First draft. August 2003.


Yuri Tarnopolsky


A review of literature shows that a diaspora of natural scientists interested in history has
been forming for some time around the legacy of Rashevsky, Richardson, and Tilly.
Analytical history of Bertrand Roehmer and Tony Syme, as well as the study of patterns
of military conflicts by Peter Brecke, have a potential of becoming centers of the
“naturalization” of historical research.
The existing formal approaches to complex systems create a conundrum of the
use of closed mathematical structures for representing open irreversible systems. Pattern
Theory is suggested as another entry in the inventory of methods in this area.
Pattern Theory, with its atomistic realism and preservation of semantics, is
uniquely positioned for developing a general representation of Very Complex Open
Systems, such as life, mind, and society. The focus of the application of Pattern Theory to
history is transition state characterized by its irregularity and, therefore, instability.
A possibility to treat a segment of history as a quasi-chemical structural
transformation through alternating stable and irregular states is illustrated on the example
of the expedition of Darius against the Scyths.

1. Preamble 2
2. The intent of the paper 4
3. Historical sketch 6
4. History and thermodynamics 20
5. Pattern Theory 23
6. Chemical kinetics: the short run 28
7. Equilibrium, kinetics, and catalysis in history 33
8. Illustration: Darius against Scyths 35
9. Conclusion 44
10 References 45

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