Alexandru Xenopol

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Xenopol, Alexandru


Born Mar. 23, 1847, in Iaşi; died Feb. 27, 1920, in Bucharest. Rumanian historian, member of the Rumanian Academy from 1895. Born into a family of bourgeois and officials.

Xenopol studied law, philosophy, and general history in Berlin and Giessen and was appointed professor of Rumanian history at the University of Iaşi in 1883. His political views brought him close to liberal bourgeois circles. In his main work, TheHistory of the Rumanians of Trajan’s Dacia (3rd ed., vols. 1–14, 1925–30), Xenopol synthesizes the history of the Rumanian people in its relation to world history. He devoted much attention to economic history and to theoretical questions of historical science. He belonged to the positivist trend. Although recognizing the role of the popular masses in history in some events, such as the revolution of 1848 and the unification of the Rumanian principalities in 1859, Xenopol considered the people only a tool in the hands of enlightened leaders.


Istoria românilor din Dacia Traiană, vols. 1–14. Bucharest, 1925–30.
La Théorie de l’histoire, 2nd ed. Paris, 1908.