Mommsen, Theodor (30 November 1817 - 1 November 1903)
Theodor Mommsen (30 November 1817 - 1 November 1903)
BOOKS: Liederbuch dreier Freunde, by Mommsen, Theodor Storm, and Tycho Mommsen (Kiel, 1843);
Oskische Studien, 2 volumes (Berlin: Nicolai, 1845, 1846);
Die Grundrechte des deutschen Volkes, mit Belehrungen und Erläuterungen, anonymous (Leipzig: Wigand, 1849); as Mommsen (Frankfurt am Main: Klotermann, 1969);
Die unteritalischen Dialekte (Leipzig: wigand, 1850);
Über das römische Münzwesen (Leipzig: weidmann, 1850);
Die Schweiz in römischer Zeit (Zurich, 1854);
Römische Geschichte, volumes 1-3 (Berlin: weidmann, 1854-1856); volume 4 never published; volume 5 published as Die Provinzen von Caesar bis Diokletian (Berlin: weidmann, 1885); translated by william P. Dickson as The History of Rome,4 volumes (London: Bentley, 1862-1866; New York: Scribner, 1868); translation revised, 5 volumes (London: Bentley, 1894; New York: Scribner, 1895); original expanded as Römische Geschichte: Vollständige Ausgabe in acht Bänden,8 volumes (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch, 1976);
Die römische Chronologie bis auf Caesar (Berlin: weidmann, 1858; expanded, 1859);
Geschichte des römeschen Münzwesens (Berlin: weidmann, 1860);
Römische Forschungen, 2 volumes (Berlin: weidmann, 1864, 1879);
Römisches Staatsrecht, 3 volumes (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1871 1888);
Die Örtlichkeit der Varusschlacht (Berlin: weidmann, 1885);
Abriss des römischen Staatsrechts (Leipzig: Dunker & Humblot, 1893);
Römisches Strafrecht,3 volumes (Leipzig: Duncker & Hum-blot, 1899);
Weihe-Inschrift für Valerius Dalmatius (Berlin: Königlich Preussische Akademie der wissenschaften, 1902);
Gesammelte Schriften,8 volumes (Berlin: weidmann, 1904);
Reden und Aufsätze (Berlin: weidmann, 1905);
Tagebuch der französisch-italienischen Reise, 1844/1845, edited by Gerold Walser and Brigitte Walser (Bern: Lang, 1976).
Editions and Collections: Das weltreich der Caesaren, excerpted from Römische Geschichte (Vienna & Leipzig: Phaidon, 1933);
Judaea und die Juden, excerpted from Römische Geschichte (Berlin: Schocken, 1936);
Gaius Julius Caesar, ein vollendeter Staatsmann, excerpted from volume 3 of Römische Geschichte (Berlin: Rabenpresse, 1941);
Das römische Imperium der Cäsaren, edited by Kurt L. walter-Schomburg (Berlin: Safari, 1941);
Römische Kaisergeschichte: Nach den Vorlesungs-Mitschriften von Sebastian und Paul Hensel 1882/86, edited by Barbara Demandt and Alexander Demandt (Munich: Beck, 1992); translated by Clare Krojzl as A History of Rome under the Emperors, edited by Thomas wiedmann (London: Routledge, 1996).
Editions in English: The History of Rome, abridged by Dero A. Saunders and John H. Collins (Clinton, Mass.: Meridian Books, 1958);
The Provinces of Rome from Caesar to Diocletian, revised edition of volume 5 of Römische Geschichte, translated by william P. Dickson, 2 volumes (Chicago: Ares, 1974).
OTHER: Inscriptiones regni neapolitani latinae, edited by Mommsen (Leipzig: wiegand, 1852);
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum,15 volumes, edited by Mommsen (Berlin: Reimer, 1862-1902);
Analecta Liviana, edited by Mommsen (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1873);
Chronica minora saec. I V, V, VI, VIII, Monumenta Germaniae historica,3 volumes, edited by Mommsen (Berlin: Weidmann, 1892-1898).
