Thesis Supervision

PhD Theses:

I am co-promotor of Shanshan Wen (Leiden, expected to defend her thesis in 2018).

I have also been part of the defense committees of:

  • Zhongxiao Wang (Leiden University 2015)
  • Mohamadou Hamine Wane (Leiden University 2017)
  • Theo Vijgen (VUB Brussels 2018)

BA, MA and RMA Theses:

Any BA or (research) MA student of History, Classics or OCMW at Leiden University can approach me as a supervisor (via email).

Past topics of student theses I have supervised include:

MPhil/Research MA:

  • The night and Greek religion
  • Pearls, femininity, and the Roman woman
  • Fear in ancient Rome


  • Kleos and funerary stelai in Classical Athens
  • Historiographers on Tuche/Fortuna
  • Family planning in antiquity – the female perspective
  • Republican perceptions of Etruscan divination
  • Livia as the ideal Roman woman
  • Nymphs in Roman religion
  • Greek cultural identities and images of ‘otherness’ in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
  • War and the influence of religion on the morale of soldiers
  • Beauty in ancient Rome
  • Ideals of beauty in the Fayum portraits
  • Greek initiation rites
  • Greek spying and intelligence in the Classical Period
  • Roman spying and intelligence from Republic to Principate
  • Roman domestic religion in Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Greek polis religion: testing the paradigm
  • Body image
  • Animals as pets and as food
  • Artemidorus
  • How did Roman trends develop? Case study: hair in the early Empire
  • Acculturation Greece and India in the time after Alexander the Great
  • Greek ideas about the afterlife in the Hellenistic period (excluding philosophers)
  • Cognitive approaches to Greek divination
  • Text and context of curse tablets (defixiones)
  • Greek emotions and their display rules in letters on papyrus
  • Women and wine in the Roman world
  • Reception of Greek divination in the 20th century
  • Roman religion in Britannia
  • Greek oracles and law courts in the Classical and Hellenistic periods
  • Roman divination between magic and religion
  • Functions of communal meals in the Classical Greek world
  • Loneliness in the Roman world
  • Hermaphrodites
  • Funerary meals in Republican Rome
  • Nightly religion and magic
  • Emotions and religious practices
  • Identity through profession
  • Ideals of female beauty (in the Fayum portraits)
  • Chance in ancient Greece
  • Negative stereotypes in the Roman world
  • Curse tablets: justice or revenge?
  • Etruscan funerary practices in Rome
  • Enhanced performances – sport in antiquity

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