Helene Ahrweiler

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Helene Ahrweiler
Personal details
Born (1926-08-29) 29 August 1926 (age 88)
Athens, Greece
Alma mater University of Athens
Practical School of Advanced

Helene Ahrweiler, née Glykatzi (Greek: Ελένη Γλύκατζη-Αρβελέρ; French: Hélène Ahrweiler, pronounced: [aʁvɛlɛʁ]) is an eminent Greek university professor and Byzantinologist. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Greece. In the 2008 show Great Greeks, she was named amongst the 100 greatest Greeks of all time.


She was born in Athens on 29 August 1926, to a family of refugees from Asia Minor. She finished school in Athens, and graduated from the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens. After working in the Center for Asia Minor Studies, she moved to Paris in 1953 to continue her studies in the École pratique des hautes études graduating with doctorates in History and Letters. In 1955, she was accepted into the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and on 7 November 1958, she married the French Army officer Jacques Ahrweiler.

In 1970-1973 she was first vice-president, and in 1976-1981 president of the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the first woman to hold that post. In 1982, French President François Mitterrand named her as Rector of the Academy of Paris and Chancellor of the Universities of Paris, a post she held until 1989. From February 1989 to August 1991, she was president of the Centre Georges Pompidou.


She is a corresponding member of the British Academy, the Academy of Athens, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and an associated member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. She holds a number of honorary doctorates, and has received numerous decorations from the French government:


  • Byzance et la mer, 1966
  • Études sur les structures administratives et sociales de Byzance, 1971
  • L'Idéologie politique de l'empire byzantin, 1975
  • Byzance : les pays et les territoires, 1976
  • The Making of Europe, 1999
  • Les Européens, 2000
  • Le Roman d'Athènes, 2004