My name is Sjoukje M. Kamphorst. After completing a BA in Classics and a Research MA in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (specializing in Ancient History) at the University of Groningen, I am now working on my PhD at the same university. I enjoy making my research accessible to a larger audience, which I hope to do on this website.
Currently, I am also treasurer and member of the editorial committee of Tijdschrift voor Mediterrane Archeologie; I furthermore developed and guide a tour along Latin inscriptions in the city of Groningen. Other activities have included volunteering in the excavations in Classical Halos; acting as board secretary of the CRASIS interdisciplinary research group; and membership of the OIKOS national research school educational board as PhD representative.
Besides Greek epigraphy, my research interests include Graeco-Roman civic and honorific culture, ancient networks, ancient philosophy, and Greek theatre.
In my spare time, I enjoy doing all sorts of puzzles (crosswords, jigsaws, video games, you name it), board games, table top roleplaying games and swimming. I am fond of literature, cinema, science fiction and fantasy, popular TV series and cats.
Why on earth study Greek epigraphy?
I am passionate for research in this particular area for several reasons. The combination of historical, linguistic and archaeological elements that are necessary for interpreting epigraphical material provides not only a fun challenge, but also an indispensable interdisciplinary approach to historical issues. A special attraction, moreover, presents itself in the opportunity to engage with primary sources that are transmitted to us in the exact shape as they were written by the ancient Greeks themselves (as opposed to being copied and amended in later periods). The sources that I work with provide a unique window into how exactly cities presented themselves both to their inhabitants and to the world at large.
I am furthermore convinced that epigraphy offers unique opportunities for innovative research. Not only are many inscriptions still to be discovered or published; digital tools have also recently started to open up new avenues of research, allowing, for instance, the easy collection of large numbers of sources. Studying the mass of available epigraphic sources in this way allows us to draw conclusions on the larger processes that were at work in the ancient world which, in turn, can help us understand how societies work more generally, and perhaps some of the problems we are faced with in our contemporary world. To me, making an attempt to expand our knowledge of human history in this way is a most rewarding experience.