Rudolf Much (7 September 1862 – 8 March 1936, in Vienna), the son of archaeologist Matthäus Much, was an Austrian Germanist, considered one of the founding fathers of Germanic studies.
His 1887 dissertation On the Prehistory of Germany (Zur Vorgeschichte Deutschlands) reflects the interest in Germanic antiquity Much shared with his teacher Wilhelm Tomaschek, whose special field of interest was the tribal territories of the Germanic peoples in antiquity. In 1906, Much became professor at the newly founded chair of Germanic Antiquity (Germanische Altertumskunde und Sprachgeschichte) in Vienna, which he held until his retirement in 1932.
Much was sympathetic towards German nationalism and the interwar period calls for a Großdeutschland prohibited by the Allies. He also became a member of the Catholic-German nationalist Deutsche Gemeinschaft secret society. Much cannot, however, be described as sympathetic towards the rise of the Nazi Party, and he was careful to put scholarship before ideology, and his recensions often expressed disdain for ideologically motivated bad scholarship. Much is nevertheless treated critically in more recent assessment, his German nationalism in retrospect appearing as a precursor to Nazi ideology.
Much's major opus is his commentary on Tacitus' Germania, published posthumously in 1937. Much also contributed some 260 articles to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde
- Hermann Reichert: Rudolf Much. In: Reallexkion der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Bd. 20, S. 273–279.
- Rudolf Simek (1997), "Much, Rudolf", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 18, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 250–251
- Rudolf Simek: Rudolf Much. In: Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie. K. G. Saur Verlag, München u.a. 1996, ISBN 3-598-23160-1
- Wiesinger, Peter: 150 Jahre Germanistik in Wien, außeruniversitäre Frühgermanistik und Universitätsgermanistik; Peter Wiesinger/Daniel Steinbach, Wien: Ed. Praesens, 2001, 246 S., ISBN 3-7069-0104-8