Thierry Oppeneer is a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University working on the intersection between ancient history and literary studies. His research focusses on ancient forms of democracy and popular political participation, especially in the Greek cities of the Roman empire.
After being trained as a historian at Ghent University (BA and MA), he obtained a combined degree for an interdisciplinary PhD (History and Literary Studies) for his dissertation ‘The Rhetoric of Democracy in Second Sophistic literature.' This dissertation investigated ideas about ‘the people’ and popular political participation in the works of Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, Chariton and Lucian who all belonged to the so-called Second Sophistic (ca. 50-250 AD).
His current research project is about Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, a second-century AD collection of biographies of Greek and Roman statesmen from classical Athens to Republican Rome. It examines the Lives as a source on Greek city politics in Plutarch’s own day by testing the hypothesis that they were, in part, intended to instruct second-century AD politicians on how to secure the support of the people.
In addition to his research activities, he teaches the first-year BA-course 'Historical Practice I: Classical Antiquity' and the advanced MA-course 'Capita Selecta Ancient History' on the Greek city under Roman rule.