Historians

A historian may refer to any person who is involved in the study of history of a particular period of time or any other kind of social phenomenon that has occurred in the past. Historians are regarded as the authority in affairs related to history and they may be involved in many kinds of research activities of past events. In the late 19th century, the profession of a historian became one of the established professions, after many universities were delving into research work. It is very important for a historian to treat all the facts that he procures with a certain degree of objectivity and consider counter evidences that he comes across. Historians hold a significant and important position in the society as they play the role of telling the world the truth. Historians may also be involved in the research of already established facts to ascertain truth or provide other sources of information. The job of a historian is versatile and dynamic one as their work can provide many pieces of information that is hitherto unknown to the world. This collection of biographies with trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history will provide detailed information on famous historians.
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 1 Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli.
7
Famous As: Political Philosopher
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: June 21, 1527
Italian Renaissance philosopher, diplomat, and author Niccolò Machiavelli is remembered for his work The Prince. He believed that the end or the intention behind any action justifies the action. He gave rise to the term Machiavellianism, which signifies the use of deceit and treachery to achieve one’s goals. 

 2 Voltaire

Voltaire.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 21, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 30, 1778
18th-century historian, author, philosopher, and advocate of freedom of speech Voltaire was a leading figure of the French Age of Enlightenment. He often ran into trouble for his criticism of the French nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. He once went to Britain on voluntary exile, fearing imprisonment in France.
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 3 Herodotus

Herodotus.
4
Famous As: The Father of History
Birthdate: 0483 BC
Birthplace: Halicarnassus
Died: 0425 BC

Herodotus was a Greek historian credited with writing a book titled The Histories, a detailed record on the genesis of the Greco-Persian Wars. Dubbed the Father of History, Herodotus is widely believed to have been the first person to write about historical events based on information gathered about the events through a method of systematic investigation.

 4 David Hume

David Hume.
4
Famous As: Philosopher & Historian
Birthdate: April 26, 1711
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1776

Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, and economist, David Hume, is considered one of the most important philosophers to write in English. His book, A Treatise of Human Nature, is counted among the most influential works in the history of philosophy. His works have influenced numerous thinkers, including German philosopher Immanuel Kant and Christian philosopher Joseph Butler.

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 5 Karl Marx

Karl Marx.
9
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 5, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trier, Germany
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary, is best-known for the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital. His theories, called Marxism, maintained that class conflict leads to the development of human societies and that internal tension were inherent in capitalism, which would ultimately be replaced by the socialist mode of production.

 6 Plutarch

Plutarch.
4
Famous As: Philosopher, Historian, Biographer, Essayist, & Middle Platonist
Birthdate: 0045 AD
Birthplace: Chaeronea, Greece
Died: 0120 AD

Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.

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 7 Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun.
4
Famous As: Historiographer
Birthdate: May 27, 1332
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tunis
Died: March 19, 1406

Ibn Khaldun was an Arab scholar, philosopher, social scientist, and historian. He is often credited with founding the modern disciplines of sociology, historiography, economics, and demography. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the medieval period.

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 8 Xenophon

Xenophon.
4
Birthdate: 0430 BC
Birthplace: Athens
Died: 0354 BC

Remembered as both an Athenian military leader and an author, Xenophon, a friend of Socrates, remains a major link between historians and the Greek philosopher, with his works such as Symposium and Memorabilia. He also led the Ten Thousand, in a Persian expedition under Cyrus the Younger.

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 9 Josephus

Josephus.
6
Famous As: Historian, Scholar
Birthdate: 0037 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0100 AD

Josephus was a Romano-Jewish historian. He played a major role during the First Jewish–Roman War, where he fought against the Romans as head of Jewish forces. However, he surrendered to Roman forces in 67 CE. As a historian, Josephus' works provide the first-known source for stories considered Biblical history. These stories include the narration of the Siege of Masada

 10 Thucydides

Thucydides.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0460 BC
Birthplace: Halimous, Athens (modern Alimos), Greece
Died: 0400 BC
Athenian historian and general Thucydides is remembered for his History of the Peloponnesian War. He was believed to be unbiased in reporting the events of his time and is considered a pioneer of political realism. Some of his other works are the Melian dialogue and Pericles' Funeral Oration.
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 11 Tacitus

Tacitus.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0056 AD
Birthplace: Gallia Narbonensis
Died: 0120 AD

Tacitus was a Roman politician and historian. He is widely considered one of the greatest Roman historians of all time. Tacitus is best remembered for his fascinating insights into the psychology of politics, especially power politics.

 12 Livy

Livy.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0059 BC
Birthplace: Patavium, Adriatic Veneti (modern Padua, Italy)
Died: 0017 AD

Livy was a Roman historian. His seminal work, Ab Urbe Condita, covers the history of Rome through several centuries. A respected figure in society, he was on friendly terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He wrote during the reign of Emperor Augustus, who was reportedly his friend. Livy was married and had at least two children. 

