Oncken, Wilhelm vĭl´hĕlm ông´kən [key], 1838–1905, German historian. He taught at the Univ. of Giessen after 1866. A typical national liberal of the 19th cent., Oncken regarded history as a means of national political education. His early field was Greek history, but he later concentrated on the history of the Prussian state and of German unification. He edited a cooperative history, the Allgemeine Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen [general history in its special phases] (45 vol., 1876–93), which became a standard household fixture for the educated German family. Several of Oncken's own volumes were included in the collection.
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