|Birth Day:||January 6, 1822|
|Death Date:||Dec 26, 1890 (age 68)|
As per our current Database, Heinrich Schliemann died on Dec 26, 1890 (age 68).
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Before beginning his career with the B. H. Schröder & Co. importing and exporting company, he worked as a grocer, a shipmate, and an accountant.
Schliemann was born January 6, 1822 Heinrich Schliemann in Neubukow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin (part of the German Confederation). His father, Ernst Schliemann, was a Lutheran minister. The family moved to Ankershagen in 1823 (today their home houses the Heinrich Schliemann Museum).
Heinrich's father was a poor Pastor. His mother, Luise Therese Sophie Schliemann, died in 1831, when Heinrich was nine years old. After his mother's death, his father sent Heinrich to live with his uncle. When he was eleven years old, his father paid for him to enroll in the Gymnasium (grammar school) at Neustrelitz. Heinrich's later interest in history was initially encouraged by his father, who had schooled him in the tales of the Iliad and the Odyssey and had given him a copy of Ludwig Jerrer's Illustrated History of the World for Christmas in 1829. Schliemann later claimed that at the age of 7 he had declared he would one day excavate the city of Troy.
However, Heinrich had to transfer to the Realschule (vocational school) after his father was accused of embezzling church funds and had to leave that institution in 1836 when his father was no longer able to pay for it. His family's poverty made a university education impossible, so it was Schliemann's early academic experiences that influenced the course of his education as an adult. In his archaeological career, however, there was often a division between Schliemann and the educated professionals.
At age 14, after leaving Realschule, Heinrich became an apprentice at Herr Holtz's grocery in Fürstenberg. He later told that his passion for Homer was born when he heard a drunkard reciting it at the grocer's. He laboured for five years, until he was forced to leave because he burst a blood vessel lifting a heavy barrel. In 1841, Schliemann moved to Hamburg and became a cabin boy on the Dorothea, a steamer bound for Venezuela. After twelve days at sea, the ship foundered in a gale. The survivors washed up on the shores of the Netherlands. Schliemann became a messenger, office attendant, and later, a bookkeeper in Amsterdam.
On March 1, 1844, 22-year-old Schliemann took a position with B. H. Schröder & Co., an import/export firm. In 1846, the firm sent him as a General Agent to St. Petersburg.
Schliemann's ability with languages was an important part of his career as a businessman in the importing trade. In 1850, he learned of the death of his brother, Ludwig, who had become wealthy as a speculator in the California gold fields.
Schliemann went to California in early 1851 and started a bank in Sacramento buying and reselling over a million dollars' worth of gold dust in just six months. When the local Rothschild agent complained about short-weight consignments, he left California, pretending it was because of illness. While he was there, California became the 31st state in September 1850, and Schliemann acquired United States citizenship. While this story was propounded in Schliemann's autobiography of 1881, Christo Thanos and Wout Arentzen, state clearly that Schliemann was in St Petersburg that day, and "in actual fact, ...obtained his American citizenship only in 1869."
On April 7, 1852, he sold his business and returned to Russia. There he attempted to live the life of a gentleman, which brought him into contact with Ekaterina Petrovna Lyschin (1826–1896), the niece of one of his wealthy friends. Schliemann had previously learned that his childhood sweetheart, Minna, had married.
Heinrich and Ekaterina married on October 12, 1852. The marriage was troubled from the start.
By 1858, Schliemann was 36 years old and wealthy enough to retire. In his memoirs, he claimed that he wished to dedicate himself to the pursuit of Troy.
As a consequence of his many travels, Schliemann was often separated from his wife and small children. He spent a month studying at the Sorbonne in 1866, while moving his assets from St. Petersburg to Paris to invest in real estate. He asked his wife to join him, but she refused.
In 1868, Schliemann visited sites in the Greek world, published Ithaka, der Peloponnesus und Troja in which he asserted that Hissarlik was the site of Troy, and submitted a dissertation in Ancient Greek proposing the same thesis to the University of Rostock. In 1869, he was awarded a PhD in absentia from the University of Rostock, in Germany, for that submission. David Traill wrote that the examiners gave him his PhD on the basis of his topographical analyses of Ithaca, which were in part simply translations of another author's work or drawn from poetic descriptions by the same author.
Schliemann threatened to divorce Ekaterina twice before doing so. In 1869, he bought property and settled in Indianapolis for about three months to take advantage of Indiana's liberal divorce laws, although he obtained the divorce by lying about his residency in the U.S. and his intention to remain in the state. He moved to Athens as soon as an Indiana court granted him the divorce and married again two months later.
In 1869, Schliemann divorced his first wife, Ekaterina Petrovna Lyshin, whom he had married in 1852, and bore him three children. A former teacher and Athenian friend, Theokletos Vimpos, the Archbishop of Mantineia and Kynouria, helped Schliemann find someone "enthusiastic about Homer and about a rebirth of my beloved Greece...with a Greek name and a soul impassioned for learning." The archbishop suggested a young schoolgirl, Sophia Engastromenos, daughter of his cousin. They were married by the archbishop on 23 September 1869. They later had two children, Andromache and Agamemnon Schliemann.