 13 Strabo

Strabo.
4
Famous As: Geographer, Philosopher, Historian
Birthdate: 0064 BC
Birthplace: Amaseia, Pontus , (modern-day Amasya; Turkey)
Died: 0024 AD

Strabo was a Greek philosopher, geographer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work Geographica, an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge. Written in Greek during Strabo's time, Geographica holds great historical significance as it houses a descriptive history of places and people from different regions. Among his descriptions were places like the city of Alexandria and India.

 14 Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 8, 1737
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 16, 1794
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 15 Polybius

Polybius.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0208 BC
Birthplace: Megalopolis, Arcadia
Died: 0125 BC

Polybius was a Greek historian who lived during the Hellenistic period. He is best remembered for his work The Histories, which covers the period of 264–146 BC in detail. It includes his eyewitness accounts of significant events like the Sack of Carthage and Corinth in 146 BC. Unfortunately, many others of his works have been lost.

 16 Eric Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm
5
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: June 9, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: October 1, 2012
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 17 Arnold J. Toynbee

Arnold J. Toynbee.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 14, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: October 22, 1975

 18 Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault.
4
Famous As: French philosopher
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 19 Max Weber

Max Weber.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a German historian, political economist, jurist, and sociologist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important theorists, Weber's ideas had a profound influence on social research and social theory. Although he did not see himself as a sociologist, Weber is often counted among the fathers of sociology alongside Émile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

 20 H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells.
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bromley, Kent, England
Died: August 13, 1946

H. G. Wells was an English writer. Although he was prolific in many genres, he is best remembered for his work on sci-fi novels, for which he is often referred to as the father of science fiction. His 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon became so influential that a lunar impact crater is named after him.

 21 Eusebius of Caesarea

Eusebius of Caesarea
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0263 AD
Birthplace: Palestine
Died: 0339 AD

Eusebius of Caesarea was a historian of Christianity and Christian polemicist. He was a bishop of Caesarea Maritima and a scholar of the biblical canon.  As "Father of Church History," he wrote the Ecclesiastical History and a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor. He is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time.  

 22 Suetonius

Suetonius
4
Famous As: Secretary, historian
Birthdate: 0069 AD
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0122 AD

Suetonius was a Roman historian who lived and worked during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. Many of his works have been lost, and the most important of his surviving works is a set of biographies of 12 successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian. He was a close friend of senator Pliny the Younger.

 23 Terry Jones

Terry Jones
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: January 21, 2020
Starting his career as a comedy writer, actor-director Terry Jones later soared to fame as part of the Monty Python comedy team. An avid historian, too, he wrote several books and presented TV documentaries on the topic. In his later years, the BAFTA Cymru award winner struggled with dementia. 

 24 Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta.
4
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: February 25, 1304
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tangier
Died: 1377 AD

Ibn Battuta was a Berber-Moroccan explorer and scholar who traveled extensively, visiting most of the Old World over a period of three decades. He is one of the most traveled explorers in history. After returning home, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys, which is simply referred to as The Rihla.

 25 Geoffrey of Monmouth

Geoffrey of Monmouth
4
Famous As: British cleric
Birthdate: 1095 AD
Birthplace: Monmouth, Wales
Died: 1155 AD

 26 Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt.
4
Famous As: Art Historian, University Teacher
Birthdate: September 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bournemouth, Hampshire, England
Died: March 26, 1983
Art historian Anthony Blunt is best remembered as part of the spy group Cambridge Five. His confession, revealed after years, stripped him of his knighthood. An expert on the works of Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin, he had also authored works such as Art and Architecture in France 1500–1700.

 27 Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England, UK

 28 Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar
5
Famous As: Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: November 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lucknow

 29 George McGovern

George McGovern
7
Famous As: Politician, Soldier, Historian
Birthdate: July 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avon
Died: October 21, 2012

Historian George McGovern had been the U.S. senator from South Dakota. He held important positions related to food, agriculture, and nutrition, too, and was named a World Food Prize laureate for his efforts in reducing world hunger. He had also advocated for the end of the Vietnam War.

 30 Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville.
4
Birthdate: July 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 16, 1859

French diplomat and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville is best remembered for his written works The Old Regime and the Revolution and Democracy in America. He was part of French politics, primarily during the July Monarchy and the Second Republic. He had been the minister of foreign affairs briefly.

 31 Procopius

Procopius
4
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0500 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea

 32 Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
5
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 33 Ian Kershaw

Ian Kershaw
4
Famous As: Contemporary historian, University teacher, Writer, Historian
Birthdate: April 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oldham

 34 Sima Qian

Sima Qian
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0145 BC
Birthplace: Hejin, Yuncheng, China
Died: 0086 AD

The first noted Chinese historian, Sima Qian is best remembered for authoring the history of China titled Shiji. The son of Sima Tan, a court historian of the Han dynasty, Qian traveled widely and was also responsible for modifying the Chinese calendar. He was later castrated for defaming Emperor Wu.

