The Wittelsbach Kingdom of Greece in Bavarian historiography

by Astrid Bösl (University of Munich)

In 1898 the first chair of Bavarian history was established at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The beginning of the academic community that dealt with Bavarian history reaches back to the early 19th century, but was treated shabbily in historiography before the foundation of the chair.1 Sigmund Riezler became the first holder of the chair in Bavarian history. He defined Bavarian history not as an isolated or particular process, but rather as part of an all-German evolution. Due to this, critics accused him of having a too friendly position towards the German Empire. In 1917 Michael Doeberl replaced Riezler as chair. Doeberl’s work was shaped by terms of state, dynasty and church, and the evolution of the Bavarian state since the Middle Ages.2 His three-volume monograph Entwicklungsgeschichte Bayerns was probably his greatest work.3 The next historian to hold the chair, Karl Alexander von Müller, focused on the cultural history of the 16th to 19th century as well as on the political history of the 19th century, the history of parties, socialism and World War I. During the period of National Socialism, Bavarian history was subordinated to the regime’s broader worldview. A particularized view of history did not fit into the ideology of the new system. Von Müller’s work during that time focused more on the approaches of folklore.4 Weiterlesen

  1.  Katharina Weigand, Der Lehrstuhl für bayerische Landesgeschichte an der Universität München und sein erster Inhaber Sigmund von Riezler, in: Wilhelm Volkert / Walter Ziegler, eds, Im Dienst der Bayerischen Geschichte, München 1999, 307-350, 308-309.
  2.  Ferdinand Kramer, Der Lehrstuhl für bayerische Landesgeschichte von 1917 bis 1977, in: Wilhelm Volkert / Walter Ziegler, eds, Im Dienst der Bayerischen Geschichte, München 1999, 351-406, 357-358.
  3.  Michael Doeberl, Entwicklungsgeschichte Bayerns. Volume 1 Von den ältesten Zeiten zum Westfälischen Frieden, München 1906. Volume 2 Vom Westfälischen Frieden bis zum Tode König Maximilians I., München 1912. Volume 3 Vom Regierungsantritt König Ludwigs I. bis zum Tode König Ludwigs II. mit einem Ausblick auf die innere Entwicklung Bayerns unter dem Prinzregenten Luitpold, ed. by Max Spindler, München 1931.
  4.  Matthias Berg, Karl Alexander von Müller. Historiker für den Nationalsozialismus, Göttingen 2014.

Greek Historiography of the Bavarian Rule

by Stathis Pavlopoulos (Panteion University, Athens)


The Bavarian rule in Greece covers a period of almost 30 years, officially beginning in 1833 with the arrival of Otto as the first King of Greece (January 25, 1833) and ending in 1862 with his expulsion. This period seemed very remote in the collective memory of contemporary Greek society until a decade ago, and only the emergence of the economic crisis re-generated a public debate on the common Greek-German past. Although the Bavarian Rule, due to its chronological distance, was not the most controversial topic in public discourse, it has left its mark. New publications during the years of the crisis, such as the book From Otto’s Reichenbach to Merkel’s Reichenbach: 180 years of Germanocracy in Greece [in Greek], published in 2014, offer us the opportunity to reflect on the use and especially the abuse of history in public discourse. Weiterlesen