Our research group is very active in disseminating its research findings to audiences within and beyond academia.

Organization of workshops and conferences

Ellen, Tine, and Koen at the Enchanted Reception conference

Previous events:

Recent conference papers by group members

  • Mara Nicosia (December 2022): ‘Una tenace eredità: influenze greche in siriaco in epoca abbaside’, workshop L’eredità di Bisanzio, Naples.
  • Nicolò D’Alconzo (November 2022): ”Worked out with precise resemblance”. The Life of Athanasius the Athonite and the Greek novels’, Lampeter CA Seminar Series.
  • Tine Scheijnen (October 2022): ‘Women in the Trojan War. Gender evolutions across the ancient Greek and medieval vernacular literary traditions’, Conference Ancient Rape Cultures: Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian, Rome.
  • Tine Scheijnen (September 2022): ‘Wild Women and Heroic Power: Modern Perspectives on Late Antique and Medieval Women in the Trojan War’, Epic Heroism in Late Antiquity Conference, Lisbon.
  • Julie Van Pelt (September 2022): ‘The Life of Makarios the Roman between History and Fiction’, Conference: ICAN VI, Ghent.
  • Nicolò D’Alconzo (September 2022): ‘Callirhoe in Byzantium’, ICAN VI Conference, Ghent University.
  • Claire Rachel Jackson (September 2022): ‘Obscenity, chastity, and fiction: novel receptions in Photius’ Bibliotheca’, ICAN VI Conference, Ghent University.
  • Koen De Temmerman (September 2022): ‘Callirhoe and Euphemia’, ICAN VI Conference, Ghent University.
  • Simon Ford (September 2022): ‘Anonymity and fiction in John of Ephesus’ Lives of the Eastern Saints’, ICAN VI Conference, Ghent University.
  • Mara Nicosia (September 2022): ‘Greek novels in Syriac? The contribution of rhetorical teaching’, ICAN VI Conference, Ghent University.
  • Julie Van Pelt (August 2022): ‘Journeys between history and fiction from ancient narrative to hagiography (and beyond): kunokephaloi and rescue by dolphin’, Conference: International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Venice/Padova.
  • Julie Van Pelt (August 2022): ‘Direct speech in hagiography and secondary orality: questions and hypotheses’, Conference: International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Venice/Padova.
  • Nicolò D’Alconzo (August 2022): ‘Drawing Leucippe and Clitophon: Europa (1.1), Philomela and Procne (5.3-5)’, Workshop: Research and Teaching Ekphrasis Through Creative Practice, Norwegian Institute in Rome.
  • Julie Van Pelt (July 2022): ‘The Scribal Act as Gendering Act in the Byzantine Lives of ‘Cross-Dressing’ Saints’, Conference: International Medieval Congress, Leeds.
  • Nicolò D’Alconzo (May 2022): ‘Psellos and the novels, from quotation to novelisation’, Workshop: Fictio. Ancient Concepts of Fiction and Narrative, Université de Lille.
  • Julie Van Pelt (May 2022): ‘Translating Religious Narrative: the Paradox of Impossible Necessity’, Workshop: Religious Narrative in Ancient and Medieval Literary Cultures, Odense.
  • Claire Rachel Jackson (April 2022): ‘Chariton’s Callirhoe, Musaeus’ Hero and Leander, and Early Novelistic Receptions’, CA Conference, Swansea.
  • Nicolò D’Alconzo (April 2022): ‘Novels in quotation culture: the case of Niketas Choniates’, CA Conference, Swansea.
  • Julie Van Pelt (March 2022): ‘Niet applaudisseren alstublieft. Over theatervrees en performance in de byzantijnse periode’, Griekenlandcentrum, Ghent.
  • Mara Nicosia (March 2022): ‘The Hellenistic Enkyklios Paideia in the Syriac world: the role of rhetoric in shaping the ‘classic”, PAIXUE, Edinburgh.
  • Julie Van Pelt (February 2022): ‘Journeys Between History and Fiction: The Life of Makarios the Roman’, Workshop: Fiction in Transition, Ghent.
  • Claire Rachel Jackson (February 2022): ‘Fiction, Plausibility, and Miracles in Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Macrina’, Fiction in Transition workshop, Ghent.
  • Mara Nicosia (January 2022): ‘Syriac monastic schools and the teaching of rhetoric‘, Centre for Research on Ancient Civilizations, Warsaw.
  • Ellen S¨öderblom Saarela (December 2021): ‘Novels and potential of uncertainty: female desire in Theodore Prodromos’ Rhodanthe and Dosikles’, Fifth virtual meeting of the Argentine Committee of Byzantine Studies.
