Julius von Ficker

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Julius von Ficker

Johann Kaspar Julius Ficker , from 1885 Ficker Ritter von Feldhaus (born April 30, 1826 in Paderborn , † July 10, 1902 in Innsbruck ), was a German - Austrian historian . He was one of the most important diplomats of the 19th century. His work Vom Reichsfürstenstande , first published in 1860, became a classic in medieval constitutional history.


Ficker initially studied law in Bonn before devoting himself to studying history . At first he was briefly a member of the Corps Saxo-Rhenania, but left there in connection with a split in the corporation. In the winter semester of 1845/46 he joined the Frankonia fraternity in Bonn . In 1849 he was promoted to Dr. phil. is doing his doctorate with a treatise on a constitutional topic from the Staufer period, the plan of Emperor Heinrich VI. to transform the German electoral empire into a legacy. Easter 1851 habilitated himself as a lecturer in Bonn.

In 1852 he was appointed full professor for general history in Innsbruck , where he entered the legal faculty in 1863 and taught German imperial and legal history . In 1859/60 he was rector of the University of Innsbruck.

In 1879 Ficker retired. In Igls he had acquired the old Hohenburg residence and spent his summer months there as a passionate hiker.

Ficker's eldest son Ludwig became a well-known writer and publisher, the second son Heinrich a meteorologist and geophysicist, the third son Rudolf a musicologist. His daughter Cenzi von Ficker made a name for herself as a mountaineer when she accompanied her brother Heinrich on an expedition to the Caucasus in 1903 .


Ficker headed the " Regesta Imperii " and was a teacher of several important historians - such as Emil von Ottenthal , Engelbert Mühlbacher , Oswald Redlich and Alfons Huber . He also became known through a widely noticed controversy with Heinrich von Sybel about the imperial politics of the Middle Ages ( Sybel-Ficker dispute ). Ficker rejected Sybel's remarks that this policy had prevented the emergence of a German nation- state and should therefore be assessed as fatal, arguing that the Middle Ages should not be judged from the perspective of the present and that the nation-state is by no means the only desirable goal of the History. This controversy was not least the result of political developments in the second half of the 19th century. In the long run, Ficker's assessment has prevailed.

His extensive work, especially on legal history and diplomatic issues, is based on a broad and confident knowledge of the sources. They were reprinted several times and some of them are still considered standard works today, even if one no longer shares some assessments. Ficker was a member of several academies of science , including the Vienna Academy of Sciences since 1866 . He had already become a foreign member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in 1859, followed by the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1893 and the Accademia dei Lincei in 1897 .


Memorial plaque on the residential building

In 1885 he was raised to hereditary nobility with the title "Knight of Feldhaus". In 1954, the 21st district of Vienna Floridsdorf the Julius-Ficker-road named after him. There is a memorial plaque on his long-term home at Leopoldstrasse 22 in Innsbruck- Wilten .

Fonts (selection)

  • Selected treatises on the history and legal history of the Middle Ages , ed. by Carlrichard Brühl , 3 volumes, Aalen 1981
  • Contributions to the doctrine of documents , 2 volumes, Innsbruck 1877/78 (reprint 1966)
  • Vom Heerschilde , Innsbruck 1862 (reprint 1964)
  • The German Empire in its universal and national relations. 2nd Edition. Innsbruck 1862
  • Vom Reichsfürstenstande , 2 volumes in 4 parts, from volume 2 part 1 ed. u. initiated v. Paul Puntschart, Innsbruck 1861–1923 (reprinted 1984).
  • Research on the imperial and legal history of Italy , 4 volumes, Innsbruck 1868–74 (reprint 1961)
  • On the history of the Lombard League. In: Session reports of the Philosophical-Historical Class of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Volume 60, Vienna 1869, pp. 297-350, online .


Web links

Commons : Julius von Ficker  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Texts by Julius von Ficker  - sources and full texts


  1. ^ Julius Jung: Julius Ficker (1826-1902). A contribution to the history of German scholars . Innsbruck 1907, p. 31.
  2. Short biography of Cenzi von Ficker on bergnews.com (accessed on February 28, 2016)
  3. ^ BAdW deceased members .
  4. ANL Annuario 2011, p. 440.