dr. S.J.M. Heijnen (Sam)

Onderzoeker - Departement Geschiedenis, Kunstgeschiedenis en Oudheid
Onderzoeker - Radboud Institute for Culture and History

dr. S.J.M. Heijnen (Sam)

I am currently PhD student in Ancient History at Radboud University.

My research project is entitled ‘The Emperor’s Portrait: Dynastic Changes and Political Innovation in the Roman Empire (50 BCE – 565 CE)’. Portraits of Roman emperors, carved from marble or cast in bronze, were omnipresent in the Roman empire. As vehicles of communication, portraits made sure the emperor was everywhere: in public squares, temples, court halls, houses, and many other places. As such they were an essential feature of imperial rule. My PhD project traces the changes in imperial (self-)representation in portraiture from the Late Republic (c. 50 BCE) until the end of the sixth century CE.

The project’s aim is to analyze how the medium of portraiture was used to legitimize imperial rule (both in the imperial center and in the provinces), and to analyze to what extent traditions were a limiting and/or contributing aspect in this process.

In line with the Anchoring Innovation research agenda, my PhD project builds upon the premise that in order for political innovation to be successful, it had to be anchored in pre-existing structures and beliefs (traditions).

Previous experiences and education:

2014-2016: MA (research) in Historical Studies (cum laude), Radboud University
2015-2016: Honours project, Radboud University and Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)
2015-2016: Visiting scholar, Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)
2015: Summer Session member, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
2010-2014: BA in History (bene meritum), Radboud University



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