Universiteit Leiden

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Susanna de Beer

Senior University Lecturer

Dr. S.T.M. de Beer
+31 71 527 2671

Susanna de Beer is a Senior University Lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Susanna de Beer



Fields of interest

  • (Renaissance) Latin poetry
  • Italian humanism
  • The city and symbol of Rome
  • Literary patronage
  • Classical Reception Studies
  • Neo-Latin commentaries
  • Digital Humanities 

Current projects

NWO Aspasia

In 2017 I was awarded an Aspasia grant by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. With the support of this grant I am pursuing the following two projects: the Book Project ‘Visions of Rome’, and the Digital Humanities Project ‘Mapping Visions of Rome’. Both projects continue the research I have started during my VENI (2011-2015) and have further developed at NIAS (2014-2015) and with the support of LUF (2016-2017).

Book Project ‘Visions of Rome. Strategic Appropriation of the Roman Heritage in Humanist Latin Poetry’

I am currently working on a monograph, based on my VENI research project. This book is a systematic study into the images of Rome in Humanist Latin poetry. Neither the poems in question, nor the images of Rome they present, suffer from lack of attention in modern scholarship. However, current approaches often aim at either charting the discourse in an encyclopedic way, or at understanding the poems within the oeuvre of a single author or specific context. This book instead, by exemplary readings of selected poems, systematically approaches the field as a whole. Moreover, it is not confined to analyzing the construction of the images themselves, but extends its analysis to the rhetorical function of these images in contemporary literary, political and religious debates. As such it both offers a guide to reading these and similar poems and (at the same time) exploits the poems to chart the contemporary discourse about the city and symbol of Rome.

Mapping Visions of Rome

The main goal of this project, which is designed in the research environment Nodegoat, is to make available a collection of (Renaissance) Latin poetry related to the city and symbol of Rome, and to offer tools to analyze these texts individually or comparatively and map them on various literary, geographical and chronological axes. The project supports the annotation and analysis of the corpus of my Book Project (see above), but also aims at furthering interdisciplinary collaboration and public dissemination.

Mapping Visions of Rome

Nodegoat Usecase

For a more detailed discussion on this project, you can watch the video of a paper I presented at the Annual meeting of the AIUCD (Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e Cultura Digitale), University Ca’Foscari, Venice, September 2016 (nr. 26 de beer). Watch here.

Humanist Virgilian Walks

I have used the Mapping Visions of Rome digital infrastructure to reconstruct and visualize six Humanist Virgilian Walks on the map of Rome, supporting an article published in the Humanistica Lovaniensia 2017 (‘In the Footsteps of Aeneas. Humanist Appropriations of the Virgilian Walk through Rome in Aeneid 8).

Humanist Virgilian Walks

Roma aeterna

The same infrastructure has been further developed to make available via the map of Rome the articles on Rome in the Dutch journal ‘Roma aeterna’. This project was sponsored by the Elise Mathilde Foundation (LUF) and carried out by Marcella Mul and Lab1100.

Roma aeterna 

De vereeuwigde stad

In collaboration with Amsterdam University Press, Lab1100 and Caroline van den Oever I have designed and developed a mobile website to make available - via the map of Rome - information, classical texts and works of art concerning the most important ancient monuments and locations in Rome. By using GPS the website also visualizes your location on the map of Rome, which facilitates moving around in the city, finding your way from one location to the other.

The website is designed on the basis and in support of the book ‘De vereeuwigde stad’ written by teachers and students of Classics at Leiden University, but will be further expanded to present more locations, texts, works of art and walks.


Het boek 

Artikel in Mare

Boek en Website

Digital Roman Heritage (poster)

This web portal is the virtual home of Digital Roman Heritage, an international research collaboration network that brings together Digital Humanities initiatives with regard to the physical, artistic and literary legacy of Rome. The network has been established at the e-Rome Workshop held 4-5 March 2015 at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar.

The main aims of this network are to share best practices, and to facilitate the digital linkage between projects from various disciplines related to the city and symbol of Rome. To this purpose the network 1) hosts a web portal to present projects and activities 2) meets regularly to discuss collaboration 3) applies for grants to further data exchange.


Former Projects

LUF research grant 2016-2017 ‘Mapping Visions of Rome’

In 2016 I obtained a LUF research grant, sponsored by the Elise Mathilde Foundation, for the project Mapping Visions of Rome. Connectivity between Literary and Artistic Heritage in a Digital Age. With this grant I have further developed and refined the virtual research environment Mapping Visions of Rome, in order to enhance connectivity with related datasets concerning the Roman heritage.

