At the Deprtment of History and Cultural Sciences (06) of the Philipps-Universität Marburg historical subjects focus on the widest chronological range, from Prehistory to contemporary Modern History. As a result, the research interests of the faculty are extremely broad. In the Archaeological Section of the institute of Prehistory, economic questions, especially those connected to Celtic civlisation, are a traditional research interest. Since the middle of the 1990s, research into the high culture of the Hittites has been another specialized area that has proven extremely successful. Geoarchaeology – a recent development – brings together archaeological and geographical methodologies in the context of larger research questions and scientific objectives.
Research in the institute of Classical Archaeology is concerned with the material remains of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, from the second millennium B.C. until the end of the ancient world in the sixth century A.D. Specialised focuses in Marburg are on Greek and Roman archictecture, ancient ceramics, ancient theatre and cultural anthropology. In 1927, the so-called Marburg Model brought the de institute libraries of Art History, Christian Archaeology and Byzantine Art, History, Classical Archaeology and Prehistory together in the ‘Kunstgebäude’, where they still stand in recognition of the close cooperation between these subjects.
In the History section of the department, the Institute of Ancient History comprises political, social, cultural and economic history of ancient cultures in the Mediterranean regions, from the Near Eastern Empires to Late Antiquity, as well as including reception studies. Within the department, a focus lays on the cultural contacts between the Ancient Near East and the Greek, Macedonian or Roman world, as well as on the history of the Persian Teispid and Achaemenid Empires, and the Argead Macedonia and the Hellenistic Empires.
Research in the institute of Mediaeval History is characterized by particular aspects of the Early, Middle and Late Middle Ages: the emergence of the Barbarian Kingdoms, the Papacy, city development, historiography and social history. In each of these areas of research, the Department of Mediaeval History retains a long standing tradition of research. It is also home to the documentary photo archive of older charters (dated before 1250), which was founded by Edmund E. Stengel in 1929. The archive is considered the most important collection of high quality photographs of mediaeval documents in the world, containing around 15,000 charters from Germany and Switzerland.
The institute of Modern History is divided into two subsections, concerned respectively with Early Modern History and Late Modern History. In the area of Early Modern History, the main research areas focus on the political and constitutional history of the Holy Roman Empire (together with its constituent territories, regions and cities), the history of the Reformation, and of the confessional structure of central Europe. A further major area of research concerns the history of the state system and international relations within Europe during the early modern period. Late Modern History is particularly concerned with the development of modern international relations, the two World Wars, Communism, Fascism and National Socialism, the Cold War, as well as the history of institutions, the nobility and the military.
The institute of Economic and Social History mainly concentrate on German and European Economic and social history, examining international economic relations and business history, the history of management, innovation, and marketing. A crucial research area is in economic, social and modern cultural history is that of consumption and consumerism.
In addition to the Faculty’s research, close cooperation with the Hessian State Office for Regional History, which researches the history of the state of Hesse and historical territories once withinits modern boundaries, extends the research capacity of the faculty into the area of modern regional history.