Dr Yannis Stouraitis (MSt (Ioannina), PhD (Vienna))

Senior Lecturer; Byzantine History


Born in Athens and raised in the beautiful seaside town of Chalkida, I went to northern Greece to do my BA and MA degrees in History at the University of Ioannina between 1996 and 2002. In 2003, I moved to central Europe to do my PhD in Byzantine history with Johannes Koder at the University of Vienna. I concluded my thesis in 2007 on Byzantine attitudes towards war and peace. Between 2008 and 2017, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher and adjunct lecturer in Byzantine History at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In January 2018, I joined the Classics depatment of the University of Edinburgh as lecturer in Byzantine History.

Undergraduate teaching

  • The Long Twelfth Century: Byzantium in the Era of the Crusades (1071-1204) (honours course)
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleÿman the Magnificent (honours course)
  • The formation of the medieval Roman Empire, 602-867 (honours course)
  • Religion and War in Byzantium and in Comparative Perspective (honours course)
  • The Transformation of the Late Roman World, ca. 300-800: Towards Byzantium and the Early Medieval West (sub-honours course)

Postgraduate teaching

  • The Seventh Century: the transformation of East Rome and the rise of Islam, c.600-750
  • Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity
  • Byzantine Text Seminar 1: The Chronicle of Theophanes Continuatus
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent 
  • Byzantine Iconoclasm
  • Byzantine text seminar 2: The Taktika of Leo VI
  • Political Ideology and Collective Identities in the Byzantine World
  • The Long Twelfth Century: Byzantium in the Era of the Crusades (1071-1204)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Social and cultural history of the Byzantine Empire between the 6th and the 13th century

Current PhD students supervised

1.. Defangyu Kong (secondary):

  • Empresses Eirene and Wu Zetian: A Comparative Study of Female Rulership in the Byzantine Empire and Tang China

2. Bilal Adiguzel (secondary)

  • Parrhesia in the middle Byzantine empire: from Maximos Confessor to Niketas David Paphlagon

3. Daiki Sano (secondary)

  • Imperial decision making and its performance and implementation in early Palaiologan Byzantium (1261–1341)

Past PhD students supervised

1. Aristotelis George Nayfa (secondary):

  • Monetary exchanges and social capital in the court and empire of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos

2. Leone Fedele Pecorini Goodall (secondary):

  • Heirs to the Caliphate: Continuity, territoriality and gender in the accession of the late Umayyads and early Abbasids

3. Joaquin Daniel Serrano Del Pozo (primary):

  • Invincible Weapons: Holy Relics in Late Roman and Byzantine War

Research summary


  • Mediterranean


  • Ancient Civilisations


  • Medieval

Research interests

My research focuses on the social and cultural history of the Byzantine Empire in the period between the 7th and the 15th centuries. I have explored the social aspects of warfare and the war ethic in the Byzantine world, with my current focus being on civil wars. Besides, I am interested in processes of social identification and the configuration of visions of community in the high and late medieval Byzantine world. In relation to this, I have developed an interest in the study of history writing and the construction of historical memory, as well as in the question of migration in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean.

Current research interests

My book project focuses on the phenomenon of civil war in the Byzantine Empire between the seventh century and the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. My aim is to scrutinize the impact of internal and external factors, such as military power, economy, ideology, and the nature of foreign enemies, on the character and the changed nature of civil war in the system of empire, especially with regard to its role in paving the way after the late-11th century for the centralized imperial state’s disintegration by the Fourth Crusade. Besides that, I am preparing a number of publications on various aspects of Byzantine Romanness, community building in the Middle Ages, as well as on the construction of collective memory, microstructures and mobility in Byzantine society.

Affiliated research centres



  1. Krieg und Frieden in der politischen und ideologischen Wahrnehmung in Byzanz  (7.–11. Jahrhundert) (Vienna: Fassbaender, 2009), 400pp.


Edited Books (*refereed)

  1. Mobility and Microstructures in Byzantium, co-edited with Claudia Rapp, Moving Byzantium series (Göttingen: BV&R unipress, 2024), 217pp. (open access)*
  2. War and Collective Identities in the Middle Ages: East, West, and Beyond, War & Conflict in Premodern Societies (Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, 2023), 230pp.*
  3. Identities and Ideologies in the Medieval East Roman World, Edinburgh Byzantine Studies (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022), 432pp.*
  4. Migration Histories of the Medieval Afroeurasian Transition Zone: Aspects of Mobility between Africa, Asia and Europe, 300-1500 C.E., co-edited with Johannes Preiser-Kapeller & Lucian Reinfandt, (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 492pp. (open access)*
  5. A Companion to the Byzantine Culture of War, c. 300-1204 (Leiden: Brill 2018), 490pp.*
  6. Byzantine War Ideology between Roman Imperial Concept and Christian Religion, co-edited with Johannes Koder (Vienna: ÖAW Verlag, 2012), 137pp.*


