Jacob Burckhardt Basel, Switzerland, 1818 - Basel, Switzerland, 1897
The son of a pastor, he abandoned his theological studies to devote himself to history. He studied at Basel, Berlin, where he attended the courses of Leopold von Ranke, and Bonn. After a brief stay in Paris, he was appointed professor at the University of Basel, where he was a colleague of Nietzsche. Burckhardt majored in art history and civilization and authored seminal works on the Italian Renaissance and ancient Greece. Indeed, his most significant work, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860), has been considered a model for the treatment of cultural history.