Blood for the Ghosts: Wilamowitz in Oxford


This essay offers thoughts on the scholarship and legacy of Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848-1931) on the centenary of his two lectures in Oxford, "Greek Historical Writing" and "Apollo." The circumstances of the visit are reviewed, and the lectures are analysed in the light of the rest of his oeuvre. The strong tension between Wilamowitz's historicism and classicism refutes his popular image as an arch-positivist. The reasons why he continues to arouse strong reactions both positive and negative are explored, and his place in the history of scholarship is assessed.