The historiography of the early modern and modern age has been dominated by the question of continuity or change, Thomas Kuhn with his paradigm shift made it a popular topic 30 years ago. But how did the fascination with the concept of a break with the past arise? I will suggest that the concept of a break with the past originated not with the so‐called scientific revolution. It was incorporated into the Historia critica philosophicae (1742–44) by Jacob Brucker. He in turn was influenced by a view of history that described the Reformation as a break with the past, and Luther as a man with ingenio who had the character, unlike Melanchlon, to break ʹchainsʹ of Aristotelian scholasticism. How Luther was turned into an intellectual model and how that model of the great man who had the ingenio to break with the past was transformed into a model of the philosopher by Jacob Brucker? Ingenio as a term itself was redefined from a description of the type of student who could learn quickly by Juan Huerteʹs Examen de ingenios para las sciencias in the 16th century, discussed in detail by Georg Morhof in his Polyhistor litterarius philosophicus (1691, 1708), and employed by Jacob Brucker who set out clear definitions of the correct type of ingenio that a philosopher should have. Curiously Bruckerʹs description of the troubled psychology of the Renaissance astrologer and scientist, Gerolamo Cardano (1501–76), ends up in a quotation in Hegelʹs Lectures on the History of Philosophy, where Cardano is identified as one of those ‐ who, like Luther, had the emotional courage to be original and break with scholastic orthodoxy.