Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen
"The morally noble will always overcome the less noble and will persist longer than the mean"
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, born 1817, died 1903, was the greatest classical historian of the 19th century, was born in town Garding in Schleswig in Germany, as the son of a Protestant minister. Mommsen's many of 900 writings revolutionized the study of Roman history. He was the general editor of, and chief contributor to, the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, the gigantic collection of Roman inscriptions published by the Berlin Academy (1867-1959). This work laid the foundations for a systematic study of Roman government, administration, economics, and finance. He read law and classics at Kiel from 1838-43, and after a few years in France and Italy and a short career in journalism, he became a professor of law at the University of Leipzig. His involvement in the revolution of 1848-49 led to his dismissal in 1850. After holding academic positions at the universities of Zürich and Breclav he was appointed to the chair of Ancient History at the University of Berlin in 1858. He was permanent secretary of the Prussian Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the seventies he was an active and prominent member of the Prussian Parliament, first as a National Liberal and later as a Liberal.Mommsen's books on Roman coinage and on Roman constitutional and criminal law are still classics in their fields. But he was more than a brilliant scholar with a tremendous grasp of detail and a powerful talent of organization. He was a vivid and powerful writer. His passionate involvement in the revolution of 1848-49 deeply affected the point of view of his main work, the incomplete Romische Geschichte (1854-55, 1885) [History of Rome]. The work covers the history of the Roman Republic; a history of the Empire was planned but never written, except for a volume on provincial administration under the Empire. Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was awarded by Nobel prize for literature in 1902.
C.M.T. Mommsen with his dog Mommsens family Mommsen in year 1902
Mommsen working  Mommsens Portrait by Franz Lenbach (1836-1904) by 1897. Original in: Schiller Nationalmuseum / Dt. Literaturarchiv, Marbach