Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BCE; one of the earliest historians whose work survives.

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it.

Detailed DescriptionEdit

Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the various sentient species; 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, more recently it is reserved for those who have acquired graduate degrees in the discipline. Some historians, though, are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation on Terra in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.


These seven points are the goal of an objective historian:

  • The historian must treat sources with appropriate reservations;</li>
  • The historian must not dismiss counterevidence without scholarly consideration;</li>
  • The historian must be even-handed in treatment of evidence and eschew "cherry-picking";</li>
  • The historian must clearly indicate any speculation;</li>
  • The historian must not mistranslate documents or mislead by omitting parts of documents;</li>
  • The historian must weigh the authenticity of all accounts, not merely those that contradict a favored view; and</li>
  • The historian must take the motives of historical actors into consideration.</li>

    Education and professionEdit

    Many historians are employed at universities and other facilities for post-secondary education. 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 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 1980s OTT, 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.

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

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