  • Simon Ford (November 2021): ‘Telling Tales in Byzantine Palaestina: Late Antique Trickster Tales in the Medieval Samaritan Chronographic Tradition’, conference Storyworld in Collections: toward a Theory of the Ancient and Byzantine Tale, Centre for Medieval Arts & Ritual, University of Cyprus.
  • Julie Van Pelt (September 2021): ‘Cyprian of Antioch between saint and magos: the Conversion (BHG 452) and the Confession (BHG 453)’, First International conference on Early Christian Literature, Late Antique and Byzantine Hagiography: Literary connections between the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles and the Saints’ Lives, Valencia.
  • Mara Nicosia (September 2021): ‘Syriac Rhetoric between Greek and Arabic: A Look at its History and Technical Vocabulary’, TeTra Joint Research Seminars, UGent.
  • Julie Van Pelt (August 2021): ‘Believing the Unbelievable. Faith and Miracle-stories in Greek Hagiography from Late Antiquity’, Conference: EABS Annual Conference, Wuppertal.
  • Mara Nicosia (July 2021): ‘Graeco-Aramaica: a look at Greek words in Christian Palestinian Aramaic’, International Online Workshop “Christian Palestinian Aramaic. Not quite the right ‘Syriac’”, Organized by Syriaca – Ricerche siriache
  • Ellen Söderblom Saarela (June 2021): ‘Amazoneises, puceles corteises’: interpreting the Amazon’s Place in Courtly Romance’, Conference on Enchanted Reception (see above).
  • Ellen Söderblom Saarela (April 2021): ‘She must write her self, she did write her self: Hysmine’s voice from within the wrong‘ (online seminar series Novel Echoes)
  • Koen De Temmerman (March 2021): ‘A Life (not) to Die for: Eremitic Monasticism in Pseudo-Nilus’ Narrations‘, University of St Andrews, Classics Research Seminars.
  • Koen De Temmerman (March 2021): ‘The Greek versions of the Miracle of Euphemia and the Goth: tragic and novelistic resonances’, University of California at Santa Barbara, Centre for the Study of Ancient Fiction workshop.
  • Koen De Temmerman and Claire Rachel Jackson (December 2020): ‘Novel Echoes: Receptions of the Ancient Novel in Postclassical traditions‘ (Literature Department, UGent)
  • Claire Rachel Jackson (December 2020): ‘Did the ancients read novels?‘, Griekenlandcentrum series.
  • Ellen Söderblom Saarela (September 2020): ‘Responding to tradition’, Stockholm.
  • Ellen Söderblom Saarela (June 2020): ‘La Dame Dido and Artemis from the Greek novel’, Uppsala, The World of the late Byzantine romance in context Conference.
  • Julie Van Pelt (February 2020): ‘Miracle or Magic? The Figure of the Magos in Byzantine Hagiography’, Text and Transmission Research Seminar (TeTra), Leuven.
  • Julie Van Pelt (January 2020): ‘Immersed in the Illusion: Pronoun-Shifts in Lives of Transvestite Saints’, Workshop: Enargeia and Immersion, Leiden.
  • Olivier Demerre (October 2019): ‘Catching bodies, catching texts: Longus and Ovid on hunting‘, RICAN conference.
  • Julie Van Pelt (November 2019): ‘Heliodoros the magician and the rhetoric of deception: creating religious authority through the figure of the magos’  (Regensburg University)
  • Koen De Temmerman (October 2019): ‘Stories of Erotic Desire in Late Antique Hagiography: the Curious Case of Euphemia and the Goth (and Callirhoe)’, Swansea University, Kyknos Research Colloquium
  • Koen De Temmerman (June 2019): ‘Too good to be true. Life-writing, love and desire in Greek Martyr Acts of Late Antiquity’, Universidade de Coimbra, Celtic Classics Conference

Blog posts

Our lovely research group

Schools’ workshop

Our research group has created a workshop for school pupils in Flanders in the final two years of secondary school.

Shipwreck, evil pirates, lovers reunited, and fake deaths. There are a number of prose texts from antiquity which tell exciting tales like this. They are usually love stories about a beautiful young boy and a beautiful young girl who go through lots of trouble before they get their happy ending. Think of Romeo and Juliet, but then without the deaths at the end. These texts are generally called ‘novels’, but are they really novels like those we read in the modern world? Who read these texts in antiquity – and why? In this workshop, we’ll have a closer look at some prose love stories from antiquity (Greek and/or Latin), and discuss what makes them a novel and what the texts tell us about the world in which they were written.

See here for more information and registration.


Pandemic research