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History is said by some to be the study and interpretation of the record of individuals, peoples, societies and civilisations. Others would include the known natural history of the Universe long before people came into existence.

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica stated that "history in the wider sense is all that has happened, not merely all the phenomena of human life, but those of the natural world as well. It is everything that undergoes change; and as modern science has shown that there is nothing absolutely static, therefore, the whole universe, and every part of it, has its history."

The term history comes from the Greek ἱστορία historia, "an account of one's inquiries," and shares that etymology with the English word 'story'.

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