In The Reformation of Historical Thought, Mark Lotito re-examines the development of Western historiography by concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) and his universal history, Carion’s Chronicle (1532). With the Chronicle, Melanchthon overturned the medieval papal view of history, and he offered a distinctly Wittenberg perspective on the foundations of the “modern” European world.
Through its immense popularity, the Chronicle assumed extraordinary significance across the divides of language, geography and confession. Indeed, Melanchthon’s intervention would become the point of departure for theologians, historians and jurists to debate the past, present and future of the Holy Roman Empire.
Through the Chronicle, the Wittenberg reformation of historical thought became an integral aspect of European intellectual culture for the centuries that followed.