William Mitchell Ramsay

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay ( born May 15, 1851 in Glasgow, † April 20, 1939 in Bournemouth) was a Scottish historian and classical archaeologist.


Ramsay studied Classical Studies at the Universities of Aberdeen, Oxford and Göttingen. 1885-86 he was the first Professor of Classical Archaeology held in Oxford ( Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art ), 1886 to 1911 he was Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen.

His outstanding work area was the Historical Geography of Asia Minor. Ramsay traveled in 1880 for the first time to Asia Minor and this first stay should follow to 1890 and then again from 1900 to 1914 more annually extended research trips. He discovered during excavations at Antioch in Pisidia during the years 1914 and 1924 fragments of another copy of the so-called Gestae of Augustus.

The combination of personal intuition with epigraphic and written sources, he had a significant contribution to the localization of individual places and landscapes and its history. Special concern of his was the localization of the New Testament in Asia Minor and the history of early Christianity there.

While he initially assumed that the information in the book of Acts were often unreliable, it came as part of his research, more and more convinced that it is extremely reliable and expressed respect for the historian Luke. Further study. . . Showed did the book Could bear the most minute scrutiny as to authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and did what it written with seeking judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement. ( " More research ... found that the book of the most accurate examination with respect to its Kennntnis ( authority) could withstand about the world of the Aegean, and it was written with so much judgment, ability, art and perception of the truth that it's model a for a historical work represents. " )

Ramsay was knighted in 1906, was awarded the nine universities and members of several learned societies.


In his effective rich record of the epistle of John's Revelation Ramsay shows many historical references of the epistle to the local conditions of the addressees communities. This approach influenced the research on Revelation and was continued positive. Ramsay neglected today according to researchers obvious Old Testament references (eg in the Christ attributes the beginning of each missive ).


  • The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, London 1890
  • The Church in the Roman Empire Before A.D. 170, London 1893, 3rd edition 1894, 4th edition 1904
  • The Cities and bishoprics of Phrygia. Being an essay of the local history of Phrygia from the earliest times to the Turkish conquest, 2 vol. , Oxford 1895-1897
  • St. Paul, the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, London 1892, 3rd edition 1897, 7th edition, 1903. Dt. Translation Gütersloh 1896;
  • A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistile to the Galatians, London 1899, 4th edition 1900
  • The Education of Christ: hill -side reveries, London 1902
  • The Letters of the Seven Churches in Asia and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse, London 1904
  • Cilicia, Tarsus, and the Great Taurus Pass. The Geographical Journal 22/4, (Oct. 1903), 357-410.
  • Pauline and other Studies in Early Christian History, London 1906, 2nd edition 1908
  • Publisher: Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire, Aberdeen 1906
  • The Cities of St. Paul. Their Influence on his Life and Thought: the cities of Eastern Asia Minor, London 1907
  • Luke the physician and other stories in the history of religion, London 1908
  • With Gertrude L. Bell: The Thousand and One Churches, London 1909
  • The First Christian Century, London 1911
  • The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, London 1915, 4th edition 1920
  • The Social Basis of Roman Power in Asia Minor, Aberdeen 1941