Leibniz Prize for Mischa Meier, Professor of Ancient History

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Mischa Meier

Mischa Meier

Tübingen ancient historian, Professor Mischa Meier, receives the annual Leibniz Prize awarded by the German Research Association (DFG). As the DFG announced on Thursday in Bonn, it honors Meier’s "groundbreaking work on the history of late antiquity, with which he has had a lasting influence on the field of ancient history and related disciplines both nationally and internationally." Meier has held his post in Tübingen since 2004. His activities include being spokesperson for the collaborative research center -Threatened Orders,- which analyses historical and current crises in politics, economics, society and nature; and taking a leading role in the Heidelberger Academy of Sciences and Humanities- project on the World Chronicle of Johannes Malalas.

"The Leibniz Prize for Mischa Meier is a great honor for the entire university and underscores the traditional importance of the humanities in Tübingen," said University president, Professor Bernd Engler. "Over the past decade and a half, his research has made a significant contribution to sharpening the profile of history studies in Tübingen and raising our profile internationally." Meier’s work focuses on the history of late antiquity, mainly of the 5th and 6th centuries, the migration of peoples, ethnological, anthropological and folklore approaches in ancient history, historical disaster research and the effects of antiquity in the music and literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mischa Meier was born on 13 June 1971 in Dortmund. He studied classical philology, history and education at the University of Bochum, where he received his doctorate in 1998 under Karl-Wilhelm Welwei with a thesis on Sparta in the 7th century BCE. At Bielefeld University in 2002 he wrote his habilitation thesis on the era of the Emperor Justinian. After working as a research assistant at the Universities of Bielefeld and Bonn, he was appointed to the Professorship of Ancient History at the University of Tübingen in 2004. Meier attracted wider attention with his book "Geschichte der Völkerwanderung- (History of the Migration Period), which was published in 2019 and is now in its 7th edition.

The historian has received several awards in recent years. In 2012 he received the Aby Warburg Foundation prize, in 2015 the Karl Christ Prize for Ancient History and in 2021 the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft’s non-fiction prize. He has been a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2010.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is Germany’s most important research prize. The Leibniz Program was established in 1985 to improve the working conditions of outstanding academics, to expand their research opportunities, to ease their administrative workload and to make it easier for them to employ particularly qualified young researchers. The prize is endowed with up to 2.5 million euros. In all, 17 University of Tübingen and Tübingen Max Planck Institute researchers have been selected for the Leibniz Prize since 1985.

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