 35 Joe Medicine Crow

Joe Medicine Crow
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 27, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lodge Grass, Montana, United States
Died: April 3, 2016

The last Crow war chief, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow was part of the Whistling Water clan of Native Americans. The legendary indigenous hero was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A published historian, too, he is remembered for his research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

 36 Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA

Bestselling author and essayist Sarah Vowell is known for her expertise in American history and her books such as Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes. She is also a regular on the radio program This American Life and has voiced Violet in the animated film The Incredibles.

 37 Diodorus Siculus

Diodorus Siculus
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0090 BC
Birthplace: Agira
Died: 0030 BC

Diodorus Siculus was an ancient Greek historian known for writing the monumental universal history, Bibliotheca Historica. The original series consisted of 40 books, out of which 15 survive intact. In his own work, it is mentioned that he was born in Agyrium in Sicily. Exact details about his personal life are not available.  

 38 Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson
4
Famous As: Writer, Economic historian, Historian, University teacher, Journalist, Economist
Birthdate: April 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow

Harvard professor and Stanford senior fellow Niall Ferguson is a Scottish historian who has penned countless books, such as The Pity of War and The House of Rothschild. Named to Time 100 in 2004, he also created an Emmy-winning series, The Ascent of Money and wrote for Bloomberg.

 39 Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham
4
Famous As: Journalist, Historian, Biographer
Birthdate: May 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chattanooga

Jon Meacham is an American historian, writer, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Over the years Meacham has contributed to popular publications like The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his work American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. He has also received honorary doctorates from many universities including the University of Tennessee.

 40 Bartolomé de las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas.
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 11, 1484
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seville
Died: July 18, 1566
Known for works such as Historia de las Indias, Spanish historian Bartolomé de las Casas is remembered as the first to have focused on the exploitation of the indigenous community in the Americas. His life-long struggle to end slavery brought about significant changes in the treatment of colonized people.

 41 Fernand Braudel

Fernand Braudel
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: August 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luméville-en-Ornois, France
Died: November 27, 1985

 42 Gregg Wallace

Gregg Wallace
4
Famous As: TV Presenters
Birthdate: October 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Peckham, London, England, UK

 43 Eric Foner

Eric Foner
4
Famous As: Historian of the modern age, Historian, University teacher, Actor, Writer
Birthdate: February 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City

Historian and Columbia professor Eric Foner specializes in American history. He is best known for his countless books, including Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fiery Trial. He has won the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and is part of the American Philosophical Society.

 44 David Eisenhower

David Eisenhower
4
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: March 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: West Point

Author, academic, and public policy fellow David Eisenhower teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Best known for his Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted book Eisenhower at War: 1943-1945, he is the grandson of former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and the son of John Eisenhower. He is also the son-in-law of Richard Nixon.

 45 Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson
4
Famous As: Historian, University teacher, Journalist
Birthdate: September 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fowler

Historian and academic Victor Davis Hanson is best known for his opinions on warfare and politics in publications such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He teaches at the California State University and Stanford's Hoover Institution. His academic interests include military history and classics.

 46 Peter Kropotkin

Peter Kropotkin.
4
Famous As: Philosopher & Activist
Birthdate: December 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1921

Russian philosopher Peter Kropotkin was a passionate advocate of anarcho-communism. He was also an activist, revolutionary, economist, and sociologist. He was arrested and imprisoned for his activism in 1874. However, he managed to escape and lived in exile for over 40 years in different countries across Europe. He returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

 47 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller.
4
Famous As: Poet, Playwright, Historian & Philosopher
Birthdate: November 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marbach am Neckar, Germany
Died: May 9, 1805

Friedrich Schiller was a German poet, physician, philosopher, playwright, and historian. Schiller is best remembered for his friendship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the two discussed issues concerning aesthetics. Schiller's discussions with Goethe paved the way for a period, which came to be known as Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Schiller is also widely regarded as Germany's most prominent classical playwright.

 48 Leopold von Ranke

Leopold von Ranke
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 21, 1795
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wiehe, Roßleben-Wiehe, Germany
Died: May 23, 1886

Leopold von Ranke was a German historian who had a major influence on Western historiography. A respected historian, Ranke is credited with founding modern source-based history. When he was ennobled in 1865, honors poured in from several historians and scholars across the world.

 49 Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare
4
Famous As: Colonist
Birthdate: August 18, 1587
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roanoke Island, North Carolina, United States

Virginia Dare was born in a New World English colony and is believed to be the first English child to have taken birth in the colony. Although Virginia's disappearance along with other colonists remains a mystery, she has become a popular figure in American folklore over the last 400 years. She has also been featured as a character in films.

 50 Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes
4
Famous As: historian
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: London
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