School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Inaugural Lecture - Professor Niels Gaul

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This inaugural lecture for the recently established A. G. Leventis Chair in Byzantine Studies explores the manifold connections between Scotland and Byzantium over more than 1,700 years of history, from Constantine the Great’s proclamation as emperor – 160 miles south of Edinburgh at Eboracum (York) – in 306 to the present day. In three steps, it traces medieval encounters (as well as near encounters); examines the approaches and attitudes of Scottish scholars, patrons, and politicians toward Byzantium from the Enlightenment to the early twentieth century; and finally looks at Byzantine objects now at home in Scottish libraries and museums, especially manuscripts in the collections of the National Library and Edinburgh University Library.

The lecture will be followed by a reception, to which everyone is welcome. Free and open to all. 

Professor Gaul’s biography

HCA Niels Gaul

Niels Gaul is a Byzantinist with research interests primarily in the middle and later Byzantine periods. His recent work has looked at various types of social performances – be it in the form of rhetorical ‘theatre’ or (staged) miracles – and at the scholarly networks permeating Byzantine society. He currently co-directs a 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). Prior to taking up the A. G. Leventis Chair at Edinburgh in 2015, he 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). He is the author of Thomas Magistros und die spätbyzantinische Sophistik (2011) and co-editor of several volumes including Center, Province and Periphery in the Age of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos: From De Cerimoniis to De Administrando Imperio (2018), Dialogues and Debate from Late Antiquity to Late Byzantium (2017), and Networks of Learning: Perspectives on Scholars in Byzantine East and Latin West, c. 1000–1200 (2014). 


Professor Gaul's staff profile

Nov 20 2019 -

Inaugural Lecture - Professor Niels Gaul

'Byzantium and Scotland' - The Inaugural Lecture for the A. G. Leventis Chair in Byzantine Studies will be given by Professor Niels Gaul.

Lecture Theatre G.03, 50 George Square