Between Leopold Ranke and Eduard Gans - Certain circumstances and stylistic considerations lead us to believe that the manuscript MS. 114 in the Mendelssohn Archive at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin is (in part) evidence of a course in "Contemporary History" held by Leopold Ranke at the city’s university in the summer term of 1827. The course was on the chronological history of the French Revolution. Ranke had already dealt with the same subject the year before, though in a less detailed manner. And it was not until 1875 that he published a work on the period of the Revolution, but focussing solely on the war between the European powers in 1791-1792. Hence the importance of the new manuscript - in Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s own hand - which, previously, had been mistakenly connected with the teaching of the Hegelian jurist Eduard Gans. Mendelssohn attended his course on the French Revolution in the summer of 1828.
Keywords: Teaching of contemporary history at the University of Berlin, first half of the 19th century, historiography of the French Revolution, Leopold von Ranke, Eduard Gans.