Baukje van den Berg

Visiting Fellow, Summer 2024

  • Affiliation
    Central European University
    Research Project:
    Byzantine Commentary between Past and Present: John Tzetzes on Ancient Poetry
Contact Info

Baukje van den Berg (PhD 2016, University of Amsterdam) is Associate Professor of Byzantine Studies at Central European University, Vienna. Her research concentrates on Byzantine education and literary thought, with a particular focus on the role of ancient literature in Byzantine culture. She is the author of Homer the Rhetorician: Eustathios of Thessalonike on the Composition of the Iliad (Oxford 2022). Other key publications include Byzantine Commentaries on Ancient Greek Literature, 12th15th Centuries (co-edited with Divna Manolova and Przemysław Marciniak; Cambridge 2022) and Poetry in Byzantine Literature and Society (1081–1204): New Texts, New Approaches (co-edited with Nikos Zagklas; Cambridge 2024).

About the Research Project

Byzantine Commentary between Past and Present: John Tzetzes on Ancient Poetry

This project concentrates on various little-studied texts related to the teaching practice of John Tzetzes (ca. 1110–1180), one of the most prolific grammarians and polymaths of the Byzantine era. Tzetzes’ ambitious Exegesis of the Iliad and several works on ancient Greek drama allow us to catch a glimpse of a Byzantine teacher at work, providing his students with the literary competence and cultural knowledge crucial for both their future careers in the imperial or patriarchal administration and their participation in contemporary elite culture. This project explores how Tzetzes’ scholarly and didactic works redefine the cultural value of canonical authors such as Homer and Aristophanes for new contexts and new audiences. It simultaneously sheds light on the pedagogical strategies and the processes of scholarship underpinning Tzetzes’ work. Among its main outcomes will be a volume with the first English translations of the texts in question.

Current Roles

  • Visiting Research Fellow