The Research output of the department is it’s strongest component. The department is consistently the highest publishing department of the Humanities Faculty with an annual publication record of 15-20 Journal Articles, Books and/or Chapters in Books. Our output and international reach is being increased by the growing number of illustrious Post-Doctoral Research Fellows as well as the international Research Associates and Fellows who are collaborating on the research projects headed by the internationally renowned scholars Professors Ben Hendrickx and Professor Thekla Sansaridou-Hendrickx.



The study of the Classics and its languages is enjoying a renaissance in universities the world over as well as in popular culture. It is vitally important that a university such as ours not be left behind in reflecting these international educational trends.

Teaching and Research Staff:

o Professor Andrea Doyle (Head of Department)

o Professor Hansie Wolmarans

o Professor Bill Henderson, NRF-rated Researcher (Emeritus Professor)

o Ms Ilse Van Rooyen (temporary lecturer)

o Ms Natasha Chhiba (temporary lecturer)

o Dr Luca di Campobianco (Post Doctoral Research Fellow)

Teaching and Research Staff: Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

·Professor Ben Hendrickx, NRF rated researcher

Associate Professor Thekla Sansaridou-Hendrickx, NRF rated researcher
Ms Marilena Triandafillou
Dr Effie Zacharopolou (Post Doctoral Research Fellow)
Dr Savvas Kyriakides (Post Doctoral Research Fellow)
·Dr Hartmut Ziche (Post Doctoral Research Fellow)

Support Staff

Mrs Barbara Leeuwner (secretary)

Research and Teaching Areas

Classical Mythology, Homeric Epic, Greek Tragedy, Golden and Silver Age Latin Literature, Feminist Theory and the Classics, Reception Studies, Roman Republican and Imperial History, Ancient Greek Grammar, Greek History, Greco-Roman philosophy, New Testament, and Greco-Roman mystery cults.


Τhe Department of Greek and Latin Studies at University of Johannesburg is the only University Department on the African continent that teaches Modern Greek language, history and civilization on both undergraduate and post-graduate levels up to Phd. In its postgraduate programmes our department collaborates with various universities in Greece (Athens, Thessalonica, Peloponnesos and Patras). Greece’s DOATAP officially recognises the department’s courses. A number of students from South Africa and Greece enrol for our postgraduate Masters and Doctoral programmes.

Research and Teaching Areas

1. The teaching of Post-Byzantine and Modern Greek culture and language:

problems with ethnicity, minorities and ‘racism’; Greek as a foreign language; the image of Greece; the use and value of manuals.

2. Themes of Byzantine and Modern Greek History.

3. Aspects of the Ottoman Empire: language chaos; tsiflikia and Ottoman institutions in Greece.

4. Aspects of Modern Greek literature and oral traditions.

In addition, our department is engaged in research projects on Greek history and
civilization, particularly on topics about the relationship between the Greek world and Africa. Our university is the only university in Africa which includes Byzantium and Modern Greece in its research projects.

Specifically, at the present time The Department of Greek and Latin Studies is running the following research projects:

1.International edition project of The Encyclopaedic Prosopographic Lexicon of Byzantine History and Civilisation: This specialised encyclopaedic lexicon is a unique international undertaking in the field of Byzantine and medieval studies. The highly rated Byzantinologist Prof. B. Hendrickx (UJ, South Africa) is the editor-in-chief, together with Prof. Alexis Savvides (University of Peloponnesos).More than 100 international and reputed scholars (mostly academics) from all over the world are contributing entries. The aim is 8 (or 9) large volumes with thousands of scholarly entries to be published within the next years by the international publishers BREPOLS (Belgium). Volumes 1 and 2 have been already published and volume 3 is in the printing stage.

Afro-Byzantina: UJ is globally one of the very few universities which has a research niche focusing on the relationships between Byzantium and Africa. Subjects such as the Byzantine influence on medieval Nubia and Ethiopia; the use of Greek in Nubia and Ethiopia; Nubian medieval institutions and history (of Orthodox Christian kingdoms); Ethiopian institutions and history (Axum); study of African sources on Byzantium (e.g. Swahili, Ethiopian); the “African” Alexander the Great: Alexander in African medieval and post-medieval traditions; the Lemba heritage and its connections with medieval Ethiopian traditions are of primary interest. Our aim is to extend our research in order to include Byzantium’s relationships with the Empires and civilizations in Sahel (Central and Western Africa).
The Christian Orthodox tradition in Africa: the presence of the Christian Orthodox Church in Africa in Modern times. The aim of this project is to record and study the Christian Orthodox churches and missions in Africa as well as their influence on African societies.
Hellenism in Southern Africa: in the frame of this project the Department of Greek and Latin Studies (UJ) participates in the collection, organization and publication of a catalogue of S.A. Hellenic Archives, which were housed at UJ’s Library. This project is undertaken together with the Lyceum of Greek Women (Athens – JHB)
The Frankokratia in Greece: The crusaders and Latins in Byzantium, especially after 1204 (the 4thCrusade and capture of Constantinople); institutions and laws; history; ethnic problems; literature and arts.
6. Study of Byzantine Chronicles: with special attention on reflected institutions, ethnicities and ideologies. Therein we examine the crucial question of ethnicity and nationalism from the Byzantine Middle Ages to Modern Greece, Balkan and Greek identity, Christianity versus Islam, racism, ethnic relations and differences.

7.Teaching Modern Greek as a Foreign Language: While in Greece itself, the teaching of Greek in the Diaspora has been considered as ‘teaching a second language’, or even as ‘teaching the mother tongue’, in fact for the Diaspora Greeks Greek has become very often a ‘third’ language, and because of its alphabet a ‘foreign’ language. Relatively little research has been done on this subject, as well as on teaching Modern Greek as a foreign language, without taking into consideration Ancient Greek, of which Modern Greek is often considered to be an appendix

Ekklesiastikos Pharos

In the frame of its researches the Department of Greek and Latin Studies has been undertaking the publication of the accredited periodical Ekklesiastikos Pharos which is published by Prof. B. Hendrickx, Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria Damaskinos Papandreou and Prof. T. Sansaridou-Hendrickx. The periodical, one of the oldest in Africa, is published as a collaboration between the Department of Greek and Latin Studies (UJ) and the Institute for Afro-Hellenic Studies on behalf of and under the auspicia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and hosts among others scientific articles which concern the study of Greek civilization, written by Greek and non-Greek scholars with international recognition. Recently the Department has decided to undertake the continuation of publishing the Byzantinos Domos, an accredited journal which was published in Thessalonica until this year