In 1902 the swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature not to a writer of fiction, drama, or verse, but to an historian. Theodor Mommsen’s Römische Geschichte (1854-1885; translated as the History of Rome, 1862-1866, 1894) was considered such a monumental work that it induced the swedish Academy to award him the prize. The guidelines left by Alfred Nobel for the prize committee stated that “literature” should be interpreted to include not only belles lettres “but also other writings that in form or content show literary value.” The secretary of the swedish Academy, C. D. of wirsén, elaborated at the award ceremony that this definition sanctioned “the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to philosophers, writers on religious subjects, scientists, and historians, provided that their work is distinguished by artistic excellence of presentation as well as by the high value of its contents.” what was even more remarkable about the award in 1902, only the second time the prize was offered, was that among Mommsen’s competitors were Mark twain, Henrik Ibsen, Emile Zola, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Leo Tolstoy. The citation from the swedish Academy celebrated Mommsen as “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome.”
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was born on 30 November 1817, the eldest of six children born to Jens Mommsen and his wife, Sophie (née Krumbhaar). He was raised in Garding, a small town in Slesvig (Schleswig), then under Danish rule, and later at Oldesloe, a small town in Holstein between Hamburg and Lübeck. His father, who was a Protestant minister, taught the boy at home until 1834, when he was ready to attend the Gymnasium Christianeum in Altona near Hamburg. In 1838 Mommsen enrolled at the University of Kiel, where he studied classical philology and law and graduated in 1843 with a dissertation on Roman law. In 1844 he was awarded a travel grant by the king of Denmark that enabled him to conduct archaeological research with special emphasis on Latin inscriptions in Italy. Later, he turned the expertise gained in this field into his specialty.
One aspect of Römische Geschichte that critics noted was Mommsen’s vivid style. In the Nobel presentation speech, wirsén commented that Mommsen had “that artistic presentation which alone can give life and concreteness to a description,” and added, “His intuition and his creative power bridge the gap between the historian and the poet.” Mommsen’s interest in style and creative writing were evident as early as 1843, when he contributed some poems to the volume Liederbuch dreier Freunde (Song book of Three Friends), which he published with his brother Tycho and another friend, Theodor Storm, who later became a minor realist writer. wirsén said that this volume proved Mommsen “might have become a servant of the Muses if, in his own words, circumstances had not brought it about that ‘What with folios and with prose / not every bud turned out a rose..’”
When Mommsen returned to Germany in 1848, he got involved in the revolution against the Danish government. German liberals had formed a provisional govern ment in Slesvig-Holstein in opposition to the Danish government that intended to incorporate Slesvig into the Danish state. Mommsen joined the revolutionary army and was active as a journalist and editor of a liberal pro-German paper, the schleswing-Holsteinische Zeitung, but he did not envision a future in either politics or journalism. Although Austria and Prussia intervened on behalf of the independence of Slesvig-Holstein from Denmark, the duchies did not become a part of the North German Confederation until 1866.
Mommsen was trained as a classical philologist, but his dissertation in Roman law enabled him to accept an appointment as professor of law at the University of Leipzig in 1848. Since continental law was based on Roman law and not on Anglo-Saxon case law, every law student was required to take classes in Roman law, and every law faculty in Germany had at least one member who specialized in it. In 1850 Mommsen was sentenced to nine months in prison because of his participation in the 1849 uprising in Saxony that also involved Richard wagner, who had to go into exile in switzerland. Mommsen’s sentence was suspended, but he was dismissed from his teaching position in Leipzig.
Mommsen was forced to go abroad. In 1852 he was appointed professor of law at the University of Zurich. He returned to Germany when he was appointed professor of law at the University of Breslau from 1854 to 1858. In 1854 Mommsen married Marie Auguste Reimer, the daughter of the publisher who had commissioned Römische Geschichte. Mommsen and his wife went on to have sixteen children. Mommsen was ahead of his time when he insisted on higher education not only for his sons but also for his daughters. In addition to receiving secondary education, all of his daughters were trained for a profession.
Between 1854 and 1856 Mommsen published the first three volumes of his Römische Geschichte. The 1895 five-volume translation by william P. Dickson is the standard American edition. Mommsen’s history begins with the earliest migrations into Italy, the settlements of the Latins, the original constitution of Rome, the abolition of the monarchy in Rome, and the struggle of the Italians against Rome. Volume one (volumes one through three of the American edition) ends with the subjugation of Carthage and the Greek states. This volume includes descriptions of the battles against Hannibal, the Phoenician general who defeated the Romans at Cannae in 216 b.c. and was finally defeated by Scipio Africanus at Zama in North Africa in 202 b.c.
