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Ludwig Von Pastor

1854-1928. Church historian. Born in Aachen of a Protestant father and Catholic mother, he had by 1874 decided to write a history of the popes. Early in his academic career he was befriended by the historian Johannes Jenssen; later the two would collaborate on some books. Pastor studied at Louvain, Bonn, Berlin, Vienna; his Ph.D. was earned at the University of Grosz in 1878. He apparently played a role in the opening of the Vatican Archives to all scholars in 1883. He taught at the University of Innsbruck between 1881 and 1901; was director of the Austrian Historical Institute in Rome; and finally Austrian Ambassador to the Holy See in 1920. His major work was The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages (16 vols., 1886-1933; ET 40 vols., 1891-1953). This was based upon extensive research in the Vatican and in over 200 other European archives. He was of the opinion that only Roman Catholics could really understand and interpret papal history.