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Sophus Helle

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I am a writer with a passion for taking seemingly obscure topics and making them relevant to my readers. I have written on subjects as diverse as Babylonian epicsclimate changemedieval philosophylove in Disney, and the art of falling, but I am always driven by the same desire: to share the facts that fascinate me, and to make them as compelling as I can. All my writing is infused by this urge; I call it “Advanced Show & Tell.”

As a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University with a grant by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, I study how ancient epics engage with time, arguing that the epic form served as an ideal venue for poets to develop sophisticated reflections on the human experience of time. In March 2023, I published a book about Enheduana, including an English translation of her collected poems and an introduction to her world. My book on Gilgamesh, which includes a new English translation, has been described as “a dazzling work of scholarship” and “a fresh and vital translation.” I also translated Gilgamesh into Danish; it was lauded by reviewers as “one of those miracles that makes life worth living.” 

I received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University, 2020; MA in Assyriology from the University of Copenhagen, 2017; the European Young Researcher Award 2020 Popular Prize and the Aarhus University Research Foundation 2021 PhD Prize. I was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Freie Universität Berlin with a stipend from the Carlsberg Foundation, and am a regular contributor to the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen and a board member of the Danish Institute in Athens.
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(Photo by Alexandra Freltoft)