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Physical Danger

Here lies Dr. Robert Harvington III, having died of boredom from reading too many bad history papers. (Although the coroner’s report cites a burst Appomattox.)

Honestly, historians rarely encounter physical danger on the job.

Architectural historians may theoretically be at risk when entering an old building that could cave in, but they generally use proper precautions or common sense when entering a historic property.

Those conducting research or living in chaotic and unstable parts of the world are really the ones who have to worry most about their physical well-being. David Rattray was an authority on the Zulu War. He was murdered in January 2007 when a gang burst into his home and shot him. Rattray was one of South Africa's leading historians, and his death was shocking to many people. Not to the guy who shot him, but to pretty much everyone else.

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