On This Day

Leopold von Ranke

Historian Leopold von Ranke

Profession: Historian

Nationality:
Germany
German

Why Famous: Generally regarded as one of the most important historians of the 19th century, Ranke essentially founded the concept of source-based history.

Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (Außenpolitik).

Born: December 21, 1795
Birthplace: Wiehe, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: May 23, 1886 (aged 90)
Cause of Death: Natural causes

Famous Historians