Between 1925 and 1930, Cornell hired two medieval historians: Max Ludwig Wolfram Laistner and Carl Stephenson.

Laistner (B.A., Cambridge 1912; British School of Athens, 1913-1914) came to Cornell in 1925 as Professor of Ancient History. The son of a London-based German pianist, he was fluent in six languages and specialized in classics, ancient history, and early medieval intellectual history. One of his monographs, Thought and Letters in Western Europe AD 500 to 900 (New York: L. MacVeagh, Dial Press, 1931), became a classic and went through several print editions. Laistner also published impeccable editions of treatises by Isocrates and the Venerable Bede. He was known for his conservative views and demeanor. In 1926, his mother joined him in Ithaca and the two lived together. Laistner never learned how to drive a car and he refused to listen to the radio.

Portrait of M.L. W. Laistner
Cornell University Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Faculty Folders