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Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann (née Radke)

Gyburg Uhlmann

Image Credit: Foto: Bernd Wannenmacher



Classical Greek Studies

Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 31/322
14195 Berlin

Office hours

Please make an appointment via e-mail.

Current Responsibilities

In addition to her full professorship in Classics with an emphasis on ancient Greek studies at the Department for Greek and Latin studies Gyburg Uhlmann is the director of the Collaborative Research Center "Episteme in Motion" and director of the Center for Aristotelian Studies Berlin (Aristotelismus-Zentrum Berlin). The most important part of the Center is the Aristoteles Archive, which has been founded by Paul Moraux and further developed by Dieter Harlfinger.


Gyburg Uhlmann (née Radke) studied Classical Philology and Archaeology in Marburg and Heidelberg. She graduated in 2001 with a thesis on the importance of Mathematics for the systematization of science in Platonism. In 2003 she finished her habilitation on teaching Curricula for the study of Plato’s philosophy in late Antiquity.

As the recipient of a Feodore-Lynen-Fellowship of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation and a William Calder III-Fellowship, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2003-4. Gyburg Uhlmann received a Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Award of the DFG in 2006. Since 2007 she has held a professorship for Classical Philology with emphasis on Greek Studies at the Institute for Greek and Latin Philology of Freie Universität Berlin. Furthermore, she has been the director of the Collaborative Research Center 980 “Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period” since 2012 and the director of the Center for Aristotelian Studies since 2016. In 2019 she joined the board of the newly founded Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Communities. Doing Literature in a Global Perspective”.

Gyburg Uhlmann’s research focus points lie on the ancient history of knowledge and its transfer, on ancient philosophy – especially Platon and Aristotle –, on ancient history of education as well as ancient rhetoric and the theory of rhetoric, which she analyses in a comparative perspective with current communicational practice. Within the area of Digital Humanities, she conducts a project, which is concerned with the epistemological importance of Aristotelian manuscripts. She is also co-director of the RA5-group “Building Digital Communities” of the Cluster “Temporal Communities”.

Gyburg Uhlmann is married and has five children (born in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019).

Current Courses:
SoSe 2022

16211 colloquium Foschungskolloquium Griechisch

Selected other courses:

SoSe 2020 e-learning-course "Antike Philosophie: Platon" (virtual course also including sessions in presence for philosophical discussions)

SoSe 2017 VL Platon als Philosoph und Dichter + HS Wahrheit oder Fake?: Philosophische Konzepte von Wahrheit und Wahrheitsfindung bei Platon und Aristoteles

WiSe 2017 VL Sappho und die Theorie der Lyrik

SuSe 2016  2400 Jahre Aristoteles und Aristotelismen (link to audio-files) + Einführung in Aristoteles (lectures)

WiSe 2015 Hellenistische Dichtung - ihre Literaturtheorie und Ästhetik (lecture)

SuSe 2014 Bildungsinstitutionen in der Spätantike (lecture)

WiSe 2013 Literaturgeschichte/Literaturgeschichtsschreibung – Probleme Geschichte, Perspektiven (lecture)

SuSe 2013 Rationalität. Vernunft, Verstand (lecture)

SuSe 2012 Antike Sprachphilosophie (lecture)

SuSe 2010 Theorie der griechischen Geschichtsschreibung (lecture)


Research led teaching (as part of the pilot study "Forschungsorientierte Lehre" of the Free University Berlin)


Cooperations with secondary schools (mainly in Berlin)

Since 2010 Prof. Uhlmann and the members of her working have organized two propaedeutic courses for sixth formers each year. These courses provide introductions to key subjects and methods of the Humanities. Literary studies and philosophical topics alternate. So far the courses were about "What is education?", "What is thinking?" and "Classical Philosophers: Aristotle".


Current Propaedeutic course

Aristotle's Politics in the context of ancient political theory


In addition to the Propaedeutic courses we have developed other programs: e.g. a special focus day on Aristotle for younger pupils (24 April and 10 May, 2016) or courses in the "Children's university" (04-07 October, 2016).

Gyburg Uhlmann has published on a wide range of topics in the history of ancient philosophy, the history of knowledge, and of ancient Greek literature, including reflections on literary history and theory. Her publications include studies on Aristotle's works and different Aristotelian argumentation strategies and didactic methods; Plato's dialogues; on Platonic theory of recognition and method; on the hermeneutics of the dialogue; on late antique commentators on Aristotle and Plato; on the history of higher education and its institutions.

In the field of literary studies her research focuses on Homeric epics and their narrative techniques; on classical Greek tragedy; on Aristotle's Poetics and on the concepts of literary history, that were built and used by Alexandrian authors, and their contexts in respect to developments in the history of knowledge in the period of hellenism.

In her latest book „Rhetoric and Truth. A Precarious Relationship from Sokrates until Trump” (published in 2019) she brings antique rhetoric theory into current discussions on populist speeches, political communication and Fake News presenting a new approach to important stages in the history of rhetoric in antiquity while offering a perspective on the history of rhetoric in modern times.

