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definitions - Historian

historian (n.)

1.a person who is an authority on history and who studies it and writes about it

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Merriam Webster

HistorianHis*to"ri*an (?), n. [F. historien.]
1. A writer of history; a chronicler; an annalist.

Even the historian takes great liberties with facts. Sir J. Reynolds.

2. One versed or well informed in history.

Great captains should be good historians. South.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Historian

historian (n.)

historiographer

see also - Historian

historian (n.)

history, story

phrases

-Alan Knight (historian) • Albert Goodwin (historian) • Allan Bromley (historian) • Allan Chapman (historian) • Allen Johnson (historian) • Alternative historian • Anarchist historian • Andrew Phillips (historian) • Andrew Wilson (historian) • Angus Mackay (historian) • Antony Preston (naval historian) • Augustin Cochin (historian) • Basil Williams (historian) • Bill Holm (art historian) • Bob Clarke (historian) • Brian Harrison (historian) • Bruce Nelson (historian) • Bruce Taylor (historian) • Charles Hadfield (historian) • Charles Mills (historian) • Charles Ross (historian) • Charles Townshend (historian) • Christopher Andrew (historian) • Christopher Bell (military historian) • Christopher Collier (historian) • Christopher Hill (historian) • Christopher Lloyd (art historian) • Colin White (historian) • David Bates (historian) • David Black (historian) • David Carpenter (historian) • David Christian (Russian/World Historian) • David Christian (historian) • David Day (historian) • David Ditchburn (historian) • David Donald (historian) • David Lister (origami historian) • David Littman (historian) • David Montgomery (historian) • David Smith (baseball historian) • David Starkey (maritime historian) • David Stevenson (WWI historian) • David Watkin (historian) • David Williams (historian) • Deepak Kumar (historian) • Desmond Morton (historian) • Donald Davidson (historian) • Dorothy Thompson (historian) • Douglas Cole (historian) • Duncan Campbell (ancient historian) • Edmund Calamy (historian) • Edward James (historian) • Edward Winter (chess historian) • Environmental historian • Eugen Fischer (historian) • Family Historian • Festus (historian) • Francis Jones (Welsh historian) • Fred Alexander (historian) • Fred Anderson (historian) • Fred Wright (historian) • Frederic Seebohm (historian) • Frederick Taylor (historian) • Gary Sheffield (historian) • Geoffrey Parker (historian) • George Dyson (science historian) • George Forrest (historian) • George Hilton (historian) • Gordon Johnson (historian) • Gordon Wright (historian) • Harold James (historian) • Henri Grégoire (historian) • Henri Michel (historian) • Historian fallacy • Historian of the United States House of Representatives • Historian of the United States Senate • James Adair (historian) • James Burke (science historian) • James Chapman (historian) • James E. Fraser (historian) • James Williamson (historian) • Jeremy Black (historian) • Jerry Bryant (historian) • Jim Bennett (historian) • Joan Evans (art historian) • John Baker (legal historian) • John Boardman (art historian) • John Davies (historian) • John Elliott (historian) • John Erickson (historian) • John Fortescue (military historian) • John Gillis (historian) • John Haywood (historian) • John Henry (historian) • John Higham (historian) • John Mooney (historian) • John Morrill (historian) • John Morris (historian) • John Richardson (art historian) • John Roberts (historian) • John Rutherford (historian) • John Sadler (historian) • John Saltmarsh (historian) • John Thornton (historian) • John Vincent (historian) • John White (art historian) • John Wilson (historian) • John the Deacon (Neapolitan historian) • Jonathan Elliot (historian) • Joseph Fletcher (historian) • Juan Álvarez (historian) • Julius Lippert (historian) • Justin (historian) • Justin McCarthy (American historian) • Leon Fink (historian) • Malchus (historian) • Martin Goodman (historian) • Martin Kemp (art historian) • Medical historian • Michael Barrier (historian) • Michael Brooks (historian and journalist) • Michael Brown (historian) • Michael Burns (historian) • Michael Cook (historian) • Michael Crawford (historian) • Michael Hunter (historian) • Michael Jones (historian) • Michael Phillips (historian) • Michael Roe (historian) • Michael Wood (historian) • Michel Brunet (historian) • Mike Gonzalez (historian) • Mike Wallace (historian) • Muslim historian • Naval historian • Nicholas Hammond (historian) • Office of the Historian • Official Historian of Puerto Rico • Operational historian • Peter Barton (historian) • Peter Brown (historian) • Peter Fisher (historian) • Peter Green (historian) • Peter Hart (historian) • Peter James (historian) • Peter Lamont (historian) • Peter Mansfield (historian) • Peter Watson (intellectual historian) • Public historian • Qin Hui (historian) • R. F. Foster (historian) • Records of the Grand Historian • Richard A. Baker (Senate Historian) • Richard Holmes (military historian) • Richard Muther (art historian) • Richard Powers (dance historian) • Richard White (historian) • Robert Bartlett (historian) • Robert Graham (historian) • Robert W. Smith (historian) • Robert Witt (art historian) • Robert Wright (historian) • Royall Tyler (historian) • Samuel Johnson (Nigerian historian) • Sheldon Hall (film historian) • Susan Hogan (historian) • T. J. Clark (historian) • Tad Jones (historian) • Terry Smith (art historian) • Thallus (historian) • The Historian • The Public Historian • Thomas C. Mendenhall (historian) • Thomas Jones (historian) • Thomas Stephens (historian) • Thomas Taylor (historian) • Tibor Szamuely (historian) • Timaeus (historian) • Titus Labienus (historian) • Trevor Thomas (historian) • Victor Ehrenberg (historian) • Viktor Ehrenberg (historian) • Walter Wright (oral historian) • Werner Buchholz (German historian) • Wheelock Whitney (historian) • William Ashley (economic historian) • William Barr (Arctic historian) • William Bright (historian) • William Erskine (historian) • William Fraser (historian) • William Gibson (historian) • William Glen (geologist and historian) • William Henry (historian) • William Hutton (historian) • William J. Morgan (historian) • William James (naval historian) • Winston Churchill as historian • Xanthus (historian) • Æthelweard (historian)

