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Ancient History at LMU


Blick vom KapitolWith three full chairs (Prof. Dr. Karen Radner, Prof. Dr. John Weisweiler, and Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmermann), five tenured academic positions (Dr. Jamie Novotny, PD Dr. Christian Reitzenstein-Ronning, PD Dr. Denise Reitzenstein, Dr. Robert Schiestl, and Dr. Frauke Weiershäuser) and five academic assistantships (Dr. Mary Frazer, PD Dr. Alexander Free, Dr. Henry Heitmann-Gordon, Dr. Moritz Hinsch, and Dr. Poppy Tushingham), as well as two secretaries (Thea Dunst and Christiane Eyselée) the Institute of Ancient History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich is among the largest centres of teaching and research in Ancient History both in Germany and worldwide. The staff further includes numerous associate lecturers, as well as the employees of several externally funded projects and additional teaching staff.

Research Environment and Resources

Ashurbanipal_BM_StillThe Institute of Ancient History is partnered with its neighbour disciplines in Art History, Philology and Linguistics, as well as the Law Faculty in both research and teaching. It is further part of the Munich Centre for Ancient Studies (MZAW), which brings together more than thirty chairs in the field of Ancient Studies. Close cooperations with the Munich-based Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy, the State Coin Collection and the Leopold-Wenger-Institute for the History of Law further extend this range of cooperations. The library resources available are ample and varied and the well-stocked departmental libraries are further supplemented by the Bavarian State Library, which takes special interest in Ancient Studies. The Institute is an attractive location for visiting academics and students from all over the world, who find support in the numerous international exchange agreements cultivated by the LMU.

Time and Space

Pharao_BM_StillAs a discipline, Ancient History traditionally studies Greek and Roman history between the 2nd millennium BCE and the end of the 6th century CE. In 2015, the LMU gained an Alexander von Humboldt-Professorship for the Ancient History of the Near and Middle East, which has since considerably expanded this field of interest in both time and space. At Munich, Ancient History is now studied from the first appearance of written sources in Egypt and Southern Iraq during the late 4th millennium BCE onwards and covers an area from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Asia. Nevertheless, the study of the Roman provinces along Rhine and Danube remains an important field of interest.

Research Interests

Laokoon TeaserBesides growing its disciplinary boundaries, the Institute of Ancient History has further increasingly shifted its research interests in recent years, moving away from traditional areas of interest, such as the history of events and constitutional history, and towards other promising areas. These include cultural, social, and economic history, the history of mentalities and everyday life, as well as regional studies. These new trends manifest not only in research, but also in teaching. Particular areas of interest currently include research on violence and crime in Antiquity, the historical topography of Asia Minor, the Nile Delta and Northern Mesopotamia, the history of the family and of ancient ritual, the history of ancient elites, the diachronic comparative history of law, society and economics, as well as mechanisms of power in early empires. The Institute further focuses on the Digital Humanities, especially on creating and updating an online corpus of texts, the "Ancient Records of Middle Eastern Polities" (ARMEP), curated by the „Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI)“.