Burckhardt, Jacob Christoph (1818–1897), a Swiss historian. He was one of the founders of cultural history. His greatest work was The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860). In Reflections on History (1905) Burckhardt expressed pessimistic views about the effects of modern civilization on human values. Burckhardt was born in Basel and was educated there. He visited Italy many times and spent most of his adult life teaching at the University of Basel.