PhD Scholarship at Macquarie University

A PhD scholarship opportunity at Macquarie University (Sydney) is being offered on the topic of “The History of Inebriation and Reason from Plato to the Latin Middle Ages”.

This project explores the creative tension that emerged in the Greek culture between a negative view of inebriation as falling away from reason and the development of a positive, metaphorical sense of inebriation as the transformation of consciousness, transcending the limitations of reason. I argue that starting with Plato this tension gave rise to two powerful metaphors: inebriation as a description of spiritual elevation and drinking blood as a description of erroneous spiritual quests. The project examines the development of these metaphors in the Greek and Roman literatures as well as their reception in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance up to the fifteenth century. By informing major philosophical and theological debates of the centuries under examination as well as the poetics of the genres that expressed them the image of drinking can contribute significantly to redrawing the map of pre-modern intellectual history through a unique lens.

The successful candidate is asked to develop a project that is relevant (broadly defined) to the future fellowship topic: for example, candidates can choose to research the role of wine in pre-Socratic philosophy or Greek Lyric poetry; the reception of Platonic inebriation in Byzantine philosophy or as late as Ficino. Candidates interested in the Biblical tradition of wine are also invited to apply. All candidates are encouraged to discuss their project with the prospective supervisor prior to applying.

For further information and details on how to apply, visit