Historic demography is a scientific field that developed during the second half of the 20th century and aims towards the long-term study of demographic variables. It observes the cyclic fluctuations, the long-term movements and the crises faced by the economic and social structures of the demographic potential. Through traditional recording of basic demographic parameters and techniques and through the distinction between historic demography and "paleodemography" - and demography, too- historic demography seeks factors of long-term "demographic behaviors" in the geographical area of Greece and Europe. This aims at highlighting "demographic particularities", transformations and mechanisms of demographic transition.

The faculty is oriented towards:

  1. a critique of the diachronically available sources and the study methods of the populations.
  2. the forms and the structures of a residential nexus able to raise a number of questions regarding the bonds between demographic incidents and the environment.
  3. probing into questions of an anthropological nature, regarding the relationship between physical and social demography.
  4. the charting of the demographic balance and the perspectives of the so-called "reproductive behaviour" cultural factor.

Subject analysis

The New Programme of Post-graduate Studies aims at providing a high specialization to social scientists on fundamental issues related to the global problem of raising population to 6 billion people. Before asking how many we will be tomorrow, one has to consider how the population potential was evaluated in the past and today; how the population fluctuations led to such figures; and what kind of relationship is there between the economic, institutional, juridical, anthropological, nosological and ecological factors and the “reproductive behaviour” cultural factor, in each residential nexus etc.

Crises in the social and economic structures dominate the new scientific field of Historic Demography and historic demographers contribute to the general speculation over the cyclical fluctuations of global economy and the long-term movements of the populations. A matter of primary importance is the way of gathering data and the techniques of evaluating the population, techniques that change depending on the constitution of the modern state and differentiate in each level of its development.

Research and teaching of historic demography intent to probe into the cross-checking of demographic information that regards particularities or the regularities of the populations; this research and teaching are realized in such a way that allow for reaching combined answers, which concern the furthest possible temporal and geographical horizon for a number of different social situations. They are based, both of them, on the scientific experience regarding population behaviors, which have been recorded:

  1. at a paleodemographic level, that is the level at which population demography is realized without the use of archives
  2. by pre- and proto- statistical sources (municipal registers about the urban population – births, marriages, deaths, baptisms, statutory measurements etc. ) and with the proper techniques, to which the new historic demographer is initiated and specialised, in order to re-structure families ( typology, lineage, age division, basic demographic indexes etc.), to compose and classify hierarchically the demographic regimes and, lastly, to interpret the changeable birth-rate in certain population zones.
  3. by statistical sources, which point at certain demographic behaviors, such as coincidental (defined by economic and political crises), seasonal (linked with employment) and structural (immigrations which depend on forces of attraction and repulse from towns and villages with population surplus, data about the structure and evolution of a population, facts regarding family micro-demography and answers to the major issue of social demography).
  4. by the links between the demographic incident and environment and the relation of the population with ecology. These links result in the following scientific paths:
    • the classic development and crisis analysis regarding the sources available about the supply and demand factors for products and social commodities.
    • the environment nosology, which is of primary importance as the long-term analysis of social history is concerned and, in particular, the analysis of cyclical fluctuations and crises,
  5. by probing into issues of an anthropological interest, which are the start for innumerable manifestations of moral changes regarding human mentality and extends to the civilization of ethics, e.g. the way society faces conception and contraception or death,
  6. by the institutional study of the family, in order to examine and interpret its cultural foundation. This study is linked with a number of innovations (the role of wife, the way of choosing spouse, mass investments in education etc.), along with the trials of values generated by cultural Christianity, which are restructured during the last two centuries,
  7. by the study of the cultural factor in relation to the “reproductive behaviors” which depend on the improvement of the health and welfare conditions, the rise of the education level, the synchronization of social values to the living conditions and the renewal of generations, the consequences that follow population ageing, the demographic pressure exerted on the sources of wealth and the new facts that influence that pressure (pollution of the environment, water shortage, corruption, changes in space exploitation, minority groups etc.).