Wolfgang Fritz Volbach-Fellowship

The aim of the Wolfgang Fritz Volbach-fellowship is to link the research location Mainz/Frankfurt more closely with international experts in the field of Byzantine Studies. It allows scholars working on a subject related to the Leibniz ScienceCampus - Byzantium between Orient and Occident - Mainz/Frankfurt a four-week research stay in Mainz or in Frankfurt. They will be able to use libraries and scholarly infrastructures there and can participate in the lively interdisciplinary professional debates at both universities. Each year, the Executive Board awards one fellowship per semester (winter and summer) to scholars at an early career stage.

Resources in Mainz and Frankfurt

The library of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum 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. The library of the Leibniz Institute of European History offers approximately 90.000 printed titles and 900.000 licensed online resources on the history of Europe from the mid-15th century onwards. It focuses on general European history and international history, as well as on church history and the history of theology since the period of Humanism and the Reformation.

The resources of the two Leibniz Institutes are complemented by the extensive holdings of the libraries at the Johannes Gutenberg University, notably the special libraries of the area of Byzantine Studies at the Institute of History and the department of Christian Archaeology and Byzantine History of Art at the Institute for History of Art and Music Science.

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 by the Institute for History of Art and Music Science). The collections thus offer reference material for research in archaeology, history of art and material culture.

The Frankfurt am Main University Library, with its extensive inventories and collections, is one of the central academic libraries in the Federal Republic of Germany. The Bibliothekszentrum Geisteswissenschaften has a focus on literature in late antiquity and the early Byzantine era. It coordinates its purchases with the library of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, which houses the most extensive inventory of Byzantine Studies in the region and provides access to the electronic resources of the Max Planck Society. For archaeological research projects, the library of the Romano-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute holds relevant stocks, especially on journals. For questions of religious history, the Library of the St. Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology offers additional resources.

This abundance of resources in the Rhine-Main area offers excellent conditions for research on all aspects of Byzantine culture from late antiquity as well as on questions of reception history.

Conditions

  • Grant of Euro 2500 for a four weeks' stay in Mainz or Frankfurt
  • Free accommodation in the Guest House of the RGZM can be guaranteed during the following periods:
              - Summer term 2020: May 4th - June 28th
              - Winter term 2020/21: October 19th - December 13th
    Free accommodation in the guest house of the Goethe University can be arranged.
  • Fellows are invited to present their current research with a paper in the lecture series Byzanz in Mainz & Frankfurt.


Candidature

  • Applicants are at an early stage of their careers (up to six years after graduation or equivalent, e.g. PhD) and are affiliated to an institution abroad (university, research institution, museum, etc.)
  • Applicants work on a research project on the topic of the Leibniz ScienceCampus - Byzantium between Orient and Occident - Mainz/Frankfurt in the period from late antiquity to modern times with concrete links to current projects.
  • The application for 2020 must be submitted electronically by October 15th 2019. Please send applications via mail to managing director of the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Mainz/Frankfurt 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, and was its director form 1930 to 1933. 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 fundamental research (Grundlagenforschung) 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 thus was a pioneer of Byzantine studies in Mainz. Without Volbach, the foundation of the Leibniz ScienceCampus - Byzantium between Orient and 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.
Volbach (on the left) in discussion with Prof. Dr. Victor Lazareff at the International Byzantine Congress 1971 at Bucarest.

Application form


The fellowship is paused due to the corona pandemic until further notice.

 

Fellows