Amsterdam (NL)

The University of Amsterdam has a Postdoc-position for its 1.5 year project “Roman Women: Legal Changes and Finances”. It will investigate the impact legal changes had on the financial (in)dependence of Roman women and how this may have anchored in traditional society.

Job description:
The transition from republican to imperial rule is one of the main turning points in the history of the ancient world, which had profound consequences for the lives of Roman men and women. As the first emperor, Augustus anchored his multiple political innovations by presenting them as the restoration of the Roman Republic. As part of this restoration programme he posed as the restorer of traditional Roman moral values, issuing legislation to stimulate marriages within the elite and to curb adultery (the ‘Leges Juliae de maritandis ordinibus and de adulteriis coercendis’). The ‘ius trium liberorum’, which was part of this legislation, gave women ‘sui iuris’ with three or more children full legal capacity over their property, thus paving the way for women’s civic engagement and public visibility, for instance as benefactresses in numerous cities of Italy and the provinces.

The main questions of this PD project are: were these far-reaching innovations in women’s legal position and their legal capacity over their property anchored in Roman society and traditional morality, and if so, how? How important was the ‘ius liberorum’ for women’s financial independence and how many women acquired it? And to what extent were these innovations anchored in an earlier (republican) practice of women’s involvement in finances? Several other sub-questions are possible. The main focus, however, should not be on the intricacies of the legal changes as such, but on the impact they had on the financial (in)dependence of women and the way this may have been anchored in traditional Roman society and gender roles.


  • A PhD, preferably in Classics or Ancient History (held by time of appointment and obtained no longer than five years ago)
  • An excellent research and publication record in relation to stage of career
  • A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research
  • Excellent command of English
  • Some organisational experience

Project specifications:

  • Position: Postdoc project, 1.5 years (1.0 fte) or 2 years (0.75 fte), start date: 1 March 2018
  • Title: Roman women: legal changes and finances (Anchoring Work Package 4)
  • Salary: €3,238 to max. €3,954 gross per month (based on 38 hours a week, depending on previous experience)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. E.A. Hemelrijk (UvA), Prof. Dr. L. de Ligt (UL; co-supervisor)
  • Organisational unit: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities, Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)

Job application:
In order to be considered, applications must include the following information (in the order stated), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • Cover letter
  • CV, including list of publications and contact details of two referees
  • Research proposal of 1500 words (excluding bibliography and – if appropriate –
  •  appendix containing list of sources: together max. two pages A4)
  • Copy of relevant degree certificate(s)

Please submit your application to Dr. Roald Dijkstra, the coordinator of the Anchoring programme via e-mail before 1 November 2017.

Interviews will take place in the week beginning 4 December 2017. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

More information about this position may be obtained from Prof. Dr. E.A. Hemelrijk via e-mail.

More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the OIKOS website.

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