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p. 353. ‘How it really was’: truth, archives, and the love of old thingslocked

  • John H. Arnold


‘‘How it really was’: truth, archives, and the love of old things’ examines history's development through the Enlightenment. After the Renaissance, Pyrrhonists saw history as biased and useless — a view opposed by religion. Antiquarians collected countless documentary sources, and started to develop the tools for their analysis. During the Enlightenment history became linked to philosophy. Enlightenment thinkers saw the world as complex, and saw history as a way of uncovering the eternal aspects of human nature. Gibbon was the first to fuse antiquarianism with Ciceronian narrative and Enlightenment philosophy, making history a valid vocation. Ranke established history as a profession, laying the template for future teaching and institutionalization.

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