Heinrich Theodor Menke

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Spruner-Menke atlas antiquus, Pontus Euxinus et quae ei adjacent (1865).

Heinrich Theodor Menke (24 May 1819 – 14 May 1892) was a German geographer, who was born and lived in Bremen. He is remembered for his work in historical geography.

Menke studied theology and philology at the University of Bonn, and in 1842 received his doctorate at Halle with a dissertation on ancient Lydia. Afterwards he worked as a schoolteacher in Bremen, but soon became dissatisfied with this line of work, and undertook legal studies in Berlin and Heidelberg. After attaining his degree he practiced law in Bremen, and later Vegesack.

Throughout his life, Menke had an avid interest in geography, and via contact with Wilhelm Perthes (1783–1853) of the Justus Perthes Geographische Anstalt in Gotha, in the centre of Germany, his primary vocational focus turned to editing and producing geographical atlases. In 1865 he published the third edition of Karl Spruner von Merz' Atlas Antiquus, and later produced the heavily revised third edition of Spruner's atlas of medieval and modern history, Hand-Atlas für die Geschichte des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit (1871–1880). Menke, a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 1877,[1] died in Gotha on 14 May 1892.

The island group Menkeøyane in the Svalbard archipelago is named in his honor.


  1. ^ Heinrich Theodor Menke Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Verstorbene Mitglieder (in German)

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