Kantorowicz, Ernst Hartwig

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KANTOROWICZ, ERNST HARTWIG (1895–1963), German medieval historian. Born and educated in Prussia, he joined the army in World War i and was wounded at Verdun. At Heidelberg, Kantorowicz carried out research in ancient and then in medieval history and produced his first and most famous book Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite (2 vols., 1927), which combined deep historical insight with literary skill and imagination. Critics who termed his interpretation a Mythenschau were silenced by Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite: Ergaenzungsband (1931). The book ran through several editions and was translated into English (Frederick the Second, 1931) and into Italian. In 1930, Kantorowicz was appointed professor of medieval history at Frankfurt. Dismissed by Nazi pressure in 1934, he went to Oxford as a lecturer and from there to the U.S. to the University of California (Berkeley) from 1940 to 1949, and after 1951 as professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. In America, Kantorowicz studied the nature of theocratic kingship as revealed in patristic, liturgical, and archaeological sources. He created a new area of studies, political theology, in Laudes regiae (1946, 19582), in The King's Two Bodies (1957), and in many papers which were later collected in his Selected Studies (1965).


Y. Malkiel in: Romance Philology, 18 (1964), 1–15; F. Baethgen, in: Deutsches Archiv fuer Erforschung des Mittelalters, 21 (1965), 1–17 (incl. bibl.).

[Helene Wieruszowski]