Category: Personalia

Fritz Kretschmer and His Lost Sidonius Index

A hitherto unknown name must be added to the pantheon of Sidonius scholars: Fritz Kretschmer. In the 1930s, Fritz Kretschmer, a Classicist and Romanist, pupil of Norden and Wilamowitz, composed the first-ever word index of Sidonius’ oeuvre. It got lost.

His biography which is as unexpected as it is tragic takes us from Berlin to Shanghai and on to San Francisco. An academic education in Berlin, the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the ghetto of Shanghai, a new start in the United States and the sudden death of Illinois professor William Oldfather mark a career that was defined by loss and hardship.

Were it not for the brutalities of the war and a dramatic accident, classical scholarship could have possessed a groundbreaking Sidonius index half a century before Peder Christiansen, James Holland and Bill Dominik published their indispensable concordances. The least we can do is honouring the memory of its author, Fritz Kretschmer.

Read the full story here, with illustrations and two papers by Prof. Abbott who inherited Oldfather’s archive.

Harm Pinkster Knighted

Yesterday, 8 October, Harm Pinkster, trailblazer and standard bearer of the Amsterdam school of linguistics, was knighted in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his exceptional merits for Latin literature and linguistics. He received the award at the hands of the Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, Simone Kukenheim, during the presentation of the second volume of his magnum opus, the Oxford Latin Syntax.

Read news item

Nicolas Goldmann PhD Candidate

At the Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Nicolas Goldmann is working on a PhD thesis, provisional title ‘Die Briefe des Sidonius Apollinaris als gesellschaftlich-literarische Gelegenheiten’, under the supervision of Prof. Ulrike Egelhaaf-Gaiser and Prof. Meike Rühl.

Email nicolas.goldmann AT

Noël Duval Has Died

The distinguished French archaeologist Noël Duval has died. Born in 1929, he was a professor at Paris-Sorbonne University where he taught Late Antiquity and Byzantine Art. A defining personality in French archaeology for decades, he will be remembered, among much else, for his three-volume Les premiers monuments chrétiens de la France.

Obituary by the President of the Association pour l’Antiquité Tardive:

“Chers amis,

C’est avec beaucoup d’émotion et une très grande tristesse que je dois vous annoncer le décès de notre président d’honneur, Noël Duval, gravement malade depuis plusieurs années, survenu mercredi matin. Vous savez le rôle qu’il a joué dans la fondation de notre association et de la revue, deux entreprises qui lui tenaient profondément à coeur, la place éminente qu’il a tenue au sein de la communauté scientifique et son inlassable activité au service de l’archéologie de l’antiquité tardive, en Afrique du nord tout particulièrement. Même si nous ne le voyions plus parmi nous depuis longtemps, sa disparition nous touche profondément. Ses travaux stimuleront longtemps encore encore la réflexion scientifique. L’Association lui doit beaucoup et lui rendra hommage.

François Baratte