In 1902, only months before his death, Theodor Mommsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. 1 This was the first time the honour was ever bestowed on a German, as indeed it was the first, and so far only, time it has been awarded to a historian. 2 Furthermore, it was awarded for a historical work which at that point had already existed for almost fifty years and was in fact never completed. Mommsen’s History of Rome remains a torso.