Dr Evert van Emde Boas

Leventis Research Fellow in Ancient Greek

I received my BA and MA in Classics from the University of Amsterdam (2001-2005) before coming to Oxford for graduate work (MSt 2005-2006, Magdalen College; DPhil 2005-2010 Corpus Christi College). I then returned to the Netherlands for a variety of teaching positions (University of Groningen 2010-2014, Leiden University 2011-2014, University of Amsterdam 2010-2014, and VU University Amsterdam 2010-2011). I have been back in Oxford since 2014, first as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Calleva Research Centre at Magdalen, as Stipendiary Lecturer in Classics at Oriel, and now as Leventis Research Fellow at Merton.


My research focuses on the application of cognitive and linguistic approaches and methods to Ancient Greek literature (with a focus, thus far, on drama). My first monograph is a reading of Euripides' play Electra through the lens of modern linguistics. At Merton I will be preparing my second monograph, on the topic of characterization through language/style in Greek literature (looking at a wider range of genres, including epic, tragedy, historiography, and oratory).

I am also a member of an interdisciplinary group (Classics, English, Psychology) at the Calleva Centre, Magdalen College, investigating the experience of theatre audiences through psychological experiments. Finally, I work on Greek grammar: I am the lead author of a new reference grammar of Greek, to appear with CUP in 2019.


I have taught widely on Greek and Latin language and literature, both in the UK and in the Netherlands. At Merton, I will be responsible for most of the teaching in Greek language and literature (including such options as Homer: Iliad, Greek Texts and Contexts, Greek Core, and Greek Tragedy). I am also always happy to discuss Greek linguistics and literature with graduate students.



2017 Language and Character in Euripides' Electra, Oxford UP.

2017 Characterization in Ancient Greek Literature, Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative, vol. 4, Leiden: Brill (co-edited with K. de Temmerman).

2019 Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek, Cambridge UP (together with A. Rijksbaron, L. Huitink, and M. de Bakker)

2019 A. Rijksbaron, Form and Function in Greek Grammar: Linguistic Contribution to the Study of Greek Literature (1976-2016), Leiden: Brill (co-edited with R. Allan and L. Huitink).

Articles and chapters

2018 'Individual Differences in Audience Response to Drama'. Review of General Psychology,  (with J. Thompson, S. Duncan, F. Budelmann, B. Teasdale, L. Maguire and R. Dunbar)

2017 'Analysing Agamemnon: Conversation Analysis and Particles in Stichomythia', in Classical Philology 112.4

2017 'Cognition, Endorphins, and the Literary Response to Tragedy'. Cambridge Quarterly 46.3: 229-50 (with F. Budelmann, R. Dunbar, S. Duncan, L. Maguire, B. Teasdale, and J. Thompson)

2016 'Emotional Arousal When Watching Drama Increases Pain Threshold and Social Bonding'. Royal Society Open Science 2016.3.160288 (with R. Dunbar, B. Teasdale, J. Thompson, F. Budelmann, S. Duncan, and L. Maguire)

2015 'The Tutor’s Beard: Gender-Specific Communication and Speaker-Line Attribution in Greek Tragedy’. Mnemosyne 68: 543-568

2010 'Syntax', in E.J. Bakker (ed.), A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 134-150 (with L. Huitink)

I am preparing articles/chapters on visualisation in Greek messenger speeches, speech in Greek tragedy, ethopoeia in Lysias, deixis and voice in Greek lyric, and other topics.