Research

Diederik Burgersdijk studied Greek and Latin Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam, with an emphasis on the history and literature of the later Roman Empire. He received his PhD on a Roman series of imperial biographies, the  Historia Augusta  (2010). He is the founder (in 2008) of Stichting Zenobia: a foundation aiming at the study of interconnections and cultural exchange between East and West from Antiquity onwards. In addition, Diederik has been an editor of ‘Talanta, Journal of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society’ from 2008 onwards. He is affiliated researcher at the University of Amsterdam and teaches Greek and Latin at Barlaeusgymnasium, Amsterdam, at the post-academic course Scholae  in Utrecht and at Radboud University, Nijmegen.

As a post-doc researcher at Radboud University, Diederik is involved in an international project studying  twelve 4th century AD Latin Panegyrics, for which he is rewarded a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research under the project title ‘A Monument of Romanitas : Nazarius’ speech to Constantine the Great (321 AD)’. He is currently writing a commentary on the Latin speech by the Late Antique orator Nazarius, who addressed the emperor Constantine at the occasion of his fifteen year reign, in 321 AD.

Late Antiquity has kept me busy ever since I graduated at the University of Amsterdam on a thesis about the anti-pagan poem Carmen contra paganos, a field of interest that I extended during my doctoral thesis on the Historia Augusta (PhD 2010, at the same University). Besides these main interests, I devote my time to Latin poetry (especially Virgil and Catullus), Greek novels, the life and works of the Athenian statesman Pericles, and many East-West related themes (Constantinople, Sicily, Alexander the Great, Palmyra).

  • Ancient History
  • Archaeology
  • Latin Literature
  • Roman History
  • The Historia Augusta

    The Historia Augusta is a collection of thirty imperial biographies about the emperors of the second and third century AD (117-284 to be more precise) with a fine mix of historical fact and imagination. Since he took my PhD on this remarkable text, Diederik has never managed to stay away from it, and produced many articles and chapters on the subject. He keeps visiting the Historia Augusta colloquia (Nancy 2011, Düsseldorf 2015 and Zürich 2018) since, and wrote several articles in books and journals of broader significance (Arethusa, TalantaWriting Biography in Greece and Rome).