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Book presentation 'Coping with Versnel'

At a festive book presentation on the 21st of July in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities Leiden professor emeritus Henk Versnel received a copy of the book 'Coping with Versnel'. This historiographical volume highlights the important position of Versnel’s work in the study of religion in the ancient world.

Miguel John Versluys (Leiden University), as master of ceremony, introduced three speakers who shared their personal reflections on Henk Versnel.

The first speaker was Loes Schouten, who is a Senior Publishing Director at Brill and was, for a long time, responsible for the Religions in the Graeco-Roman World series, of which Coping with Versnel is the 200th volume. She drew attention to Versnel’s work on this series, going above and beyond his duties and delivering volumes of consistently high quality, and how she remembers many meetings where laughter and serious discussions went hand in hand.

The second speaker Ab van der Touw, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Leiden University and who was taught by Versnel both at secondary school and as a student, spoke about the impact of Versnel as a teacher and lecturer.

Lastly, Lucinda Dirven (Radboud University Nijmegen) discussed how she interviewed Versnel for the journal Leidschrift Historisch Tijdschrift many years ago, her understanding of his work then and now, and how Versnel’s work remains relevant. 

Henk Versnel, naturally, responded – and became the recipient of the first volume of ‘his’ book from the hands of the editors Kim Beerden and Frits Naerebout.  

K. Beerden and F.G. Naerebout (eds.), Coping with Versnel: A Roundtable on Religion and Magic. In Honour of the 80th Birthday of Henk S. Versnel. Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 200 (Brill: Leiden 2023). 

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