Elise Mathilde Foundation

NIAS fellowship 2014-2015

For the academic year 2014-2015 Susanna de Beer has received an individual fellowship at NIAS for the project Mapping Humanist Visions of Rome: Sharing and Visualizing Poetic Appropriations of the Roman Physical and Literary Heritage. This research project will combine the finishing of her VENI research with a spin-off of that same project in the field of computational humanities.

During the stay at NIAS Susanna will work on a monograph that explores five competing images of Rome found in humanist Latin Poetry. Moreover she will design an interactive internet database to figuratively and literally map the data involved. The first purpose is to create a research collaboratory that stores, systematizes and renders searchable valuable literary sources in relation to physical places in Rome. A second purpose is to systematize the data in such a way that they can be linked to existing databases or applications related to (Renaissance) Rome (such as www.hadrianus.it or www.census.de), and make them available both for interdisciplinary research and popular dissemination.

A pilot database for this project is already under construction in close cooperation with the KNAW-funded project Mapping Notes and Nodes in Networks, in which potential relationships in biographical data and cultural networks in the creative industry in Amsterdam and Rome in the Early Modern Period are explored. During the MA Tutorial Classics ‘Writing Rome. The Physical and Symbolic City in Latin Poetry’, students have already started experimenting with tagging Latin texts about Rome for this purpose.

NWO Veni 2011-2015

Visions of Rome. Strategic Appropriation of the Roman Heritage in Humanist Latin Poetry(VENI from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) 

Capitol Hill in Washington and Mussolini’s triumphal road along the Forum Romanum both present a visual connection to ancient Rome that supports a claim to power. These claims could only be plausible because the city of Rome was – and still is -a heritage site of shared cultural, political and religious milestones. This central position is largely the result of the activities of the Renaissance humanists. They fervently uncovered the glorious Roman past that was still perceptible in the ruined monuments and the Latin Classics. At the same time they restored the Roman heritage by new literary output. This process of preservation and renovation is reflected in the visions of Rome articulated in humanist Latin poetry. A systematic study of these texts is particularly rewarding, because they were written by the main agents in this process, and combine ancient and contemporary, visual and literary images of the eternal city. These images range from Rome as the capital of a powerful empire to a ruined city; from Rome as the iconic centre of Christian faith to the target of the Protestant Reformation. 

This research project aims at mapping and understanding these contrasting visions, by viewing them as the result of a dynamic process of selection, interpretation and appropriation of the Roman heritage. It is my hypothesis that these images were strategically employed in order to shape the identities of the humanists and their audience and to legitimize the political and religious powers involved. I furthermore assume that the Latin literary genres, themes and motifs employed support and unite these strategies. By adopting a multidisciplinary approach, consisting of literary, cultural-historical and sociological methods I will offer a new interpretative framework for the flexibility of the Roman image as strategic appropriation of Rome’s literary and cultural heritage.    

NWO Postdoc in Klein Programma 2009-2011

Roman Scientific and Encyclopaedic Literature: Foundation and Authorisation of Early Modern Knowledge 

Postdoc-project within the NWO-project supervised by Prof. K.A.E. Enenkel ‘The New Management of Knowledge in the Early Modern Period: The Transmission of Classical Latin Literature via Neo-Latin Commentaries’. 

Curriculum vitae


Senior University Lecturer (Renaissance) Latin and Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Classics, Leiden University.


Doctorate (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam. Supervisors: Prof. B. Kempers & Prof. K.A.E. Enenkel


Supervisor (ad interim) of the Huizinga Institute, Graduate School for Cultural History in Amsterdam


Employee at Burgersdijk & Niermans, Antiquarian Bookshop and Auction House, Leiden


Study of Classical Languages at Leiden University, with a specialization in (Neo-)Latin literature

Awards and scholarships


Aspasia grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research


LUF research grant (Elise Mathilde Foundation)


NIAS fellowship


VENI grant from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Resarch


ICH Award for ‘Promovendus of the Year’ ( Institute of Culture & History, University of Amsterdam)


Several research scholarships at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) and the Dutch Art-historical Institute in Florence (NIKI), co-sponsored by NWO

Teaching activities

My teaching activities range from language acquisition in BA1, the introduction to Renaissance Latin in BA2, to seminars on various topics related to (Renaissance) Latin for BA3 and (R)MA, such as epigrammatic poetry, literary patronage, exile literature and Rome in Latin literature.

