Ludwig von Pastor

Historian of the popes; born Aix-la-Chapelle, France, 31 January 1854; died Innsbruck, Tyrol, 30 September 1928. After the death of his father, a sincere Lutheran, his mother brought him up as a Catholic. Dr Johannes Janssen, the historian of the German people, recognized his pupil's extraordinary talent. Ranke's History turned his mind to the papacy. From early life he sought access to the Vatican Archives. His perseverance led Pope Leo XIII to throw them open to the historians of the world. Pastor worked in them with truth as his single end. He consulted the best authorities on questions of art, literature, theology, and diplomacy. He was associated with much of the important historical work of Europe since 1880. Besides his other works he completed Monsignor Janssen's "The History of the German People to the End of the Middle Ages." His "Geschichte der Päpste" (1886-1928) treats the popes from 1305 to 1572, beginning with Pope Clement V and ending with Pope Pius V. It has been translated from the German into several other languages. The English edition, "History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages", was edited by Ralph E. Kerr. It won the favor of the best critics, and has compelled a new estimate of the papacy among non-Catholic historians.

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