Edinburgh Research Explorer

Niels Gaul

A.G. Leventis Chair in Byzantine Studies

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


I am a Byzantinist with research interests primarily in the middle and later Byzantine period, often from a comparative vantage point. Together with Curie Virág, I presently co-direct a comparative Byzantinist-Sinologist project funded by the European Research Council, ‘PAIXUE: Classicising learning in medieval imperial systems: cross-cultural approaches to Byzantine paideia and Tang/Song xue (CoG 726371, 2017–2022).

I welcome applications from potential research students with interests in the Byzantine world: I presently supervise PhD students in both Classics and History. Please check the ‘Research’ tab for a list of topics I have recently supervised, or that I am presently supervising.

Prior to taking up the inaugural A. G. Leventis Chair at Edinburgh in 2015, I taught Byzantine studies at Central European University (CEU), Budapest (2007–2015) and held the Dilts-Lyell Research Fellowship in Greek Palaeography at the University of Oxford/Lincoln College (2005–2007). I hold a Master’s degree from Oxford and my PhD from Bonn, where I also spent my undergraduate years.

External appointments

I serve on the editorial boards of both the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML), with Harvard University Press, and the Translated Texts for Byzantinists (TTB), with Liverpool University Press. In January 2017 I joined the team of tutors on the second Winter School in Greek Palaeography and Codicology jointly hosted by the American Academy in Rome and the Vatican Library, and also taught Byzantine Greek at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, these past two summers.



  • Córdoba and Constantinople: Exchange and Competition Between the Umayyad and Byzantine Courts, together with Glaire Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art (ECA)

Research outputs

  1. The letter in the theatron: Epistolary voice, character, and soul (and their audience)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. Voicing and gesturing emotions: Remarks on emotive performance from antiquity to the middle Byzantine period

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  3. Schools and learning

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Research activities & awards

  1. E. A. Lowe Lecturer in Palaeography, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 2022/3

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. Power under Pressure. Monarchies between Success and Failure (Event)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of network

  3. Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Podcast

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

View all (14) »

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