How to be Happy in Times of Turmoil?

The re-discovery of Danish philosopher Birgitte Thott (1610-1662) and her Neo-stoic treatise Om Weyen till et Lycksalligt Liff

The project provides the first edition of Birgitte Thott’s (1610-1662) Neo-stoic treatise ‘On the path to a happy life’. It thereby contributes to recent trends in research to recover women philosophers from the past, make their works accessible, and allocate them their rightful place in the history of European thought. 

The project aims at recovering a Danish early modern woman’s contribution to philosophy. Birgitte Thott was famous in her own time and this project will make Thott’s thoughts accessible in print and digital. Thott developed and distributed her original Christian and Neo-stoic philosophical arguments about leading a virtuous life in a treatise called ‘On the path to a happy life’. This project seeks to integrate Birgitte Thott as a philosopher into the accounts of the European revival of Stoic philosophy.

Birgitte Thott is undoubtedly the most famous Danish woman philosopher of the Early Modern Period, and the publication of her Neo-stoic treatise about the happy life is long overdue.

Sabrina Ebbersmeyer



The original handwritten treatise is lost, but there exist two almost identical handwritten copies from the 17th century in good condition. The project focusses on making Thott’s ingenious treatise accessible through a critical scholarly edition of the two copies. The original Danish text will be accompanied by textual criticism, notes of variants, contextual commentaries, and an English translation. The critical edition will put Thott’s treatise into context of the unsettling times from the 17th century.







Name Title Phone E-mail
Ebbersmeyer, Sabrina Professor +4535328861 E-mail
Pedersen, Maria Nørby Postdoc +4535329803 E-mail


Period: January 1 2023 - June 21 2024

PI: Sabrina Ebbersmeyer