Within the last years, Gyburg Uhlmann has developed a new perspective on the writings of Aristotle describing how addressee-oriented they work and which impact the audience and readership had on the genesis and correction of the texts which originated from his lessons (e.g. the article "Aristotle’s Arguments and His Audiences in Metaphysics Z 4 – Preliminary Studies on Audience-Driven Dynamics in Aristotle", in: Working Paper des SFB Episteme in Bewegung, Working Paper No. 9/2017, 1-46).

Her current book-project “A Third Way in the Research Concerning Aristotle: Aristotle and His Addressees” (working title) [bitte verlinken mit dem Kurztext] is concerned with the role of the audience and the readers for the genesis of the body of Aristotle’s works and the educational as well as socio-historical perspective on selected works and their argumentation strategy.

Her current projects in the CRC 980 “Episteme in motion” focus on late antique commentators on Aristotle's de interpretatione including their relationship to all other parts of the logical organon. Main objectives of the project are the argumentative and didactic strategies of the commentators and the dynamics of the practices which – starting from the institution of Plato's Academy and the Peripatos – built a long term tradition. Other main research perspectives are the role of institutions (taken in its widest sense as a framework for communication processes that enables movement through continuity and stability) and the broader cultural context, the entanglement which needs to be analyzed for further insights into higher education in late antiquity. She is also involved in the digital analysis of digitized Byzantine manuscripts of Aristotelian treatises (INF-Project "Traveling Books" ("Bücher auf Reisen")), where she examines the travelling of manuscripts and the movements inside manuscripts which have their own dynamic history of writing, rewriting, the addition of scholia and glosses, and other practices of reading and writing across decades and centuries.

Both projects contribute to the Collaborative Research Center "Episteme in Motion", which conducts and stimulates research in premodern history of knowledge.


For this and other research activities see:


Past dates:


presentation at the annual conference of the Collaborative Research Centre 980 "Episteme in Motion":

"The Economics of Philosophy in 4th Century Greece".

26.-28.09.2018 presentation at the conference “Philosophers, Goddesses and Principles – Women and the Female in Neoplatonism” in Bochum: "All but rational? Wise women, female philosophers und discursive practices in late ancient philosophical communities"
15.05.2018 presentation at the German-American Insitute Tuebingen: "Donald Trumps Rhetorik und die Wahrheit: Eine Analyse"
23.04.2018 presentation at the Akademie für politische Bildung Tutzing: Ist Donald Trump ein Demagoge? Analysen mit Platon und Isokrates
21.11.2017 presentation at Carl-SchurzHaus/Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut e.V. in Freiburg: "Trommelfeuer, Nebelkerzen: Donald Trumps Rhetorik"

presentation at the conference "Aristoteles-Kommentare und ihre Überlieferung in Spätantike, Mittelalter und Renaissace" an der Universität Hamburg, title: "Programmatische Anfangssätze in Aristotelischen Pragmatien und ihre Auslegung durch die spätantiken Kommentatoren"


research trip and introduction of the Collaborative Research Center 980 "Episteme in Motion" at New York University (Facebook-Link)


  • "Die Theorie der Zahl im Platonismus – ein systematisches Lehrbuch", Tübingen/Basel: A. Francke 2003.
  • "Das Lächeln des Parmenides – Proklos’ Interpretationen zur Platonischen Dialogform" (Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte (UaLG), 78), Berlin: De Gruyter 2006.


  • "Anschaulichkeit in Kunst und Literatur. Wege bildlicher Visualisierung in der europäischen Geistesgeschichte", (Colloquium Rauricum XI), hg. von Arbogast Schmitt und Gyburg Radke-Uhlmann, München/Leipzig: De Gruyter 2011.
  • "Phronesis – Die Tugend der Geisteswissenschaften", (Studien zur Literatur und Erkenntnis, Band 3), hg. von Gyburg Radke-Uhlmann, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2012.
  • "Tragik vor der Moderne", hg. von Regina Toepfer und Gyburg Radke-Uhlmann, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2016.

selected recent papers

more selected papers:

  • „Ist die Vernunft trivial? Studien zum Wandel der Wissenschaften vom menschlichen Geist“, in: Phronesis – Die Tugend der Geisteswissenschaften, hg. v. ders., Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2012, 195–219.
  • „Kriteriengeleitete Empirie – Überlegungen zum Zusammenhang von Hören und Begreifen von Musik bei Platon“, in: Platon und die Mousiké, hg. v. D. Koch, I. Männlein-Robert und N. Weidtmann (Tübinger Phänomenologische Bibliothek, Antike-Studien Band 2), Tübingen: Attempto 2012, 195–226.
  • „Odysseus bei den Phäaken. Studien zur Heimkehrerhandlung in den Apologoi der Odyssee“, in: Homer, gedeutet durch ein großes Lexikon, hg. v. M. Meier-Brügger, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2012, 215–238.
  • „Über eine vergessene Form der Anschaulichkeit in der griechischen Dichtung“, in: Antike und Abendland 55 (2009), 1–22.
  • „Am Grab der literarischen Vergangenheit. Elegische Totenklagen im 20. Jahrhundert und die Konstruktion einer poetischen Frühzeit im Hellenismus“, in: Poetica 40 (2008), 73–96.