Dr. Ostwald, Classical Studies

Dr. Martin Ostwald, professor emeritus of classical studies and renowned scholar of the ancient Greek political thought and institutions, passed away April 10, 2010, at age 88.

Dr. Ostwald was born in Dortmund, Germany in 1922. He earned his BA from the University of Toronto in 1946, his AM from the University of Chicago in 1948 and his PhD from Columbia University in 1952, all in the classics.

Prior to coming to Penn in 1968, Dr. Ostwald held faculty positions at Wesleyan University and Columbia University. During his tenure at Penn, he also served on the faculty at Swarthmore College. He retired from both institutions in 1992. In addition to these primary appointments, Dr. Ostwald taught as a visiting professor at Princeton University, Balliol College, Oxford University, University of California at Berkeley and at the Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

He was author of From Popular Sovereignty to the Sovereignty of Law, among many books and essays. In 2009, Penn Press published a collection of his essays, Language and History in Ancient Greek Culture, in which he makes key concepts in ancient Greek social and political culture accessible to a contemporary audience.

Dr. Ostwald’s many honors and awards include him being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977. He was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991 and as a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1993. He was editor of The Cambridge Ancient History from 1976 to 1992.

Dr. Ostwald is survived by his wife, Lore; children, Mordechai and David; and grandchildren, Madeleine, Joseph, and Olivia.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1399 South Roxbury Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90035.