As a former History Instructor, as well as one who earned a Graduate Degree in History-("many moons ago"), words, such as, Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary, were commonplace and simply part of the normal historical discourse. If I was teaching or taking a class in Roman History, it was usually called, Ancient Roman History. If I was teaching or taking a class in Islamic Spain it was called, Medieval Islamic Spain. And if I was teaching or taking a class in European History it was called, Modern European History. Each of these words positioned, disciplined and trained our minds to think chronologically and linearly-(And in retrospect, I believe that this type of traditional historical education was and is still, very necessary, when training future Historians and History Teachers).
But, has the word, Ancient-(and for that matter, words, such as Medieval, Modern and even Contemporary)..become Ancient? Are there other, more imaginative words that Historians and History Teachers can use IN ADDITION TO-(and NOT IN LIEU OF), when chronicling the near and distant past? Should we find a way to DIVERSIFY our historical and chronological language to include words that are less imposing, pedantic and repetitive?
Instead of saying, Ancient, what about using the word, Early? Rather than repeating the word, Medieval, why not use a word, such as, Middle-(without the "Ages")? And in the case of Modern or Contemporary, why not use words, such as, Late or Current?
If you agree with this question, I would be interested in seeing a newer and more imaginative vocabulary that can diversify and improve-(but NOT REPLACE), our historical and chronological language.