Book Chapters (*refereed)

  1. "Urban Population and Society", in Neslihan Asutay-Effenberger, Arne Effenberger, Paul Magdalino (eds), Brill Companion to Constantinople (forthcoming)*
  2. “Ethnic terminology in Byzantine Historiography before 1204”, in W. Pohl, C. Grifoni, and S. Gruber (eds), Ethnic Terminologies in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming)*
  3. “Romanness and Chalcedonian Christianity in Byzantium”, in W. Pohl, I. Hartl, and G. Heydemann (eds), Ethnicity and Religion in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming)*
  4. “What did it mean to be ‘Roman’ in Byzantium?”, in J. Shepard, P. Frankopan and A. Cam-eron (eds), Byzantine Spheres: The Byzantine Commonwealth Re-evaluated (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)*
  5. "Byzantine History", in N. Christofis (ed.), A View of the Future across Time: History and Historiography in Greece, Making Sense of History (Berghahn, forthcoming)*
  6. “Microstructures and Mobility in Byzantium: An Introduction”, co-authored with Claudia Rapp, in Cl. Rapp and Y. Stouraitis (eds), Mobility and Microstructures in Byzantium (Göttingen, 2024), 7-19.*
  7. "The Historiographical Image of the People and the Microstructures of Revolt in High Medieval Constantinople", in Cl. Rapp and Y. Stouraitis (eds), Mobility and Microstructures in Byzantium (Göttingen, 2024), 91-115*
  8. "War and Peoplehood in the Middle Ages: An Introduction," in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), War and Collective Identity in the Middle Ages: East, West, and Beyond (Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, 2023), 1-14*
  9. War and Collective Identifications in Medieval Societies: Drawing Comparisons”, in War and Collective Identity in the Middle Ages: East, West, and Beyond (Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, 2023), 203-224*
  10. Collective Identifications in Byzantine Civil Wars”, in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), War and Collective Identity in the Middle Ages: East, West, and Beyond (Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, 2023), 99-116.
  11. "The Christian Empire and the early Byzantine epoch, c. 300-700”, in: R.D.S. Yates, B. Meissner, and K. Raaflaub (eds.), The Cambridge History of War I: The Ancient World, (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)*
  12. "Historicity, agency, and ideology: the story of the sack of Amorion between reality and fiction", in N. Tsivikis (ed.), Byzantine Medieval Cities: Amorium and the Middle Byzantine Provincial Capitals (Millennium Studies - De Gruyter, forthcoming)*
  13. "The Lands of the Rhōmaíoi: Imagined Geographies in Byzantium Before and After 1204", in D. Kastritsis, A. Stavrakopoulou, and A. Stewart, Imagined Geographies in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Beyond (Cambridge Mass., 2023), 45-63*
  14. "The ideology of identities and the identity of ideologies: an introduction", co-authored with John Haldon, in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), Identities and Ideologies in the Medieval East Roman World ( Edinburgh University Press, 2022), 1-16*
  15. Is Byzantinism an Orientalism? Reflections on Byzantium’s constructed identities and debated ideologies”, in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), Identities and Ideologies in the Medieval East Roman World (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), 19-47*
  16. Migration history of the Afro-Eurasian Transition Zone, c. 300-1500: An Introduction”, co-authored with J. Preiser-Kapeller and L. Reinfandt, in J. Preiser-Kapeller, L. Reinfandt, & Y. Stouraitis (eds), Migration Histories of the Medieval Afro-Eurasian Transition Zone (Brill 2020), 1-49*
  17. Migrating in the Medieval East Roman World, ca. 600-1204”, in J. Preiser-Kapeller, L. Reinfandt & Y. Stouraitis (eds), Migration Histories of the Medieval Afro-Eurasian Transition Zone, (Leiden: Brill 2020), 141-65*
  18. Scriptores post Theophanem: Normative aspects of imperial historiography in tenth-century Byzantium”, in W. Pohl & D. Mahoney (eds), Historiography and Identity IV. Writing History Across Medieval Eurasia (Turnhout, 2021), 216-249 (open access)*
  19. Using the Bible to justify Byzantine warfare”, in C. Rapp & A. Külzer (eds), The Bible in Byzantium: Appropriation, Adaptation, Interpretation, Journal of Ancient Judaism, Supplements 25/6 (2019), 89-106
  20. Military power in the Christian Roman Empire, c. 300–1204: An introduction”, in: A Companion to the Byzantine Culture of War, c. 300-1204 (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 1-22*
  21. Civil war in the Christian Empire”, in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), A Companion to the Byzantine Culture of War, c. 300-1204 (Leiden: Brill 2018), pp. 92-123*
  22. State war ethic and popular views on warfare”, in Y. Stouraitis (ed.), A Companion to the Byzantine Culture of War, c. 300-1204 (Leiden: Brill 2018), 59-91*
  23. Byzantine Romanness: From geopolitical to ethnic conceptions”, in W. Pohl, C. Gantner, C. Grifoni, & M. Pollheimer (eds), Transformations of Romanness in the Early Middle Ages: Regions and Identities (Berlin: De Gruyter 2018), 123-139*
  24. Narratives of John II Komnenos’ wars: Comparing Byzantine and modern approaches”, in A. Bucossi & A. Rodriquez (eds), John II Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium: In the shadow of his father and his son (Farnham: Ashgate 2016), 22-36*
  25. Conceptions of war and peace in Anna Comnena’s Alexiad”, in J. Koder & Y. Stouraitis (eds), Byzantine War Ideology between Roman Imperial Concept and Christian Religion (Vienna 2012), 69-80*
  26. Byzantine approaches to warfare (6th–12th c.): An introduction”, (co-authored with J. Koder) J. Koder & Y. Stouraitis (eds), Byzantine War Ideology between Roman Imperial Concept and Christian Religion (Vienna 2012), 9-15*
  27. “Legitimierung und Rechtfertigung von Krieg und Frieden in byzantinischer Zeit”, in: A. Obenaus & C. Kaindel (eds), Krieg im mittelalterlichen Abendland (Vienna 2010), 331-353
  28. “Der Mord als Mittel zur Machtergreifung anhand von Quellenbeispielen aus der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit”, in M. Popovic & J. Preiser-Kapeller (eds), Junge Römer – Neue Griechen. Eine byzantinische Melange aus Wien (Vienna 2008), 223-334


