Historian

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. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience.[2] "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.

Herodotos Met 91.8
Herodotus (c. 484–c. 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives.

Objectivity

During the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, it became evident that the court needed 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] This was necessary so that there would be a legal bench mark to compare and contrast the scholarship of an objective historian against the illegitimate methods employed by David Irving, as before the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, there was no legal precedent for what constituted an objective historian.[3]

Justice 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]

By summarizing Gray's judgement, in an article published in the Yale Law Journal, Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian:[5]

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

Schneider uses the concept of the "objective historian" to suggest that this could be an aid in assessing what makes an historian suitable as an expert witnesses under the Daubert standard in the United States. Schneider proposed this, because, in her opinion, Irving could have passed the standard Daubert tests unless a court was given "a great deal of assistance from historians".[6]

Schneider proposes that by testing an historian against the criteria of the "objective historian" then, even if an historian holds specific political views (and she gives an example of a well-qualified historian's testimony that was disregarded by a United States court because he was a member of a feminist group), providing the historian uses the "objective historian" standards, he or she is a "conscientious historian". It was Irving's failure as an "objective historian" not his right wing views that caused him to lose his libel case, as a "conscientious historian" would not have "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" to support his political views.[7][8]

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

Thucydides Manuscript
Reproduction of part of a tenth-century copy of Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War.

Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, and the telling of history has emerged independently in civilizations around the world. What constitutes history is a philosophical question (see philosophy of history). The earliest chronologies date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name.

Systematic historical thought emerged in ancient Greece, a development that became an important influence on the writing of history elsewhere around the Mediterranean region. The earliest known critical historical works were The Histories, composed by Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 – c. 425 BCE) who later became known as the "father of history" (Cicero). Herodotus attempted to distinguish between more and less reliable accounts, and personally conducted research by travelling extensively, giving written accounts of various Mediterranean cultures. Although Herodotus' overall emphasis lay on the actions and characters of men, he also attributed an important role to divinity in the determination of historical events. Thucydides largely eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element that set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings. He was also the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event, while his successor Xenophon (c. 431 – 355 BCE) introduced autobiographical elements and character studies in his Anabasis.

Leonardo Bruni - Imagines philologorum
Leonardo Bruni (c.1370–1444), the historian who first divided history into the three eras of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern times.

The Romans adopted the Greek tradition. While early Roman works were still written in Greek, the Origines, composed by the Roman statesman Cato the Elder (234–149 BCE), was written in Latin, in a conscious effort to counteract Greek cultural influence. Strabo (63 BCE – c. 24 CE) was an important exponent of the Greco-Roman tradition of combining geography with history, presenting a descriptive history of peoples and places known to his era. Livy (59 BCE – 17 CE) records the rise of Rome from city-state to empire. His speculation about what would have happened if Alexander the Great had marched against Rome represents the first known instance of alternate history.[9]

In Chinese historiography, the Classic of History is one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts and one of the earliest narratives of China. The Spring and Autumn Annals, the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 to 481 BCE, is among the earliest surviving Chinese historical texts arranged on annalistic principles. Sima Qian (around 100 BCE) was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing. His written work was the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BCE, and it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people, and also explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras.[10]

Beda Petersburgiensis f3v
A page of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People

Christian historiography began early, perhaps as early as Luke-Acts, which is the primary source for the Apostolic Age. Writing history was popular among Christian monks and clergy in the Middle Ages. They wrote about the history of Jesus Christ, that of the Church and that of their patrons, the dynastic history of the local rulers. In the Early Middle Ages historical writing often took the form of annals or chronicles recording events year by year, but this style tended to hamper the analysis of events and causes.[11] An example of this type of writing is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, which were the work of several different writers: it was started during the reign of Alfred the Great in the late 9th century, but one copy was still being updated in 1154.

