Dr. Christopher Degelmann - Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizewinner 2024

Ancient History, HU Berlin

Ancient historian Christopher Degelmann seeks to explore links between historical and contemporary issues. In doing so, he draws on various modern approaches from cultural studies, sociology and political science, using these to tap into entirely new perspectives on ancient sources. 

One area he looks at is the practice of Athenian democracy, for example – the origin of today’s Western democratic forms of government. He examines the influence that certain social-communicative mechanisms had even back then, including fake news and rumours, clothing and shaving styles, invective against politicians and even social types such as the “hipster”. In this way, his research explores the significance of our ancient heritage from the point of view of how we view ourselves today. By the same token, he is able to achieve a novel shift in perspective by taking contemporary issues as a key to deciphering ancient history.