von (1795-1886) German historian whose quest for objectivity in history had great impact on the discipline. His attempts to explain “how it really was” dominated both German and outside historical thought until 1914 and beyond. His Weltgeschichte/World History (nine volumes 1881–88) exemplified his ideas.
Ranke pioneered empirical research and the analysis of sources. His ideas were often regarded as the beginning of “modern” history. He published extensively on a wide range of topics, including the development of the German peoples and Die romischen Papste, ihre Kirche und ihr Staat im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert/History of the Popes in the 16th and 17th Centuries 1834–36.
He was professor of history at Berlin University from 1825 until his death.