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dr. Emilie van Opstall

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Art and Culture, History, Antiquity

Assistant Professor, CLUE+

Personal information

After studying Classics at the University of Amsterdam, I taught Greek, Latin and Ancient Culture in secondary education for ten years (1996-2006). In 2006, I obtained my PhD in Byzantine Studies at the University of Amsterdam (cum laude).

Currently, I am an assistant-professor in Ancient Greek at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Within ACASA (Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology), I teach Ancient Greek language and literature on BA- and (Research)MA-level. I am not only interested in philological questions (textual transmission and literary interpretation), but also in the cultural context of texts and their reception. I preferably approach the topics of my teaching and research from an interdisciplinary perspective, linking them to other contemporary cultures (e.g. the Greek East and the Latin West) or to issues from the modern world (e.g. refugees in shifting worlds).


I love Classics, and I am fascinated by late antique and medieval literature, since there are still so many texts from these periods that merit to be studied more profoundly. Editions, translation commentaries to begin with, and all the rest that follows from it. I am especially interested in interpretation in cultural context.

I published on Late Antique and Byzantine poetry and prose (metaphors, ekphrasis, satire, creative reception, etc.) and on the experience of sacred space in Late Antiquity (combining Greek and Latin literature, archaeology, art history, and philosophy). Actually, I am working on the project 'Travelling Tales' which focusses on the Medieval story of Syntipas the Philosopher (also known as Sindbad the Philosopher, Seven Viziers, Seven Sages of Rome).


see CV


I teach courses at BA- and (Re)MA-level for students in Classics and Ancient Studies:

BA 1: Greek Language: Plato, Greek drama, Greek novels, Lysias, Lucian, Aristophanes.

BA 2: Greek epic (Homer, Colluthus, Quintus of Smyrna), Historians (Herodotus, Thucydides), History of Classical literature; Greek Mythology, Reception and creative writing, Methodology.

BA 3: Tragedy (Euripides, Aristotle, Sophocles).

MA: Prometheus, East and West: The fall of Constantinople, Classics in the classroom for secondary school teachers, Epic through the ages, Saints' lives and short stories, Literature from the 4th century CE, Nonnus, The Greek Epigram;

ReMA: Receptions of the Classics, Text & matter; Tutorials (e.g. late antique poetry, Classics in translation, Byzantine literature)

Prizes and Awards

see CV


see CV

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

dr. Emilie van Opstall