Leopold Von Ranke, a German historian, born at Wiehe, near Naumburg, Dec. 21, 1795. In 1818 he became principal teacher of the gymnasium of Frankfort-on-the-Oder. In 1824 appeared at Berlin his Geschichte der romani-schen und germanischen Völker von 1494-1555. He was made professor of history in Berlin in 1825, and soon after was sent by the Prussian government to search for historical materials in the archives of Vienna, Venice, Rome, and Florence. The first results of his labors appeared in the 1st volume (embracing the history of the Ottomans and the Spanish monarchy) of his Fürsten und Völker von Südeuropa im 16ten und 17ten Jahrhundert (1827). In 1829 he published Die serbische Revolution, in 1831 Ueber die Verschwörung zu Venedig im Jahre 1688, and in 1837 Vorle-sungen zur Geschichte der italienischen Poesie. His work Die römischen Päpste, ihre Kirche und ihr Staat ("The Popes of Rome, their Church and State," 3 vols., Berlin, 1834-'6), forming the 2d, 3d, and 4th volumes of the Fürsten und Völker von Südeuropa, etc., was translated into English by Mrs. Austin in 1840; by Scott, with an introductory essay by Merle d'Aubigné, in 1846; and by E. Foster in 1848.
A sixth edition of it was published in 1874 with the titleDie römischen Päpste in den letzten vier Jahrhunderten (3 vols., Leipsic), and a seventh in 1875. In 1832 he began the Historisch-politische Zeitschrift (vol. i., Hamburg, 1832; vol. ii., Berlin, 1833-6), which, being decried as illiberal, was discontinued in 1836. His Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (" History of Germany in the Time of the Reformation," 6 vols., Berlin, 1839-'47), in which he gave an account of the rise of Protestantism, was translated into English by Mrs. Austin (5th ed., 1874). It was followed by Neun Bücher preussischer Geschichten (3 vols., 1847-8), for aid in writing which the Prussian archives were for the first time opened. This work has been translated by Sir A. and Lady Duff Gordon, under the title of "Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg, and History of Prussia during the 17th and 18th Centuries" (1849). He has also written Jahrbücher des deutschen Reichs unter dem sächsischen Hause (3 vols., 1837-40); Französische Geschichte, vornehm-lich im 16ten und 17ten Jahrhundert (5 vols., Stuttgart, 1852-5), which contains an account of Protestant struggles in France; Englische Geschichte im 16ten und 17ten Jahrhundert (7 vols., Berlin and Leipsic, 1859-68; English translation, "A History of England, principally in the Seventeenth Century," 6 vols., Oxford, 1875); Geschichte Wallensteins (Leipsic, 1869); Ursprung des siebenjährigen Krieges (1871); and Genesis des preussischen Staats, and Aus dem Briefwechsel Friedrich Wilhehn's IV. mit Bunsen (1873). An edition of his complete works, to comprise 36 vols., is in progress (29 vols., 1867-74). - His brother Friedrich Heinrich, born in 1797, from 1842 chief councillor of the Protestant consistory of Munich, is the author of Untersuchungen über den Pentateuch (2 vols., Erlangen, 1834-'40), Zeugniss von Christo (2 vols., 1845-'8), Das Leben in Christo (Frankfort, 1852), etc.