Journal Articles (*refereed)

  1. "Whose War Ethic? Dominant versus Subaltern Ideas about Just War in Byzantium", Dumbarton Oaks Papers 78 (2024), forthcoming.*
  2. "The Roman State from a Byzantine Perspective", Comment in Debate. Was There A Medieval »State«?, Medieval Worlds 18 (2023), 54-57 (open access)*.
  3. Trapped in the grand-narrative? Imperial warfare and provincial masses in Byzantium (600-1204)”, Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies 44/1 (2020), 1-20*
  4. Reinventing Roman ethnicity in high and late medieval Byzantium”, Medieval Worlds 5 (2017) 70-94 (open access)*
  5. Roman identity in Byzantium: a critical approach”, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 107/1 (2014), 175–220 (open access)*
  6. ‘Just war’ and ‘holy war’ in the Middle Ages: Rethinking theory through the Byzantine case- study”, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 62 (2012), 227–64 (open access)*
  7. Jihād and Crusade: Byzantine positions towards the notions of ‘holy war’”, Byzantina Symmeikta 21 (2011), 11–63 (open access)*
  8. Bürgerkrieg in ideologischer Wahrnehmung durch die Byzantiner: Die Frage der Legitimierung und Rechtfertigung”, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 60 (2010), 141-72*
  9. Methodologische Überlegungen zur Frage des byzantinischen ‘heiligen’ Krieges”, Byzantinoslavica 67 (2009), 269-90
  10. Byzantine war against Christians: an emphylios polemos?”, Byzantina Symmeikta 20 (2010), 85-110 (open access)*
  11. Neue Aspekte des Machtkampfes im Zeitraum 976–985 in Byzanz”, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 55 (2005), 99-120



  1. Identity as ideology in the Empire that would not die”, in John Haldon’s The Empire That Would Not Die: A Symposium, ed. P. Tedesco, Journal of European Economic History 46 (2017), 129-37
  2. Papadopoulou Th., Συλλογική ταυτότητα και αυτογνωσία στο Βυζάντιο. Συμβολή στον προσδιορισμό της αυτοαντίληψης των Βυζαντινών κατά την λόγια γραμματεία τους (11ος – αρχές 13ου αι.), Αthens 2015 in Byzantinische Zeitschrift 110/2 (2017), 784-89
  3. Kaldellis A., The Byzantine Republic: people and power in New Rome, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2015, in Journal of Hellenic Studies 136 (2016), 296-97