dr. Emilie van Opstall

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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. At ACASA (Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology), I teach Ancient Greek language and literature on BA- and MA-level. I am not only interested in philological questions (textual transmission and literary interpretation), but also in the cultural context of texts and in 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 am particularly fascinated by late antique and Byzantine poetry, since there are still many texts from these periods in need of proper editions, translations and commentaries. I do research on philological and literary aspects of these texts (editions, ekphrasis, metaphors, satire, letter poems, etc.), but also on their more general cultural context.

Currently, I am working on an Anthology of Late Antique and Byzantine Poetry (Greek texts, translation and commentary). An academic version will be published by Routlegde (in English), a version for a larger readership will be published by Athenaeum-Polak & van Gennep (in Dutch).

I edited an interdisciplinary volume on the experience of sacred space. It focusses on the sanctuary door in Late Antiquity and approaches doors of temples and churches in Late Antiquity from different angles: literary, liturgical, archaeological, symbolic, art historical etc., in the East and in the West (Brill 2018). I also published a volume with the poems in hexameters and elegiacs by the 10th century poet John Geometres (Brill 2008). In the meantime, articles on various other poets, e.g. Gregory of Nazianzus, Nonnus, Colluthus, Paul the Silentiary, Leo the Philosopher, John Geometres, Christopher of Mitylene, as well as on many other topics have been published.


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)


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see also: https://vu-nl.academia.edu/EmilieMvanOpstall


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