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Frederik Juliaan Vervaet

College positions:
Visiting Fellow
Roman History
University of Melbourne-School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Contact details:

Professor Frederik Juliaan Vervaet

Frederik Juliaan Vervaet is a Professor of Ancient History at the University of Melbourne.

Frederik received his PhD from Ghent University, Flanders (2002), as a Research Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders. After graduation, he moved to UC Berkeley where he spent the academic years 2002-2004 as postdoctoral Francqui Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (by approximation the Belgian equivalent of the Rhodes scholarship) and Lecturer in the Departments of Classics (Fall 2003) and History (Spring 2004). This was followed by a three-year stint as Postdoctoral Research Fellow back at Ghent University, including a term at Oxford as Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College. In June 2007, he took up a Lectureship in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. During the northern autumn of 2010, he was a Visiting Fellow of the Belgian Historical Institute in Rome at the Academia Belgica, Rome. In May 2011, October 2015, and November 2022, he was promoted respectively to Senior Lecturer, Associate, and full Professor.

Frederik mainly specializes in the socio-institutional, political, and religious history of the Roman republican and early imperial periods, and Roman public law. During his Visiting Fellowship at Clare Hall, he will continue work on a big book concerning the authoritarian statecraft of Caesar Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, a project he embarked upon during the northern spring term of 2018 at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study as a Member of its School of Historical Studies and currently funded by the Australian Research Council. As a secondary pursuit, he is also co-editing (with David Rafferty and Christopher Dart) a substantial collection of (conference and commissioned) papers on How Republics Die – Creeping Authoritarianism from the Ancient to the Modern World, including his own chapter on ‘Reformenunwilligkeit and the Death of the Roman Republic’.

In his spare time and beyond his responsibilities as a modern husband and father of three (without much patria potestas), Frederik enjoys camping and hiking in the ancient and mesmerizing expanse of the great Australian Outback. He is also an avid practitioner of the martial arts, holding a Shodan-Ho in Shito Ryu karate and a purple belt (four stripes) in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Select publications

  • F. J. Vervaet (forthcoming) “Storm Over Italy”, in: N. Rosenstein (ed.), The Oxford History of the Roman World – Second Edition (c. 25,000 words)
  • F. J. Vervaet (2023) Reform, Revolution, Reaction. A Short History of Rome from the Origins of the Social War to the Dictatorship of Sulla, Sevilla & Zaragoza (c. 124,000 words)
  • F.J. Vervaet (2020) Subsidia dominationi: The Early Careers of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Nero Claudius Drusus Revisited, Klio. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte 102: 121-201
  • Lange, C.H. & Vervaet, F.J. (eds.) (2019) The Historiography of the Late Republican Civil Wars, Leiden & Boston
  • Kim, H.J., Vervaet, F.J. & Adali, S.F. (2017) Eurasian Empires in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Contact and Exchange between the Graeco-Roman World, Inner Asia and China, Cambridge
  • F.J. Vervaet & C.J. Dart (2016) “Last of the Naval Triumphs: Revisiting Key Actian Honours”, Journal of Roman Archaeology 29: 389-410
  • T.J. Kehoe & F.J. Vervaet (2015) “Honor and Humiliation in Apuleius’ Apologia”, Mnemosyne. A Journal of Classical Studies 68: 1-36
  • F J. Vervaet (2014) The High Command in the Roman Republic. The Principle of the summum imperium auspiciumque from 509 to 19 BCE, Stuttgart (c. 210,000 words)

Select Awards

  • 2021: elected lifelong Fellow of the Academy of Humanities of Australia
  • 2017: awarded The University of Melbourne’s Woodward Medal in Humanities and Social Sciences (annually awarded, incl. a AUD 10,000 cash prize) for his 2014 big book on The High Command in the Roman Republic (509-19 BCE), Stuttgart.
  • 2002: a Francqui Fellowship of the Belgian American Educational Foundation for postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley (USD 25,000)
  • 1997: The André Schaepdrijver prize for the best MA dissertation in History of the academic year 1996-1997, awarded by a jury of Ghent University Department of History Professors

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