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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Johann Peter Friedrich Ancillon

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ANCILLON, Johann Peter Friedrich, a historian and Prussian statesman, one of the family of French Pro testant refugees noticed above, was born at Berlin, 30th April 1766, and died there, 19th April 1837. Descended from a family of divines, he early selected the ecclesiastical profession, and studied theology first at Berlin and then at Geneva. Shortly after finishing his course he was appointed minister to the French community at Berlin, as well as professor of history in the military academy, and he attracted attention even at court by the eloquence of his style. In 1 793 he visited Switzerland and, a few years after,. France, the details of his journeys and observations being, published on his return. He was a frequent and able contributor to the literary journals of the period, and in 1801 appeared as the author of Literary and Philosophical Miscellanies, revealing a shrewd, philosophic cast of mind. Ancillon took rank among the most famous historians of his day by his next work, A Picture of Political Revolu tions in Europe since the 15th Century, which gained him the eulogium of the Institute of France, and admission to- the Eoyal Academy of Berlin. It is unfortunate that this work was never finished, for it is one of the ablest and most philosophical on the subject. The merits of Ancillon were not overlooked. He was appointed tutor to the prince royal of Prussia and his cousin in 1806, by Frederic William III., and received various appointments from the- Government. In 1814 he accompanied the princes to Paris, and there became acquainted with Guizot, De Broglie, and other persons of eminence. After completing the term of his office as tutor, he was attached to the department of foreign affairs, and made a counsellor of state. He took an active part in many diplomatic transactions, rendering his country some signal services, and securing more and more the confidence of the court. Soon after the revolution of July 1830, he was made minister of foreign affairs, with the entire control of the whole department; and he retained the title of minister of state till his death. Besides the works already mentioned, he published, in 1817, New Literary and Philosophical Miscellanies; in 1819, The Science of Politics ; in 1824, Objects of Faith and Knoidedge in Philosophy; in 1829, Thoughts on Man his Relations and Interests; and a number of other works on politics and philosophy.