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Alphons Huber

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An historian; born 14 October, 1834, at Fügen, Zillerthal (Tyrol); died 23 November, 1898, at Vienna. After finishing the humanities at the colleges of Hall and Innsbruck, he studied history under Ficker at the University of Vienna. While still very young he had become deeply interested in that branch of learning through the perusal of Annegarn's "Weltgeschichte". In 1859 he was appointed lecturer on history at Innsbruck, became professor in 1863, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences in 1867, full member in 1872, and in 1887 professor at the University of Vienna, succeeding Ottokar Lorenz. Under Ficker he had learned critical accuracy, purity of style, and the importance of strictly impartial investigation. He had also acquired a comprehensive knowledge of diplomatics. His training was shown not only in his writing, but in his life. He was a man of sobriety; an enemy of claptrap; in politics a liberal, but deeply religious. His earliest writings, "Ueber die Entstehungszeit der österreichischen Freiheitsbriefe" (Vienna, 1860) and "Die Waldstädte Uri, Schwyz und Unterwalden bis zur festen Begründung ihrer Eidgenossenschaft" (Innsbruck, 1861), deal with territorial history. For the celebration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the union of Austria and the Tyrol, he wrote, in 1864, "Geschichte der Vereinigung Tirols mit Oesterreich" and, as a sequel, "Geschichte Herzogs Rudolf IV. von Oesterreich" (Innsbruck, 1865). After the death of Böhmer, the first publisher of the German imperial "Regesta", who had provided Huber with the means of making several scientific journeys, Ficker, on whom had fallen the responsibility of completing Böhmer's work, called upon his former pupil to co-operate with him. Huber accepted the task and finished the fourth volume of the "Fontes rerum Germanicarum", containing the most important records of the fourteenth century. He then worked on the "Regesta" of Charles IV, which appeared between 1874 and 1877 with a learned introduction on the imperial diplomacy of the later Middle Ages. This was followed by a supplement published in 1889. His masterpiece is a "Geschichte Oesterreichs" in five volumes (1885-96), brought down to 1648, and considered an authority on the subject. The last years of Huber's life were devoted to research on the constitutional and administrative history of Austria, the result of which appeared in his "Oesterreichische Reichsgeschichte" (Vienna, 1895).


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