Michael Ivanovitch Rostovtzeff papers, 1897-1968

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Rostovtzeff, Michael Ivanovitch, 1870-1952
4.5 Linear Feet
2,500 items
English, Latin, French, German, Spanish or Castilian, Russian, and Italian.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Michael I. Rostovtzeff Papers span the years 1897 to 1968 with the bulk dated 1926 to 1954. The collection chiefly consists of the correspondence of Michael Rostovtzeff and C. Bradford Welles, a colleague of Rostovtzeff's at Yale University, with other scholars in the fields of ancient history, archaeology, and philology. Other materials include autobiographical writings by Rostovtzeff, photographs, financial papers, and clippings. The papers primarily reflect Michael Rostovtzeff's tenure as a faculty member of the Classics Department at Yale University.

The Papers of Michael I. Rostovtzeff provide information on the scholarly study of the ancient world during the first half of the twentieth century. In the Correspondence Series, letters from scholars in England, America, and Europe focus on matters of historical interpretation, archaeological work at Dura-Europos, and philological analysis. Notable scholars include Rene Mouterde, W. W. Tarn, Franz Cumont, Athur D. Nock, Vincenzo Arangio-Ruiz, Tadeusz Zielinski, Walter Otto, and Fritz Heichelheim.

The Biographical Materials Subseries contains Rostovtzeff's narrative of the Provisional Government's fall during the Russian Revolution of 1917, his opposition to Bolshevism, and his eventual emigration from Russia. The Correspondence Series also documents Rostovtzeff's assistance to European scholars seeking teaching and research positions in the United States during World War II. A number of letters between Rostovtzeff and Alvin Johnson, Director of the New School for Social Research, concern efforts by Johnson to identify refugee scholars for faculty positions at the New School for Social Research.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1870, Nov. 10 Born, Zhitomir (the Ukraine), Russia
1888 Graduated from the First Classical Gymnasium, Kiev, Russia
1892 B.A., University of St. Petersburg
1899 Master of Latin Literature, University of St. Petersburg
1901 Married Sophie M. Kulezycki
1903 Doctor of Latin Literature, University of St. Petersburg
1905-1918 Member, Constitutional Democratic Party
1916-1919 Member, Russian Academy of Sciences
1918 Emigrated to Great Britain
1918-1920 Lecturer, Queen's College, Oxford University
1920-1925 Professor of Ancient History, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
1925-1939 Sterling Professor of Ancient History, Yale University
1926-1927 Published A History of the Ancient World
1926 Published The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire
1928-1937 Director of the Yale University Expedition at Dura-Europos
1938 Published Dura-Europos and Its Art
1939 Appointed Director of Archaeological Studies, Yale University
1941 Published The Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World
1944 Appointed as the Sterling Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, Emeritus
1952, Oct. 20 Died, New Haven, Conn.

Professor Rostovtzeff received honorary degrees from the University of Leipzig (1909), Oxford University (1919), University of Wisconsin (1924), Cambridge University (1934), Harvard University (1936), Athens University (1937), and the University of Chicago (1941). He was also a member of numerous national academies and learned societies, both in the United States and Europe. Included among these are Phi Beta Kappa, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philological Society, La Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, and the Polish Academy of Science.

Acquisition information:
The Michael I. Rostovtzeff Papers (1897-1968) were donated to the Rubenstein Library in 1992 by the American Society of Papyrologists.
Processing information:

Processed by: Daniel Daily

Assisted by: Sallie Locke and Brent Johanson

Date Completed: Nov. 20, 1992

Encoded by: Daniel Pitti and Stephen Miller

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in the Michael I. Rostovtzeff papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Michael Ivanovitch Rostovtzeff Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.