analogical dictionary

Wikipedia

Historian

                   
Record keeping redirects here.
  Herodotus (5th century BC), one of the earliest nameable historians whose work survives.

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it.[1] Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Although "historian" can be used to describe amateur and professional historians alike, it is reserved more recently for those who have acquired graduate degrees in the discipline.[2] Some historians, though, are recognized by equivalent training and experience in the field.[2] "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century at roughly the same time that physicians also set standards for whom could enter the field.

Contents

  Objective historian

During the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial it became evident that the court need to identify what was an "objective historian" in the same vein as the reasonable person, and reminiscent of the standard traditionally used in English law of "the man on the Clapham omnibus".[3]

Justice Charles Gray leant heavily on the research of one of the expert witnesses, Richard J. Evans, who compared illegitimate distortion of the historical record practice by holocaust deniers with established historical methodologies.[4]

In summarising Gray's judgement, Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian:[5]

  1. She must treat sources with appropriate reservations;
  2. she must not dismiss counterevidence without scholarly consideration;
  3. she must be even-handed in her treatment of evidence and eschew "cherry-picking";
  4. she must clearly indicate any speculation;
  5. she must not mistranslate documents or mislead by omitting parts of documents;
  6. she must weigh the authenticity of all accounts, not merely those that contradict her favored view; and
  7. she must take the motives of historical actors into consideration.

  History analysis

The process of historical analysis involves investigation and analysis of competing ideas, facts and purported facts to create coherent narratives that explain "what happened" and "why or how it happened". Modern historical analysis usually draws upon other social sciences, including economics, sociology, politics, psychology, anthropology, philosophy and linguistics. While ancient writers do not normally share modern historical practices, their work remains valuable for its insights within the cultural context of the times. An important part of the contribution of many modern historians is the verification or dismissal of earlier historical accounts through reviewing newly discovered sources and recent scholarship or through parallel disciplines like archaeology.

  Historiography

  Ancient

Herodotus and Thucydides were as the founders of the discipline of history. Concerning Herodotus (5th century BC), one of the earliest historians whose work survives, his recount of strange and unusual tales are gripping but not necessarily representative of the historical record. Despite this, The Histories of Herodotus displays many of the techniques of more modern historians. He interviewed witnesses, evaluated oral histories, studied multiple sources and then pronounced his particular version. Herodotus's works covered what was then the entire known world of the Greeks, or at least the part regarded as worthy of study, i.e., the peoples surrounding the Mediterranean. Herodotus was also known for visiting the various battle sites he wrote about, including the battle of Thermopylae. About 25 years after Herodotus, Thucydides, perhaps the most important of historians, pioneered a different form of history, one much closer to reportage. In his work, History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote about a single long conflict that lasted 27 years between Athens and Sparta with its origins and results. But, as it was mainly within living memory and Thucydides himself was alive throughout the conflict and a participant in many of the events, there was less room for myths and tall tales. Moreover, he included transcriptions of speeches that were delivered by historic figures, although sometimes they were made up by Thucydides himself according to what those people should have said at the moment they delivered them.[6]