Muslim historical writings first began to develop in the 7th century, with the reconstruction of the Prophet Muhammad's life in the centuries following his death. With numerous conflicting narratives regarding Muhammad and his companions from various sources, scholars had to verify which sources were more reliable. To evaluate these sources, they developed various methodologies, such as the science of biography, science of hadith and Isnad (chain of transmission). They later applied these methodologies to other historical figures in the Islamic civilization. Famous historians in this tradition include Urwah (d. 712), Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. 728), Ibn Ishaq (d. 761), al-Waqidi (745–822), Ibn Hisham (d. 834), Muhammad al-Bukhari (810–870) and Ibn Hajar (1372–1449).

Enlightenment

During the Age of Enlightenment, the modern development of historiography through the application of scrupulous methods began.

Voltaire-Baquoy
Voltaire's works of history are an excellent example of Enlightenment era history writing. Painting by Pierre Charles Baquoy.

French philosophe Voltaire (1694–1778) had an enormous influence on the art of history writing. His best-known histories are The Age of Louis XIV (1751), and Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations (1756). "My chief object," he wrote in 1739, "is not political or military history, it is the history of the arts, of commerce, of civilization – in a word, – of the human mind."[12] He broke from the tradition of narrating diplomatic and military events, and emphasized customs, social history, and achievements in the arts and sciences. He was the first scholar to make a serious attempt to write the history of the world, eliminating theological frameworks, and emphasizing economics, culture, and political history.

Edward Gibbon by Henry Walton cleaned
Edward Gibbon's Decline of the Roman Empire (1776) was a masterpiece of late 18th-century history writing.

At the same time, philosopher David Hume was having a similar impact on history in Great Britain. In 1754, he published the History of England, a six-volume work that extended from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688. Hume adopted a similar scope to Voltaire in his history; as well as the history of Kings, Parliaments, and armies, he examined the history of culture, including literature and science, as well.[13] William Robertson, a Scottish historian, and the Historiographer Royal[14] published the History of Scotland 1542 - 1603, in 1759 and his most famous work, The history of the reign of Charles V in 1769.[15] His scholarship was painstaking for the time and he was able to access a large number of documentary sources that had previously been unstudied. He was also one of the first historians who understood the importance of general and universally applicable ideas in the shaping of historical events.[16]

The apex of Enlightenment history was reached with Edward Gibbon's, monumental six-volume work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published on 17 February 1776. Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of primary sources, at the time its methodology became a model for later historians. This has led to Gibbon being called the first "modern historian".[17] The book sold impressively, earning its author a total of about £9000. Biographer Leslie Stephen wrote that thereafter, "His fame was as rapid as it has been lasting."

19th century

The tumultuous events surrounding the French Revolution inspired much of the historiography and analysis of the early 19th century. Interest in the 1688 Glorious Revolution was also rekindled by the Great Reform Act of 1832 in England.

Thomas Carlyle published his magnum opus, the three-volume The French Revolution: A History in 1837.[18][19] The resulting work had a passion new to historical writing. Thomas Macaulay produced his most famous work of history, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, in 1848.[20] His writings are famous for their ringing prose and for their confident, sometimes dogmatic, emphasis on a progressive model of British history, according to which the country threw off superstition, autocracy and confusion to create a balanced constitution and a forward-looking culture combined with freedom of belief and expression. This model of human progress has been called the Whig interpretation of history.[21]

Jules Michelet portrait older
Jules Michelet, later in his career.

In his main work Histoire de France, French historian Jules Michelet coined the term Renaissance (meaning "Re-birth" in French language), as a period in Europe's cultural history that represented a break from the Middle Ages, creating a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world.[22] The nineteen-volume work covered French history from Charlemagne to the outbreak of the Revolution. Michelet was one of the first historians to shift the emphasis of history to the common people, rather than the leaders and institutions of the country. Another important French historian of the period was Hippolyte Taine. He was the chief theoretical influence of French naturalism, a major proponent of sociological positivism and one of the first practitioners of historicist criticism. Literary historicism as a critical movement has been said to originate with him.[23]