Senior University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Moderne Engelstalige letterkunde

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number A0.36


  • Beer S.T.M. de (2018), Travel Guides for Imaginary Journeys. The Living Presence of Rome in Early Modern Antiquarian Literature, Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 20: 57-81.article in journal
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), Review of: Hui A. (2016) The Poetics of Ruins in Renaissance Literature. Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics, Bryn Mawr Classical Review .book review
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), Review of: Maier J. (2015) Rome Measured and Imagined, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences .book review
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), De Vereeuwigde Stad. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [dataset]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), Digitale Klassieken [Nascholingsdag docenten Klassieke Talen] (Lecture).other
  • Beer S. de (2017), Digital tool for browsing articles on www.romaeterna.nl. [website].
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), In the Footsteps of Aeneas. Humanist Appropriations of the Virgilian Walk through Rome in Aeneid 8, Humanistica Lovaniensia 66: 23-55.article in journal
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2017), Translatio imperii et studii in the poetry of Conrad Celtis ['Cultural Encounter and Identity in the Neo-Latin World', Danish Academy, Rome, Italy, November 2017]. Rome.conference paper
  • Beer S.T.M. de (18 November 2016), ‘The Origins of Rome in the Renaissance: Revival, Rejection, Reinvention’, Inventing Origins. The Functions of Aetiology, OIKOS/Leiden University (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2016), Co-Organizer ‘Neo-Latin and Classical Reception Studies’, meeting of the OIKOS Classical Receptions Research group, in collaboration with Jan Bloemendal (Neolatinistenverband), Amsterdam. [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (9 September 2016), ‘Mapping Renaissance Visions of Rome. Connectivity between Art and Literature in a Digital Age, invited keynote at Annual AIUCD (Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e Cultura Digitale), University Ca’Foscari, Venice (Lecture). Venice: Ca'Foscari.other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (12 May 2016), ‘Mapping Renaissance Visions of Rome’, invited lecture at Neolatin Text Technology Workshop, Vienna (Lecture). Vienna.other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (28 April 2016), ‘Reveal, Reuse, Recycle! How Digital Tools can help detect Efficiency in Giannantonio Campano’s (1429-1477) Poetry’, Invited keynote at Economics of Poetry, Rome (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2016), Co-Organizer ‘Readers of the Lost Art. Neo-Latin poetic descriptions of lost Renaissance art” with Bernhard Schirg, 1 panel for the RSA Annual Meeting, March 2016, Boston. [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2016), Main Organizer ‘Digital Latin Resources and Tools’, 3 panels for RSA Annual Meeting, March 2016, Boston. [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (24 March 2016), ‘Negotiating Literary Patronage in the Age of Leo X’, Annual Meeting of the RSA, Boston (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2015), e-Rome: International workshop about Rome in Digital Humanities (NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studied Wassenaar). Wassenaar, Netherlands, (NIAS). [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2016), De Africa van Francesco Petrarca: een nationaal epos?, Lampas: Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse classici 49(4): 404-419.article in journal
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2015), Visions of Rome. The Reception of the Roman Heritage in Art and Literature (VENI expert meeting & symposium). Rome, (Royal Netherlands Institute). [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2 November 2015), Negotiating Literary Patronage in the Age of Leo X (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2 November 2015), Negotiating Literary Patronage in the Age of Leo X (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (4 August 2015), Mapping Humanist Visions of Rome. A Digital Approach to the Literary Appropriations of the Eternal City (Triennial conference of the IANLS) (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (20 July 2015), Poster presentation ‘Mapping Visions of Rome’ and ‘Digital Roman Heritage’ (Pelagios: Linked Pasts; Kings College London). [conference poster].other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (26 March 2015), Reality and Representation of Sixtus’ IV Artistic and Literary Patronage in Neo-Latin Poetry (Annual conference of the RSA, Berlin) (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de & Christian K. (2015), The Interaction of Literary and Artistic Patronage in Renaissance Rome (RSA Annual Conference, Berlin). Berlin, (RSA). [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2015), Review of: Poel M. van der (2014) Neo-Latin Philology: Old Tradition, New Approaches. Proceedings of a Conference held at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, 26-27 October 2010, Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia, Renaissance Quarterly 68(4): 1351-1352.book review
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2015), www.digitalromanheritage.com. [website].
