Books by Willemijn van Dijk

  • The Successor

    Willemijn van Dijk

    | Non-fiction | This book has 208 pages


    Emperor Tiberius ruled Rome for twenty-three years, from 14 AD to 37 AD. Willemijn van Dijk paints a brilliant, compelling portrait of his life. She makes you an eyewitness to the turbulent Rome of the beginning of the first millennium: from the extravagant lifestyle of the Roman elite to the political machinations in the Senate, and from the street noise to the betrayal and lust for power of the family who would reign over Rome for another half century.

    Despite his unique position in the history of the Roman Empire, Tiberius has always stood on the sidelines of historical interest. He was the second emperor of Rome, the successor to the legendary Augustus, and also the first man in history to inherit the power of the Roman Empire, which stretched from North Africa to the Southern Netherlands and from Spain to Syria. He thereby consolidated the new form of government – emperorship – established by his adoptive father. It was a success story that would continue for centuries.

    Van Dijk is a talented writer who never bores. Her smooth style, which captivates the reader from the very first page, never undermines scientific robustness.

    Press on The Successor:
    ‘Van Dijk is an excellent writer, and it is a very thorough book.’ – Radio 1

    ‘Is it a novel, a history, or a literary biography? The beautifully written and well-researched book The Successor by ancient historian and writer Willemijn van Dijk is all three in one, for her descriptions of life in Rome around the beginning of the first millennium and her account of the often complex family ties in the Roman upper class read like a novel. She presents historical events as if she witnessed them herself.’ – **** NRC Handelsblad

    ‘I find that really interesting: it is written like literature. She writes evocatively: it’s as if you’ve actually been there. A fascinating book which is also interesting because the writer is quite young. Recently, we’ve been looking at writers under 35, and we’ve seen a lot of good work, but not much in the way of style. To write like that, you have to have read widely yourself. A lot of young writers haven’t, but clearly this non-fiction writer has.’ –  Jeroen Vullings, De Nieuwsshow


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  • Via Roma

    Willemijn van Dijk

    | Non-fiction | This book has 208 pages


    Why is the broad avenue leading to St. Peter’s known as the Road of the Conciliation? What is the link between the Via dei Fori Imperiali, along which lie the ancient imperial forums, and Mussolini? And how can you tell from the name Piazza Navona what lies beneath the square? In her brilliant guidebook Via Roma, Willemijn van Dijk lets you wander through the streets of the Italian capital. Behind the street names of Rome hides the ancient history of the city by the Tiber. The street signs take you on a trip through history and past Rome’s world heritage, from Romulus to Mussolini and from the Colosseum to the ultramodern Museo dell’Ara Pacis. Via Roma is an indispensable book for every Italophile.

    ‘An ideal book to accompany you on contemplative strolls through the history-steeped Italian capital.’ – AD MAGAZINE

    ‘A common drawback (of other books) is that you soon get to the point where you can’t see the wood from the trees. The solution is to start with the streets as they are today. This book on the eternal city is therefore an essential accompaniment for travellers to Rome.’ – ITALIË UITGELICHT

    There is a continuous flow of travel guides to Rome being produced yearly. Each edition tries to be more original than other, often they are flowers from the same garden. This cannot be said of this work. By means of 50 streets Van Dijk chronologically takes us through the entire history of the city. […] A stroke of genius. Van Dijk is talented writer who doesn’t bore you for a second. – CHRISTUSREX.COM

    The original line of approach of this carefully edited edition makes it applicable as a history of the city of Rome, and a travel guide for whom wants to explore the city in a non-superficial way. With this book Willemijn van Dijk proves that she is extremely knowledgeable of Rome’s past and current times. Her flowing style, which captures the reader from the first page, never strays from scientific soundness. In addition, she is very much aware of very recent developments in scientific research, as proven on p. 93 where she warns her audience of the presumed sundial function of the obelisk on the Campus Martius. – HERMES

    The chronological sequence distinguishes this book as a true work of historical knowledge, rather than a just a travel guide. – SPQR

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