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Judgments on History and Historians

Jacob Burckhardt

Publication Year: 2012

Renowned for his Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and Reflections on History (published by Liberty Fund), Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) has well been described as "the most civilized historian of the nineteenth century." Judgments on History and Historians consists of records collected by Emil Dürr from Burckhardt's lecture notes for history courses at the University of Basel from 1865 to 1885. The 149 brief sections span five eras: Antiquity, the Middle Ages, History from 1450 to 1598, the History of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and the Age of Revolution. As Walter Goetz observed of the work a generation ago, "It is impossible to imagine a more profound introduction to world history and its driving forces."

Alberto R. Coll is a Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-xvi

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pp. xvii-xxii

Readers should beware. This is a profoundly counter-cultural book, unabashedly and defiantly so. It takes on the prevailing truisms of our time across the entire political spectrum: the goodness of popular egalitarian democracy; the superiority of untrammelled capitalism and its consumerist, materialistic ethos; ...

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Translator’s Preface

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pp. xxiii-xiv

I consider it a privilege to be the translator of a work about which Walter Goetz, the editor of the Propyläen-Weltgeschichte, wrote: “It is impossible to imagine a more profound introduction to world history and its driving forces.” ...

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I. Antiquity

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pp. 1-25

A general introduction to history will be omitted here; the specific introduction to ancient history can be disposed of briefly. As regards the scope of our subject, this may be observed: Only the civilized nations, not the primitive ones, are part of history in a higher sense. Ample information has been preserved even about the latter (Herodotus). ...

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II. The Middle Ages

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pp. 26-65

(I) [1882.] The term “Middle Ages” actually came into being as an homage to antiquity. It means “the middle period.” The Italians of the fifteenth century were already aware of this. (Is “medium aevum” a translation of “Mittelalter,” “moyen âge”?) ...

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III. History from 1450 to 1598

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pp. 66-161

(I) [May 10, 1859.] The chief creation of more recent history is the Great Power, the life form of the most significant peoples. The balance among them is supposedly based on the number five (later the number six). But not only the small ones feel as insecure as ever with it; ...

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IV. History of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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pp. 162-222

The Middle Ages and the beginning of modern times differ in great, essential ways: In the former, there is the endless division of power and the still slight contrast among the nations; in the latter we have concentration of power, the wars of conquest with national development of power at any price, ...

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V. The Age of Revolution

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pp. 223-278

(I) [November 6, 1867.] The time at which this course of lectures is given modifies it each time, for it is unlike any other course. It concerns itself with the beginning of that which is still active and will continue to be so, with that world age whose further development we do not know as yet. ...


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pp. 279-290

E-ISBN-13: 9781614877783
E-ISBN-10: 1614877785
Print-ISBN-13: 9780865972070

Page Count: 314
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: None

OCLC Number: 824698528
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Judgments on History and Historians

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Subject Headings

  • History -- Philosophy.
  • World history.
  • Historiography.
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