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Ancient Rhetoric and Aesthetics

This research group studies the practice and theory of Greek and Roman rhetoric and ancient aesthetic views on visual arts, music and literature.


  • Prof. Dr Casper de Jonge (Leiden University)
  • Prof. Dr Koen De Temmerman (Ghent University)


The aim of this research group is to study not only rhetorical theory (e.g. Aristotle, Hermogenes, Quintilian) and practice (e.g. Lysias, Cicero, declamations) but also rhetorical aspects of ancient literature, like style, character speeches, and the composition of narrative, as well as rhetorical discourse strategies as they are exemplified in textual structure, the use of particles, or word order. It further examines the connection between ancient rhetoric and aesthetics: assessments of art and literature and theories of beauty and sublimity are often formulated in the context of rhetorical teaching. The research group addresses the entire spectrum of Greco-Roman rhetoric and aesthetics, from Homer to late antiquity, and its reception in later eras.

We advocate a broad conception of rhetoric, which implies a focus on a given audience (of a text, statue, building, theory) and on strategies employed to manipulate, persuade, and influence it. We see this concept operative in a wide range of topics and fields in antiquity and beyond, e.g. prose, poetry, speeches, epistles, epic, lyric, linguistics, temples, statues, philosophical concepts, medicine, music, public space, citizenship, political culture, laws and courts, and, of course, the reception of all these phenomena, and the rhetorical history of our own discipline — the use of “classics” and “antiquity” to persuade audiences.


Full members

  • Dr Suzanne Adema (VU)
  • Dr Rutger Allan (VU)
  • Dr Tazuko van Berkel (UL)
  • Prof. Dr Bé Breij (RU)
  • Prof. Dr Felix Budelmann (UG)
  • Dr Aiste Celkyte (UL)
  • Dr Piet Gerbrandy (UvA)
  • Leonie Henkes MA (UL)
  • Dr Luuk Huitink (UvA)
  • Emma Huig (UGent)
  • Prof. Dr. Mark Janse (UGent)
  • Bart Janssen MA (RU)
  • Prof. Dr Casper de Jonge (UL)
  • Dr Albert Joosse (UU)
  • Dr Jacqueline Klooster (UG)
  • Prof. Dr Caroline Kroon (UvA)
  • Giovanni Margiotta MA (RU)
  • Prof. Dr Marije Martijn (VU)
  • Daan Mulder MA (UU)
  • Prof. Dr Ruurd Nauta (UG)
  • Arjan Nijk MA (UL)
  • Dr Thierry Oppeneer (UGent)
  • Dr Floris Overduin (RU)
  • Dr Julie van Pelt (UGent)
  • Dr Christoph Pieper (UL)
  • Prof. Dr Marc van der Poel (RU)
  • Drs Clarine Rijpstra-van Daal (UU)
  • Dr Tine Scheijnen (UGent)
  • Prof. Dr Ineke Sluiter (UL)
  • Prof. Dr Koen De Temmerman (UGent)
  • Prof. Dr Teun Tieleman (UU)
  • Dr Bram van der Velden (UL)
  • Bob van Velthoven (UL)
  • Dr Berenice Verhelst (Ugent)
  • Prof. Dr Gerry Wakker (UG)
  • Prof. Dr Antje Wessels (UL)

Associated members

  • Dr Baukje van den Berg (AAS)
  • Dr Michel Buijs (UU)
  • Prof. Dr Dirk Sacré (Leuven)
Last modified:01 February 2023 09.58 a.m.