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[Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886) is the father as well as the master of modern historical scholarship. Called the “Nestor of Historians,” his fame rested not only on his massive output of scholarship—over sixty volumes—but on his formulation of the historical method, his conception of the unity of European history, and his mastery of nearly the whole of modern European history. Trained originally in philology, which he taught for several years, Ranke turned to history in the 1820’s and was called to the University of Berlin in 1824. There he originated the historical seminar, which instructed advanced students in Quellenkritik, the critical study of the sources. Travelling widely in Europe, he discovered many of the archival sources for the history of modern states. History, he taught, should be written only from eyewitness reports and from the “purest, most immediate documents.” While training two generations of historians at Berlin, he published his best known works, among them, The History of the Popes (1834–1836) and German History in the Time of the Reformation (1839–1843).

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© 1970 The World Publishing Company

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Stern, F. (1970). THE IDEAL OF UNIVERSAL HISTORY: Ranke. In: Stern, F. (eds) The Varieties of History. Palgrave, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-333-11610-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-15406-7

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