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2015), www.digitalromanheritage.com (15260). [website]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (10 October 2014), The Memory of Augustus and Augustan Rome in Humanist Latin Literature (Augustus à travers les âges / Augustus through the Ages, Brussels) (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2014), Writing Rome. Latin and Vernacular Responses to the Eternal City. New York, (Panel, RSA annual Conference). [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2014), Elegiac Poetry. In: Bloemendal J., Fantazzi C., Ford P. (Eds.) Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World. Vol. 1: Macropaedia. The Renaissance of America Society: Texts and Studies Series no. 3 Leiden and Boston: Brill. 387-398.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2014), Patronage. In: Bloemendal J., Fantazzi C., Ford P. (Eds.) Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World. Vol. 2: Micropaedia. The Renaissance of America Society: Texts and Studies Series no. 3 Leiden and Boston: Brill. 1124-1125.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2014), Poetic Genres - Occasional Poetry: Practice. In: Bloemendal J., Fantazzi C., Ford P. (Eds.) Brill's Encyclopaedia to the Neo-Latin World. Vol. 2: Micropaedia. The Renaissance of America Society: Texts and Studies Series no. 3 Leiden and Boston: Brill. 1142-1143.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2014), Rom als symbolisher Ort. In: Landfester M. (Ed.) Der Neue Pauly. Renaissance-Humanismus. Lexikon zur Antikerezeption. Stuttgart: Metzler. 856-864.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (13 November 2013), The Interaction of Literature, History and Sociology in Renaissance Literary Patronage. Theory and Practice (Invited lecture, Wilhelmsuniversität Münster) (Lecture).other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), Leiden Research Colloquium on the City and Symbol of Rome. Leiden, (Leiden University). [other]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), Dood of Levend? Concurrerende visies op het verval van Rome in de Renaissance. In: Dros E.J., Huygen F.L, Janssen C.G.M, Kolenbrander S.D., Oerlemans A.P.A. (Eds.) O tempora, o mores. Decadentie door de eeuwen heen. Leiden: Collegium Classicum cui nomen M.F.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), Poems by Michael Marullus Review of: Michael Marullus. Charles Fantazzi (2013) Michael Marullus Poems. Ed. and trans. Charles Fantazzi., The I Tatti Renaissance Library, Renaissance Quarterly 66(3): 951-953.book review
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), The Poetics of Patronage. Poetry as Self-Advancement in Giannantonio Campano. Turnhout: Brepols.book
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), The Survival of Pliny in Padua. The Botanical Renaissance and the Transformation of Classical Scholarship. In: Enenkel K.A.E. (Ed.) Transformations of the Classics via Early Modern Commentaries. Leiden/Boston: Brill. 327-362.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2013), The World Upside Down. The Geographical Revolution in Humanist Commentaries on Pliny’s Natural History and Mela’s De situ orbis (1450-1700). In: Enenkel K.A.E., Nellen H. (Eds.) Neo-Latin Commentaries and the Management of Knowledge in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period (1400-1700). Leuven: Leuven UP. 139-197.book chapter
  • Beer S. de (2012), Mapping Visions of Rome (www.digitalromanheritage.com/mapping-visions-of-rome). [database]other
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2010), Ghostwriting in the Renaissance? Giannantonio Campano’s Love Elegies for ‘Diana’, the Mistress of Braccio Baglioni, Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 12: 41-65.article in journal
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2009), [Review of] Henk van Gessel, Pasquino. Spot en Satire in het Oude Rome Review of: Gessel H. van (2006) Pasquino. Spot en Satire in het Oude Rome, Roma nel Rinascimento. Bibliografia e Note .book review
  • Beer S.T.M. de, Enenkel K.A.E. & Rijser D. (2009), The Neo-Latin Epigram. A Learned and Witty Genre Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia no. 25. Leuven: Leuven University Press.book
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2009), The Pointierung of Giannantonio Campano’s Epigrams: Theory and Practice. In: Beer S.T.M. de, Enenkel K.A.E., Rijser D. (Eds.) The Neo-Latin Epigram. A Learned and Witty Genre. Leuven: Leuven University Press. 131-157.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2008), The Roman 'Academy' of Pomponio Leto. From an Informal Network to the Institution of a Literary Society. In: Dixhoorn A. van, Sutch S. (Eds.) Reach of the Republic of Letters. Learned and Literary Societies in Early Modern Europe. Leiden: Brill. 181-218.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2006), Giannantonio Campano's Poetry for Pius II Piccolomini. In: Paolo R. di, Antonuitti A., Gallo M. (Eds.) Enea Silvio Piccolomini. Arte, Storia e Cultura nell'Europa di Pio II. Rome: Shakespeare and Company 2. 307-322.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2005), Giannantonio Campano: de circulatie en publicatie van zijn poëzie. In: Dauven C., Koopmans J., Kuitert L. (Eds.) Publiceren: wat is dat?. Amsterdam: Institute of Cultural History. 111-123.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de (2004), The Panegyrical Inventio. A Rhetorical Analysis of Panegyricus Latinus V. In: Enenkel K.A.E., Pfeijffer I.L. (Eds.) The Manipulative Mode. Political Propaganda in Antiquity. A Collection of Case Studies. Leiden: Brill. 295-317.book chapter
  • Beer S.T.M. de & Kuijper W.G. (Eds.) (2000), De Wereld van Apollo. Themaboek voor Klassieke Culturele Vorming. Leiden: Primavera Pers.editorship of book

No relevant ancillary activities

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