|Born||28 September 1882|
|Died||26 June 1927 (aged 44)|
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
|Resting place||Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest|
|Known for||Getica, research on Dacia|
Vasile Pârvan came from a modest family, being the first child of the teacher Andrei Pârvan (with ancestors from Bessarabia) and of Aristi?a Chiriac (from Dobrenii Neam?ului). He received the first name Vasile, as well as his uncle, Vasile Conta (his mother being the philosopher's cousin).
In 1913 Pârvan married Silvia Cristescu, niece of Ioan Bogdan, his former teacher. During World War I, he took refuge in Ia?i (in 1916) and then in Odessa (in 1917), where his wife died in childbirth.
Passionate about the work on site, Pârvan ignored the appendicitis he suffered from. He finally arrived on the operating table, but it was too late to save his life; he died at 45 years old only, in full creative power.
He attended primary education in Bere?ti and high school studies at the Gheorghe Ro?ca Codreanu National College in Bârlad (1893-1900). He then studied at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Bucharest (1900-1904), having as professors Nicolae Iorga, Ioan Bogdan, and Dimitrie Onciul.
In 1904 he left with a scholarship from the University of Bucharest (from the "Hillel Fund") on a troubled study trip to Germany, following the courses of three universities (Jena, Berlin, and Breslau) and often having financial problems and health issues. In Breslau he obtained the title of Doctor cum laudae, under the direction of Professor Conrad Cichorius, with thesis The nationality of merchants in the Roman Empire (1908, in German), considered by specialists as one of the best studies on the development of trade in classical antiquity. German colleagues called him "the little Mommsen", which - given that the "great" Theodor Mommsen had recently been awarded (in 1902) the Nobel Prize for his monumental History of Ancient Rome - suggested the research interests of Pârvan. He became professor at the University of Bucharest, and was elected member of the Romanian Academy.
In 1900 he made his debut in journalism at the "Noua revist? român?". From 1902 he started collaborating with "Convorbiri Literare" and in the following year with "Voin?a na?ional?", "Tribuna Poporului", "Luceaf?rul" etc. In 1906 he joined as a "soldier of the right cause" in the Brotherhood of the Good Romanians (Fria Bunilor Români) (organization created by Nicolae Iorga), starting to write for "S?m?n?torul" and "Neamul Românesc". From 1907 he started the collaboration with "Via?a Româneasc?" and "Gazeta general? a învmântului".
He was a professor at the University of Bucharest from 1909 (tenured since 1913), where he succeeded Grigore Tocilescu (immediately after his death). In 1910 he became a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy, and three years later - a full member. In 1919 he was appointed professor of ancient history at the University of Cluj-Napoca. He has also been a member of several academies and scientific societies abroad; among others, he was an associate professor at the Sorbonne (since 1926) and a member of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (Geneva).
In order to solve the problems related to the history of Dacia, he organized a series of systematic excavations, especially in the archeological resorts from the second Iron Age. Based on the partial results of the excavations, Getica (1926) wrote - his most important work - a vast historical-archaeological synthesis, through which he brought to the forefront of historical research the political and cultural role of the Dacians; some shortcomings and exaggerations (including the emphasis on the role of the Scythians and Celts in the development of Geto-Dacian culture) do not detract from the value of this work.
He was particularly concerned with archeology, prehistory and the history of Greco-Roman civilization. He organized numerous archeological sites, the most important of which is the one in Histria and published numerous studies, archeological reports and monographs, including a vast, valuable and useful documentary material. He led the archeological site of Histria until 1926. Of the 12 years when Pârvan, as director of the National Museum of Antiquities, led the archaeological excavations in Histria, only during nine years (1914-1916; 1921 -1926) normal campaigns took place.
The relatively small proportions of his work are explained by:
Mircea Gheorghe notes:
His conception was that the only real object of history is culture, the spiritual life, the other aspects of life being useful insofar as it helps to understand the evolution of the human spirit. Through his idealistic historical conception, exposed in the sociological study The Fundamental Ideas of Contemporary Social Culture and in essays (volumes of Ideas and Historical Forms and Memorials) he managed to make a synthesis of neohegelianism and Neo-Kantianism and declared himself an opponent of chauvinism and cosmopolitanism. In "Parentalia", he wrote: "The man is, above all, the son of the Woman".
Between 1910 and 1926 he was director of the National Museum of Antiquities. In 1919 he founded the Institute of Antiquities in Cluj-Napoca, and a year later the publishing house "Cultura na?ional?", where he cared for several collections.
He was vice-president of the Romanian Academy (1921-1922), and since 1923 he worked as general secretary until his death in 1927.
Vasile Pârvan had a special role in the creation of the new Romanian school of archeology. Thus, in 1914 he was one of the founders of the Institute of Southeast European Studies. He later organized (1921) the Romanian Academy in Rome, an institution of which he was director until his death. The purpose of this institution was the refreshing trainings the young archaeologists and historians; also in this institution he initiated and led the publication of the yearbooks "Ephemeris Dacoromana" and "Diplomatarium Italicum", as well as the first series of the magazine "Dacia".
He contributed to the formation of the historians Hortensia Dumitrescu, Vladimir Dumitrescu, Ecaterina Dun?reanu Vulpe, Ion Nestor, Dionisie M. Pippidi, Dorin Popescu, Gheorghe ?tefan, Radu Vulpe, who continued his activity.
The scientist Nicolae Iorga wrote:
In his turn, George C?linescu noted: