In another installment of our interview series, I had the chance to speak with Razi, creator of Historia et Hominum, or history of of humanity. Keep reading for his unique story on starting his Instagram page and raising awareness of history.
Hi Razi, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, and thank you for having me! There isn’t really much to say about me, haha. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have moved around the United States all of my life. I aspire to be a high-school level history teacher, and have been studying history since I was young. My hobbies include plastic modelling and reading, though I play soccer as well.
What inspired you to start historia et hominum?
I became inspired to start my account a few months ago, when I began reading more into the history of our world, through the Greeks and early Americans. I wanted to tell stories, but also educate people in the fascinating subject. My peers became very supportive of my account, which prompted me to spread out into different time periods, areas, etc. Many of the events I post about were actually new to me, so it has been an amazing learning experience for me as well.
How important is history in today’s age?
I feel that History is perhaps one of the most important subjects, as as Mathematics, Science, Languages, etc are all encompassed within human history. Along with this, it is a very important topic to delve into because we can learn so much about ourselves by learning about the past. Our heritage, our past cultures, our traditions, etc. can all be discovered through the study of history. What’s more, the rise and fall of great empires, the individual stories, everything in our history can help us better understand our own nature, and we can use the lessons learned in the past to help overcome situations today.
A big part of Chronicles of Fitness is to bring across the idea that learning history builds the transferable skills of empathy. In your opinion, how would you describe that relationship?
Throughout history, it has been empathy that builds alliances, helps empires rise to greatness, helps religions spread, etc. Empathy is an immensely important human trait, that has shown itself time and time again. From the treatment of Alexander the Great to his conquered peoples that gained him immense support, to the trade relationships of the African kingdoms, the study of history has much to offer about empathy as a human trait.
I know you cover all eras, but what is your personal favorite and why?
Although I have many favorite eras, I would definitely have to say the Hellenistic era was my favorite. The spread of Greek philosophies to the rest of the known world, including Africa, the middle east, India, and beyond was, in my opinion, one of the most important events in human history. Many ideas that we follow today are directly derived from or are at least influenced by these teachings of the great philosopher-scientists of Alexandria, Thebes, Athens, Syracuse, and many others.
Could you explain a bit about your quote under your Instagram bio,”A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” ~Marcus Garvey?
The quote I have in my bio is a reference to the importance of understanding our past culture and identity. Without the knowledge of our history, many things we do nowadays, many laws we have, would all seem meaningless. Many important traditions and morals we hold dear to society would seem completely unnecessary, and the lessons learned in the past would be forgotten forever.
With so many outlets in this information age, what advice can you give readers in gathering quality information on history?
Quality information is not entirely hard to come by, if you know where to look. Books are great sources of information, especially autobiographies and non-fictions. Documentaries provide great sources of information as well, though many can have biases that are hard to point out and bring to light, If you are looking into one particular subject, a quick internet search can yield many quality results, but one must be cautious of what sites they choose. Although it seems very controversial, Wikipedia actually offers an abundant source of information, and their sourcing is very thorough. Though i would not site it for a professional paper, it is a great place to go for a quick run-down of a topic, and is an excellent place to get outside sources from.
Continuing on with the topic of empathy, how do you feel about the state of empathy in the world today? Whether that’s from your personal interactions or from what we see in the news.
I believe that empathy is still very prevalent as seen in the countless charity organizations, non-profit groups, and the thousands of communities that come together to help people out. However, I believe there is a huge problem with the media, which never shows these good things and instead feeds on the massive amounts of negativity in the world.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are massive amounts of suffering and pain in the world, but there is also so much more. I have personally been affected by ordinary people, and I am a strong believer that heroes are normal, everyday people like you and I.
How do you feel about the state of history knowledge today by the average person?
It honestly saddens me, that so many people know so little about the objective truths in history. Propaganda, myths, and general misconceptions have been spread about historical events for so long that they have become almost undisputed facts, and l want to help educate people with an unbiased and strictly historical view.
It must be beautiful living in Alaska. How do you find the general enthusiasm of people in terms of learning history and even fitness, there?
It really is! I have honestly been gifted by having amazing teachers and a generally open-minded community, and many of my personal friends follow my page and love hearing about history, and I find that, given in moderation, historical stories are generally well-accepted and people love hearing about the past.
I’ve also had an interest of teaching history at the high school level. What’s drawn you to teach at that age level?
I honestly don’t know haha. I guess the enthusiasm in that particular age group is very different than other grade levels, and it is much easier to connect to them and teach them than it would be for, say, middle or elementary school. However, it seems that I would have a much more personal connection with my students than I would if I were a college professor.
How do you feel that learning history, as a modern person, builds empathy?
I personally think that learning history puts a lot into perspective about our lives, as well as the fragility of humanity. There are countless stories that show just why we should care for each other as a people, and why empathy and compassion go much farther than hatred and brutality.
Thanks Razi! I appreciate it for taking the time out of your schedule to do this blog interview with me. I hope you had as much fun as I did in doing this. Its amazing to know the different motivations of people trying to raise awareness about history and how powerful it can be. Do you have any last words for our readers?
I would just like to say that I am very happy with the interview, and I personally love how much awareness is being raised about our history. I personally had a lot of fun doing the interview as well, and I look forward to collaborating in the future. Unfortunately, I have not been able to post or be very active these past few months, but I am very glad to see that history has become an increasingly popular subject, and I cant wait to see where this path leads.
You can follow Razi on his Instagram page, Historia_et_Hominum