Other noteworthy and famous Greek historians include Plutarch (2nd century AD), who wrote several biographies, the Parallel Lives, in which he wanted to assess the morality of its characters by comparing them in pairs, and Polybius (3nd century BC), who developed Thucydides's method further, becoming one of the most objective historians of classical antiquity. Polybius is also credited for being the first historian to write a History of the World, and to offer argued explanations and interpretations of history facts, and not only a record of them. The most important Roman historian of the classical world was Tacitus (late 1st and early 2nd century AD). The foremost Roman historian, he wrote an extremely influential account on Rome in the first century, the Annals. Due to his literary style and the thoroughness of his research—which seemingly included studying Roman imperial archives and heavily relying on Thucydides—and his apparent rigor—for he tended not to support any character or subject, taking an impartial point of view—he was by far the most read and admired historian during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the early Modern Era. Thus, his historian style has been imitated all through the ages, and had a strong impact in Edward Gibbon and Montesquieu.

Polybius, one of the first historians to attempt to present history as a sequence of causes and effects, carefully conducted his research—partly based on what he saw and partly on the communications of eye-witnesses and the participants in the events.[7]

  India

India has a long record of historiography with chronicles being maintained by dynasties, monks and communities. The texts of ancient and medieval India are in verse, unlike Europe where serious work in history was in prose. The Vedas, Puranas and the two epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata narrate many events in ancient India although not always in a linear fashion. The Mahabharata is in fact an epic centered mainly around the House of the Kurus, who ruled a large part of northern India. It was progressively called Jai, Vijaya, Bharata and finally Mahabharata. The Puranas are also chronicles of past events and owe their name to the Sanskrit word Purah ( Before ). Jain and Buddhist monks also chronicled many events in ancient India in their scriptures.[8]

  China

Sima Qian (145-86 BC), a Prefect of the Grand Scribes (太史令) of the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography because of his universal history, the Records of the Grand Historian (史記). It provides an overview of the history of China covering more than two thousand years from the legendary Yellow Emperor to Sima's contemporary Emperor Han Wudi (漢武帝). His work laid the foundation for the Twenty-Four Histories which, unlike Sima's independent endeavor, were government-sponsored works usually commissioned by new dynastic houses after the conquest of the previous dynasty.[9]

  Arabs

Ibn Abd-el-Hakem was an Egyptian who wrote the History of the Conquest of Egypt and North Africa and Spain, which was the earliest Arab account of the Islamic conquests of those countries. Much like Herodotus' works, it mixes facts with legends, and was often quoted by later Islamic historians. Al-Jahiz was a famous Arab scholar and historian. Hamdani, an Arab historian, was the best representative of Islamic culture during the last effective years of the Abbasid caliphate. Ali al-Masudi was an Arab historian, known as the "Herodotus of the Arabs." Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) was a famous Arab Muslim historian who engaged in historiography philosophy of history. He is best known for his Muqaddimah "Prolegomenon".[10]

  Enlightenment

Voltaire was a highly influential historian during The Enlightenment; he stressed the need to move away from great men and to study the people and their culture. Sakmann points out that he complained that too much historical writing combined boring detail, outrageous lies, and narrow-minded presentation. Good history, Voltaire argued, agrees with reason and natural science, and is based on the corroborating evidence.[11] Equally influential was Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755). His wide-ranging Spirit of the Laws (1748) spanned legal, geographical, cultural, economic, political and philosophical studies and was greatly influential in forging the fundamentally interdisciplinary historian.[12] Often called "the first modern historian", the English scholar Edward Gibbon wrote his magnum opus, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1788).[13]

