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Bringmann studied from 1956 to 1962 history, classical philology and philosophy at the Universities of Marburg and Munich. He received his doctorate in 1962 at the University of Marburg in 1969 and became a professor at the University of Marburg with investigations into the late Cicero. Since 1971, Bringmann taught Classics at the Philipps-University Marburg, and from 1973 ancient history at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt. Bringmann has three sons and has been married since 1965. Since 1988 until his retirement in 2000 he taught as emeritus professor of Ancient History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt where he held a chair of ancient history. In 1987/88 and 1993/94 he was a visiting scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Bringmann has since 1988 been a member of the German Archaeological Institute.
The main research areas of Bringmann lie in Roman history of the republic to late antiquity, the history of Hellenism, of Jewish history in the Hellenistic and Roman times and the history of Christianity in the Roman Empire. He also led with the professor of Classical Archaeology Hans von Steuben, the project "donations Hellenistic ruler of Greek cities and sanctuaries." Later he was a director of the interdisciplinary research program "Knowledge Culture and Social Change." Bringmann is a holder of the Professorship of Ancient History at the Technische Universität Darmstadt.