PhD Position

The Anchors of Hellenistic or Imperial Greek Poetry

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The Anchors of Hellenistic or Imperial Greek Poetry


Radboud University Nijmegen
Erasmusplein 1
6500 HD Nijmegen

Suzanne van de Liefvoort
+31(0)24 3611276

The Anchors of Hellenistic or Imperial Greek Poetry


Prof. dr. André Lardinois (Radboud University), Dr. Floris Overduin (Radboud University) and Dr. Jacqueline Klooster (Groningen University)

Job description

It is often said that the Hellenistic poets felt “an anxiety of influence” in the sense that they saw themselves as late comers in a literary tradition set by the great poets of the archaic and classical periods, whose works were collected, commented upon and canonized in the Hellenistic period. The same is true of the Greek poets who were active during the Roman Empire, who recognized not only the archaic and classical poets as their predecessors but the Hellenistic poets as well. However, this recognition of a literary tradition in which they positioned themselves had positive effects as well. For example, it enabled these poets to clarify and define their message, to build on the authority of the earlier poets, and/or to show their erudition.

The question central to this project is if and how this use of tradition relates to the concept of “anchoring” as developed in the OIKOS research agenda. We are interested in possible examples of so-called “positive anchoring”, for example when Nossis cites Sappho as her source of inspiration (in Epigram 1 G.-P. implicitly through allusion; in Epigram 11 G.-P. explicitly by mentioning her name), as well as “negative” forms of anchoring, for example when a poet says that his poetry is NOT like that of Homer. In the latter case he (or she) still invites his audience to compare his poetry with that of the old master either to put himself on a par with him (or even claim to outdo him) or to prove his originality or detachment, still evidently in comparison with the old poet.

We invite structured PhD proposals (title, research question, scholarly background, aims, method, corpus) in which candidates pick one or more Greek poems written in the Hellenistic or Roman Imperial period (before 300 CE) and argue how it makes use of (is “anchored in”) earlier archaic, classical or Hellenistic Greek poetry (this, of course, can also be poets of other genres, such as tragedy). Alternatively, they can choose one particular archaic, classical or Hellenistic Greek poet and show his or her influence in Hellenistic and/or imperial Greek literature. Homer and Sappho are excluded as primary objects of study, because their influence on later Greek literature is treated elsewhere in the program.

Host institution

Radboud University, Nijmegen, Faculty of Arts, Radboud Institute of History and Culture (RICH). For more information see here and here.

Terms and conditions

PhD project, 4 years (1.0 FTE, 38 hrs per week), starting date to be agreed upon, with a preference for September 1, 2021. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 36 months on condition of a positive evaluation. It is possible to extend the position over 5 years at 0,8 fte. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Salary range from € 2.395 to € 3.061 gross per month for a fulltime appointment (pay scale for PhDs, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Radboud University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Tasks of the PD will include:
  • Completion of a PhD thesis within four years (1,0 fte) or five years (0,8 fte);
  • Participation in meetings of the project research group(s);
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participation in the training program of the local Graduate School and the National Research School in Classics (OIKOS);
  • Participation in staff meetings of the Nijmegen Classics team and the intellectual life of the department and the institute;
  • Some teaching in the second and third years of the appointment
  • A Research Master, MA or MPhil degree in Classics, held by time of appointment, with an MA thesis of high quality with a grade of at least 8.0 on a ten-point scale, or comparable assessment (if the degree is not yet obtained at the time of application, a statement by the applicant’s supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by time of appointment);
  • Well-developed research skills, including the ability to formulate relevant and creative research questions and hypotheses, descriptive and analytical skills, and a clear and persuasive style of writing;
  • Excellent competence in ancient Greek and Latin, and English, as well as reading competence in French, German and Italian;
  • Independent thinker, team player;
  • Grit.

The Anchoring Innovation program is strongly committed to diversity within its team and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries about the position can be addressed to Prof. dr. André Lardinois, Do not hesitate to contact your prospective supervisor about the design of your research proposal. Questions about the procedure can be directed to Dr. Suzanne van de Liefvoort,


In order to be admissible, applications must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • Cover letter;
  • CV, including contact information of two referees;
  • Transcript of records;
  • Research proposal of 1500 words. This does not include the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4);
  • Copy of relevant diploma or statement by PhD supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.

Please submit your complete application to Dr. Suzanne van de Liefvoort, the coordinator of the Anchoring-program via before April 24, 2021. Interviews will take place in the week of May 24-28, 2021 and will probably be held online.