Han Baltussen

Professor Han Baltussen


School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Han Baltussen (FAHA) is an eminent international expert in the history of philosophy. He is currently the W.W. Hughes Professor of Classics — one of Adelaide University's two founding chairs (1874) — at the Department of Historical and Classical Studies. He received the B.A., M.A. in Classics and his Ph.D. in Ancient Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at Utrecht University (1993). Before coming to the University of Adelaide he held several postdoctoral positions and worked at Kings College London (Philosophy Dept.) as a tutor in ancient philosophy and chief assistant editor to the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle Translation Project.

Professor Baltussen's research interests fall within the history of ancient culture and thought from the archaic period (Homer) to late antiquity. His first monograph 'Theophrastus Against the Presocratics and Plato' (Brill 1993) shows how applied dialectic operated in the school of Aristotle when criticising earlier ideas of perception. His second book 'Philosophy and Exegesis in Simplicius' (Duckworth 2008) clarifies the methodology of a late Platonist commentator and his importance for the transmission of Greek philosophy, while 'The Peripatetics' (Routledge 2016) studies the post-Aristotelian Peripatetics up to the second century CE. In several (co)edited volumes he has explored themes such as philosophical commentaries (2004), consolation (2013), censorship (2015), and pain narratives (2023). His many articles explore a range of topics in ancient philosophy and intellectual history. A new text and translation of Eunapius (Loeb 2023) lays the groundwork for a new interpretation of the text. His current projects include a short book on self-consolation, book chapters on the physiology of blood in early Greece (with M. Harpas) and gender in ancient medicine (with C. Schwartz) as well as a volume co-edited with Marguerite Johnson (Newcastle) 'A Cultural History of Love' for Bloomsbury, expected in October 2024.

Professor Baltussen has been awarded prestigious visiting appointments, including fellowships at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies (JRF, Washington D.C. 1996-97), the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (School of Historical Studies, 2006), the Royal Flemish Academy (Brussels 2010), Leiden University (Spinoza Fellow 2014) and the Institute of Classical Studies, London (Dorothy Tarrant Fellowship, 2023).

He served as Head of Department (2009-2013) and as the Head of the Classical Studies Section of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2017–2020), and serves on the Advisory Boards of the journals 'Studies in Late Antiquity' and 'Aristotelica', the book series 'Rutgers Studies in the Humanities' (Routledge) and the ERC Project "Fragments of Aristotle" which is based at the University of Padua (Italy).

My research interests cover a range of topics in intellectual history and the history of ideas from antiquity to the early modern age, focusing on three themes: origin, transmission, and evolution of ideas. My work has successfully connected the world of Greece and Rome with our own time, in both public talks and scholarly projects on topical subjects such as grief (see The Conversation and "The Power of the Humanities"), censorship, Stoicism. I have collaborated with colleagues on subversion and censorship (with P.J. Davis), the transmission of philosophy from the Hellenistic period to Late Antiquity (with DT Runia and J Mansfeld), and Stoicism in the Enlightenment (with Lisa Hill). I regularly give public talks and lectures to highlight the ongoing importance of human concerns so similar across time. I was co-editor of the journal Antichthon, published by Cambridge University Press 2015-2021. My current book projects concern ancient consolations, a commentary on Theophrastus' fragments in doxography. The most recent publications are a new text and translation of Eunapius. Lives of Philosophers and Sophists for the well-known Loeb Classical Library series (vol. 134 Harvard Press, combined with Graeme Miles' Philostratus. Lives of Sophists, June 2023) and Pain Narratives in Greco-Roman Writings (jointly edited with J.R. Clarke and D. King, EJ Brill, July 2023).

Excellence in Research Australia (ERA): My research outputs go mostly towards Field of Research (FoR) 2203 Philosophy, some towards 2202, History and Philosophy of Specific Fields & 2005 Literary Studies. In the 2015 and 2018 ERA results, Philosophy at Adelaide received a score of 5 out of 5.

COver Peripatetics
Published 2016
Pain Narratives
Published 2023
Published 2023


Cover for Theophrastus monograph
Published 2000
Cover of Commentary Conference
Published 2004 (2 vols)
Cover for Philosophy and Exegesis in Simplifies (2008)
Published 2008
Cover for translation of SImpicius book1.5-9
Published 2012
Cover for Greek and Roman Consolations (2013)
Published 2013
Cover for The Art of Veiled Speech (2015)
Published 2015

