In Commemoration of Marie Theres Fögen

January 18, 2018

Marie Theres Fögen, former director of our Institute, passed away ten years ago in a clinic in Zurich on 18 January 2008. She was only 61 years old. While in Frankfurt, she received her license to practice law in 1975 as well as became Dieter Simon’s research assistant. It was during this time at the Institute that she developed into a Romanist and Byzantine legal historian and became the managing editor of the unforgettable ‘Rechtshistorisches Journal’ in 1982. In 1992/3 she habilitated with the well-received book “Die Enteignung der Wahrsager. Studien zum Wissensmonopol in der Spätantike“ (The Expropriation of the Seer: Studies Regarding the Monopoly of Knowledge in Late Antiquity), and in 1995 she received the call for a professorship in Zurich, where she went on to become one of the most well-known professors in Switzerland and its cultural scene. She loved teaching and continued to do so until the very end. After having spent a year at the Berliner Wissenschaftskolleg, it was above all during her activity-filled years at the Max Planck Institute (2001-2007) that she displayed her brilliant abilities, perhaps most clearly visible in her attempt to make both systems theory and modern evolutionary theory fruitful for legal history. Full of hope and grounded in her distinctive linguistic eloquence, she established the Institute’s journal “Rechtsgeschichte” (Legal History), issue 12 (2008) of which contains her obituary. With great enthusiasm, she dedicated herself to the planning of the Institute’s new building to be erected on the University of Frankfurt’s Westend Campus. Unfortunately, she did not live to witness the move to the new location. Hanging in the foyer is a picture of her—an image expressing her energy, her optimism and her charm. The entire staff of the Institute continues to hold her in great appreciation.

Michael Stolleis

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