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. Since the start of my project in September 2015, I have also helped out in the archaeological project on Classical Halos (see my ‘publications’ page), and I have been the secretary of the CRASIS interdisciplinary research group for the ancient World (situated at thee University of Groningen) for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Besides Greek epigraphy, my research interests include Graeco-Roman civic and honorific culture, ancient networks, history of International Relations, 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, swimming, and cats. I am fond of detective shows as well as older science fiction movies and series.
Why on earth study Greek epigraphy?
I am passionate for research in this particular area for several reasons. First of all, I think 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.
Another exciting aspect is provided by the possibilities that epigraphy offers for innovative research. Not only are many inscriptions still to be discovered or published; digital tools have 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 humanity as a whole, 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.