The authors celebrate the 200 th anniversary of I.G. Droysen by describing his life and relationships with other German historians of the 19 th c. (in particular, with L. von Ranke). They analize Droysen’s role in developing a number of fields of historical knowledge and theory of history. The study is focused on his ‘Grundriss der Historik’ and ‘Encyclopedia and methodology of history’. It is shown that Droysen‘s views are close to contemporary ideas of correlation between historical experience and the present, between historical knowledge and the reality of the past, of the role of historical sources, of scientific character of historical knowledge and its influence over one’s self-identification.