One of the major progenitors of the history of culture and art, was the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt[24] Burckhardt's best-known work is The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860). According to John Lukacs, he was the first master of cultural history, which seeks to describe the spirit and the forms of expression of a particular age, a particular people, or a particular place.[25] By the mid-19th century, scholars were beginning to analyse the history of institutional change, particularly the development of constitutional government. William Stubbs's Constitutional History of England (3 vols., 1874–78) was an important influence on this developing field. The work traced the development of the English constitution from the Teutonic invasions of Britain until 1485, and marked a distinct step in the advance of English historical learning.[26]

Karl Marx introduced the concept of historical materialism into the study of world historical development. In his conception, the economic conditions and dominant modes of production determined the structure of society at that point. Previous historians had focused on cyclical events of the rise and decline of rulers and nations. Process of nationalization of history, as part of national revivals in the 19th century, resulted with separation of "one's own" history from common universal history by such way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that constructed history as history of a nation.[27] A new discipline, sociology, emerged in the late 19th century and analyzed and compared these perspectives on a larger scale.

Professionalization in Germany

Leopold Von Ranke 1877
Ranke established history as a professional academic discipline in Germany.

The modern academic study of history and methods of historiography were pioneered in 19th-century German universities. Leopold von Ranke was a pivotal influence in this regard, and is considered as the founder of modern source-based history.[28][29][30][31]

Specifically, he implemented the seminar teaching method in his classroom, and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents. Beginning with his first book in 1824, the History of the Latin and Teutonic Peoples from 1494 to 1514, Ranke used an unusually wide variety of sources for an historian of the age, including "memoirs, diaries, personal and formal missives, government documents, diplomatic dispatches and first-hand accounts of eye-witnesses". Over a career that spanned much of the century, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (aussenpolitik).[32] Sources had to be hard, not speculations and rationalizations. His credo was to write history the way it was. He insisted on primary sources with proven authenticity.[33]

20th century

The term Whig history was coined by Herbert Butterfield in his short book The Whig Interpretation of History in 1931, (a reference to the British Whigs, advocates of the power of Parliament) to refer to the approach to historiography that presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians emphasized the rise of constitutional government, personal freedoms, and scientific progress. The term has been also applied widely in historical disciplines outside of British history (the history of science, for example) to criticize any teleological (or goal-directed), hero-based, and transhistorical narrative.[34] Butterfield's antidote to Whig history was "...to evoke a certain sensibility towards the past, the sensibility which studies the past 'for the sake of the past', which delights in the concrete and the complex, which 'goes out to meet the past', which searches for 'unlikenesses between past and present'."[35] Butterfield's formulation received much attention, and the kind of historical writing he argued against in generalised terms is no longer academically respectable.[36]

Marc Bloch
The 20th century saw the creation of a huge variety of historiographical approaches. Marc Bloch's focus on social history rather than traditional political history was of tremendous influence.

The French Annales School radically changed the focus of historical research in France during the 20th century by stressing long-term social history, rather than political or diplomatic themes. The school emphasized the use of quantification and the paying of special attention to geography.[37][38] An eminent member of this school, Georges Duby, described his approach to history as one that

relegated the sensational to the sidelines and was reluctant to give a simple accounting of events, but strived on the contrary to pose and solve problems and, neglecting surface disturbances, to observe the long and medium-term evolution of economy, society, and civilisation.

Marxist historiography developed as a school of historiography influenced by the chief tenets of Marxism, including the centrality of social class and economic constraints in determining historical outcomes. Friedrich Engels wrote The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, which was salient in creating the socialist impetus in British politics from then on, e.g. the Fabian Society. R. H. Tawney's The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (1912)[39] and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), reflected his ethical concerns and preoccupations in economic history. A circle of historians inside the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) formed in 1946 and became a highly influential cluster of British Marxist historians, who contributed to history from below and class structure in early capitalist society. Members included Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm and E. P. Thompson.

