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Nietzsche and Antiquity


Admission requirements

BA degree in Philosophy or Classics. Basic expertise with German, Nietzsche’s philosophy, and Antiquity required.


Nietzsche’s development in thought is firmly based upon his knowledge of and interest in ancient philosophy. Starting his career as a Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, the Greeks remain the main source of inspiration throughout his life. In this course we will examine the different aspects of this interest. Beginning with the philologica and the early essays (reflecting upon the philological tradition Nietzsche is rooted in), we will continue reading selections of Nietzsche’s main philosophical works in chronological order. In every text we will explore the context in which Nietzsche appeals to ancient thought, and how and according to what criteria he evaluates the different philosohers of that age.

The main aim of this course is (1) to map out to what extent his approach to Antiquity changes over time and (2) how he evaluates the different phases and philosophers – without disregarding the connection with the estimation of his own age.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2013-2014 , MA Philosophy 60 EC en 120 EC.
See Timetables Philosophy 2013-2014 , Timetables MA Philosophy 60 EC/120 EC.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Attending seminars: 14 × 3 = 42 hrs
Studying the compulsory literature: 120 hrs
Preparing presentation: 38 hrs
Time to write a paper (including reading / research): 80 hrs
Total course load: 280 hrs

Assessment method

  • End of term paper (75%)

  • Oral presentation (15%)

  • Participation in seminar-discussions (10%)


Blackboard will be used in this course for posting instructions and texts.

Reading list

  • We will make use of the standard edition of Nietzsche’s texts: Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden (KSA) 1980, ed. Colli, G. and Montinari, M.). Copies of the selected texts will be provided. English translations will be made available as well.

  • Müller, E., Die Griechen im Denken Nietzsches, Berlin/New York, 2005.


Please register for this course on uSis.
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See Registration for courses and examinations

Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply. See also Registration for courses and examinations

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact information

H.L.J. Gaasterland MPhil