversions, or circumstances transcend time and cultural shifts. There are some aspects of people or places that always seem to have been and, from what we can observe, likely always will be.
Applied History looks at the past not as a curiosity to be admired behind the glass of museum cases, nor as a way of showing the gradual evolution towards the present. It regards the past as a source of key indicators of how we should progress towards the future. George Santayana’s iconic quote holds true: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’
We have ten thousand years of data showing what has worked, and what has not, in the realms of cultural practices, politics, warfare, and economics to name but a few. Applied History looks at this data and extracts the valuable lessons that can guide us in structuring our present and our future.
’Wishing now myself to offer to your Magnificence some proof of my devotion, I have found nothing amongst all I possess that I hold more dear or esteem more highly than the knowledge of the actions of great men, which I have acquired by long experience of modern affairs and a continued study of ancient history.’ – Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince