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Personal profile

Personal information

Lidewij van Gils is assistant professor of Latin at the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). She teaches Latin Language and Culture courses in the bachelor and master programmes and supervises theses at bachelor, master and PhD level. For VU Pre-University College she also initiates and coordinates masterclasses for high school students and professional meetings for teachers in the field of Humanities. After her studies of Classics at the Vrije Universiteit she obtained her PhD at the same university in 2009 with a dissertation on the narrationes in Cicero’s forensic speeches. Together with other Ciceronian scholars she publishes regularly on Cicero´s life, rhetoric and speeches for a wide audience. Her academic research is mainly focused on communicative strategies in classical Latin prose authors, for which she makes use of pragmatics, politeness theories and cognitive linguistics. As an expert in linguistic approaches to classical languages, she is involved in the award winning research programme Anchoring Innovation. In 2017 she was elected Teacher of the Year at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


Van Gils’ main focus is on communicative aspects of the classical Latin prose and her investigations concern, for instance, the use of negation, adversative particles, tenses and other signs of interaction or intersubjectivity in Cicero, Livy and Tacitus. The linguistic analyses of such phenomena need to be related to the communicative situation of speakers, addressees and other persons involved and she makes use of the cognitive-linguistic concept of common ground and sociolinguistic models of (im)politeness to address such contextual issues. A last important factor in most of her research is the distinction between narrative and nonnarrative modes of presenting and more specifically the persuasive and pervasive potential of embedded stories. The combined narratological and discourse-pragmatic approach adopted to investigate this field of research, has recently led to a volume on textual strategies in Greek and Latin war narrative (edited by Van Gils, De Jong & Kroon).   



Van Gils teaches Latin Language and Literature both at bachelor and master level and together with colleagues from Ancient History and Archaeology she develops interdisciplinary courses on, for instance, ancient warfare. In 2017 she was awarded the title Teacher of the Year of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.



Gymnasium at Sorghvliet, The Hague (1991)

Classics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (MA, 1999)

Teacher's degree at Universiteit van Amsterdam (1999)

PhD in Latin Linguistics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2009)

Basic and Senior Qualification in Higher Education at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2014)

Educational Leadership at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2017)


Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • pragmatics
  • discourse linguistics
  • text structure
  • common ground
  • anaphoric references
  • tenses
  • narrative
  • text types
  • PA Classical philology
  • Cicero
  • Livy
  • Tacitus
  • rhetoric
  • historiography
  • invective
  • PC Romance languages
  • Latin

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Cicero Arts & Humanities
Narrative Technique Arts & Humanities
Tense Arts & Humanities
Addressee Arts & Humanities
Discourse Pragmatics Arts & Humanities
Particle Arts & Humanities
Prose Arts & Humanities
Cognitive Linguistics Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2001 2018


Pieper, C., Tellegen-Couperus, O. & van der Wal, R., 2018, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 192 p. (Elementaire Deeltjes; vol. 57)

Research output: Book / ReportBook editingProfessional

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero´s Pro Roscio Amerino: Lampas. Tijdschrift voor classici 50 (2017) 4

van Gils, L. W. (ed.), Dec 2017, 4 ed. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren. 96 p.

Research output: Book / ReportBook editingAcademic

Narratieve technieken ter verdediging van Sextus Roscius

van Gils, L. W., Dec 2017, Cicero´s Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino: Lampas. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren, p. 433-443 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Narrative Technique

Van de gastredactie

van Gils, L. W. & Tellegen-Couperus, O., Dec 2017, (Accepted/In press) In : Lampas. 50, 4, p. 401/406 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Anchoring New Ideas in Common Ground: A Linguistic Approach.

van Gils, L. W. & Allan, R. J., Jan 2016

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteAcademic

Open Access

Activities 2001 2003

  • 11 Lecture / Presentation
  • 1 Visiting an external academic institution

Visiting unknown external organisation

van Gils, L. W. (Visiting researcher)
1 Jul 2003

Activity: Visiting an external institutionVisiting an external academic institution

Constructing two audiences in one speech: Cicero's Pro Caelio

van Gils, L. W. (Speaker)
1 Apr 2003

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Forging the Present - The Trial against Verres

van Gils, L. W. (Speaker)
6 May 2002

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic