This translation by Sarah Austin (1793-1867) of German historian Leopold von Ranke's work contributed significantly to early modern history and historiography. By some accounts 'the best living translator' of her time, Austin was a member of social circles that included Jeremy Bentham and J. S. Mill. Ranke (1795-1886) worked for most of his life at the University of Berlin, writing several histories covering the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. Austin's translation recognises Ranke's importance to Western historiography: his methodology stressed the centrality of using primary sources and of the historian's objectivity. Ranke's history engages with a much wider area than his title suggests; indeed, his subject is 'the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism, between authority and invation', as Austin writes. Volume 1 traces the impact and history of the popes from their 'epochs' to the sixteenth century. These volumes will be of interest to early modern historians and historiographers alike.