World history, as a distinct field of historical study, emerged as an independent academic field in the 1980s. It focused on the examination of history from a global perspective and looked for common patterns that emerged across all cultures. Arnold J. Toynbee's ten-volume A Study of History, written between 1933 and 1954, was an important influence on this developing field. He took a comparative topical approach to independent civilizations and demonstrated that they displayed striking parallels in their origin, growth, and decay.[40] William H. McNeill wrote The Rise of the West (1965) to improve upon Toynbee by showing how the separate civilizations of Eurasia interacted from the very beginning of their history, borrowing critical skills from one another, and thus precipitating still further change as adjustment between traditional old and borrowed new knowledge and practice became necessary.[41]

Education and profession

Peter Brown Balzan Prize Ceremony 2011
Peter R.L Brown, a professional historian of Late Antiquity and the Medieval period.

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.[42] In addition, it is normal for colleges and universities to require the PhD degree for new full-time hires, and a master's 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 their doctorate in the United States 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 1970s 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.[43][44]

Professional historians typically work in colleges and universities, archival centers, government agencies, museums, and as freelance writers and consultants.[45] 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.[46]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Historian". Wordnetweb.princeton.edu. Retrieved June 27, 2008.
  2. ^ Herman, A. M. (1998). Occupational outlook handbook: 1998-99 edition. Indianapolis: JIST Works. Page 525.
  3. ^ a b Schneider 2001, p. 1531.
  4. ^ Schneider 2001, p. 1534.
  5. ^ Schneider 2001, pp. 1534, 1535.
  6. ^ Schneider 2001, pp. 1534, 1538.
  7. ^ Schneider 2001, p. 1539.
  8. ^ "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" Justice Charles Gray (Schneider 2001, p. 1533)
  9. ^ "Livy's History of Rome: Book 9". Mcadams.posc.mu.edu. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  10. ^ Jörn Rüsen (2007). Time and History: The Variety of Cultures. Berghahn Books. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-1-84545-349-7.
  11. ^ Warren, John (1998). The past and its presenters: an introduction to issues in historiography, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-67934-4, pp. 78–79.
  12. ^ E. Sreedharan (2004). A Textbook of Historiography: 500 BC to AD 2000. Orient Blackswan. p. 115. ISBN 9788125026570.
  13. ^ Wertz, S. K. (1993). "Hume and the Historiography of Science". Journal of the History of Ideas. 54 (3): 411–436. doi:10.2307/2710021. JSTOR 2710021.
  14. ^ The Poker Club
  15. ^ Sher, R. B., Church and Society in the Scottish Enlightenment: The Moderate Literati of Edinburgh, Princeton, 1985.
  16. ^ "William Robertson: An 18th Century Anthropologist-Historian" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  17. ^ Deborah Parsons (2007). Theorists of the Modernist Novel: James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 9780203965894.
  18. ^ Marshall, H.E. "Carlyle – The Sage Of Chelsea". English Literature For Boys And Girls. Retrieved 2009-09-19 – via Farlex Free Library.
  19. ^ Lundin, Leigh (2009-09-20). "Thomas Carlyle". Professional Works. Criminal Brief. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  20. ^ Macaulay, Thomas Babington, History of England. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1878. Vol. V, title page and prefatory "Memoir of Lord Macaulay".
  21. ^ J. R. Western, Monarchy and Revolution. The English State in the 1680s (London: Blandford Press, 1972), p. 403.
  22. ^ Brotton, Jerry (2002). The Renaissance Bazaar. Oxford University Press. pp. 21–22.
  23. ^ Kelly, R. Gordon, "Literature and the Historian", American Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1974), 143.
  24. ^ Jakob Burckhardt Renaissance Cultural History
  25. ^ John Lukacs, Remembered Past: John Lukacs on History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, ed. Mark G Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2004, 215.
  26. ^ s:A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Stubbs, William
  27. ^ Georgiy Kasianov, Philipp Terr (2010-04-07). A Laboratory of Transnational History Ukraine and recent Ukrainian historiography. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-84545-621-4. Retrieved October 18, 2010. This essay deals with, what I call, "nationalized history", meaning a way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that requires separation of "one's own" history from "common" history and its construction as history of a nation.
  28. ^ Frederick C. Beiser (2011) The German Historicist Tradition, p.254
  29. ^ Janelle G. Reinelt, Joseph Roach (2007), Critical Theory and Performance, p. 193
  30. ^ Stern (ed.), The Varieties of History, p. 54: "Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886) is the father as well as the master of modern historical scholarship."
  31. ^ Green and Troup (eds.), The Houses of History, p. 2: "Leopold von Ranke was instrumental in establishing professional standards for historical training at the University of Berlin between 1824 and 1871."
  32. ^ E. Sreedharan, A textbook of historiography, 500 BC to AD 2000 (2004) p 185
  33. ^ Andreas Boldt, "Ranke: objectivity and history." Rethinking History 18.4 (2014): 457-474.
  34. ^ Ernst Mayr, "When Is Historiography Whiggish?" Journal of the History of Ideas, April 1990, Vol. 51 Issue 2, pp 301–309 in JSTOR
  35. ^ Adrian Wilson and T. G. Ashplant, "Whig History and Present-Centred History," The Historical Journal, 31 (1988): 1–16, at p. 10.
  36. ^ G. M. Trevelyan (1992), p. 208.
  37. ^ Lucien Febvre, La Terre et l'évolution humaine (1922), translated as A Geographical Introduction to History (London, 1932).
  38. ^ Editions.ehess.fr
  39. ^ William Rose Benét (1988) p. 961
  40. ^ William H. McNeill, Arnold J. Toynbee a Life (1989)
  41. ^ McNeill, William H. (1995). "The Changing Shape of World History". History and Theory. 34 (2): 8–26. doi:10.2307/2505432. JSTOR 2505432.
  42. ^ Bls.gov : Social Scientists, Other Archived August 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ 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
  44. ^ 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
  45. ^ Anthony Grafton and Robert B. Townsend, "The Parlous Paths of the Profession" Perspectives on History (Sept. 2008) online
  46. ^ Robert B. Townsend and Julia Brookins, "The Troubled Academic Job Market for History." Perspectives on History (2016) 54#2 pp 157-182 echoes Robert B. Townsend, "Troubling News on Job Market for History PhDs," AHA Today Jan. 4, 2010 online

