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Historians Encyclopedia Articles
Ibn Khaldūn, the greatest Arab historian, who developed one of the earliest nonreligious philosophies of history, contained in his masterpiece, the Muqaddimah (“Introduction”). He also wrote a definitive history of Muslim North Africa. Ibn Khaldūn was born in Tunis in 1332; the Khaldūniyyah quarter...
Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke, leading German historian of the 19th century, whose scholarly method and way of teaching (he was the first to establish a historical seminar) had a great influence on Western historiography. He was ennobled (with the addition of von to his name) in 1865. Ranke was born into a...
A.J.P. Taylor, British historian and journalist noted for his lectures on history and for his prose style. Taylor attended Oriel College, Oxford, graduating with first-class honours in 1927. In 1931 he began writing reviews and essays for the Manchester Guardian (later The Guardian). He continued...
Edward Gibbon, English rationalist historian and scholar best known as the author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88), a continuous narrative from the 2nd century ce to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Gibbon’s grandfather, Edward, had made a considerable fortune...
Thucydides, greatest of ancient Greek historians and author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the struggle between Athens and Sparta in the 5th century bc. His work was the first recorded political and moral analysis of a nation’s war policies. All that is certainly known...
Herodotus, Greek author of the first great narrative history produced in the ancient world, the History of the Greco-Persian Wars. Scholars believe that Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus, a Greek city in southwest Asia Minor that was then under Persian rule. The precise dates of his birth and...
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist, whose major works include The French Revolution, 3 vol. (1837), On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841), and The History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great, 6 vol. (1858–65). Carlyle was the second son of James...
Livy, with Sallust and Tacitus, one of the three great Roman historians. His history of Rome became a classic in his own lifetime and exercised a profound influence on the style and philosophy of historical writing down to the 18th century. Little is known about Livy’s life and nothing about his...
Jules Michelet, French nationalist historian best known for his monumental Histoire de France (1833–67). Michelet’s method, an attempt to resurrect the past by immersing his own personality in his narrative, resulted in a historical synthesis of great dramatic power. Michelet was the son of a...
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