Robert Davidsohn

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Relief representation by Robert Davidsohn

Robert Davidsohn (born April 26, 1853 in Danzig , † September 17, 1937 in Florence ) was a German journalist and historian. He is known for Renaissance research and for the medieval history of Florence through his source works as well as through its history of this city.


After his first visit to Florence in 1884, the owner of the well-known Berlin stock exchange courier decided to change location and turned his back on journalism, which was rewarding but unsatisfactory for him . He began studying history in 1886, following the advice of Ferdinand Gregorovius in Heidelberg , not in Berlin . Two years later he was already doing his doctorate . In 1889 he settled in Florence. Since 1903 he was a member of the local Accademia della Crusca , from which he was excluded with effect from 1923 because of anti-Italian statements during the First World War . Since 1910 he was a foreign member of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome and since 1920 of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .

Davidsohn was probably the most important researcher in the Aby Warburg area . He also maintained friendly contacts with the economic historian Alfred Doren . Davidsohn experienced the same violent attacks by German historical science as u. a. Doren because he was of Jewish descent. His works on medieval Florence are still of fundamental importance today. He mainly pursued a social and cultural-historical approach. Nevertheless, he also found some recognition among specialist colleagues such as B. by Alexander Cartellieri , who in the journal Die Tat 19 (1927), issue 9, p. 690 f. reviewed the work of Davidsohn The Early Period of Florentine Culture , Berlin 1927.

Davidsohn wrote a war diary and an autobiography, the research and first edition of which is currently being devoted to a project at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich .

Works (selection)

  • History of Florence . 4 volumes in 6 parts. ES Mittler & Sohn , Berlin 1896–1927.
  • Research on the history of Florence . 4 volumes. ES Mittler & Sohn , Berlin 1896–1908.
    • Volume 1: Research on the older history of Florence (1896) ( digitized version )
    • Volume 2: From the town books and documents of San Gimignano (13th and 14th centuries) (1900) ( digitized version )
    • Volume 3: (13th and 14th centuries) 1: Regesting unedited documents on the history of trade, industry and guilds. 2. The blacks and the whites (1901) ( digitized version )
    • Volume 4: 13th and 14th centuries (1908) ( digitized version )
  • People I knew. Memories of an eighty year old . Edited by Martin Baumeister and Wiebke Fastenrath Vinattieri with the collaboration of Wolfram Knäbich. ( German historical sources of the 19th and 20th centuries , vol. 77). Duncker & Humblot , Berlin 2020, ISBN 9783428157167 .


Web links

Wikisource: Robert Davidsohn  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Membership list of the Crusca .
  2. ^ Member entry by Robert Davidsohn at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , accessed on January 23, 2017.
  3. Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich , accessed on May 18, 2017.