My parents were dealers in East Asian art and antiques, so I was interested in material culture from a young age onwards. I eventually studied Archaeology & Prehistory at the VU Amsterdam, where I got my master’s degree in 2005. In 2007, I received some funding to support my PhD work. My PhD thesis dealt with warfare and society in ancient Greece, from the Late Bronze Age down to the end of the Persian Wars. I defended it in March of 2010. My thesis is available in Open Access.
Karwansaray published an edition of my PhD thesis that is geared toward a more general audience, with the title Henchmen of Ares: Warriors and Warfare in Early Greece (2013). A year later, my second book was published with Athenaeum-Gennep & Van Polak in Amsterdam: a Dutch book on Greek mythology (2014). At Karwansaray, I also helped start the magazine Ancient History. I initially helped out a bit on the side with Ancient History before becoming its editor in late 2016.
In 2017, I left and started the website Ancient World Magazine with a couple of friends. The website no longer exists as of 2022, but much of its contents – my own articles as well as many by other contributors – is now archived here. In 2017, I also went to work for Primavera Pers, a publishing house in Leiden, to focus on the production of books, including books for high school students, as well as books on cultural history, art, and classics. In 2020, I built the website Bad Ancient, which fact-checks claims about the ancient world (run by Dr Owen Rees who coined the #badancient hash tag on Twitter).
Since 2006, I have also worked as a freelance lecturer. I have taught at a number of different institutions in the Netherlands that focus on continuing education. Courses that I have taught include an introduction to archaeology, a course on Homer and his world, a very popular course on Greek mythology, a short course on the Trojan War, an extended course on ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture, and a survey of Bronze Age Crete. I have also been invited to speak in museums, for example as accompaniment to new exhibitions, especially at the National Archaeological Museum in Leiden and the Allard Pierson in Amsterdam.
In autumn 2021, my wife and I emigrated to Austria, where we now live in the beautiful city of Vienna. I currently focus on conducting research and spend most of my time reading and writing. I aso continue to work as a freelance editor.
My primary research interests can be summarized as follows:
- War, violence, and society in the pre-Classical Aegean
- Pre-Classical Aegean art and iconography
- Homer and the Trojan War
My secondary research interests include:
- Archaeology of the pre-Classical Aegean (general)
- Greek mythology and religion
- Pre-Classical Greek texts
- Reception of the ancient world
- Archaeological theory
“Pre-Classical” is used as a shorthand to refer to the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, and Archaic period, so the period before ca. 500 BC.
The following list only contains publications that have appeared in print, not online. An overview of all the online stuff that has been published on this website, including many reviews, is available here.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2011. A note on romantic love in Homer. Talanta 42-43: 105–111.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2010. Painted heroes: depictions of male warriors on Archaic Greek vases. Pharos 17.2: 107–124.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2007. From horsemen to hoplites: some remarks on Archaic Greek warfare. Bulletin Antieke Beschaving 82: 305–319.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2021. The Anatolian roots of Archaic Greek warfare. In Brill’s Companion to Greek Land Warfare Beyond the Phalanx, edited by R. Konijnendijk, C. Kucewicz, and M. Lloyd, 64–82. Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World 4. Leiden: Brill.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2008. Warriors in Early Greece, 1200 to 500 BC. In SOJAbundel 2006, edited by E. Gehring, D.S. Habermehl, R.H. van 't Veer, and I. Venderbos, 33–42. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. The end of Antiquity: historical introduction. Ancient History 11: 5–8.
- Bica, F. and J.J. Brouwers. 2017. Periander of Corinth, tyrant or sage? Ancient History 10: 56–57.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. Royalty in the ancient world: historical introduction. Ancient History 10: 5–8.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. Meeting the goddess: climbing the stairs of the Acropolis. Ancient History 9: 58.
- Bica, F. and J.J. Brouwers. 2017. Master of puppets: the King’s Peace showed who was in charge. Ancient History 9: 56–57.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. Virgil’s Aeneid (the number: twelve). Ancient History 9: 45.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. Athens in the age of Plato: historical introduction. Ancient History 9: 6–8.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. Atalanta: a fearsome heroine for the ages. Ancient History 8: 52–53.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2017. The Mediterranean triad (the number: three). Ancient History 8: 33.
- Bica, F. and J.J. Brouwers. 2017. Purple thread: the fate of those who stand out. Ancient Warfare 10.6: 42–43.
- Bica, F. and J.J. Brouwers. 2016. Stealing victory: Alexander the Great on surprise attacks. Ancient Warfare 10.5: 42–43.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2016. Wars at the edge of empires: historical introduction. Ancient Warfare 10.4: 6–7.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2016. Victory set in stone: the temple of Athena Nike. Ancient Warfare 10.1: 38–39.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2016. The aftermath of battle: historical introduction. Ancient Warfare 9.6: 6–7.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2015. A Greek in Egypt from the Museum of Antiquities in Leiden. Ancient History: 3.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2015. The beautiful body: a gilded bronze cuirass from a Punic grave. Ancient Warfare 9.4: 52–53.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2014. Graecia Capta. Ancient Warfare 8.6: 58.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2014. Struggles of the Ionian Greeks: historical introduction. Ancient Warfare 8.2: 6–8.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2014. Betrayal in the ancient world: historical introduction. Ancient Warfare 8.1: 6–7.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2013. Conversations of Great Kings: letters to the royal court in Egypt. Ancient Warfare 7.1: 38–39.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2013. Warriors of the Nile: historical introduction. Ancient Warfare 7.1: 6–9.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2010. Palace warriors: the end of Mycenaean civilisation in Greece. Ancient Warfare 4.4: 13–19.
- Brouwers, J.J. 2009. Homer, author of the world’s greatest battle-epic. Ancient Warfare 3.3: 8–11.