Wolfgang Fritz Volbach-Fellowship

The Wolfgang Fritz Volbach-Fellowship was conceived as a link between the centre of research Mainz and international scholarly work within Byzantine Studies. The fellowship reaches out to foreign fellows with a doctoral degree (Post-Doc) who work in a field related to the subject of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus: Byzantium between orient and occident. The invitation consists of a one month research residence with full access to libraries, academic infrastructure and participation in interdisciplinary exchange.


The library of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) contains c. 170.000 media items and c. 2000 periodicals and is therefore one of the largest and most important specialist libraries on the archaeology of the old world in Europe. Combined with the comprehensive collections of the libraries of the Johannes Gutenberg-University, especially of the area Byzantine Studies at the Institute of History and the department Christian Archaeology and Byzantine History of Art at the Institute for History of Art and Music Science provide excellent conditions for academic work on all aspects of Byzantine culture.

Aside library structures, the collection of the RGZM comprises numerous Byzantine original finds and replicas and the collection of Prince Johann Georg zu Sachsen in the Landesmuseum Mainz (permanent loan of the Institute for History of Art and Music Science), and thus offers reference material for research in archaeology, history of art and material culture.


  • Grant of Euro 2000,- for four weeks residence in Mainz either during the summer oder winter term
  • Free accommodation in the guest house of the RGZM if within the following periods:

         - summer term 2017: May 8th – June 30th

         - winter term 2017/18: October 23th - December 17th

  • Fellows are invited to present their current research with a paper in the lecture series Byzanz in Mainz.

Application requirements

  • Applicants must possess a doctorate or an equivalent academic degree (e.g. PhD) and have a permanent residency abroad.
  • Applicants are engaged in a research project relevant to the subject of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz: Byzantium between orient and occident.
  • Applications are always welcome considering the following deadlines:

          - until October 1st 2016 for 2017

          - until October 1st 2017 for 2018

  • Please send applications via mail to managing director of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz Dr. Benjamin Fourlas (fourlas(at)rgzm.de) including application form and copies of academic certificates.


Wolfgang Fritz Volbach

The fellowship is named in honour of the important archaeologist and art historian Wolfgang Fritz Volbach († 1988) who was born in Mainz in 1892. He studied History of Art, Classical Archaeology and Medieval History at the universities of Tübingen, Munich, Berlin and Gießen. During his long academic career he significantly influenced research in late antique and Byzantine monuments in Germany. From 1917, for instance, he was employed in the department for Early Christian and Byzantine Art of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in Berlin, from 1930 to 1933 in the function of its director. From 1950 to 1953 he was the co-director of the RGZM, then head of the museum from 1953 to 1958. His studies on Early Christian and Medieval Archaeology and Art crossed traditional disciplinary limitations, a legacy that the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus aspires to continue. Volbach co-operated with famous representatives of contemporary Byzantine research, produced numerous catalogues and contributed greatly to the field of fundamental research, in particular.

His activity and academic profile set the foundations for the establishment of Byzantine studies at the RGZM, foundations which prove profitable to his successors until today. He has to be regarded as a pioneer of Byzantine studies in Mainz. Without Volbach, the foundation of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz: Byzantium between orient und occident under the aegis of the RGZM would not have been possible.

Volbach (on the left) in discussion with Prof. Dr. Victor Lazareff at the International Byzantine Congress 1971 at Bucarest.

Application form