There are famous historians who have stood out above the others for their knowledge and their important contributions to history.
Its importance is greater than we usually give it. They play a key role in reporting past events. Whether they work for a government agency and do research, or perform independently or for a university, historians tell us when, and how what happened at different times transcendental to the world happened.
But they do not merely narrate events and order events. In order to understand the past, they must also answer the questions and give a historical framework to the concrete facts. A contextual explanation of past situations that affect the present.
Historians sometimes narrate events as they happen, as if they were journalists. Other times, they should investigate and spend hours and hours reviewing documents and records to confirm a fact.
They use books of other historians, court records, personal journals and letters to find the pertinent information. Getting to the right facts is fundamental for a good analysis and its subsequent disclosure.
But the work does not end there. Historians must then analyze the basic facts surrounding a historical event. By putting together individual pieces that relate to a theme, a historian can begin by analyzing the causes and effects of the event.
Of course, here we are entering a somewhat subjective field, and precisely the role of the historian is to discern which facts are important and which are not, from a vision that is as objective as possible for his research purpose.
Finally, a historian must interpret the facts, a task not simple and perhaps the main one. When a good historian interprets events as never before, then we feel that history, than our history, is illuminated differently.
But a historian is also a narrator, someone who tells us a story based on scientific facts.
As we see, being a historian is not easy and his role is fundamental to civilizations. Therefore, in this article we will see some of the most important and relevant historians of all time.
Top 19 major historians
He was a Greek historian who was born in the fifth century BC in what is now Turkey and then was the Persian empire. Such is the importance of Herodotus who is called"the father of history", for being one of the first to dedicate himself to this task.
He was the first to use research methods to deal with historical issues and then to narrate them in an orderly fashion. His only known book is called The Stories and deals with the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. In spite of its importance, little is known about the personal life of Heródoto.
2- Sima Qian
This historian is considered the father of Chinese history for his works in the Jizhuanti style, a way of telling historical events through biographies.
Sima Qian covered more than two thousand years of history and his work had an enormous influence not only in China, but also in other Asian countries like Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
He was a great and influential Persian historian who wrote all his works in Arabic. He also ventured into other fields such as poetry, lexicography, grammar, ethics, mathematics and medicine.
His most important works are Tafsir al-Tabari And his historical chronicle Tarikh al-Rusul al-Muluk (translated as History of the Prophets and Kings), often called Tarikh al-Tabari.
4- François Mignet
He was a French historian who was dedicated to investigate the French Revolution, although its most famous works are dedicated to all the modern history.
For many years, he researched and analyzed the history of the Reformation. In his History of Marie Stuart made use of unpublished documents of the archives of Simancas. He also devoted several volumes to the history of Spain.
5- Gustave Glotz
Glotz was a French historian who investigated mainly ancient Greece. He was a supporter of the theory that history never follows a simple and logical course.
In addition, he maintained that the first humans to reach Greece were semi-nomadic shepherds from the Balkans, and that their society was based on a patriarchal clan, whose members were all descendants of the same ancestor and worshiped the same deity. The unions between several clans gave rise to"fraternités", or armed groups.
When faced with major commitments, these groups would be grouped into a small number of tribes, totally independent in terms of religious, political, and militaristic views, but all recognized a supreme king, their leader.
6- Karl Marx
The famous philosopher, sociologist and economist was also a prominent historian. Its influence is so enormous that it is impossible to calculate.
In fact, there is a before and after Marx In history for his novel analysis and his breakthrough theories. His work changed forever the notions about Modernity that existed until then.
7- Oswald Spengler
He was a German historian and philosopher of history known for his book The Decline of the West ( Der Untergang des Abendlandes ), Published between 1918 and 1922, which covers nothing less than the whole history of the world. According to Spengler, any civilization is a superorganism with a limited and predictable life expectancy.
8- Manuel Moreno Fraginals
This historian, essayist, writer and professor is the most famous Cuban historian in the world. Its recognition is mainly due to The wit , Work of 1964 where it studies the esclavistas economies of Cuba in detailed form.
