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Oswald Spengler and the Theory of Historical Cycles
28.07.2021 R. G. Collingwood
Oswald Spengler Oswald Spengler

Since Plato announced that the course of history returned upon itself in 72,000 years, since Polybius discerned a “circular movement” by which the history of states came back, over and over again, to the same point, the theory of historical cycles has been a commonplace of European thought.

 Familiar to the thinkers of the Renaissance, it was modified by Vico in the early eighteenth century and again by Hegel in the early nineteenth; and a complete history of the idea would show many curious transformations and cover a long period of time. Here no attempt will be made to summarize this story; the subject of the present paper is the latest and, to ourselves, most striking exposition of the general theory, contained in Dr Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West.
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