Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff, or Rostovtsev (Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Росто́вцев) (November 10 1870, Zhitomir, Ukraine – October 20, 1952, New Haven, USA) was an ancient historian whose career straddled the 19th and 20th centuries and who produced important works on ancient Roman and Greek history. He was a member of the Russian Academy of Science.
Rostovtzeff was the son of a Latin teacher. Upon completing his studies at the universities of Kiev and St. Petersburg, Rostovtsev served as an assistant and then as a full Professor of Latin at the University of St. Petersburg 1898–1918. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, he emigrated first to Sweden, then to England, and finally in 1920 to the United States. There he accepted a chair at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before moving to Yale University in 1925 where he taught until his retirement in 1944. He oversaw all archaeological activities of the latter institution in general and the excavations of Dura-Europos in particular. He is believed to have coined the term "caravan city".
While working in Russia, Rostovtzeff became an authority on the ancient history of South Russia and Ukraine. He summed up his knowledge on the subject in Iranians and Greeks in South Russia (1922) and Skythien und der Bosporus (1925). His most important archaeological findings at Yale were described in Dura-Europos and Its Art (1938)...
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