Most important was Mommsen’s outline of the original constitution of Rome, because his three-volume work is held together by his concept of a constitution in constant change adapting to New functions that evolved from Rome’s development of a city-state into a world power. Mommsen believed that Roman law was unique in the embodiment of the principles of family life, as it evolved from a state of nature: “The Roman family from the first contained within it the conditions of a higher culture in the moral adjustment of the mutual relations of its members.” Although only men could be head of a family, women did not hold a position inferior to men in terms of property and money: “Within the house.. woman was not servant but mistress.” From a legal point of view, however, “the family was absolutely guided and governed by the single all-powerful will of the ‘father of the household..” Mommsen’s Römische Geschichte showed how the Roman state was based on the Roman household through its his tory: “The body-politic was modeled after the family both generally and in detail.” Since there was no natural master in the community of people, somebody “from its own ranks became its ‘leader’ (rex) and lord in the household of the Roman community.” This office “began at once and by right when the position had become vacant and the successor had been designated.” The king needed the consent of the community in order to rule; the people did not owe full obedience to the king until he had convoked the assembly of freemen capable of bearing arms and had for mally challenged its allegiance. Only then did he possess “in its entireness that power over the community which belonged to the housefather in his household; and, like him, he ruled for life.” The regal power of the king did not have any external check imposed by law: “the master of the community had no judge of his acts within the community, any more than the house-father had a judge within his household. Death alone terminated his power.” The only balance was the equality of rights among the citizens. According to Mommsen, “the equality of rights within the burgess-body was complete.” He maintained that “no people has ever equaled that of Rome in the inexorable rigor, in which it has carried out” this principle. But this emphasis on Roman law did not mean that Mommsen neglected art and literature. He included special chapters in volumes one through three that dealt with the literature, art, and science of particular periods.
Volume two deals with the reform movement and various revolutions (volumes three and four of the American edition). Volume three analyzes the establishment of a military monarchy in Rome (volumes four and five of the American edition). Its antepenultimate chapter deals with Gaius Julius Caesar at the age of fifty-six, after the battle of Thapsus (46 b.c.) that was decided in favor of Caesar in his fight against the defenders of the Roman republic. It was the beginning of what Mommsen called the “monarchy of Caesar.”
Marcus Cato, the last representative of the Roman republic, fell on his sword at Utica in 46 b.c., marking the end of the era. Mommsen considered the Roman republic a great political system, but as an historian he realized that it was doomed to destruction because it was unable to respond to the challenges of an empire. In his opinion, Cato did not die in vain:
It was a fearfully striking protest of the republic against the monarchy, that the last republican went as the first monarch came—a protest which tore asunder like gossamer all that so-called constitutional character with which Caesar invested his monarchy, and exposed in all its hypocritical falsehood the shibboleth of the reconciliation of all parties, under the aegis of which despotism grew up.
Although he was critical of Caesar’s hatred of Cato even beyond the grave, Mommsen’s assessment of the republican opposition was harsh; he called Cato a fool, albeit a tragic fool like Don Quixote, and concluded that republi canism derived from him its whole attitude: “stately, transcendental in its rhetoric,” but also “pretentiously rigid, hopeless, and faithful to death.”
Mommsen perceived Caesar as “the sole creative genius produced by Rome, and the last produced by the ancient world, which accordingly moved on in the path that he marked out for it until its sun went down.” From this sentence Mommsen’s reasons for never writing volume four of Römische Geschichte become obvious: his history of Rome was completed with end of the ancient world. A New history began with Emperor Augustus in 27 b.c.
For Mommsen, “Caesar was a statesman in the deepest sense of the term, and his aim was the highest which man is allowed to propose to himself-the political, military, intellectual, and moral regeneration of his own deeply decayed nation, and of the still more decayed Hellenic nation intimately akin to his own.” Mommsen praised Caesar as a great orator, author, and general. He admitted that Caesar was a monarch but maintained that “he was never seized by the giddiness of the tyrant.” He insisted that Caesar “remained democrat even when monarch,” retaining the essential ideas of Roman democracy that consisted of “alleviation of the burdens of debtors, overseas colonization, gradual equalization of the differences of rights among the classes belonging to the state, emancipation of the executive power from the senate.” Mommsen concluded that Caesar’s monarchy “was so little at variance with democracy, that democracy on the contrary only attained its completion and fulfillment by means of that monarchy.” He explained that Caesar’s monarchy “Was not the Oriental despotism of divine right” and compared him to Pericles and Oliver Cromwell as “the representation of the nation by the man in whom it puts supreme and unlimited confidence.”
