Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren

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Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren.

Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (25 October 1760, Arbergen – 6 March 1842, Göttingen) was a German historian.


He was born at Arbergen, near Bremen. He studied philosophy, theology and history at the University of Göttingen, and then travelled in France, Italy and the Netherlands. In 1787 he was appointed, a professor of philosophy, and then of history, at Göttingen and he afterwards was chosen Aulic Councillor, privy councillor, etc., the usual rewards of successful German scholars.

Heeren's chief merit as an historian was that he looked at the ancient world from a fresh point of view. Instead of merely narrating their political events, he examined their economics, their constitutions and their financial systems, and thus was able to throw new light on the development of the Old World. He possessed vast and varied learning, perfect calmness and impartiality, and great power of historical insight, and is now looked back to as the pioneer in the movement for the economic interpretation of history.

In 1822, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.[citation needed]


Heeren's chief works are:

  • Ideen über Politik, den Verkehr, und den Handel der vornehmsten Völker der alten Welt (2 vols., Göttingen, 1793–1796; 4th ed., 6 vols., 1824–1826; Eng. trans., Oxford, 1833)
  • Geschichte des Studiums der classischen Litteratur seit dem Wiederaufleben der Wissenschaften (2 vols., Göttingen, 1797–1802)
  • Geschichte der Staaten des Altertums (Göttingen, 1799)
  • Geschichte des europäischen Staatensystems (Göttingen, 1800)
  • Versuch einer Entwickelung der Folgen der Kreuzzüge für Europa (Göttingen, 1808; French trans., Paris, 1808), a prize essay of the Institute of France.

Besides these, Heeren wrote brief biographical sketches of Johannes von Müller (Leipzig, 1809); Ludwig Timotheus Spittler (Berlin, 1812); and Christian Gottlob Heine (Göttingen, 1813). With Friedrich August Ukert (1780–1851) he founded the famous historical collection, Geschichte der europäischen Staaten (Gotha, 1819 seq.), and contributed many papers to learned periodicals.

A collection of his historical works, with autobiographical notice, was published in 15 volumes (Göttingen, 1821–1830).



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