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Janric van Rookhuijzen

Classical Archaeologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Utrecht University

My current research (part of a VENI grant by the Dutch Research Council, 2019-2022) concerns the symbolism, archaeology and reception history of the Acropolis of Athens, in particular that of the so-called 'Parthenon' and its predecessors, as well as the Temple of Athena Polias (incorrectly known as the 'Erechtheion'). I intend to shed light on the role which these monuments played in the formation of Greek, European and Western identities, and to disentangle stories about enemy action (for example destruction and desecration by Persians and Turks) embedded within the discourse surrounding them. My research aims at tracing the role of such stories in a reviewed architectural history and topographical reconstruction of the Acropolis temples and has been featured in National Geographic.

This interest emerged from my doctoral work at Radboud University, Nijmegen (2018, cum laude), in which I explored the complex relation between Herodotus' account of Xerxes' invasion of Greece (480-479 BCE) and the landscapes of Greece and Anatolia. In my dissertation, which appeared in 2018 with De Gruyter as "Herodotus and the Topography of Xerxes' Invasion. Place and Memory in Greece and Anatolia", I argue that this account may partly be a product of Greek imagination in the c. fifty years between the Persian Wars and its publication (c. 430 BCE), with the landscape functioning as a catalyst: there is much evidence that suggests that traditions about the wars had sprung up around monuments, temples and natural landmarks.

I have a background in Classics (BA, Radboud University, cum laude) and Classical Archaeology (MSt, Oxford, distinction), European Politics (MA, Collège d'Europe, 'très bien'), and Indo-European Linguistics (MA, Leiden, cum laude). I participated in fieldwork projects in Greece (Halos, with the Universities of Groningen and Amsterdam; Thorikos with the Universities of Utrecht and Ghent) and contribute to the new Ancient Greek - Dutch dictionary currently in preparation with Ineke Sluiter at Leiden University.

I regularly teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Ancient History, Classical Archaeology and Ancient Greek.

For more information and a list of publications, refer to:


  • 2019–2022
    Postdoctoral researcher, Utrecht University