Leopold von Ranke

Leopold von Ranke (German: [fɔn ˈʁaŋkə]; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history.[3][4] According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century".[5] He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and the analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History,[6] he was the first to establish a historical seminar. 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). Ranke also had a great influence on Western historiography. He was ennobled in 1865, with the addition of a "von" to his name.

Leopold von Ranke
1875 portrait of Ranke by Adolf Jebens
Born(1795-12-21)21 December 1795
Died23 May 1886(1886-05-23) (aged 90)
NationalityGerman
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
OccupationHistorian
Known forRankean historical positivism
Historism[1]
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Berlin
Notable studentsWilhelm Dilthey
Friedrich Wilhelm Schirrmacher
Philipp Jaffé[2]