For at least 500 years history has been a key part of the humanist educational program. Writing early in the fifteenth century, the Renaissance scholar and teacher Petrus Paulus Vergerius identified the subjects "which might rightly be included under the name of ‘Liberal Studies.’ Amongst these,” he declared, “ I accord the first place to History, on grounds both of its attractiveness and of its utility. . .” Since that time history has occupied a leading place in the liberal arts curriculum, alongside the modern counterparts of the medieval trivium of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.
Now, as in Medieval times, the discipline of history is recognized to be highly ‘practical’ as preparation for advanced professional study and for intelligent engagement with the problems of contemporary life.