Zvi Yavetz

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Zvi Yavetz
Zvi Yavetz.jpg
Born 26 April 1925
Died 7 January 2013 (aged 87)
Citizenship Israel
Alma mater Hebrew University
Known for studies on ancient history
Scientific career
Institutions Tel Aviv University

Zvi Yavetz (26 April 1925 – 7 January 2013) was a leading Israeli historian, emeritus professor of ancient history at Tel Aviv University and a Holocaust survivor.


Zvi Yavetz was born in Czernowitz, Ukraine, in 1925.[1] At age five, he experienced a serious health-problem, polio, and also, his father committed suicide.[1] After the German invasion in 1941, he was detained in camps with his family. His relatives, including his mother, were killed in the Holocaust, but he could escape the country in 1944.[2] He went to Turkey and then was transferred to Cyprus. Eventually, he could come to the British Mandate of Palestine, now known as Israel.[2] Initially, he lived in the Jordan valley as part of a kibbutz.[3] Then he left for Jerusalem to study modern history.[3]

During his university education, Yavetz worked as a teacher for deaf and dumb children.[3] He received his master's degree and PhD in history, classics and sociology from Hebrew University, in 1950 and 1956, respectively.[4] He carried out post-doctoral studies at the University of London and Lund University in 1960.[4]

Yavetz died on 7 January 2013. He was buried at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak cemetery on 10 January 2013.[5]

Academic and literary career[edit]

After completing his PhD., Yavetz was asked to help in establishing Tel Aviv University, and is one of the founders of the university.[5] In 1956, he was named the department chair of general history and later, dean of humanities faculty at the university.[5]

In 2008, Yavetz published his autobiography, My Czernowitz.[1] He adopted his mother's family name, Yavetz, when he learned that all members of her family had been killed in the Holocaust.[3]


In 1990, Yavetz was awarded the Israel prize for humanities.[5] In 1997, he was given doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Beer Sheba University and Munich University.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Appelfeld, Aharon (5 March 2008). "A city that was and is no longer". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Aderet, Ofer (8 January 2013). "Distinguished Israeli historian Zvi Yavetz dies at 87". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Irad Malkin (1995). Leaders and Masses in the Roman World: Studies in Honor of Zvi Yavetz. BRILL. p. 5. ISBN 978-90-04-09917-3. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Zwi Yavets". ISRO. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Brenner, Neri (8 January 2013). "Israel Prize laureate Prof. Zvi Yavetz dies". Ynet News. Retrieved 25 January 2013.