Ernst Curtius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Curtius, Ernst


Born Sept. 2, 1814, in Lübeck; died July 11, 1896, in Berlin. German historian of classical antiquity, archaeologist, and philologist. Professor at the University of Berlin (1844–56 and from 1868) and the University of Göttingen (1856–63). Member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences; secretary of the academy’s department of history and philology from 1871 to 1893.

Curtius initiated the excavations at Olympia by German archaeologists (1875–81). His most important studies are devoted to the history, topography, and archaeology of ancient Greece and to art history and philology. Curtius’ works tended to idealize the classical world and to exaggerate the role of geographic environment. A brilliant orator and teacher and a good organizer, Curtius stimulated interest in ancient history and archaeology and promoted the development of museology in Germany.


Peloponnesos, vol. 1–2. Gotha, 1851–52.
Ausgrabungen zu Olympia. Berlin, 1877.
Die Stadtgeschichte von Athen. Berlin, 1891.
Altertum und Gegenwart, vols. 1–2. Stuttgart-Berlin, 1903.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia Gretsii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1880–83.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.