  19th century Germany

Modern historiographical techniques were dramatically advanced in the German universities of the 19th century. Leopold von Ranke (1795 – 1886) was a founder of modern source-based historiography. His research seminar for graduate students set professional standards for historical training at the University of Berlin (1824 - 1871). His many books demonstrated how to rely upon primary sources in writing narrative history on international politics (Aussenpolitik). He dug through the archives of Europe, especially those of the Vatican and Venice, whose ambassadors followed events very closely and reported on them at length. Ranke thus sent the researcher to the archives for primary sources; there he should transcend his personal predispositions and parochial loyalties, and write objective history "wie es eigentlich gewesen" ("as it actually happened").[14] Highly influential German classicist historians were Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1776-1831) and Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903)[15] Historians of Germany included Johann Gustav Droysen (1808-84), Heinrich von Sybel (1817-95), and Heinrich von Treitschke (1834-96). They deliberately avoided social, economic, and cultural topics because they might undermine the national political development which their writing celebrated. Von Sybel in 1859 founded the Historische Zeitschrift[16], which set the world standard for a scholarly history journal.

  Twentieth-century developments

The whig approach emphasizes the origins of today's positive political features, with history seen as a force that pushes society forward. It studies the past with reference to the present."[17]

Since the 1960s, academic history has seen the emergence of new approaches and topics such as social history, demographic history, ethnic history, women's history, environmental history and cultural history.[18] There has been a shift of emphasis away from national topics to the experiences of ordinary people. For example, labor history has shifted away from the study of union leaders to the study of the workers. Slavery studies used to be about debates among politicians. In Roll, Jordan, Roll, historian Eugene D. Genovese ignored all that and focused on the interaction on the plantation between slaves and their owners. Edward Said's Orientalism examines how and why Western societies came to consider non-Western ones as inherently inferior.

While there has been a flowering of new historical approaches and microscopic studies there has been much less attention to the pre-1960 staple of teaching, the development of one's own nation state and its values and practices. As historians provide highly detailed narratives of increasingly smaller subjects there is less concern for the larger picture of the meaning of it all. Fewer historians try to tackle all of the various historiographies relevant to a broader interpretive or analytic synthesis, and some suggest that a post-modern perspectives does not allow any real synthesis. On the other hand many scholars have been calling for a "new synthesis" in American history for years. Thomas H. Bender has argued that synthesis raises its own unresolved issues such as teleology, causation, agency, and subjective meaning; and inclusion and exclusion.[19] Richard D. Brown worries that if historians fail to synthesize they, "run the risk of confirming the anti-academic canard that "historians know more and more about less and less."[20]

  Education and profession

An undergraduate history degree is often used as a stepping stone to graduate studies in business or law. Many historians are employed at universities and other facilities for post-secondary education.[21] In addition, it is normal for colleges and universities to require the PhD degree for new full-time hires, and a Masters degree for part-timers. Publication is increasingly required by smaller schools, so graduate papers become journal articles and PhD dissertations become published monographs. The graduate student experience is difficult—those who finish take on average 8 or more years; funding is scarce except at a few very rich universities. Being a teaching assistant in a course is required in some programs; in others it is a paid opportunity awarded a fraction of the students. Until the 1980s it was rare for graduate programs to teach how to teach; the assumption was that teaching was easy and that learning how to do research was the main mission.[22][23]

Professional historians typically work in colleges and universities, archival centers, government agencies, museums, and as freelance writers and consultants.[24] The job market for new PhDs in history is poor and getting worse, with many relegated to part-time "adjunct" teaching jobs with low pay and no benefits.[25]

