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AN OUTLINE OF THEORY
JOHN MARTIN VINCENT
PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN HISTORY IN THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
As indicated by the title, this book is offered as an outline, rather than as an encyclopedic treatment of historical investigation, and the possible reader more constantly in mind has been the advanced student who is about to enter the field of research, either as a profession or as a serious avocation. Experience has shown that both time and facility are gained by a rapid review at the outset of the principles and scope of the science; for, although historical research is only the application of logic and common sense to the past affairs of mankind, the numerous varieties of material and their respective values are not always at first obvious. It is on this account that certain of the auxiliary sciences are introduced, not with a view of providing complete information, but in order to exhibit the foundations upon which the genuine sources must rest, and with the hope that the reader will be stimulated to further inquiry.
The obligations of the author to previous writers on this subject are evident on every page, and from many friends who are not quoted I have received valuable suggestions. To certain of my colleagues I am particularly indebted. Professors James W. Bright, Harry L. Wilson, and Edward F. Buchner, and Dr. R. V. D. Magoffin have read the matter in