Niebuhr, Barthold Georg (17761830)

Niebuhr, Barthold Georg, distinguished historian, born at Copenhagen, son of the succeeding; studied at Kiel, and for a time at London and Edinburgh; after various civil appointments in Denmark, entered the civil service of Prussia in 1806; on the establishment of the university of Berlin in 1810 gave in connection with it a course of lectures on Roman history, by which he established his reputation as a historian, several of the conclusions of which he afterwards confirmed during his residence as ambassador at the Papal Court at Rome from 1816 to 1823; the revolution of the three days of July 1830 in Paris threatening, as he thought, a recurrence of the horrors of the first, gave him such a shock that he sickened of it and died; by his treatment of the history of Rome he introduced a new era in the treatment of history generally, which consisted in expiscating all the fabulous from the story and working on the residuum of authenticated fact, without, however, as would appear, taking due account of the influence of the faith of the people on the fable, and the effect of the latter on the life and destiny of the nation whose history it was his purpose to relate (17761830).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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