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Engelbert Mühlbacher

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An historian, born at Gresten, Austria, 4 Oct., 1843; died at Vienna, 17 July, 1903. He received his classical education at Vienna, his father's native city. In 1862 he became a novice among the Austin Canons at St. Florian. After completing his theological studies there, he was ordained priest in 1867. As Arneth relates in his memoirs, historical studies had been successfully cultivated at St. Florian's since Provost Arneth's time, and Mühlbacher was soon active in this domain. Among his writings are articles on St. Florian's Gerhoh von Reichersberg, and the literary productions of St. Florian's. In 1872 we find Mühlbacher studying under Julius Ficker at Innsbruck, where after two years he received the degree of Doctor of Theology. He then hastened to Vienna to finish his historical training under Sickel's guidance. When Ficker entrusted the youthful scholar with the revision of the Carlovingian period of Böhmer's "Regesta", he was directing him to a domain in which he was to do imperishable work. In 1878 he was formally received as academical lecturer into the philosophical faculty of the University of Innsbruck, and between 1880 and 1889 published his masterly edition of the imperial "Regesta" of the Carlovingian period. As Redlich says, "the technique of compiling regesta received exemplary development at Mühlbacher's hands, and his work served as a model for the entire new edition of the imperial "Regesta". In 1892 Mühlbacher was entrusted with the editing of the Carlovingian documents for the "Monumenta Germaniæ Historica". At the same time it became necessary to bring out a new edition of his Carlovingian "Regesta". The two works proved of mutual assistance, and Mühlbacher devoted the greatest care and diligence to his tasks. He was able to see only the first part of each work through the press, but left considerable material for the use of his successors. No other German scholar was so well qualified to write the "Deutsche Geschichte unter den Karolingern", which appeared in 1896. Since 1879 Mühlbacher edited the "Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung". In 1881 he was appointed extraordinary, and in 1896 ordinary professor at Vienna. In 1895 Ficker turned over to him the management of the "Regesta Imperii". With the utmost energy he took in hand the arrangement of the Austrian State Archives, and the preparation of the more recent history of Austria. His learning and efforts did not fail to receive due recognition. He was chosen an active member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Mühlbacher's unwearying labours continued until his all too early death.


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