References

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 ElmerA 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 0415030846 pp; 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

"BLUETREE", freelance writer

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Joel Carver Whitburn (born November 29, 1939) is an American author and music historian.

List of Governors of Ohio

The Governor of the State of Ohio is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Ohio and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. state's military forces. The officeholder has a duty to enforce state laws, the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Ohio General Assembly, the power to convene the legislature and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.There have been 63 governors of Ohio, serving 69 distinct terms. The longest term was held by Jim Rhodes, who was elected four times and served just under sixteen years in two non-consecutive periods of two terms each (1963–1971 and 1975–1983). The shortest terms were held by John William Brown and Nancy Hollister, who each served for only 11 days after the governors preceding them resigned in order to begin the terms to which they had been elected in the United States Senate; the shortest-serving elected governor was John M. Pattison, who died in office five months into his term. The current governor is Republican Mike DeWine, who took office on January 14, 2019.

List of members of the Académie française

This is a list of members of the Académie française (French Academy) by seat number. The primary professions of the academicians are noted. The dates shown indicate the terms of the members, who generally serve for life. Some, however, were "excluded" during the reorganisations of 1803 and 1816 and at other times.

Luke the Evangelist

Luke the Evangelist (Latin: Lūcās, Ancient Greek: Λουκᾶς, Loukâs, Hebrew: לוקאס‎, Lūqās, Aramaic: לוקא‎, Lūqā') is one of the Four Evangelists—the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical Gospels. The Early Church Fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which would mean Luke contributed over a quarter of the text of the New Testament, more than any other author. Prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius later reaffirmed his authorship, although a lack of conclusive evidence as to the identity of the author of the works has led to discussion in scholarly circles, both secular and religious.

