Michael Rostovtzeff bigraphy, stories - Russian academic

Michael Rostovtzeff : biography

1870 - October 20, 1952

Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff, or Rostovtsev () (October 29 (November 10) 1870, Zhitomir, Ukraine – October 20, 1952, New Haven, USA) was one of the 20th century's foremost authorities on ancient Greek, Iranian and Roman history.

Rostovtsev is remembered as the first historian to examine the ancient economies in terms of capitalism and revolutions. Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (1926) and A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (1941) were his pioneering works that transferred the attention of historians from military or political events to global economic or social problems that had been formerly hidden behind their surface.

Upon completing his studies at the universities of Kiev and , Rostovtsev served as an assistant and then as a full professor at the . In 1918, he emigrated to the United States, where he accepted a chair at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before moving to Yale University in 1925. He oversaw all archaeological activities of the latter institution in general and the excavations of Dura-Europos in particular.

While working in Russia, Rostovtsev was recognized as the world's preeminent authority on ancient history of South Russia and Ukraine. He summed up his vast knowledge on the subject in Iranians and Greeks in South Russia (1922) and Skythien und der Bosporus (1925). His most important archaeological findings at Yale were described in Dura-Europos and Its Art (1938).

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