Levison, Wilhelm

views updated


LEVISON, WILHELM (1876–1947), medievalist. Born in Duesseldorf, Germany, Levison taught at Bonn University from 1903, becoming professor in 1912. He specialized in the early Merovingian and Carolingian periods, being the first scholar to treat Rhenish history as an integral part of German and European history (cf. the chapter he contributed to the Geschichte des Rheinlandes (vol. 1 (1922), 45–168)). He took part, first as assistant and later as coeditor, in editing volumes 3–5 of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, 5–7 (1910–20); Levison also completely revised and reedited the first part of W. Wattenbach's classic, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter… (3 vols, 1952–57). Many of his articles were published in his Aus rheinischer und fraenkischer Fruehzeit (1948). The rise of Hitler drove Levison from Germany and he accepted a fellowship at the University of Durham, England. In 1943, he delivered the Ford lectures at Oxford, which form part of his best-known book, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (1946).

add. bibliography:

R. Schieffer, "Der Mediaevist Wilhelm Levison," in: K. Duewell (ed.), Vertreibung juedischer Kuenstler und Wissenschaftler aus Duesseldorf (1998), 165–75; P.E. Huebinger, Wilhelm Levison (1968); T. Schieffer, In Memoriam Wilhelm Levison (1977).

[Helene Wieruszowski]