Herwig Wolfram

Herwig Wolfram (14 February 1934) is an Austrian historian who is Professor Emeritus of Medieval History and Auxiliary Sciences of History at the University of Vienna and the former Director of the Institute of Austrian Historical Research [de]. He is a leading member of the Vienna School of History, and internationally known for his authoritative works on the history of Austria, the Goths, and relationships between the Germanic peoples and the Roman Empire.

Herwig Wolfram
Herwig Wolfram Aufnahme von Werner Maleczek.jpg
Born (1934-02-14) February 14, 1934 (age 87)
Vienna, Austria
Academic background
Alma mater
InfluencesReinhard Wenskus
Academic work
School or traditionVienna School
Doctoral students
Main interests
Notable works
  • History of the Goths (1988)
  • The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples (1997)
Notable ideas


Herwig Wolfram was born in Vienna, Austria on 14 February 1934.[1] He studied history and Latin at the University of Vienna since 1952, gaining a Ph.D. there in 1957. He subsequently served as University Assistant at the Institute of History at the University of Vienna (1959-1961) and the Institute of Austrian Historical Research [de] (1962-1969). Wolfram gained his habilitation at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Vienna in 1966.[2]

Wolfram was Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1968 to 1969, and has subsequently made many visits to the United States. Since 1969, Wolfram was Professor of Medieval History and Auxiliary Sciences of History at the University of Vienna. From 1983 to 2002, Wolfram was also Director of the Institute of Austrian Historical Research. He was since retired from the University of Vienna as Professor Emeritus.[2]


Wolfram a leading figure in the Vienna School of History.[3] His book History of the Goths (1979) has been translated into a number of languages and been published in several completely revised editions. It is considered the standard work on the Goths, and a work of large importance to the study of Germanic peoples in general.[3][4][5][6][7] In the more recent editions of this work, Wolfram has adopted some of the controversial theories of Walter Goffart.[6][8] Wolfram and Heather's books on the Goths are considered the foremost studies on the subject.[9]

Honours and awardsEdit

Select bibliographyEdit

Works in English translation. For a complete list see the German National Library

  • History of the Goths, University of California Press, 1990. ISBN 0-520-06983-8
  • The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples, University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0-520-08511-6
  • Conrad II, 990-1039: Emperor of Three Kingdoms, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-271-02738-X


  1. ^ Contemporary Authors. 13 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Wolfram, Herwig". Das österreichische Kulturinformationssystem. Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via Gale.
  3. ^ a b Goffart 2006, p. 58. "Herwig Wolfram, whose writings and teaching in Vienna have dominated Gothic history since the 1970s..."
  4. ^ Brown 1990, p. 82. "[I]t has established itself since its publication in 1979 as the standard survey..."
  5. ^ Fanning 1990, pp. 104–106. "[T]his is a major work... among the most significant recent contributions to the history of the early Middle Ages... [T]he weight of Wolfram's scholarship makes it mandatory to consult this brilliant study for virtually any matter of Gothic or Gotho-Roman history."
  6. ^ a b Croke 1991, pp. 183–184. "By now Wolfram's History of the Goths requires no explanation or comment. It has already established itself as a classic... Wolfram has [however] absorbed, perhaps too uncritically, the controversial thesis of Walter Goffart..."
  7. ^ Schutz 1990, p. 1174. "This detailed history of the Goths establishes itself as the definitive treatment of the subject..."
  8. ^ Heather 1989, p. 256. "One major change between the second German edition and this translation is W.'s adoption... after previous resistance... of W. Goffart's theories concerning the economic integration of 'barbarians' into the Roman Empire. This is a controversial question, and in coming down heavily on one side of the debate without further argument, W. leaves himself open to criticism from the wide group of scholars who remain unconvinced.
  9. ^ Murdoch 2004, p. 166. "The best modern general history in English is Peter Heather’s The Goths... The standard German text is Herwig Wolfram’s Die Goten..."
  10. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 1374. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Novi člani Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti" [The New Members of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts]. June 2015.



External linksEdit