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dr. D. (Dinah) Wouters

Postoctoral researcher
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Classical Knowledge in Dutch Colonialism

This project delves into colonial paradigms and practices of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, a period marked by its swift ascent to imperial power. Amidst this transformation, fervent debates unfolded regarding the potentially corrupting impact of excessive wealth, the merits of unrestricted trade, the ethical considerations surrounding the use of violence for economic gains, the decision between establishing colonies or trading posts, and the optimal methods for governing these overseas territories. The project aims to provide fresh insights into these deliberations by examining Latin political, legal, historical, and religious sources, which have received less attention from colonization historians compared to their Dutch counterparts or works by prominent figures like Hugo Grotius. These Latin sources are more likely to engage with classical knowledge. Simultaneously, many originate from individuals who wielded influence in policy-making or served as influential intellectuals and educators. The project will focus on the junctures where theoretical constructs and ideological principles intersect with practical policymaking.

This project is part of Settler Colonial Paradigms (SECOPS): Classical Receptions – Territoriality - Legality - Indigeneity, in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (

Last modified:25 January 2024 4.26 p.m.