Paul von Rohden

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Paul von Rohden (born December 12, 1862 in Barmen (today a district of Wuppertal ), † February 28, 1939 in Pieterlen ) was a German ancient historian and high school teacher.


Paul von Rohden came from an old family of craftsmen who were originally based in Hamburg and later in Altona. Around 1800 the family split into several branches. Paul's father Ludwig von Rohden (1815–1889) worked for the Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft in Barmen from 1846 and founded the family's "Barmer Line". Paul von Rohden was his ninth and youngest child from his second marriage to Agathe geb. Schumacher (1830-1863). His mother died when Paul was three months old. Among his older (half) siblings were the later high school teacher and archaeologist Hermann von Rohden (1852-1916) and the later pastor Gustav von Rohden (1855-1942).

Paul von Rohden attended grammar school in Barmen and passed the final examination on March 21, 1881; because of his excellent performance, he was exempted from the oral exam. He then began his studies of history and classical philology in Leipzig , which he interrupted for voluntary service (1882/83). He continued his studies at the Berlin University , which was a center of antiquity at the time. There he mainly focused on the study of history. Under the aegis of Theodor Mommsen , Rohden dealt with the documents of the Roman Empire , which led him to his later research area, prosopography . Even before he graduated, he was asked to do the preliminary work on the Prosopographia Imperii Romani (PIR), on which the slightly older historians Hermann Dessau and Elimar Klebs were also working. In 1885 von Rohden was awarded a PhD with a dissertation on the Roman provinces of Palestine and Arabia. phil. PhD .

After passing the state examination for higher teaching qualifications, von Rohden completed his preparatory service at Wilhelms-Gymnasium in Berlin in 1887/88 , where he then worked as an assistant teacher. In 1889 he went to the gymnasium in Steglitz as an assistant and gymnastics teacher . He improved his salary through private lessons and also continued his scientific work. In 1891 he was used by Georg Wissowa for the revision of Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Antiquity (RE), for which he wrote hundreds of articles about people from the Roman Empire in the following years.

On July 8, 1891, Paul von Rohden married Elise Vogt (1867–1907). He had four children with her: Ingeborg (1892–1897), Konrad (1893–1981), Hildegard (* 1895) and Bernhard (1899–1941).

A turning point in Rohden's life occurred in 1893: Shortly after his appointment as a (permanently employed) senior teacher, he fell ill with tuberculosis , which increasingly restricted his ability to work. A spa stay in Rome in October 1895 worsened his condition so that he was forced to take a permanent leave of absence. He also had to stop his scientific work. Because of the milder climate, he moved to Davos in Switzerland in February 1896, where he worked for a short time as a tutor for Carl Spengler . On April 1, 1897, he was given early retirement, albeit without a pension. His wife, who had meanwhile learned to be a midwife in Berlin , moved in with him in autumn 1897 with the children. The two ran a pension in Davos for several years and otherwise earned their living as private teachers and midwives. In July 1899, von Rohden got a position at the Fridericianum Davos , where he taught ancient languages ​​and occasionally other subjects.

After the death of his wife, von Rohden married Elisabeth born on November 15, 1908. Grimmer (1860–1931), the widow of his eldest brother Johannes (1850–1893).

From the winter of 1913/14 onwards, Paul von Rohden also gave regular popular science lectures in Davos Platz . He also continued to give private tuition and wrote articles and essays for various local newspapers and magazines. The Prussian Ministry of Education awarded him the title of professor in May 1914. During the First World War , von Rohden gave tuition to German prisoners of war interned in Davos and helped them prepare for exams.

In September 1932, at the age of 69, von Rohden left the Fridericianum. He spent the last years of his life in a German retirement home in Pieterlen near Biel , where he died on February 28, 1939 at the age of 76.


  • De Palaestina et Arabia provinciis Romanis quaestiones selectae . Dissertation Berlin 1885.
  • with Hermann Dessau : Prosopographia Imperii Romani . Volume 3. Reimer, Berlin 1898.
  • numerous articles in Paulys Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity .


  • Konrad von Rohden: Festschrift for the seventy-fifth birthday of Prof. Dr. Paul von Rohden on December 12, 1937 . Bremen 1937 ( information from the family association von Rohden 5)
  • General family history of Rohden by Prof. Dr. phil. Paul von Rohden. Edited by Dr. med. Konrad von Rohden . Self-published, Bremen 1952
  • Franz Kössler: Personal dictionary of teachers of the 19th century: Raab - Rzepecki . Preprint. University Library Giessen 2008 ( PDF ).
  • Manfred G. Schmidt (Ed.): Hermann Dessau (1856–1931). For the 150th birthday of the Berlin ancient historian and epigraphist . de Gruyter, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-11-021573-1 , pp. 35-36, 397.

Web links

Wikisource: Paul von Rohden  - Sources and full texts