AHA President, 1935


Yale University

From the American Historical Review 58:2 (January 1953)

Michael I. Rostovtzeff (November 10, 1870–October 20, 1952), emeritus professor of history in Yale University, died October 20 after a long illness. Professor Rostovtzeff was born in Kiev, Russia, eighty-one years ago. He was already known as a historian and classical scholar when he came to this country and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin in 1920. He became almost at once a popular lecturer within and without the university. His genial and friendly ways and high standards of scholarship assured him a welcome among the historians of this country. After five years at Wisconsin he accepted a call as professor of ancient history and archaeology in Yale University. Here he repeated in a different environment the success of his Wisconsin career. He retired in 1944. Many honors had come to him, among others the presidency of the American Historical Association in 1935. His books and articles on historical and archaeological subjects gave him high rank as a student of the ancient world. He directed the archaeological work at Dura, and the last work he touched was the volumes on the discoveries at Dura. It is, however, as a historian with emphasis on economic factors in the ancient world that he takes his place of honor. Of the many books and articles that bear his name it is sufficient here to name only three: Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (1926), A History of the Ancient World, two volumes (1926–27), and Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World, three volumes (1941).



The Excavations at Dura-Europos, conducted by Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters. Edited by M. I. Rostovtzeff [and others]. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1900.

Greece. Translated from the Russian by J. D. Duff. Elias J. Bickerman, editor, Galaxy book ed. New York, Oxford University Press, 1963.

Iranians & Greeks in South Russia, by M. Rostovtzeff. New York, Russell & Russell, 1969.

Caravan cities, by M. Rostovtzeff. Translated by D. and T. Talbot Rice. New York, AMS Press, 1971.

A history of the ancient world, by M. Rostovtzeff. 2 vols. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1971.

The animal style in South Russia and China, by M. Rostovtzeff. New York, Hacker Art Books, 1973.

Dura-Europos and its art, by M. Rostovtzeff. New York: AMS Press, 1978.

A large estate in Egypt in the third century B.C., by Michael Rostovtzeff. New York: Arno Press, 1979.

Römische Bleitesserae: ein Beitrag zur sozial- und wirtschafts- Geschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit, von Michael Rostowzew. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1979.

Izbrannye publitsisticheskie stat´i 1906-1923, M.I. Rostovtsev; podgotovka teksta, predislovie, kommentarii i biograficheskii slovar´, I.V. Tunkinoi. Moskva: ROSSPEN, 2002.