Mommsen discussed the issue of Caesarism that was a current topic because of the rule of Napoleon III of France, but he insisted that Caesar and Roman imperialism were “a sharper censure of modern autocracy than could be written by the hand of man.” In the end, Caesar’s office was that of dictator perpetuus (dictator for life), but Mommsen claimed that Caesar did not abuse his office. His New title as imperator was considered more appropriate for his function as democratic king and commander in chief. Furthermore, Mommsen maintained that Caesar was not to be designated as “a world-conqueror in the same sense as Alexander and Napoleon,” because his monarchy did not rest on the support of the army. He sub ordinated military authority to the civil commonwealth and averted military despotism.
Caesar’s assassination in 44 b.c. was not even mentioned in Römische Geschichte. Mommsen concluded his chapter on Caesar with the highest praise for this nation-builder: “Thus he worked and created as never did any mortal before him or after him; and as a worker and creator he still.. lives in the memory of nations-the first, and withal unique, Imperator Caesar.” The final chapter on religion, culture, literature, and art appears as an afterthought.
Some critics objected to Mommsen’s subjective judgments, especially with reference to his unfavorable remarks concerning Caesar’s enemies. He had called Cato, the last representative of republican freedom, a fool and considered Cicero, the famous orator and creator of modern Latin prose, a “short-sighted egotist an a journalist in the worst sense of that term.” He concluded that “the dreadful barrenness of thought in the Ciceronian orations must revolt every reader of feeling and judgment.” Other objections were raised to what wirsén called “Mommsen’s admiration of the power of genius even when it breaks the law, as well as to his statement that in history, which has no trials for high treason, a revolutionary can be a farsighted and praiseworthy statesman.” But wirsén defended Mommsen, emphasizing that he never glorified “brute power” but extolled “that power which serves the high goals of the state.” He also addressed the criticism concerning Mommsen’s anachronistic choice of political terms, such as Junkertum (landed gentry), the modern city name Coblenz instead of Latin Confluentes, Camarilla (secret advisers), Lanzknechte (mercenaries), Marschälle (military officers of highest rank), and Sbirren (executory officers), defending it as a product of his learning. He thought that it added “freshness” to the narrative. Modern historians have criticized Mommsen for his description of Roman politics as a “two-party system” of the “democratic party” and the “oligarchic party.” According to modern historiography, there was no such political division in the Roman republic, and the usage of the modern terms confused the issues.
A final argument in favor of Mommsen was the fact that he severely condemned “the curse of the Roman system of slavery.” He pointed out that Rome suffered more severely from a disproportionately large body of slaves than any other state of antiquity. Slavery was not only a security problem, as the gladiatorial wars (73-71 b.c.) under the leadership of Spartacus showed, but also a source of demoralization because of the absence of freedom. Mommsen emphasized that Caesar tried to improve this deplorable situation by filling posts that demanded special confidence “With his slaves, freedmen, or clients of humble birth.”
It is difficult to understand how Mommsen as a liberal intellectual could reconcile his highly idealized image of Caesar with his expectations for a democratic Germany. But in 1858, after the defeat of the revolution of 1848 and the dissolution of the Frankfurt Assembly in 1849, the prospect of a democratic king was perhaps a promising solution. The decision of the swedish Academy in 1902 to award the Nobel Prize in Literature to an historian who projected this image of the dictator perpetuus as a democratic king was even more difficult to explain. The appeal of the Römische Geschichte to the educated readers of the nineteenth century must have been that their school-day lessons in Roman history came alive again in Mommsen’s descriptions of battle scenes and portrayal of great men in times of stress and turmoil. But the ultimate appeal may have been Mommsen’s analyses of a political system responding to change: a constitution designed for a city-state had to be revised again and again to stay functional for an imperial power that ruled the ancient world. According to Momm sen, this constitution of an empire reached its fulfillment under Caesar’s dictatorship. Such an imaginative account of this process as Mornmsen’s Römische Geschichte must have had a tremendous appeal during a century of nation building in Europe. The work was translated into Italian (1857), Russian (1858), English (1862), French (1863), Polish (1867), Hungarian (1874), Spanish (1875), and Danish (1875). The unification of Italy through Rome’s military power and Caesar’s policy of empire building must have been an inspiration to educated readers in nineteenth-century Europe. Germany, Italy, Poland, and Hungary were not even nation-states at the time of the first publication and translation of Mommsen’s history in their languages.
