Ancient War Narrative. A combined discourse-linguistic and narratological approach


This NWO-funded program was led by Prof. Dr. Caroline Kroon and Prof.Dr. Irene de Jong (UvA). VU-scholars Suzanne Adema and Lidewij van Gils held post-docs positions in this project, and David Stienaers worked as a PhD-student (VU), together with PhD-student Niels Koopman (UvA).
Within this program we have expanded and strengthened a recent and internationally recognized development in Dutch classical scholarship, consisting of an innovative synthesis of modern linguistic and literary approaches. By means of empirical corpus studies, discourse linguistic and narratological methods and concepts were brought together in order to draw the outlines of an interdisciplinary framework for the interpretation of classical literary texts. The individual studies in this project focused on narratorial report, description and speech and thought representation. The texts of the corpus were taken from Ancient Greek and Latin war narrative (Homer, Caesar, Vergil, Sallust, Tacitus), a type of text which is at the core of classical culture. 


The combined discourse-linguistic/narratological perspective has enabled us to lay bare more clearly the underlying rhetoric and ideology of these texts, and to open up the way to a new kind of (comparative) stylistic research.

An international workshop on historiographic texts about the battles of Thermopylae (Herodotus) and Cannae (Livy) was organized in October 2014. In this workshop, we discussed the textual strategies of Greek and Latin narrators in their presentation of battles. The results of the workshop will be published in the course of 2017. 


Niels Koopman defended his thesis Ancient Greek Ekphrasis on November 21st 2014 in Amsterdam. (http://dare.uva.nl/record/1/432476). 


Suzanne Adema wrote a monograph on speech and thought representation in Latin war narratives. This book, Words of Warriors, will be published in spring 2017 as part of the series Amsterdam Studies in Classical Philology (Brill, Leiden - http://www.brill.com/publications/amsterdam-studies-classical-philology). 


A list of further publications and results can be found at the website of NWO:
http://www.nwo.nl/onderzoek-en-resultaten/onderzoeksprojecten/i/82/5182.html