Niebuhr, Barthold Georg

Niebuhr, Barthold Georg

biographical name

(born Aug. 27, 1776, Copenhagen, Den.—died Jan. 31, 1831, Bonn, Prussia) German historian. Niebuhr held posts in state service in Denmark and Prussia before resigning to become state historiographer. In 1810 he began a series of lectures at the University of Berlin that were the basis of his great work, the enormously influential History of Rome (1811–32). In it he introduced skepticism to historical scholarship, showing how to analyze historical sources, discard worthless material, and lay bare elements from which historical facts could be reconstructed, and thereby initiating a new era in historiography.

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