The New Testament mentions Luke briefly a few times, and the Pauline Epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a physician (from Greek for 'one who heals'); thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. Since the early years of the faith, Christians have regarded him as a saint. He is believed to have been a martyr, reportedly having been hanged from an olive tree, though some believe otherwise.The Roman Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers; his feast day takes place on 18 October.

MacArthur Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellowship, commonly but unofficially known as a "Genius Grant", is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation typically to between 20 and 30 individuals, working in any field, who have shown "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction" and are citizens or residents of the United States.According to the Foundation's website, "the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential". The current prize is $625,000 paid over five years in quarterly installments. This figure was increased from $500,000 in 2013 with the release of a review of the MacArthur Fellows Program. Since 1981, 942 people have been named MacArthur Fellows, ranging in age from 18 to 82. The award has been called "one of the most significant awards that is truly 'no strings attached'".The program allows no applications. Anonymous and confidential nominations are invited by the Foundation and reviewed by an anonymous and confidential selection committee of about a dozen people. The committee reviews all nominees and recommends recipients to the president and board of directors. Most new Fellows first learn of their nomination and award upon receiving a congratulatory phone call. MacArthur Fellow Jim Collins described this experience in an editorial column of The New York Times.Cecilia Conrad is the managing director leading the MacArthur Fellows Program.

Natural history

Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment; leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is called a naturalist or natural historian.

Natural history encompasses scientific research but is not limited to it. It involves the systematic study of any category of natural objects or organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; e.g., geobiology has a strong multi-disciplinary nature.

Records of the Grand Historian

The Records of the Grand Historian, also known by its Chinese name Shiji, is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Han dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father, Sima Tan, Grand Astrologer to the imperial court. The work covers the world as it was then known to the Chinese and a 2500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han in the author's own time.The Records has been called a "foundational text in Chinese civilization". After Confucius and the First Emperor of Qin, "Sima Qian was one of the creators of Imperial China, not least because by providing definitive biographies, he virtually created the two earlier figures." The Records set the model for the 24 subsequent dynastic histories of China. In contrast to Western historical works, the Records do not treat history as "a continuous, sweeping narrative", but rather break it up into smaller, overlapping units dealing with famous leaders, individuals, and major topics of significance.

Sima Qian

Sima Qian ([sɨ́mà tɕʰjɛ́n]; Chinese: 司馬遷) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220). He is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his Records of the Grand Historian, a Jizhuanti-style (history presented in a series of biographies) general history of China, covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to his time, during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, a work that had much influence for centuries afterwards on history-writing not only in China, but in Korea, Japan and Vietnam as well. Although he worked as the Court Astrologer (Tàishǐ Lìng 太史令), later generations refer to him as the Grand Historian (Tàishǐ Gōng 太史公) for his monumental work; a work which in later generations would often only be somewhat tacitly or glancingly acknowledged as an achievement only made possible by his acceptance and endurance of punitive actions against him, including imprisonment, castration, and subjection to servility.

Tacitus

Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (; Classical Latin: [ˈtakɪtʊs]; c.  56 – c.  120 AD) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD). These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, in 70 AD. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals that is four books long.

Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and the life of his father-in-law, Agricola, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, mainly focusing on his campaign in Britannia (De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae).

Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, and is known for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics.

Thucydides

Thucydides (; Greek: Θουκυδίδης Thoukydídēs [tʰuːkydídɛːs]; c.  472 – c.  400 BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work.He also has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as ultimately mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and self-interest. His text is still studied at universities and military colleges worldwide. The Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of international relations theory, while his version of Pericles' Funeral Oration is widely studied by political theorists, historians, and students of the classics.

More generally, Thucydides developed an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plagues, massacres, and civil war.

United States Army Center of Military History

The United States Army Center of Military History (CMH) is a directorate within the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The center is responsible for the appropriate use of history and military records throughout the United States Army. Traditionally, this mission has meant recording the official history of the army in both peace and war, while advising the army staff on historical matters. CMH is the flagship organization leading the Army Historical Program.

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