Walter Ullmann

Walter Ullmann
Born (1910-11-29)November 29, 1910
Pulkau, Austria
Died 18 January 1983(1983-01-18) (aged 72)
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Nationality Austria
Academic work
Era 20th century
Discipline Historian
Institutions University of Leeds, University of Cambridge
Doctoral students Rosamond McKitterick, Janet Nelson
Main interests Medieval civil law and canon law

Walter Ullmann (November 29, 1910 in Pulkau January 18, 1983 in Cambridge[1]) was an Austrian-Jewish scholar, who settled in the United Kingdom after leaving Austria in the late 1930s. He was a recognised authority on medieval political thought, and in particular legal theory, an area in which he published prolifically.


Ullmann was the son of a doctor. He attended the classical languages school in Horn and studied law at Vienna and Innsbruck. Having a non-Aryan grandfather made it dangerous for him to remain in Austria, so he left for England in 1939 and took up a position in a Catholic boarding school in Leicestershire.

In 1940 he enlisted. He served for three years, first in the Royal Pioneer Corps and then in the Royal Engineers, before being discharged due to ill health.

After the war he had positions at the University of Leeds, and then from 1949 at the University of Cambridge, becoming a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He became Professor of Medieval History at Cambridge in 1972, retiring in 1978.

Notable people who studied under Ullman include Janet Nelson.

Ullmann principally concerned himself with the history of thought in the mediaeval period and the history of the Papacy in the Middle Ages. His most successful book was The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages, which deals with the relationship between secular and ecclesiastical power in medieval times. Innsbruck University awarded him an honorary doctorate in political science.




  1. "Walter Ullmann Is Dead at 72; Was Scholar on Middle Ages". New York Times. 1983-01-22.
Academic offices
Preceded by
C. R. Cheney
Professor of Medieval History, University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
J. C. Holt
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.