History of Political Thought in the Mediterranean World during Late Antiquity/the First Millennium is the topic outlining four (4) PhD Fellowships offered at Ghent University, Belgium, as part of the ERC Advanced Grant Project “New Polities. Political Thought in the First Millennium”, directed by Prof. P. Van Nuffelen. The scholarships are offered via the Ghent Centre for Late Antiquity, Ghent University.

The project

The New Polities project studies political thought in Late Antiquity (ca. 300-900 AD). Rather than considering this as the time when the ancient city-state gave way to monarchy and when rationality became subordinate to religious texts, the project argues that we see in Late Antiquity a wide range of new religious and political communities that adopted and modified classical ideas and thus developed a rich political thought. By studying sources in other languages than just Latin and Greek, New Polities will uncover neglected traditions of political thought from the first millennium AD, from the Roman Empire to the Abbasids, Byzantines, and Carolingians.

Job Description

Each of the four selected PhD students will write a doctoral dissertation on a topic related to the project’s aims, including (but not limited to) concepts of social relations, kingship, utopias, virtue, economic thought, and the relation between society and nature. Their topic should relate to sources in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenian, and/or Georgian.

Each must also contribute to a database of commented passages on first-millennium political thought.

The Ph.D. students also participate in, and co-organize, team meetings, workshops, and conferences.

Candidate Profile

Ideal candidates must

Hold a Master’s degree, by the program’s starting date, in a relevant field, including (but not limited to) Classics & Ancient History, History, Theology and Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Oriental Studies.

Have a very good knowledge of at least one of the relevant languages (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenian, or Georgian). Knowledge of two or more languages and cultures, or a willingness to acquire additional languages (including Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic), is an advantage.

Be interested in working across different traditions and in comparative research.

Be interested in engaging with other disciplines, in particular philosophy and the history of political thought.

Be knowledgeable in Digital Humanities, or willing to acquire this, is an advantage.

Be willing to work in a team, whilst capable of doing independent work.

Have good organizational skills.

The University Offers

A full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which, after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.

Contract starting on 1/3/2025 at the earliest and on 1/10/2025 at the latest.

Fellowship amount of c.  2500 euros/month. This is equal to 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. Click here for more information about our salary scales

All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance, and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

How to apply

If interested, please send your CV, a copy of your diploma (if already in your possession), a motivation letter and a 500-word abstract of a possible PhD topic to [email protected] before 1 October 2024.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Peter Van Nuffelen (peter.vannuffelen @ugent.be)