Arnaldo Momigliano

Arnaldo Momigliano

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Arnaldo Dante Momigliano KBE (September 5, 1908, Caraglio
Caraglio
Caraglio is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 km southwest of Turin and about 10 km northwest of Cuneo...

, Piemont–September 1, 1987, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

) was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 known for his work in historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

, characterized by Donald Kagan
Donald Kagan
Donald Kagan is an American historian at Yale University specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. 1987-1988 Acting Director of Athletics, Yale University. He was Dean of Yale College from 1989–1992. He formerly taught in the Department of...

 as the "world’s leading student of the writing of history in the ancient world."

He became Professor of Roman history at the University of Turin
University of Turin
The University of Turin is a university in the city of Turin in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy...

 in 1936, but as a Jew soon lost his position due to the anti-Jewish Racial Laws enacted by the Fascist regime in 1938, and moved to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where he remained. After a time at Oxford University, he went to University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

, where he was Professor from 1951 to 1975. Momigliano visited regularly at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 where he was named Alexander White Professor in the Humanities, and at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
The Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, also known in Italian as Scuola Normale , is a public higher learning institution in Italy. It was founded in 1810, by Napoleonic decree, as a branch of the École Normale Supérieure of Paris...

. He wrote reviews for The New York Review of Books.

In addition to studying the ancient Greek historians and their methods, he also took an interest in modern historians, such as Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

, and wrote a number of studies of them. With respect to identifying and explaining the forces held responsible for the gradual disintegration of the Roman Empire, Momigliano stressed the wasteful futility of that endeavor while redirecting his students' focus:


Historians, one must admit, were not created by God to search for causes. Any search for causes in history, if it is persistent, ...becomes comic--such is the abundance of causes discovered. ...What we want is to understand the change by analyzing it and giving due consideration to conscious decisions, deep-seated urges, and the interplay of disparate events. But we must have a mental picture, a model of the whole situation as a term of reference, and here, I submit, is where Gibbon helps us.


After 1930, Momigliano contributed a number of biographies to the Enciclopedia Italiana
Enciclopedia Italiana
The Enciclopedia Italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti , is an Italian encyclopedia, generally regarded as the most authoritative of that language...

; in the 1940s and 1950s he contributed biographies to the Oxford Classical Dictionary
Oxford Classical Dictionary
-Overview:The Oxford Classical Dictionary is considered to be the standard one-volume encyclopaedia in English of topics relating to the Ancient World and its civilizations. It was first published in 1949, edited by Max Cary with the assistance of H. J. Rose, H. P. Harvey, and A. Souter. A...

 and Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

.

In 1974 he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). A number of his essays were collected into volumes published posthumously.

Works


Further reading

  • Bowersock, G. W. "Momigliano's Quest for the Person", History and Theory, Vol. 30, No. 4, Beiheft 30: The Presence of the Historian: Essays in Memory of Arnaldo Momigliano. (Dec., 1991), pp. 27–36.
  • honorificus: A.D. Momigliano: Studies on Modern Scholarship (eds. G.W. Bowersock and T.J. Cornell
    Tim Cornell
    Tim J. Cornell is British historian specializing in ancient Rome. He teaches at the University of Manchester.Cornell received his Bachelor's Degree in Ancient History, with first class honours, from University College London and his PhD in History from the University of London...

    , 1994)
  • Christ, Karl. "Arnaldo Momigliano and the History of Historiography", History and Theory, Vol. 30, No. 4, Beiheft 30: The Presence of the Historian: Essays in Memory of Arnaldo Momigliano. (Dec., 1991), pp. 5–12.
  • Ginzburg, Carlo. "Momigliano and de Martino", History and Theory, Vol. 30, No. 4, Beiheft 30: The Presence of the Historian: Essays in Memory of Arnaldo Momigliano. (Dec., 1991), pp. 37–48.
  • Kagan, Donald
    Donald Kagan
    Donald Kagan is an American historian at Yale University specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. 1987-1988 Acting Director of Athletics, Yale University. He was Dean of Yale College from 1989–1992. He formerly taught in the Department of...

    , "Arnaldo Momigliano and the human sources of history", The New Criterion, Vol. 10, No. 7, March 1992.
  • Murray, Oswyn. "Arnaldo Momigliano, 1908–1987: [Obituary]", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 77. (1987), pp. xi–xii.
  • Murray, Oswyn. "Arnaldo Momigliano in England", History and Theory, Vol. 30, No. 4, Beiheft 30: The Presence of the Historian: Essays in Memory of Arnaldo Momigliano. (Dec., 1991), pp. 49–64.
  • Phillips, Mark Salber. "Reconsiderations on History and Antiquarianism: Arnaldo Momigliano and the Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Britain", Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 57, No. 2. (Apr., 1996), pp. 297–316.
  • Weinberg, Joanna. "Where Three Civilizations Meet", History and Theory, Vol. 30, No. 4, Beiheft 30: The Presence of the Historian: Essays in Memory of Arnaldo Momigliano. (Dec., 1991), pp. 13–26.

External links