Géza Alföldy was born in Budapest. He studied at the University of Budapest from 1953 to 1958, where he in 1959 received a doctorate. Alföldy worked at the Budapest city museum from 1957 to 1960, and from 1960 to 1965 he was an assistant professor at the Institute for Ancient History at the University of Budapest. In 1965, he emigrated to West Germany, where he initially worked at the Bonn Rhenanian State Museum from 1965 to 1968. During this time, Alföldy earned a habilitation at the University of Bonn in 1966, where he served as a university lecturer and eventually as a full professor. In the same year he became professor of Ancient History at the Ruhr University Bochum. Alföldy was appointed professor for Ancient History at the University of Heidelberg in 1975 and stayed there until his retirement in 2002. After the renewal of his professorship, Alföldy taught as a substitute professor until 2005. He died in Athens, Greece.
In 2003, he acted as historical counsel for the two-part historical film "Imperium: Augustus" starring Peter O'Toole.
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