Scientific Historical Writing – Von Ranke

Leopole Von Ranke (1795-1886)

                His first work was, “Histories of Roman and German people” History of Service,

His Suggestions:

               Historians should use archives and study the documents for finding out the truth. In the historical seminar he instructed the scholars in the critical study of sources. His second work was “History of Service”, which had more clarity than the first work.  He also wrote many biographies of great men of historical world of Germany, England and France. His last work, “History of the World” in 7 volumes serves as an introduction to his philosophy, method and represent a leading work in writing a universal history.


           In honor of his services, he was given the right to prefix ‘Von’ to his name. He was elected as the first honoury member of the American Historical Association.

His Ideas:

            He wrote, “history has been attributed to the function to judge the past, to instruct our self for the advantage of the future”. So, the objective should be to look at the world, past and present. In writing history, the eyes should be unbiased. He worked in the archives of Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Venice and collected a vast variety of records for evidence. After collecting the data, he checked the importance of it and presented it in a fascinating style.

His Work Focused on:

           His work focused on identification of uniqueness and peculiarities of different people, races, ages and services of great men to their respective nations. His writings were especially on respective period, countries, individuals and he praised their relative contributions to the growth of world civilizations.

His Contributions:

           He contributed to the emergence as history as an independent branch of study. He made its influence felt on other subjects too.


        He neglected the source materials like ambassador’s reports and its impact on social developments. He favored the enactment of law against political press and political literature.