By 1858 Mommsen was a permanent member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin and the general editor of, and chief contributor to, the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Collection of Latin Inscriptions). This monumental work, started by Mommsen in 1853 when the Prussian king awarded funding, began to appear in 1863, and he supervised the publication of fifteen of its volumes. The inscriptions served not only as epitaphs but also as promulgation of laws, providing the basic texts for the study of Roman history. Today, the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum represents the foundation for any systematic study of Roman government, administration, economics, and finance. Between 1892 and 1898 Mommsen also helped to edit three volumes of the Monumenta Germaniae historica (Historical Sources of Germany), a collection of sources of the ancient and medieval history of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In 1860 he published Geschichte des römischen Münzwesens, a history of the Roman coin system.
In 1861 Mommsen was appointed professor of ancient history at the University of Berlin, a position he held until his death in 1903. From 1874 to 1899 he served as secretary of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and from 1874 to 1875 he was Rektor (president) of the University of Berlin. In 1879 Mommsen became involved in the so-called Anti-Semitism Controversy when he severely criticized his colleague Heinrich von Treitschke, professor of Prussian history at the University of Berlin, for publishing an antiSemitic article titled “Unsere Aussicht” (Our Prospects), claiming that “the Jews are our misfortune.” This statement became an often-quoted slogan of German anti-Semitism. Treitschke supported the Christian anti-Semitism of the Berlin court chaplain Adolf Stoecker, who blamed the poor social conditions of the German working class on Jewish immigration from Russia. The German government under Otto von Bismarck exploited the anti-Semitic movement to divert attention from the failures of its social welfare program. Mommsen argued that German unification included not only Saxons, swabians, and Pommeranians but also German Jews. Mommsen exposed the alleged Jewish mass immigration from the East as pure fiction. When Treitschke argued that Jews should become Germans, which was code for conversion to Christianity,
Mommsen told him that they were as entitled to be called good Germans as anybody else, including Treitschke and himself. He warned of a civil war of a majority against a minority and called such a confrontation a “national calamity.” He was against any kind of discrimination, especially in education and employment. He argued that Jews should be able to become civil servants and judges, if they were qualified, like anybody else. On the other hand, in “Auch ein Wort über unser Judentum” (Another Commentary on Our Jewry, included in his Reden und Aufsätze [1905, Lectures and Essays]), Mommsen did advise Jews to assimilate, if they wanted to become an integral part of the German nation; everybody had to pay a price, “but we contribute our individuality to a common fatherland.” Mommsen also founded, along with the jurist Rudolf von Gneist, the “Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus” (Society for the Prevention of Anti-Semitism), a mostly Christian organization, in 1891.
Mommsen considered himself not only a scholar but also a “political animal,” as he said. He served as a member of the Progressive Party in the Landtag (state parliament of Prussia) from 1863 to 1866 and again from 1873 to 1879. He often found himself in opposition to Bismarck, the head of the Prussian government, especially when Bismarck broke with the Liberal Party. After unification in 1871, Mommsen was elected in 1881 to represent the radical wing of the Liberal Party in the Reichstag (German imperial parliament). In 1882 he had another encounter with Bismarck when he was tried and acquitted on a charge of slandering the imperial chancellor in a speech that criticized the social policies of the German government. Mommsen opposed various conservative bills regarding schools and universities, charging obscurantism, and in 1902 he advocated a coalition between the left wing of the Liberal Party and the socialists, organized as the Social Democratic Party. Mommsen was an ardent supporter of German unification but had strong reservations about the restrictions of civil liberties. He was especially opposed to the uncritical obedience of the average German toward government authorities. As biographer Stefan Rebenich concluded, Mommsen represented a “perfect personification of the German bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century, tormented with deep political frustration and combining firm belief in scientific progress and historical cognition with persevering zest for work and assiduous sense of duty.”