  See also

  Notes

  1. ^ "Historian". Wordnetweb.princeton.edu. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=Historian. Retrieved June 28, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Herman, A. M. (1998). Occupational outlook handbook: 1998-99 edition. Indianapolis: JIST Works. Page 525.
  3. ^ Schneider, Wendie Ellen (June 2001). "Past Imperfect: Irving v. Penguin Books Ltd., No. 1996-I-1113, 2000 WL 362478 (Q. B. Apr. 11), appeal denied (Dec. 18, 2000)". The Yale Law Journal 110 (8): 1531–1545. http://www.yalelawjournal.org/pdf/110-8/schneider.pdf. 
  4. ^ Schneider 2001, p. 1534.
  5. ^ Schneider 2001, pp. 1534, 1535.
  6. ^ M. I. Finley, ed. The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (1977) excerpt and text search
  7. ^ Christopher Smith and Liv Mariah Yarrow, Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius (2012)
  8. ^ Michael S. Dodson, "Contesting Translations: Orientalism and the Interpretation of the 'Vedas,'" Modern Intellectual History, (Apr 2007) 4#1 pp 43-59
  9. ^ Thomas R. Martin, Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China (2009)
  10. ^ Walter Fischel, Ibn Khaldun in Egypt: His public functions and his historical research, 1382–1406; a study in Islamic historiography (1967)
  11. ^ Paul Sakmann, "The Problems of Historical Method and of Philosophy of History in Voltaire," History & Theory, (Dec 1971) 11#4 pp 24-59, in JSTOR
  12. ^ David Carrithers, "Montesquieu's Philosophy of History," 'Journal of the History of Ideas, (Jan 1986) 47#1 pp 61-81, in JSTOR
  13. ^ J. G. Pocock, The Enlightenment of Edward Gibbon, 1737-1764 (1999)
  14. ^ Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen, "Leopold Ranke's Archival Turn: Location and Evidence in Modern Historiography," Modern Intellectual History, (Nov 2008) 5#3 pp 425-453
  15. ^ Anthony Grafton, "Roman Monument" History Today September 2006 online.
  16. ^ Helen P. Liebel, "Philosophical Idealism in the Historische Zeitschrift, 1859-1914," History and Theory (1964) 3#3 pp. 316-330 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/2504235 in JSTOR
  17. ^ Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (New York: W.W. Norton, 1965), v, 3-4.
  18. ^ Eric Foner, ed. The New American History (1997)
  19. ^ Thomas H. Bender, "Strategies of Narrative Synthesis in American History," American Historical Review, (Feb 2002) 107#1 pp 129-53 in JSTOR
  20. ^ Richard D. Brown, "Microhistory and the Post-Modern Challenge," Journal of the Early Republic (2003) 23#1 pp. 1-20 in JSTOR
  21. ^ bls.gov : Social Scientists, Other[dead link]
  22. ^ Michael Kammen, "Some Reminiscences and Reflections on Graduate Education in History, Reviews in American History Volume 36, Number 3, Sept 2008 pp. 468-484 doi:10.1353/rah.0.0027
  23. ^ Walter Nugent, "Reflections: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone . . . When Will They Ever Learn?", Reviews in American History Volume 39, Number 1, March 2011, pp. 205-211 doi:10.1353/rah.2011.0055
  24. ^ Anthony Grafton and Robert B. Townsend, "The Parlous Paths of the Profession" Perspectives on History (Sept. 2008) online
  25. ^ Robert B. Townsend, "Troubling News on Job Market for History PhDs," AHA Today Jan. 04, 2010 online

  Further reading

  • The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature (ed. by Mary Beth Norton and Pamela Gerardi (3rd ed. 2 vol, Oxford U.P. 1995) 2064 pages; annotated guide to 27,000 of the most important English language history books in all fields and topics vol 1 online, vol 2 online
  • Allison, William Henry. A guide to historical literature (1931) comprehensive bibliography for scholarship to 1930. online edition
  • Barnes, Harry Elmer. A history of historical writing‎ (1962)
  • Barraclough, Geoffrey. History: Main Trends of Research in the Social and Human Sciences, (1978)
  • Bentley, Michael. ed., Companion to Historiography, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0415285577990pp; 39 chapters by experts
  • Bender, Thomas, et al. The Education of Historians for Twenty-first Century (2003) report by the Committee on Graduate Education of the American Historical Association
  • Breisach, Ernst. Historiography: Ancient, Medieval and Modern, 3rd edition, 2007, ISBN 0-226-07278-9
  • Boia, Lucian et al., eds. Great Historians of the Modern Age: An International Dictionary (1991)
  • Cannon, John, et al., eds. The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians. Blackwell Publishers, 1988 ISBN 0-631-14708-X.
  • Gilderhus, Mark T. History an Historiographical Introduction, 2002, ISBN 0-13-044824-9
  • Iggers, Georg G. Historiography in the 20th Century: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge (2005)
  • Kelly, Boyd, ed. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing. (1999). Fitzroy Dearborn ISBN 1-884964-33-8
  • Kramer, Lloyd, and Sarah Maza, eds. A Companion to Western Historical Thought Blackwell 2006. 520pp; ISBN 978-1-4051-4961-7.
  • Todd, Richard B. ed. Dictionary of British Classicists, 1500–1960, (2004). Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004 ISBN 1-85506-997-0.
  • Woolf D. R. A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities) (2 vol 1998) excerpt and text search

  External links

   
               

 

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