JUNGE, PETER JULIUS, German ancient historian and Iranologist (b. 30 August 1913 in Bonn, killed 1943 in the Battle of Stalingrad). He attended school in Breslau and studied subsequently at the University of Vienna, but later returned to Breslau to study at its university the history of East Indo-European peoples with Franz Miltner. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (Saka-Studien, Breslau, 1936) under the supervision of the famed German classicist Ernst Kornemann. In October 1937, he was appointed Academic Assistant in the Staatliche Museum in Berlin and began working on the Hellenistic material discovered by the German Turfan Expedition. A year later he traveled to Persia and thoroughly studied Persepolis and Naqš-e Rostam monuments and inscriptions. The Director of the American Expedition to Persepolis, Erich F. Schmidt, called Junge a “talented young scholar” and a “contributive guest” (p. x) and frequently cited him as an authority on Iranian and classical topics. This trip prepared the groundwork for three studies: “Satrapie und Natio,” a detailed account of the organization and people of the Persian empire (only one part published; see Bibliography), “Kāra, zu Heerwesen und Heeresverfassung,” on Achaemenid army and military organization (also unpublished), and a biography of Darius the Great based mainly on Iranian sources, which was presented as his post-doctoral dissertation. Back in Innsbruck, Junge was appointed Associate Professor in 1940, but soon was called up to serve on the Western front, and later fell at or near Stalingrad.

As was expected from the scholars who chose to remain in Germany, Junge joined the National Socialist party, and this has tarnished his standing in the eyes of many scholars. But many of them ignore the quality of his scholarship and his solidly documented contributions to Iranian studies. This was the more remarkable because “Helleno-centrism” was at its height in his time, and his own mentor, Franz Miltner, was an influential National Socialist professor known for his fanatical “hellenophile” preaching; he believed that only the self-sacrifice of the Greeks during the Persian Wars had protected the freedom of the Western world from what he perceived as “Oriental barbarians” (see Ulf, pp. 51-55). By contrast, Junge, though a student of such classicists as Kornemann, W. Schur, and J. Vogt, broadened the scope of his researches by discussing with, and profoundly learning from, such authorities in Oriental studies as W. Weissbach, Hans Heinrich Schaeder, Erich F. Schmidt, and Gustav Haloun. He thus gained a sound knowledge of Persian history and archeology and was able to demonstrate clearly the affinities between the Persians and the Hellenes and present a favorable picture of Darius the Great and his statesmanship. In fact, his book remains the only detailed biography of that king in a European language, and “in matters of political history as well as archaeological problems Junge’s works are still cited (justifiably) now and then” (Wiesehöfer, p. 13 n. 28).




Saka-Studien, der ferne Nordosten im Weltbid der Antike, Klio. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte, Beiheft 41, Leipzig, 1939.

Die Völker der altpersischen Weltreiches, Breslau, 1940 (only the first part has been published: “Satrapie und Natio. Reichsverwaltung und Reichspolitik im Staate Dareios’ I.,” Klio. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte 34, 1941, pp. 1-55).

“Hazarapatiš. Zur Stellung des Chiliarchen der kgl. Leibgarde im Achämenidenstaat,” Klio 33, 1940, pp. 1-38.

Dareios I. König der Perser, Leipzig, 1944; Pers. tr. D. Monšizāda, Dāryuš-e yakom. pādšāh-e pārs-hā, Tehran, 1957).

“Ākaufačiya. Ein Beitrag zur Länderkunde des alten Iran,” ZDMG 98, 1944, pp. 369-76.

“Orthokorybanti,” in RE XXXVI/1, 1942, cols. 1484-90.

“Osroes,” in ibid., cols. 1590-91.

“Parikanioi,” in RE XXXVI/3, 1949, cols. 1482-83.

“Parthia IIA: Das Partherreich in hellenistischer Zeit,” in ibid., cols. 1968-86.

“Patizeithes,” in ibid., cols. 2171-73.


The scanty information on Junge’s life comes from a short biographical note attached to his post-doctoral dissertation (University of Innsbruck Archive R 186/1940), references by E. F. Schmidt (esp. p. x), and the preface (Vorwort) to Saka-Studien.

Gerhard Oberkofler, Die geschichtlichen Fächer an der philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Innsbruck 1850-1945, Innsbruck, 1969, p. 170.

Erich F. Schmidt, Persepolis I. Structures. Reliefs. Inscriptions, Chicago, 1953, pp. 38, 83, 85, 87-89, 107, 120, 169, 172, 229, 281-82.

Christoph Ulf, “Franz Miltner,” in Reinhold Bichler, ed., Geschichte in Innbruck. F. Hample zun 75. Geburstag, Innsbruck, 1985, pp. 47-60, esp. p. 58, n. 24.

Gerold Walser, Die Völkerschaften auf den Reliefs von Persepolis, Berlin, 1966.

Josef Wiesehöfer, “Das Bild der Achaimeniden in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus,” in Achaemenid History 3, Proceedings of the Achaemenid History Workshops,Leiden, 1988, pp. 1-14.

(A. Shapur Shahbazi)

Originally Published: September 15, 2009

Last Updated: April 19, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 3, pp. 247-248