Herwig Wolfram

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Date: Nov. 13, 2009
Document Type: Biography
Length: 1,090 words
Content Level: (Level 5)
Lexile Measure: 1330L

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About this Person
Born: February 14, 1934 in Vienna, Austria
Nationality: Austrian
Occupation: Historian
Updated:Nov. 13, 2009
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Born February 14, 1934, in Vienna, Austria. Memberships: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Addresses: Home: Austria. E-mail: herwig.wolfram@oeaw.ac.at.

 
CAREER:

University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, professor emeritus of medieval history, director of the Institute for Austrian Historical Research.

 
WORKS:

WRITINGS:

IN ENGLISH

  • (With Henry A. Myers) Medieval Kingship, Nelson-Hall (Chicago, IL), 1982.
  • Treasures on the Danube: Barbarian Invaders and Their Roman Inheritance, edited by Gerhart Langthaler, H. Böhlaus (Vienna, Austria), 1985.
  • History of the Goths, translated by Thomas J. Dunlap, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1988.
  • The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, translated by Thomas Dunlap, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1997.

IN GERMAN

  • (With Anton Scharer) Intitulatio, H. Böhlaus (Vienna, Austria), 1967.
  • (With Karl Brunner) Vorschläge für ein Studium der Geschichte: Die Arbeiten einer Projektgruppe zur Gestaltung des Studiums d. Geschichte an österr, Neugebauer (Salzburg, Austria), 1975.
  • Geschichte der Goten: Von d. Anfängen bis zur Mitte d. 6. Jh, Beck (Munich, Germany), 1979.
  • Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum: Das Weissbuch der Salzburger Kirche über die erfolgreiche Mission in Karantanien und Pannonien, H. Böhlaus (Vienna, Austria), 1979.
  • Die Karolingerzeit in Niederösterreich, Niederösterreichisches Pressehaus (St. Pölten, Austria), 1980.
  • Die Völker an der mittleren und unteren Donau im fünften und sechsten Jahrhundert: Berichte des Symposions der Kommission für Frühmittelalterforschung, 24, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna, Austria), 1980.
  • Die Kuenringer: Das Werden des Landes Niederösterreich: Niederösterreichische Landesausstellung, Stift Zwettl, 16. Mai-26. Oktober 1981, Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung (Vienna, Austria), 1981.
  • (With Andreras Kusternig and Herbert Haupt) Quellen zur Geschichte des 7. und 8. Jahrhunderts, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (Darmstadt, Germany), 1982.
  • Die Geburt Mitteleuropas: Geschichte Österreichs vor seiner Entstehung, 378-907, Siedler (Berlin, Germany), 1987.
  • Das Reich und die Germanen: Zwischen Antike und Mittelalter, Siedler (Berlin, Germany), 1990.
  • Österreichische Geschichte, Ueberreuter (Vienna, Austria), 1994.
  • Grenzen, Raume, Mentalitaten, Picus (Vienna, Austria), 1995.
  • Grenzen und Raume: Geschichte Österreichs vor Seiner Entstehung, Ueberreuter (Vienna, Austria), 1995.
  • Salzburg, Bayern, Österreich: Die Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum und die Quellen ihrer Zeit, R. Oldenbourg Verlag (Vienna, Austria), 1995.
  • Konrad II, 990-1039: Kaiser dreier Reiche, Beck (Munich, Germany), 2000, translation by Denise A. Kaiser published as Conrad II, 990-1039: Emperor of Three Kingdoms, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 2006.
  • Gotische Studien: Volk und Herrschaft im frühen Mittelalter, Beck (Munich, Germany), 2005.

IN GERMAN; AS EDITOR

  • (With Walter Pohl) Probleme der Geschichte Österreichs und ihrer Darstellung, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna, Austria), 1991.
  • (With Walter Pohl) Gerhart B. Ladner, Erinnerungen, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna, Austria), 1994.
  • Helmut Rumpler, Osterreichische Geschichte 1804-1914. Eine Chance fur Mitteleuropa. Burgerliche Emanzipation und Staatsverfall in der Habsburger Monarchie, Ueberreuter (Vienna, Austria), 1997.
  • Heinz Dopsch, Karl Brunner, and Maximilian Weltin, Osterreichische Geschichte 1122-1278. Die Lander und das Reich. Der Ostalpenraum im Hochmittelalter, Ueberreuter (Vienna, Austria), 1999.
  • (With others) Geschichte der Juden in Österreich, Ueberreuter (Vienna, Austria), 2006.

 

Sidelights

Austrian-born writer, educator, and historian Herwig Wolfram serves as a professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria, where he is also the director of the Institute for Austrian Historical Research. A member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wolfram has written numerous books over the course of his career, a number of which have been translated for English-speaking readers. He is also an editor of the Österreichische Geschichte, a ten-volume history of the Middle Ages in Austria.

