The aim of this graduate seminar is to introduce important developments in the history of physics and to explore the ways to understand them. In the semester, we will examine in chronological order the emergence or consolidation of some primary areas of physical sciences, such as thermodynamics, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Although these topics by no means exhaust all the noteworthy episodes, they nonetheless represent the major route along which physics has taken shape. In addition to its historical subject, each session corresponds to a historiographical theme, which can be philosophical, sociological, or cultural. We will discuss how historians have addressed these themes and turned them into approaches of writing the history of physics, and assess the implications of such approaches.