Schliemann was at first skeptical about the identification of Hissarlik with Troy but was persuaded by Calvert. Schliemann began digging at Hissarlik in 1870, and by 1873 had discovered nine buried cities. The day before digging was to stop on 15 June 1873, was the day he discovered gold, which he took to be Priam's treasure trove.
Further excavation of the Troy site by others indicated that the level he named the Troy of the Iliad was inaccurate, although they retain the names given by Schliemann. In an article for The Classical World, D.F. Easton wrote that Schliemann "was not very good at separating fact from interpretation" and claimed that, "Even in 1872 Frank Calvert could see from the pottery that Troy II had to be hundreds of years too early to be the Troy of the Trojan War, a point finally proven by the discovery of Mycenaean pottery in Troy VI in 1890." "King Priam's Treasure" was found in the Troy II level, that of the Early Bronze Age, long before Priam's city of Troy VI or Troy VIIa in the prosperous and elaborate Mycenaean Age. Moreover, the finds were unique. The elaborate gold artifacts do not appear to belong to the Early Bronze Age.
Schliemann smuggled the treasure out of Turkey into Greece. The Turkish government sued Schliemann in a Greek court, and Schliemann was forced to pay a 10,000 gold franc indemnity. Schliemann ended up sending 50,000 gold francs to the Constantinople Imperial Museum, and some of the artifacts. Schliemann published Troy and Its Remains in 1874. Schliemann at first offered his collections, which included Priam's Gold, to the Greek government, then the French, and finally the Russians. However, in 1881, his collections ended up in Berlin, housed first in the Ethnographic Museum, and then the Museum for Pre- and Early History, until the start of WWII. In 1939, all exhibits were packed and stored in the museum basement, then moved to the Prussian State Bank vault in January 1941. Later in 1941, the treasure was moved to the Flakturm located at the Berlin Zoological Garden, called the Zoo Tower. Dr. Wilhelm Unverzagt protected the three crates containing the Trojan gold when the Battle for Berlin commenced, right up until SMERSH forces took control of the tower on 1 May. On 26 May 1945, Soviet forces, led by Lt. Gen. Nikolai Antipenko, Andre Konstantinov, deputy head of the Arts Committee, Viktor Lazarev, and Serafim Druzhinin, took the three crates away on trucks. The crates were then flown to Moscow on 30 June 1945, and taken to the Pushkin Museum ten days later. In 1994, the museum admitted the collection was in their possession.
In 1874, Schliemann also initiated and sponsored the removal of medieval edifices from the Acropolis of Athens, including the great Frankish Tower. Despite considerable opposition, including from King George I of Greece, Schliemann saw the project through. The eminent historian of Frankish Greece William Miller later denounced this as "an act of vandalism unworthy of any people imbued with a sense of the continuity of history", and "pedantic barbarism".
In 1876, he began digging at Mycenae. There, he discovered the Shaft Graves, with their skeletons and more regal gold (including the so-called Mask of Agamemnon). These findings were published in Mycenae in 1878.
Although he had received permission in 1876 to continue excavation, Schliemann did not reopen the dig site at Troy until 1878–1879, after another excavation in Ithaca designed to locate a site mentioned in the Odyssey. This was his second excavation at Troy. Emile Burnouf and Rudolf Virchow joined him there in 1879.
Schliemann was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1880.
Schliemann began excavation of the Treasury of Minyas at Orchomenus (Boeotia) in 1880.
Schliemann made a third excavation at Troy in 1882–1883, an excavation of Tiryns with Wilhelm Dörpfeld in 1884, and a fourth excavation at Troy, also with Dörpfeld (who emphasized the importance of strata), in 1888–1890.
On August 1, 1890, Schliemann returned reluctantly to Athens, and in November travelled to Halle, where his chronic ear infection was operated upon, on November 13. The doctors deemed the operation a success, but his inner ear became painfully inflamed. Ignoring his doctors' advice, he left the hospital and travelled to Leipzig, Berlin and Paris. From the last, he planned to return to Athens in time for Christmas, but his ear condition became even worse. Too sick to make the boat ride from Naples to Greece, Schliemann remained in Naples but managed to make a journey to the ruins of Pompeii. On Christmas Day 1890, he collapsed into a coma; he died in a Naples hotel room the following day; the cause of death was cholesteatoma.
In 1972, Professor William Calder of the University of Colorado, speaking at a commemoration of Schliemann's birthday, claimed that he had uncovered several possible problems in Schliemann's work. Other investigators followed, such as Professor David Traill of the University of California.
Schliemann is also mentioned in the 2005 TV film The Magic of Ordinary Days by the character Livy.
Schliemann is also mentioned in 2011 book UNCHARTED: The Fourth Labyrinth by the character Ian Welch.
Currently, Heinrich Schliemann is 200 years, 5 months and 19 days old. Heinrich Schliemann will celebrate 201st birthday on a Friday 6th of January 2023.
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