Universiteit Leiden

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Ivo Dos Santos Martins

External PhD candidate

I.R. Dos Santos Martins MA
+31 71 527 1589

Ivo Dos Santos Martins is an external PhD candidate at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Ivo Dos Santos Martins

I have a background in Ancient History and a keen interest on literature. Literature is a privileged gateway for research on topics of cultural and social History. This is especially true in the case of the Mesopotamian context. Literary sources with a long process of textual transmission with several well-documented stages, Akkadian literature encapsulates the world-views and values of the communities who have written, compiled, copied, read and studied those texts for more than two millennia. Consequently, Akkadian literary texts are well-suited for comparative research. 

Fields of interest

  • Ideology
  • Wisdom
  • Akkadian Literature
  • Mythology
  • Religion
  • Royal Ideology
  • Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • Cultural History
  • Social History
  • Comparative Studies
  • Cuneiform Scholarship
  • Intertextuality


My research explores Late-Babylonian cuneiform scholarship and the reactions of Babylonian scholars to Achaemenid domination. The study assumes a literary perspective and takes the so-called Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus (BM 38299) as a case-study.
Written in verse, recounting the reign of Nabonidus and the downfall of Babylon to Cyrus II, the Verse Account is both enigmatic and informative. Informative in its focus on crucial historical events; enigmatic on the interpretations of those same events, often rooted in scholarly esoteric knowledge.
Modern approaches to the Verse Account have been relatively few and unbalanced. On the one hand, the text has been frequently called upon to corroborate the information from other sources, such as royal inscriptions of Nabonidus, in the process of reconstructing the political history of that transitional period. On the other hand, the literary features of the Verse Account have only received sporadic treatment, and, thus far, no more than two full editions of the composition have come to light.
As I shall argue, the Verse Account merits a comprehensive study of its genre, its intertextual network, its position within cuneiform culture, and its archival and social contexts. Such a study will lead to the re-evaluation of the composition, of its value as a literary response to Achaemenid rule within the larger scholarly debate on kingship engaged by Late-Babylonian historiography.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2017 - present Ph.D. Ancient Near East, Leiden University
  • 2015 - 2017 ResMA CAC-Assyriology, Leiden University
  • 2010 - 2015 MA Ancient History, University of Lisbon
  • 2003 - 2009 BA History, Nova University of Lisbon

External PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SMES Assyriologie


No relevant ancillary activities

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