In 1885 Mommsen published the fifth and final volume of the Römische Geschichte, which is a history of the Roman provinces during the first three centuries of the modern era. Volume four was never written because Mommsen was not interested in the period of the Roman emperors. His excuse was that there were plenty of monographs covering that period. In 1992 Barbara Demandt and Alexander Demandt edited Römische Kaisergeschichte:Nach den Vorlesungs-Mitschriften von Sebastian und Paul Hensel 1882/86 (translated as A History of Rome under the Emperors, 1996), an attempt to re-create the contents of volume four from notes taken by two of Mommsen’s students from his lectures on this period.
Mommsen’s Römisches Staatsrecht (Roman Constitutional Law) was published in three volumes between 1871 and 1888. His three-volume Römisches Strafrecht (Roman Criminal Law) appeared in 1899. In 1901 he wrote “Universitätsunterricht und Konfession” (University Instruction and Religious Affiliation, included in Reden und Aufsätze), an article on university instruction and religion demanding that university appointments be made regardless of the candidates’ religious affiliations. His key phrase was “Voraussetzungslosigkeit aller wissenschaftlichen Forschung” (scholarly research without preconditions). Mommsen considered this type of research the goal of scholarship for which all academicians should strive. Critics have quoted this phrase ever since to characterize his place in historiography.
When Theodor Mommsen was awarded the Nobel Prize, Wirsén pointed out that his name had been proposed by eighteen members of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, proving his prominence in the academic world. Because of his advanced age, Mommsen did not attend the award ceremony, and the German ambassador replied for him at the banquet. Mommsen died a year later in Berlin-Charlottenburg on 1 November 1903.
Briefwechsel, 1842-1868, edited by Lothar Wickert (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1962).
Karl Zangemeister, Theodor Mommsen als Schriftsteller: Ein Verzeichnis seiner Schriften, edited and revised by Emil Jacobs (Berlin: Weidmann, 1905); newly revised by Stefan Rebenich (Hildesheim: Weidmann, 2000).
Lothar Wickert, Theodor Mommsen: Eine Biographie,4 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1958-1980);
Stefan Rebenich, Theodor Mommsen: Eine Biographie (Munich: Beck, 2002).
Walter Boehlich, ed., Der Berliner Antisemitismusstreit (Frankfurt am Main: Insel, 1965);
Karl Christ, “Theodor Mommsen und die Römische Geschichte,” in Mommsen, Römische Geschichte: Vollständige Ausgabe in acht Bänden, volume 8 (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch, 1976), pp. 7–66;
Joachim C. Fest, Wege zur Geschichte: Über Theodor Mommsen, Jacob Burckhardt and Golo Mann, second edition (Zurich: Manesse, 1993), pp. 27–70;
W. Warde Fowler, Theodor Mommsen: His Life and Work (Edinburgh: Clark, 1909);
Alfred Heuss, Theodor Mommsen und das 19 Jahrhundert (Kiel: Hirt, 1956);
Wilfried Nippel and Bernd Seidensticker, eds., Theodor Mommsens langer Schatten: Das römische Staatsrecht als bleibende Herausforderung für die Forschung (Hildesheim: Olms, 2005);
Richard Schöne, Erinnerungen an Theodor Mommsen zum 30. November 1917, edited by Hermann Schöne (Münster: Selbstverlag des Präsidiums der 54. Versammlung deutscher Philologen und Schulmänner, 1923);
Wilhelm Weber, Theodor Mommsen: Zum Gedächtnis seines 25. Todestages (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1929);
Lothar Wickert, Drei Vorträge über Theodor Mommsen (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1970);
Josef Wieshöfer and Henning Börme, eds., Theodor Mommsen: Gelehrter, Politiker und Literat (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2005);
Albert Wucher, Theodor Mommsen: Geschichtsschreibung und Politik (Göttingen: Musterschmidt, 1956).
The major archives of Theodor Mommsen’s papers are in Berlin at the Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Staatsbibliotek zu Berlin; and in Marbach am Neckar at the Schiller-Nationalmuseum.