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  1. Oct 2022
    1. It was Ranke, too, who set the historian’s task: to find out wie eseigentlich gewesen ist, what really happened, or, literally, how itreally was. His goal is one that will remain forever just beyond ourgrasp for reasons I explained in a “Note on Sources” in The Guns ofAugust (a paragraph that no one ever reads but I think is the bestthing in the book). Summarized, the reasons are that we who writeabout the past were not there. We can never be certain that we haverecaptured it as it really was. But the least we can do is to stay withinthe evidence.
    1. He argued that God gazes over history in its totality and finds all periods equal.

      Leopold von Ranke's argument that God gazes over history and finds all periods equal is very similar to a framing of history from the viewpoint of statistical thermodynamics: it's all the same material floating around, it just takes different states at different times.

      link to: https://hyp.is/jqug2tNlEeyg2JfEczmepw/3stages.org/c/gq_title.cgi?list=1045&ti=Foucault%27s%20Pendulum%20(Eco)

    2. Leopold von Ranke (German: [fɔn ˈʁaŋkə]; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history.[3][4] According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century".[5] He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and the analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History,[6] he was the first to establish a historical seminar. Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (Außenpolitik). Ranke also had a great influence on Western historiography. He was ennobled in 1865, with the addition of a "von" to his name.