The essay, of a historiographic nature, critically analyses the different conceptions of time and the way in which the problem of periodization has been approached in the field of history. In this context, it discusses in particular the ancient-medieval-modern division, the history of which it reconstructs, with particular reference to the much debated notion of the Middle Ages, and not without some hints at its relevance – also considered debatable – in the field of women’s history. He then analyses the question of the nature of time in history, referring to the notions of natural time and linear time, as well as the problem of change. The latter has had various speeds throughout history as economic, social, cultural and technological innovation has produced increasing acceleration. A turning point in this area is identified, following Reinhart Koselleck, in the 18th century. Finally, a distinction is made between the internal point of view of a culture (emic) and the external point of view (ethical), i.e. the concepts of the people being studied from those of the researcher.