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Research profile Ancient History

University of Groningen research on Ancient History covers a wide range, from the Greek Classical period up to and including the Late Roman Empire, and from religion and political representation to network theory.

We are part of the large History department, which provides us with many opportunities for comparative teaching and research. In addition we enjoy the full advantages of the diverse Groningen expertise in Classics and Mediterranean Archaeology, and a prominent Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society (including the discipline of Theology). We collaborate intensively with all of these in our teaching and research.

Our permanent staff are all active and internationally published researchers with research experience abroad and many international contacts. Our research projects are organised under the title Political Culture, Religion and Identities from the Hellenistic Period to Late Antiquity. Our research takes place under OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies, and is locally subsumed under ICOG, the Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture, and CRASIS, Culture, Religion and Society in the Ancient World. We are partners in Anchoring Innovation, the research initiative of the research school OIKOS which was awarded a gravitation grant that will allow us to initiate exciting new research projects (

Prof Onno van Nijf specialises in the Greek history of the Hellenistic and imperial periods with a special interest in political culture, connectivity, sport and festivals, and Greek epigraphy. He is co-applicant and board member of the Anchoring innovation initiative. Within this wider project he is supervising several projects on the political and religious anchors of Roman rule in the East. With Christina Williamson he directs a 4 year (NWO-funded) research project Connecting the Greeks that investigates the development of festival networks in the Hellenistic world; this project continues to expand the project Connected Contests, an online database of athletes and festivals in the ancient world.

Last modified:17 July 2023 3.30 p.m.