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Burckhardt intended his course of study to foster "a continuous lifelong process of education and enjoyment."45 The ultimate goal of his historiography was therefore a view of the world that emphasized the continuity of human culture. As he remarked, education should "perfect and complete . . . the picture of continuity of the world and mankind from the beginning."46 By combining education and historical study, Burckhardt broke from his previous writings and delivered his most strident objection to Hegelian history.

In contrast, the limited focus of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and its restrained tone represented in themselves a conservative historical view of human culture in response to the Hegelian ahistorical view. The work countered Hegel's analytical philosophy of history through its structure and content, refraining from explicit philosophical debate. The Greeks and Greek Civilization provided a similar response to Hegel and an alternative. Transforming history from a restrained academic pursuit into a field concerned with molding contemporary culture, with an emphasis on individual education, clearly contrasted with Hegel's philosophy of history. Students who viewed the past, including antiquity, as a real part of their heritage and identity would refrain from jettisoning traditional institutions for the sake of change alone. Burckhardt hoped to restrain the impulse to transform political institutions by through political rather than intellectual action. His distrust of European politics and Hegel's depersonalized world history led him to emphasize the education of the individual. He did not call for individuals to read the classics so that nations might produce better citizens. Instead, he hoped to produce better individuals.

Burckhardt's The Greeks and Greek Civilization, though unfinished, stands as a landmark in historiography. It combined his skill in examining cultural issues with a view of academic study that focuses on improving the individual. Like The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, it attempted to produce a picture of the past by encompassing a broad range of topics and detailed analysis. Furthermore, it broadened the scope of academic history to include a specific educational role, something at odds with Hegel's historiography. Burckhardt presented individual study and absorption of culture as the means of preserving and understanding the spirit of a past age. The individual arises from Burckhardt's study as the unit of history, absorbing and transmitting the spirit of the past through his own knowledge of previous


45. Ibid.
46.
Ibid., 12
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