The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, translated by Thomas Dunlap, addresses the history of the term "German," examining the origins of the word as used in reference to a particular group of people. In order to accomplish this, Wolfram offers readers a brief summary of the early history of the people who would eventually be known as Germans, covering royalty, the major heroes of the age, tribal structure and the myths regarding their origins, and the lineage of the population as a whole. He then continues to address the groups of the third and fourth centuries--primarily the Goths of the Danube region--and shows the events and politics of the period influenced the development of the people and what would eventually become the Germanic Empire. He also addresses issues having to do with geography, the barbarian kingdoms underlying the region's politics, and the relationship between the Huns and the Goths. This history overview serves as a foundation for analysis of the various Germans on an individual basis, looking at each of the regional groups that ultimately fell under the Germanic umbrella. Danny Yee, in a contribution to the Danny Yee's Book Reviews Web site, remarked that the book is "too unbalanced to be a general introduction to the period, it is broadly accessible and will appeal to lay readers interested in the end of the Western Empire and the Germanic migrations." As well, Yee noted that the book is "solid" and "readable."

Wolfram serves as editor for the volume Osterreichische Geschichte 1804-1914. Eine Chance fur Mitteleuropa. Burgerliche Emanzipation und Staatsverfall in der Habsburger Monarchie, written by Helmut Rumpler. Part of a monumental series of works chronicling the history of Austria, this book focuses primarily on the nineteenth century and the time period that led up to World War I. The book is organized in a chronological fashion, and within each period, it addresses issues pertaining to the politics, economics, cultural development, and ethnic diversification of the nation. Although the imperial link to Hungary is considered in other volumes in this series, this particular book focuses primarily on the purely Austrian considerations. The book's various ideas are unified under an overriding premise that the region as a whole behaved very much like a state under the rule of the monarchy of the day, despite any variations in the population that might have normally been considered divisive. Writing for the English Historical Review, F.R. Bridge praised this volume overall, stating that "especially commendable is the author's insistence on treating domestic factors, thoroughly and skillfully analysed as they are, in the context of the Monarchy's external problems." Bridge also dubbed the work a "synthesis of the very latest research, supported by a bibliography of over 1,500 items."

Osterreichische Geschichte 1122-1278. Die Lander und das Reich. Der Ostalpenraum im Hochmittelalter, also edited by Wolfram, focuses on an earlier period in Austrian history. This volume examines the Middle Ages and how Austria developed politically, economically, and culturally from the early twelfth century to the late thirteenth century. Paul W. Knoll, in a review of the work for the Austrian History Yearbook, noted: "The density of detail is formidable, but I found the narrative to be clear and the relation between imperial and local developments balanced and effective."

FURTHER READINGS:

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PERIODICALS

  • American Historical Review, October 1, 1990, Herbert Schutz, review of History of the Goths, p. 1174; June 1, 1999, I.N. Wood, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 970.
  • Austrian History Yearbook, January 1, 2003, Paul W. Knoll, review of Osterreichische Geschichte 1122-1278. Die Lander und das Reich. Der Ostalpenraum im Hochmittelalter, p. 331.
  • Catholic Historical Review, January 1, 1990, Steven Fanning, review of History of the Goths, p. 104.
  • Central European History, January 1, 2000, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 263; March 22, 2000, Michele Salzman, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 263.
  • Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, March 1, 1998, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 1263; October 1, 2007, R.C. Figueira, review of Conrad II, 990-1039: Emperor of Three Kingdoms, p. 349.
  • Church History, June 1, 1990, Harry Rosenberg, review of History of the Goths, p. 225.
  • English Historical Review, April 1, 1991, C.E. Bosworth, review of Die Geburt Mitteleuropas: Geschichte Österreichs vor seiner Entstehung, 378-907, p. 430; October 1, 1991, Edward James, review of History of the Goths, p. 940; February 1, 1999, F.R. Bridge, review of Osterreichische Geschichte 1804-1914. Eine Chance fur Mitteleuropa. Burgerliche Emanzipation und Staatsverfall in der Habsburger Monarchie, p. 225.
  • Greece & Rome, April 1, 1991, P. Walcot, review of History of the Goths, p. 125; October 1, 1998, "Roman History," p. 250.
  • Historian, January 1, 1991, John J. Contreni, review of History of the Goths, p. 351.
  • History: The Journal of the Historical Association, February 1, 1991, P.D. King, review of History of the Goths, p. 103.
  • History: Review of New Books, June 22, 1998, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 204.
  • International History Review, August 1, 1989, review of History of the Goths, p. 529; March 1, 2008, Benjamin Arnold, review of Conrad II, 990-1039, p. 110.
  • Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July 1, 2008, Graham A. Loud, review of Conrad II, 990-1039, p. 542.
  • New Republic, May 29, 1989, Edward N. Luttwak, review of History of the Goths, p. 39.
  • Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, January 1, 1989, review of Die Geburt Mitteleuropas, p. 241; April 1, 2008, John W. Bernhardt, review of Conrad II, 990-1039, p. 490.
  • Times Literary Supplement (London, England), May 5, 1989, Roger Collins, review of History of the Goths, p. 492; July 14, 2000, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, p. 26.
  • Virginia Quarterly Review, March 22, 1989, review of History of the Goths, p. 44.

ONLINE

  • Austrian Academy of Sciences Web site, http://www.oeaw.ac.at/ (April 10, 2009), author faculty profile.
  • Danny Yee's Book Reviews Web site, http://dannyreviews.com/ (April 1, 1998), Danny Yee, review of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples.
  • University of California Press Web site, http://www.ucpress.edu/ (April 10, 2009), author profile.*

 

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000189547