Andrew E.Z. Alföldi
From Hungarian Studies:
András Alföldi used his supreme knowledge of all kinds of sources to promote the unity of classical studies. His first important works dealt with the archaeology and history of Pannónia and Dacia and, despite many in-depth studies, his book on the end of the Roman domination in Pannónia, published seventy years ago, still commands the field. He, however, knew not only the history of Pannónia and Dacia, but also that of the whole frontier from the Black Sea to the Rhine; and he also contributed a chapter to the Cambridge Ancient History. His expertise extended not only to the frontiers, but also to the ceremonies and insignia of the imperial court, not only to the pagan culture, but also to Christianity in the Roman Empire, not only to the conversion of Constantine, but also to the pagan counter-propaganda. The so-called contor-niat-coins, had been totally misunderstood before him. I will not speak of his activity after he had left Hungary in 1947 and lived in the United States, though he confessed himself to be a Hungarian for the rest of his life. It is impossible to appreciate his work duly in such a short survey. I wish only to indicate that his entire lifework is one of the most important contributions to international scholarship. Still one element of his scholarly activity must be mentioned, because it is of principal importance; namely his investigations of the culture of the so-called border peoples and the mounted nomads. He published important papers on the theriomorphic world-conception of these peoples, on the social position of the smiths in these societies, on bear-cult in Eurasia, and knew how to use this material in the study of early Rome.