Christian Habicht has been a Professor in the School of Historical Studies since 1973, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1998. A leading historian of the Hellenistic period, he is an authority on Greek epigraphy and on the history of Athens in the centuries between the fall of the Athenian Empire and the establishment of the Roman Empire.
In 1935, Professor Benjamin Meritt took the first steps to build a Repository of Squeezes—impressions of inscriptions that allow scholars to more easily study them. He wrote to Director Abraham Flexner that it “will be second only to that in Berlin.” Today, the Institute houses one of the world’s largest collections of squeezes.
“Who are you?” A simple question sometimes requires a complex
answer. When a Homeric hero is asked who he is (e.g. Iliad
7.123 ff.), his answer consists of more than just his name; he
provides a list of his ancestors. The history of his family is
“I remember going into Professor Habicht’s office—he always had time no matter how busy he was—and saying ‘How would you like it if IG II2 2971 dates to around 250 instead of 314?’ . . . I did not expect to hear anything for a day or two, as I had interrupted him in the midst of his work. Was I ever mistaken! About one half hour later I opened my door to his knock…”