The dominant philosophy of history of the nineteenth century is so familiar to scholars nowadays that a few summary remarks will suffice to say what it was. Basic to it was the recognition that historical events should be studied not, as theretofore, as data for a moral or political science, but as historical phenomena. By contrast, we know very little about philosophy of history in the centuries preceding the nineteenth. This is especially true of the sense to which it will be necessary to confine the term: questions about the purpose of the study of history and the theories advanced to validate the answers given. In part the scantiness of dependable knowledge is due to specialization. Historians who have illuminated the Renaissance humanists' ideas on history have generally not gone beyond the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and thus the classical humanist influences on the later centuries have been left unexamined except by scholars of art or letters.