Greyhound Literary

Leonard Rutgers

Leonard Rutgers is a Dutch archaeologist and historian of religion. He holds a chair in Late Antiquity at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is known for his award-winning interdisciplinary fieldwork and archaeological discoveries in the Jewish and early Christian catacombs of Rome, for introducing methods from the natural sciences to the study of these subterranean spaces, and for his work in the field of migration, Diaspora and minority studies, and the history of Jewish-Christian relations. His popular books include Subterranean Rome. In Search of the Roots of Christianity in the Catacombs of the Eternal City (2000), De klassieke wereld in 52 ontdekkingen (2018), winner of the Homer-Prize 2019 for best classics book for the general reader, and Israel aan de Tiber. Joods leven in het oude Rome (2023). In these popular books Leonard focusses on what archaeological remains tell us about the human condition, about the hopes and fears of our ancestors, and about the innate human need to cultivate beauty and find artistic freedom.

Leonard’s forthcoming book for the general reader, to be written in English, explores the biomolecular revolution in archaeology. Delving deeply into Europe’s rich cultural past, it reveals the lives of people who otherwise left but few traces in history but whose story can now be told thanks to the analysis of their genes.