9- Paul Veyne
Veyne is a French historian specializing in the history of ancient Rome. He was a former pupil of the École Normale Supérieure and is a member of the École française de Rome. He is currently an honorary professor at the Collège de France.
10- Fritz Stern
He was a German historian who lived in the United States and studied German history, Jewish history and historiography in general.
In addition, he was professor emeritus university of the University of Columbia in New York, the United States. His fundamental work focused on the relations between the Germans and the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He also investigated the depth of the birth of Nazism in Germany.
11- Joan Wallach Scott
Of course not all historians are men. Scott is a very important American historian in history of genre and intellectual history.
He currently teaches at the School of Social Sciences at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.
His best-known work is Gender: a useful category of historical analysis , Published in 1986 in American Historical Review , Fundamental in the formation of a field of the history of gender within the Anglo-American historical profession.
12- Francis Paul Prucha
Prucha was a Jesuit who lived in the United States and is professor emeritus of history. His job The Great Father Is considered a classic among professional historians of all time.
13- Edmund Morgan
He was an American historian, an eminent authority specializing in early American history. He was Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University, where he taught from 1955 to 1986.
He specialized in American colonial history, with some attention to English history. He covered many issues, including Puritanism, political ideas, the American Revolution, slavery, historiography, family life, and the lives of several notable people, such as Benjamin Franklin.
14- John Whitney Hall
This son of Japanese missionaries born in Tokyo was a pioneer in the field of Japanese studies and one of the most respected historians of his country. His work was even recognized by the Japanese government.
Hall became an authority in pre-modern Japan and helped to transform the way Western scholars see the period immediately preceding the modernization of Japan. In addition to being historians, he was an experienced climber and climbed several times in the Japanese Alps.
15- Robert Conquest
Conquest was an English-American historian and poet famous for his influential work on Soviet history, including the bloody Stalin purges of the 1930s. He was a longtime researcher at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He wrote more than a dozen books on the Soviet Union.
16- Elizabeth Eisenstein
She was an American historian specializing in the French Revolution and in France in the early nineteenth century.
He is well-known for his work on the history of printing, writing about the transition in the media between the era of"manuscript culture"and that of"print culture", as well as the role of printing in To effect a broad cultural change in Western civilization.
17- Andrey Korotayev
Korotayev is a Russian anthropologist and historian who has made important contributions to the theory of world systems, intercultural studies, Near Eastern history, Great history and mathematical modeling of social and economic macrodynamics.
He is currently Head of the Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Sociopolitical Destabilization of the School of Economics of the National Research University and Senior Research Professor of the Center for Large Stories and Forecasting of the System of the Institute of Oriental Studies, as well as in the Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In addition, he is Professor of Research at the International Laboratory of Political Demography and Social Macrodynamics (PDSM) of the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration of Russia, and Professor of the Faculty of Global Studies of Moscow State University.
18- Livy Titus
He was a Roman historian who wrote Ab Urbe Condita Libri , A monumental work on Rome and the Roman people that includes the period of the first legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 a.C through the reign of Augustus, that happened in Livio's own time.
19- Eric Hobsbawm
He was a British Marxist historian who investigated the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism and nationalism.
His best known works are the trilogy about what he called the"long nineteenth century"(The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848, The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 and The Age of Empire: 1875-1914), La Age of Extremes in the short twentieth century, and an edited volume that introduced the influential idea of "invented traditions".
This great historian was born in Egypt, but spent his childhood mainly in Vienna and Berlin. After the death of his parents and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, Hobsbawm moved to London with his adoptive family.
He then earned his doctorate in history from Cambridge University before serving in World War II. In 1998 he was named in the Order of Companions of Honor.
He was president of the University of London from 2002 until his death in 2012. In 2003 he received the Balzan Prize"for his brilliant analysis of the turbulent history of twentieth-century Europe and for his ability to combine historical research with great literary talent" .