Prospective postgraduates

Programme description

The taught Master’s in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (LAIBS) offers you the opportunity to study a seminal period of world history, and the rich cultures of the long Late Antiquity and the Islamic and Byzantine Middle Ages, at an advanced level through taught courses and independent research.


The end of Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world to the present day.

By combining a diverse, yet related range of research interests, this programme offers an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of the Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine worlds, embracing Archaeology, Art History, History, Languages & Literatures, and ancillary disciplines such as palaeography, numismatics, and sigillography. It presently provides training in the following source languages: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and/or Hebrew.

This programme provides students with excellent preparation for graduate research in historical, archaeological, literary or art-historical topics focusing on the Mediterranean and western Asia in late antiquity and the early middle ages as well as on the entire span of Byzantine history.

Breadth of expertise: the LAIBS team

You will have access to the expertise of academics who are all passionate about their area of study. Drawn from several Schools and departments across the University of Edinburgh, the LAIBS team comprises specialists in the various branches of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies. Its members presently include

  • Dr Glaire Anderson - Islamic arts and architecture during the age of the caliphs, with a focus on Umayyad Córdoba and the western Mediterranean
  • Dr Louise Blanke - the archaeology of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially Egypt and Jordan
  • Dr Mike Carr – Medieval Mediterranean history c. 1000–1500, especially crusades and cross-cultural trade
  • Prof. Niels Gaul – Byzantine literature & cultural history; Greek palaeography; the transmission of Greek classics
  • Dr Lucy Grig – Material and literary culture of the Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity
  • Prof. Gavin Kelly – Latin literature and political history in late antiquity; transmission of Latin classics
  • Dr Marie Legendre - Late antique and early Islamic history, especially social and economic history (500–1200), and Arabic and coptic papyrology
  • Dr Nicholas Matheou - Global history (especially 500-1500): social, political and economic history; medieval Middle East (especially Anatolia, Upper Mesopotamia & Caucasia)
  • Dr Zubin Mistry – Early medieval religion, politics and society; health and medicine (c. 500–1000)
  • Dr Sara Parvis – Early Christianity; Patristics
  • Dr Aaron Pelttari – Late antique Latin
  • Dr Yannis Stouraitis – Byzantine history, especially social and cultural history (7th to 13th centuries)

(Please note that individual members of staff may be on research leave in any given year.)