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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Dr Myrthe L. Bartels

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Myrthe Bartels is Honorary Fellow and Teaching Assistant at Durham. She studied Classics at Leiden University and received her PhD from Leiden in 2014. Subsequently, she was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh (2014-2015), Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Erfurt (2015-2017), International Fellow at the New Europe College (IAS) in Bucharest (2017-2018) and COFUND Junior Research Fellow at Durham (2018-2019). She also received two research scholarships from the Fondation Hardt pour l'étude de l'antiquité classique in Vandoeuvres (2014, 2018).


Myrthe Bartels' research centres on ancient Greek philosophy, especially Plato, with a focus on ethics, political philosophy and musical thought. Her monograph Plato's Pragmatic Project. A Reading of Plato's Laws (Steiner Verlag, 2017), which is based on her Leiden dissertation, appeared in the series Hermes Einzelschriften. The monograph offers a reading of Plato's Laws that accords the structure of the work central importance for the status of its legislative project. She is currently developing a number of articles and book chapters that pursue the approach taken in this book further.

Myrthe Bartels is also interested in the reception of ancient musical thought in later periods. She is developing a project on the reception of the Platonic idea that music (mousikē) represents moral character types (ēthē) in the Renaissance. This idea enjoyed a substantial revival in early modern Europe, leading to a number of attempts to recuperate the lost music of antiquity. Focusing on the French context, this project traces how an ancient philosophical idea lived on in the very different musical environment of the Renaissance (16th-17th centuries). Together with Andy Hamilton (Philosophy), she is also preparing an edited volume with selected papers from the workshop Philosophy of Music - Perspectives in Antiquity (11-12 July 2019) and the workshop on the same theme in July 2020.

Research Interests

  • Ancient ethics
  • Ancient Greek law
  • Ancient Greek philosophy
  • Ancient political philosophy
  • Classical reception in the Renaissance
  • Greek literature


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