Michael Rostovtzeff

Michael Rostovtzeff

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Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff, or Rostovtsev ' onMouseout='HidePop("65050")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ukraine">Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 – October 20, 1952, New Haven, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

) was one of the 20th century's foremost authorities on ancient Greek, Iranian, and Roman history.

Rostovtsev is remembered as the first historian to examine the ancient economies in terms of capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 and revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

s. Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (1926) and A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (1941) were his pioneering works that transferred the attention of historians from military or political events to global economic
Economic history
Economic history is the study of economies or economic phenomena in the past. Analysis in economic history is undertaken using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and by applying economic theory to historical situations and institutions...

 or social problems that had been formerly hidden behind their surface.

Upon completing his studies at the universities of Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and , Rostovtsev served as an assistant and then as a full professor at the . In 1918, he emigrated to the United States, where he accepted a chair at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

 before moving to Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1925. He oversaw all archaeological activities of the latter institution in general and the excavations of Dura-Europos
Dura-Europos , also spelled Dura-Europus, was a Hellenistic, Parthian and Roman border city built on an escarpment 90 m above the right bank of the Euphrates river. It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in today's Syria....

 in particular.

While working in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Rostovtsev was recognized as the world's preeminent authority on ancient history of South Russia and Ukraine. He summed up his vast knowledge on the subject in Iranians and Greeks in South Russia (1922) and Skythien und der Bosporus (1925). His most important archaeological findings at Yale were described in Dura-Europos and Its Art (1938).

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