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Academic Profiles and Research Focus Areas

The research interests and specialisation of the academic personnel in the Department of Ancient Languages are as follows:

Prof Phil J. Botha

Main research interests and specialisation:

Psalms studies, especially the Wisdom psalms and the influence of Proverbs on the composition of individual psalms and the Psalter as a whole.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Syriac Patristic studies, especially the work of the Fourth Century Syriac theologians Ephrem of Nisibis and Aphrahat the Persian Sage.
  2. Social values in ancient texts, from Aramaic inscriptions through literary documents in and outside the canonical corpora, from 1000 BCE to 400 CE.
  3. Rhetorical analysis of literary texts with a view to determine textual strategy, aims and objectives of ancient documents in Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and in Greek and Latin.

Dr Susan L. Haskins

Main research interests and specialisation:

Sexuality and gender in the Ancient Novel, particularly The Golden Ass by Apuleius

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Reception of ancient sexuality in the African colonial context (homosexuality and hetero-normativity).
  2. Roman Imperial social and political history, especially in relation to the Ancient Novel.
  3. Socio-literary analysis of Imperial Greek and Roman texts.

Dr J.P. Koos Kritzinger

Main research interests and specialisation:

The writings of St Jerome and Latin Patristics, such as an investigation into the works of authors such as St Augustine, Ambrose, Prudentius, etc.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Roman comedy (Plautus, Terence)
  2. Roman epic (Virgil)
  3. Roman rhetoric (Cicero)

Prof. J. Henk Potgieter

Main research interests and specialisation:

Biblical and Semitic Poetry

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Qumran and Judaica.
  2. Islam.
  3. Comparison of Semitic Literatures.

Prof. Gert T.M. Prinsloo

Main research interests and specialisation:

  1. The Book of Psalms.
  2. The Twelve Minor Prophets.
  3. Unit delimitation and/or Spatial studies.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Anything spatial, especially as it relates to ancient Mediterranean worldviews.
  2. Literary analyses, especially narratology, structural patterns and literary devices.

Ms Jo-Marí Schäder

Main research interests and specialisation:

Biblical Hebrew The Twelve Minor Prophets, specifically the book of Jonah, and the study of the Ancient Near Eastern context of and influence on the Old Testament or Tanak.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Literary exegetical and narratological analysis of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern texts.
  2. Spatiality, social values, art and iconography, mythology and religion of the Ancient Near East.

Prof. Hennie F. Stander

Main research interests and specialisation:

Patristics, with a special interest in the writings of Chrysostom.

Prof. Gerhard J. Swart

Main research interests and specialisation:

  1. The Hellenistic era, especially the conflicts between Judaism and the Seleucid Empire.
  2. The Septuagint.
  3. The Apocrypha, with emphasis on Judith, Tobit and additions to the books of Esther and Daniel.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. Greek tragedy, especially the works of Sophocles and Euripides, and the reception of these authors’ work in later ages.
  2. Ancient Greek history, specifically by Thucydides, Herodotus, Xenophon, and the works of Josephus.
  3. Greek epic poems and epic traditions such as the Iliad and Odyssey, and the continuing influence of these works in modern society.

Dr Ronald H. van der Bergh

Main research interests and specialisation:

  1. The Acts of the Apostles.
  2. Textual criticism of the New Testament.

Secondary research interests and specialisation:

  1. The narratological study of New Testament documents (Gospels, Acts, and Revelation) and other early Christian narrative material (including the Septuagint).
  2. Greek palaeography (especially of biblical manuscripts).
  3. Early church history, particularly the interpretation of the Bible by early Christian writers.
  4. History of the Hellenistic period and the Greek-speaking world of late antiquity (336 BCE - circa 600 CE), as well as any Greek documents written during that period.
  5. Greek historiography, from ancient Greece to late antiquity (e.g. Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Plutarch).

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