The Department of Classics and Archaeology is very sad to have learnt of the death of Wolf Liebeschuetz on 11 July 2022.
John Hugo Wolfgang Gideon Liebeschuetz, always known as Wolf, was born in Hamburg in 1927. His family escaped to the United Kingdom before the outbreak of the Second World War. He took his degrees at University College London (studying under A.H.M. Jones and Arnaldo Momigliano) and, after some years as a schoolteacher, was appointed to a lectureship in the Classics Department at the University of Leicester in 1963.
In 1979, he succeeded E.A. Thompson as Professor of Ancient History in the then Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies at Nottingham, of which he also became head of department. He would remain at the University until his retirement in 1992 – he was elected a fellow of the British Academy in the same year. Wolf played a crucial role in shepherding the department through the 1980s (orchestrating its merger with those of Sheffield and Lancaster), paving the way for its subsequent success. He was actively engaged in the life of the department long after his retirement, continuing to come in for some departmental seminars until just before the pandemic and remaining a stalwart of the local Classical Association.
Wolf was a very distinguished and productive scholar, perhaps best known for his books Antioch: City and Imperial Administration in the Later Roman Empire (1972) and The Decline and Fall of the Roman City (2001). He was also an unusually kind one: many will be able to recall an encounter with Wolf, marked by his old-fashioned courtesy, genuine interest in the works of others, and delight in friendly intellectual discussion.
Posted on Tuesday 9th August 2022