Hans Conrad Peyer

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Hans Conrad Peyer (born September 19, 1922 in Schaffhausen ; † March 16, 1994 in Zurich ) was a Swiss historian.

life and work

Hans Conrad Peyer was born as the son of the Schaffhausen-born doctor Dr. med. Hans Hermann Peyer (August 31, 1874 - February 21, 1923) and Hildegard Amsler (* 1895), who married his second cousin Bernhard Peyer (1885–1963) in 1926 . He was an anatomist and paleontologist ; the couple had five other children. Bernhard Peyer became a professor at the University of Zurich in 1943. The diary of Hans Hermann Peyer, who was head of the Swiss Red Cross expedition in Montenegro during the Second Balkan War in 1912/13, is in the Schaffhausen City Archives . In 1914 he took over the management of the Montenegrin army medical service. From 1917 he owned a doctor's practice in Schaffhausen.

Hans Conrad Peyer studied history in Zurich and Geneva from 1941 . In the post-war years of 1946 and 1947, he researched archives in northern Italy for his dissertation on the grain policy of northern Italian cities in the Middle Ages , supervised by Karl Meyer , which he completed in 1948 and published in 1950. He then worked for Leo Santifaller and Alphons Lhotsky at the Vienna department of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (1949/50) and was entrusted with the edition of Frederick I's documents .

In Rome in 1950/51 he made friends with Reinhard Elze , who later became director of the German Historical Institute , and with Heinrich Schmidinger , who later headed the Austrian Cultural Institute (forum austriaco di cultura) in Rome. In 1951 Peyer married Marianne Hefti.

After his habilitation in 1954, Peyer went to the archives service in 1956, initially as a research assistant. From 1964 to 1969 he was the state archivist of the Zurich State Archives. In 1963 he became honorary professor at the University of Zurich , in 1966 an associate professor with the field of elderly Swiss history (until 1750). He also taught in Bern as a part-time associate professor from 1964 to 1965 and he received offers to Münster and Frankfurt . In 1969 he was appointed full professor of Swiss history and general economic and social history at the University of Zurich until 1750 . In 1981/1982 Peyer was a research fellow at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich, where he wrote his opus Magnum on hospitality in the Middle Ages. From 1982 to 1984 he was Dean of the University of Zurich .

Peyer was less concerned with methods and theories than with hitherto incomprehensible historical events and processes, especially the history of mentality and social life, where he was inspired by Fernand Braudel's idea of ​​the "long waves" of historical development. Regardless of the size of the topic, he worked extremely intensively with the sources, as was already shown in his dissertation or in his works on The Origin of the Land Border in the Vallée de Joux , on Friedrich Barbarossa, Monza and Aachen or The Archive of the Feste Baden (1982).

The two most important thematic focal points in the following works were constitutional and economic history . He dealt with the banking industry, the development of international trade and the markets, especially with wool production and the textile industry, cattle farming and the horse market. He touched on constitutional issues in his habilitation, but above all with a view to Switzerland around 1500 (aristocratization and pay service).

He also published articles on Zurich's urban history in the Handbuch der Schweizer Geschichte (1972). He created an overview work with the constitutional history of Old Switzerland (1978). Peyer died completely surprisingly a "second death".


  • On the grain policy of northern Italian cities in the 13th century , Diss., Vienna 1950.
  • Friedrich Barbarossa, Monza and Aachen , in: German Archives for Research into the Middle Ages 8 (1951) 438–460.
  • The emergence of the national border in the Vallée de Joux. A contribution to the history of settlement in the Jura , in: Swiss Journal for History 1 (1951) 429–451. ( online , PDF)
  • City and patron saint of medieval Italy , Europa Verlag, 1955.
  • with Alfred Schelling: linen trade and long-distance trade of the city of St. Gallen. From the beginning until 1520. Using the preparatory work by Alfred Schelling and Hector Ammann , Zollikofer, 1959.
  • The Trecento. Italy in the 14th century , Artemis, Zurich-Stuttgart 1960.
  • The two-man stock corporation , Bern 1963.
  • The archive of the Baden festivals. Dorsual gestures and archive order in the Middle Ages , in: Festgabe Hans von Greyerz for his 60th birthday , Bern 1967, pp. 685–698, again in: Ludwig Schmugge , Roger Sablonier , Konrad Wanner (eds.): König, Stadt und Kapital. Essays on the economic and social history of the Middle Ages , Zurich 1982.
  • From trading and banking in old Zurich , reporting house, Zurich 1968.
  • Zurich in the Early and High Middle Ages , in: Emil Vogt , Ernst Meyer , Hans Conrad Peyer: Zurich from primeval times to the Middle Ages , Zurich 1971, pp. 165–221.
  • Constitutional history of old Switzerland , Zurich 1978.
  • with Ludwig Schmugge, Roger Sablonier: Kings, City and Capital , Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1982.
  • Early and High Middle Ages , in: Handbuch der Schweizer Geschichte , Vol. 1, 1980, pp. 93–160.
  • Hospitality and commercial hospitality in the Middle Ages (= writings of the Historical College. Lectures , Vol. 3), Munich 1983. ( digitized version )
  • (Editor): Hospitality, tavern and inn in the Middle Ages (= writings of the Historisches Kolleg. Colloquia, Vol. 3), Oldenbourg, Munich 1983. ISBN 978-3-486-51661-6 ( digitized version )
  • From hospitality to an inn , Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1987.


Web links


  1. ^ Entry in Encyclopedia.com .
  2. Finding aid .
  3. ^ Hans Hermann Peyer (August 31, 1874 - February 21, 1923) , ETH Zurich.