About LABS at Oxford

Lead seal
Lead seal of Andronikos Philokales  (11th
cent.), with the Virgin Blachernitissa
(by permission of the Ashmolean Museum)

Late Antique and Byzantine Studies concerns the thousand-year period which followed the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine until the sack of Constantinople over a thousand years later in 1453.

It covers the interaction between peoples and regions spanning from southern Spain through to Persia, from Scandinavia to Egypt, and includes the cultural, diplomatic, economic and social development of the Byzantine Empire, as well as its interaction with its neighbours.

Oxford has a long and proud record of outstanding scholars of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Dmitri Obolensky, Cyril Mango, Elizabeth Jeffreys, Sebastian Brock, Nigel Wilson, Robert Thompson and Averil Cameron have been just some of the scholars working in this field at Oxford.

The department is led by the Bywater & Sotheby’s Professor of Medieval and Modern Greek literature, Prof. Marc Lauxtermann (Exeter College).

The department is unique because of its wide-ranging expertise which spans not only many centuries, but also many regions, disciplines and faculties. This provides for a vibrant academic community, and an outstanding environment for younger as well as for established scholars.

Graduate students and senior researchers are drawn from History, Oriental Studies, Archaeology, Classics, Medieval & Modern Languages and Theology and work on a vast array of topics, from medieval palaeography to secular literature, from numismatics to iconography, from ethnicity to spirituality.

In addition to undergraduate papers on offer at the University, there are three main post-graduate courses on offer at Oxford, the Master of Studies (M.St),  Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) and the Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil). In each case, close supervision by established academics is offered, often on a one-to-one basis. Graduate students are encouraged to work in areas and on topics which appeal to them and to develop their research accordingly.

The focus on independent research has produced a large number of outstanding scholars who have gone on to become leading experts in the fields of Late Antiquity and Byzantine Studies at universities across the world.

The Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research presents and promotes research activity of senior scholars in Oxford and is a vital part of Byzantine Studies at the University. The Centre hosts and helps fund conferences, colloquia and special lectures, and also commissions and supports research projects. You can find out more by visiting or by clicking here

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