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Why does the back button become inactive sometimes?

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When I go to my home page the browser's back button becomes inactive and I cannot use it to go back whence I came, i.e. the page on which I was when I clicked the home button.

I noticed that there are several situations when the back button suddenly decides to become inactive and I cannot go back with it, but this is one case that I can remember and can reproduce.

It is rather annoying as I was used from previous browsers (Safari, I am sure) that I could go back every time using the back button (unless the page forwards a hundred times and tricks the back button).

Any ideas?

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