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Radbound University, located in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) is offering two funded PhD positions in Ancient History to work on the ‘Constraints and Tradition. Roman power in changing societies’ project. Vacancy closes September 29, 2016.

The project ‘constraints and tradition’ analyses how traditions influence the ways in which new systems of rule are communicated, contested and accepted in changing societies. Within the project, developments in specific ancient ‘media’ are traced over a long period of time (50BC to AD565) in order to show which traditions formed constraints in presenting Roman power. Findings will be analysed through notions of ‘shared field of experience’ and ‘anchoring’, adapted from communication theory and social psychology.

As PhD within the project, you will analyse your own ‘medium’ and trace chronological and geographical developments. In collaboration with the other researchers in this project, you will further develop the relevant theoretical notions. Alongside writing your PhD, you will also collaborate in research papers with the other researchers, and help organize (international) workshops.

Project 1 analyses developments in Roman central coinage. This was a crucial medium for broadcasting imperial representation. The PhD project pays attention to moments in which emphasis on ‘traditions’ in central coinage changed and on the development of ‘traditional’ messages on coins over time.

Project 2 analyses the ways in which imperial portraiture (busts and statues) emphasised or rejected tradition. Imperial portraits could resemble those of predecessors, or be iconographically innovative. This project will trace which styles or individual rulers were used as example of ‘tradition’, and when (within or between reigns) such role models were employed or disbanded.

Further information, contact Prof. Olivier Hekster (Telephone: +31-(0)24 3612289; E-mail:


(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)