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2011 - ongoing Walter W. Hughes Professor of Classics University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2011 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2005 - 2010 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2002 - 2005 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2001 - 2001 Adjunct lecturer Greek philosophy University College London
    1997 - 2002 Research Associate and temporary lecturer & tutor King's College London
    1997 - 2002 Chief Assistant Editor Ancient Commentators Project (0.8) King's College London
    1996 - 1997 Postdoctoral research fellow Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies
    1993 - 1996 Postdoctoral research associate Utrecht University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2023 Fellowship Dorothy Tarrant Fellowship Institute of Classical Studies, London United Kingdom £5,000
    2017 Fellowship Visiting Professor Institute for Advanced Study Institute for Advanced Studies, UWA Australia $3,000
    2014 Scholarship Spinoza Fellow Leiden University Leiden University (LUCAS) Netherlands -
    2010 Fellowship Fellowship Royal Flemish Academy Brussels Royal Academy Brussels Belgium -
    2010 Research Award Faculty Research Award University of Adelaide Australia -
    2009 Fellowship Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities Australian Academy of the Humanities Australia -
    2006 Fellowship Member, School of Historical Studies (IAS Princeton) Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ United States $20,000
    1996 Scholarship Junior Fellow Centre for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University United States 40,000
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Dutch; Flemish Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can read, write and understand spoken
    German Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    Italian Can read
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1988 - 1993 Utrecht University Netherlands PhD
    1983 - 1986 Utrecht University Netherlands MA
    1978 - 1983 Utrecht University Netherlands BA
  • Research Interests


Dorothy Tarrant Fellow 2020 (postponed to 2023 due to covid) Institute of Classical Studies, London 2023 $10,000
Short-term fellowship Institute for Advanced Studies (UWA) 2017 $3,000
Paper international Conference Center for the History of Emotions (AI) 2015 $3,000
"Stoic Liberalism and the Enlightenment" (with Lisa Hill) Australian Research Council (DP) 2014-16 $300,000
"The Dynamics of Censorship in Antiquity" (with Peter J. Davis) Australian Research Council (DP) 2011-13 $249,000
Short-term fellowship Leiden University (Spinoza Fellow) 2014 $3,000
Invited paper international Conference Center for the History of Emotions (AI) 2014 $3,000
"Hitching a Ride on iPods" (podcasting to enhance student engagement) DVC(A) eLearning grant 2013 $13,000
Overseas conference papers, archival research in UK libraries Various Faculty Travel Grants 2005-13 $18,000
Invited paper international Conference Center for the History of Emotions (AI) 2012 $3,000
"Ancient consolation and psychotherapy" Australian Research Council (DP) 2007-09 $69,000
Simplicius' Methodology Faculty Small Research Grant 2003 $3,500
International conference London Multiple sources (UK based) 2002 £10,220
Junior Fellowship Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington D.C. 1996-97 $40,000
Travel grant short study leave, Fondation Hardt (Geneva, Switzerland) Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) 1996 €2,000
PhD scholarship Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) 1993-96 $68,000

Courses I (co)teach:

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Greek Physicians Under Rome: Immigration and Integration Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Chelsea May Louise Schwartz
    2022 Principal Supervisor Visualising Human Anatomy and Physiology in Medical Literature (10th - 17th c.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Mary Elizabeth Harpas
    2022 Co-Supervisor Love in Gethsemane: The Consolatory Legacy of Thomas More in the Writings of English Exiles and Martyrs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mitchell Robert Thompson
    2022 Co-Supervisor Legitimacy and Authoritarianism in the Late Roman Republic Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas Keefe George
    2021 Principal Supervisor From Magic to Medicine: The dynamics of faith and science in drug development in antiquity. Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Mr Greg Macpherson
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2021 Co-Supervisor ‘A lightness that is both new and a return’: Nekyia and katabasis in twenty-first century receptions of the Iliad Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Patrick James Moritz
    2020 - 2024 Co-Supervisor Taking Liberties: (Mis)translating Sexual Violence in Ovid’s Metamorphoses Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Gemma Caitlin Neall
    2019 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Classical Ideas of Physiology and Pathology: Understandings of the Living Body in the Hippocratic Corpus Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Mary Elizabeth Harpas
    2019 - 2021 Principal Supervisor The Ascent to the Hidden One: The Reception of the Egyptian One God in Neoplatonism and the Greek Magical Papyri Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Tiana Blazevic
    2019 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Veiled Criticism in Seneca’s Epistulae Morales Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Tamas Karoly Preston
    2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Dental Crown Morphology Variations Associated with Congenital Syphilis and their Importance in Paleopathological Diagnosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Stella Ioannou
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Faunus and the Fauns in Latin Literature of the Republic and Early Empire Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Tammy DI-Giusto
    2012 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Venus Restrained: The Regulation of Rome's Women in the Second Punic War. Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Lewis Mark Webb
    2011 - 2017 Co-Supervisor A Dynamic Equilibrium: Doctors and Patients in Seventeenth Century England Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Elizabeth Connolly
    2005 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Understanding and Dealing with Evil and Suffering: A Fourth Century A.D Pagan Perspective Master of Arts Master Part Time Ms Susanne Harvey Wallis
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83135288
  • Email: han.baltussen@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134341
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 8
  • Org Unit: School of Humanities

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