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Baukje van den Berg

“Grammar Education in Byzantium (11th–12th Centuries)”

Baukje van den Berg

Central European University, Byzantine Studies Fellow, Spring

Van den Berg’s research project concentrates on grammar education in eleventh- and twelfth-century Byzantium. It explores Byzantine conceptions of grammar, while also addressing classroom practice and the appropriation of ancient sources, concepts, and strategies by Byzantine grammarians. What didactic strategies do grammarians employ? What topics do they teach and what role is reserved for ancient literature? What sources do they draw from and how do they position themselves vis-à-vis their predecessors? By studying grammar and grammar education in Byzantium, the project aims to advance our understanding of Byzantine ideas on language, learning, and literature, for which knowledge of grammar is foundational.

Baukje van den Berg is assistant professor in the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University. She received her PhD in 2016 from Universiteit van Amsterdam and, until 2019, was a postdoctoral researcher at the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, where she worked on Byzantine grammar education and John Tzetzes’s didactic poetry as part of the project “Byzantine Poetry in the ‘Long’ Twelfth Century (1081–1204): Texts and Contexts.” Her main research interests are Byzantine scholarship, education, and the role of ancient literature in Byzantine literary culture. She is currently preparing a monograph titled Homer and Rhetoric in Byzantium: Eustathios of Thessalonike on the Composition of the Iliad.