Ulrich Wilcken

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Ulrich Wilcken (born December 18, 1862 in Stettin , † December 10, 1944 in Baden-Baden ) was a German ancient historian and papyrologist .


After studying history and Oriental studies at the Universities of Leipzig , Tübingen and Berlin Wilcken in 1885 with a thesis on the Roman Egypt based on the Berlin papyri doctorate . His most important academic teacher was Theodor Mommsen , who continued to support him and gave him a job cataloging the papyri of the Royal Library in Berlin. Wilcken went on various study trips and completed his habilitation in ancient history in 1888.

In 1889 he became associate professor for ancient history at the University of Breslau (as successor of Eduard Meyers ) at the intercession of Mommsen , where he prevailed against Karl Julius Beloch thanks to Mommsen's help . In 1900 he was appointed to the University of Würzburg , in 1903 to the University of Halle (again as Eduard Meyer's successor), in 1906 to the one in Leipzig, where he became a member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig in the same year , to the University of Bonn in 1912 and in 1915 to the Munich University , where he headed both the Department of Ancient History and the Department of Papyrus studies and was appointed a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in the same year . Wilcken changed universities for the last time in 1917 when he succeeded Otto Hirschfeld in Berlin. He was a member of the Saxon Society of Sciences (since 1906), the Prussian Academy of Sciences (since 1921), the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome (since 1921), the Göttingen Academy of Sciences (since 1921), the British Academy (since 1926) and the then Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1931). In 1931 he retired .


Wilcken was the pioneer of Greco-Roman papyrology in Germany. With the support of Theodor Mommsen he created extensive corpora of the Ptolemaic papyrus documents and the ostraka and in 1901 founded the specialist journal Archive for Papyrus Research and Related Areas . Since then, among other things, his indispensable documentary report, the review of newly published editions of documentary papyri, which is continued to this day, has appeared in this. His papyrological introduction and selection collection ( basics and chrestomathy of papyrus studies ), which he wrote together with Ludwig Mitteis , was fundamental in academic teaching for a long time. Wilcken's Greek History was also published again and again over the decades and was regarded as a standard work at least until the 1960s .


  • Observationes ad historiam Aegypti provinciae Romanae depromptae e papyris Graecis Berolinensibus ineditis . Haack, Berlin 1885.
  • Greek ostraka from Egypt and Nubia. A contribution to ancient economic history . 2 volumes. Giesecke & Devrient, Leipzig 1899. Reprinted by Hakkert, Amsterdam 1970.
  • Fundamentals and chrestomathy of papyrus studies . Volume 1: Historical Part (in two halves). Leipzig 1912. (Volume 2: Legal part by Ludwig Mitteis.)
  • Greek history in the context of ancient history . Oldenbourg, Munich 1924; 9th edition 1962 (reviewed by Günther Klaffenbach ).
  • Documents from the Ptolemaic period (older finds) . 2 volumes. de Gruyter, Berlin 1927, reprint 1977, ISBN 3-11-005711-5 .
  • Alexander the Great . Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1931.
  • The Bremen papyri . Berlin 1936
  • On the origin of the Hellenistic cult of the king. In: Meeting reports of the Prussian (Berlin) Academy of Sciences (SBB), 1938, p. 298f.


Web links

Wikisource: Ulrich Wilcken  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Members of the SAW: Ulrich Wilcken. Saxon Academy of Sciences, accessed December 14, 2016 .
  2. Jakob Seibert : "From seminar to seminar". In: Derselbe (Ed.): 100 Years of Old History at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (1901–2001) (= Ludovico Maximilianea. Research and sources. Volume 19). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-428-10875-2 , pp. 23–39, here p. 24.
  3. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 259.
  4. ^ Fellows: Ulrich Wilcken. British Academy, accessed August 20, 2020 .
  5. online at the SuUB Bremen: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:gbv:46:1-932