Mark Huggins

Thesis title: The Reception of John Chrysostom in the Middle Byzantine Period (9th-13th c.): A Study of the Catechetical Homily on Pascha


I was born and raised in Tennessee, and completed my undergraduate study of Classics at the University of Tennessee, having graduated top of the Faculty of Classics. From there, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Greece and continue my studies of Greek Philology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where on the entrance exams - translating Ancient Greek and Latin into Modern Greek - I placed second. Having completed my Masters  in 2016, I was offered the School Doctoral Scholarship at the University of Edinburgh, and began my PhD in Classics. 


Having originally begun my studies as a pure classicist, during my Masters I engaged with the creative interactions, and conflicts, between Hellenism and Christianity in Late Antiquity - which in turn gave birth to the Byzantine Empire. Therefore, my doctoral research on Middle Byzantium is the culmination of a gradual progression of study through the history of Greek literature. 


I have been fortunate during my doctoral research to visit and study ancient manuscripts at some of the most prestigious institutions and libraries in the world, including the Vatican Library, Oxford's Bodleian Library and the National Library of Greece. 


For my fourth year of doctoral study, I have been awarded a PhD fellowship at Koç University's ANAMED Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul. 


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MA, with Distinction, Ancient Greek Philology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2016

BA, Summa cum Laude, Classics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2012

Undergraduate teaching

Greek 1C, 2B, Classical Literature in Translation 2, and Roman World 1A and 1B

Postgraduate teaching

Elementary Latin

Current research interests

My current research focuses on the 4th century father of the Church, John Chrysostom. For my MA, I engaged for the first time with textual criticism, codicology, paleography and the preparing of a critical edition of an ancient text, in general. I am also interested in the interaction between Hellenism and Christianity in Greek literature, especially from the 4th century onwards, and the various ways in which these interactions are manifested in historiography, rhetoric, philosophy and theology. My MA thesis on Chrysostom's text, Against the Opponents of the Monastic Life, gave me an opportunity to understand these relationships during the formative period of Late Antiquity. Now, my PhD research - focusing on the reception of John Chrysostom in Byzantium, through the lens of his Catechetical Homily on Pascha (CPG 4605) - will allow me to understand deeper the significance of Chrysostom's life and legacy in Medieval Byzantium.

Project activity

From 3/2019-3/2020 I will participate as research assistant on the project "PAIXUE Classicising Learning in Medieval Imperial Systems: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Byzantine Paideia and Tang/Song Xue" directed by Professor Niels Gaul and Dr. Curie Virág, funded by the European Research Council.

Invited speaker

“The Liturgical Use and Significance of John Chrysostom’s Catechetical Homily on Paschafrom 9th-13thc.” at Liturgics Colloquium of the School of Pastoral and Social Theology (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 2020)


“(ps.)Chrysostom’sCatechetical Homily on Pascha(CPG 4605): A Case Study in Approaching the Question(s) of Pseudepigrapha” at XVIII International Conference on Patristic Studies (University of Oxford 2019)


“Preliminary Observations on the Byzantine Manuscript Tradition (9th-15thcc.) of the Κατηχητικὸς λόγος εἰς τὸ ἅγιον πάσχα attributed to John Chrysostom” (Università degli Studi di Verona, Dipartimento di Culture e Civiltà 2018)


Co-Organizer of the Annual International Postgraduate Conference in Byzantine Studies with Matteo Randazzo, Margherita Riso, Alasdair Grant and Matthew Barber, funded by The Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Research Group of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh; The Alwaleed Centre, University of Edinburgh; and The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (University of Eidnburgh 2018) 


Co-Organizer of the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World with Jenny Messenger, Anastasia-Stavroula Valtadorou and Rossana Zetti, funded by The School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh; The School of Classics, University of St. Andrews; The Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities; The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies; The Classical Association; and The Classical Association of Scotland. Speakers included: Professor D. L. Cairns (University of Edinburgh), Professor P. J. Finglass (University of Nottingham), Professor L. Hardwick (Open University), Dr. L. Grace Canevaro (University of Edinburgh), Dr. C. Djurslev (University of Edinburgh) (University of Edinburgh  2017)

Papers delivered

Presentation at the 20thAnnual Postgraduate Colloquiumentitled: “John Chrysostom and the Feast of Pascha: An Examination of the (ps.)Chrysostomic Catechetical Homily on Pascha (CPG 4605)” (Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham 2019)


Presentation at the Classics Research Seminarentitled: “John Chrysostom’s Catechetical Homily on Pascha (CPG 4605): A Case Study in Approaching the Question(s) of Byzantine Pseudepigrapha” (Department of Classics, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh 2019)


Presentation at the IXe Colloque International de Paléographie grecque entitled: Neophytos Enkleistos’ Catechesis 12 on the Resurrection Homily of saint John Chrysostom: An examination of Neophytos’ autograph manuscript Laing 811 (University of Edinburgh Library 224) in conjunction with Paris. suppl. gr. 1317(Sorbonne Université 2018)


Presentation at the 51stSpring Symposium of Byzantine Studies entitled: A Still, Small Voice in the 14thc.: Nicholas Kavasilas Amongst his Contemporaries(University of Edinburgh 2018)


Presentation at the International Graduate Conference of the Oxford Byzantine Society entitled: The Paradox of Nicholas Kavasilas: Crossing Boundaries and Conquering Time and Space in the Late Byzantine Empire(University of Oxford 2018)


Presentation at the international conference Georgia-Byzantium-Christian East entitled: A Glimpse into the Georgian Golden Age through the Lens of the Manuscript Borgianus Georgianus 4 (12thc.)(National Center of Manuscripts, Tbilisi 2017)


Presentation at the international conference Byzantium Compared, First International Graduate Conference in Byzantine Studies entitled: Philosophy and Foreign Affairs: A Comparative Analysis of the Council of Ferrara-Florence(University of Edinburgh 2017)


Presentation at the international conference John Chrysostom and Severian of Gabala: Homilists, Exegetes and Theologians entitled: John Chrysostom, David and Abraham: An Anti-Monastic Picture of Virtue in the Homilies on Genesis(KU-Leuven 2016)


Presentation at the Sixth British Patristics Conference entitled: Chrysostom and Chomsky: The Message of Social Justice and Economic Equality in the 21stCentury(University of Birmingham 2016)


Presentation at the Second Conference of the International Society for Heresy Studies entitled: John Chrysostom’s Preaching of Heresy in the Church: An Examination of his Use of (Pro)Airesis and Ekklēsia(New York University 2016)


Presentation at the XVII International Conference on Patristic Studies entitled: Comparing the Ethical Concerns of Plato and John Chrysostom(University of Oxford 2015)


Presentation at the 1stAnnual Graduate Conference for the Humanities entitled: Πλάτωνας και Χρυσόστομος: Δύο Άγιοι του Ελληνισμού (Aristotle University-Thessaloniki 2015)