Professor Peter Frankopan

Academic Background

Read History at Jesus College, Cambridge (Schiff Foundation Scholar; History prize); M.Phil and D.Phil in Byzantine Studies at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (Senior Scholar); Junior Research Fellow, Worcester College, Oxford (1997-2000); Senior Research Fellow Worcester College, Oxford (2000-); Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton (2002-3); Scaliger Visiting Professor, University of Leiden 2017-18; Presidential Scholar, Getty Center, Los Angeles, 2017.

Research Interests

The history of the Byzantine world and its neighbours; reception of classical antiquity in the post-Roman world; the spread of religions before and during Late Antiquity; the Crusades; Islam between east and west; the Silk Roads of the past, present and future; imperial ritual in pre-modern societies; intellectual, cultural and economic exchange; the uses of history in the contemporary world; literature, material culture and political rhetoric in Russia, Iran and the Middle East.

Research Keywords

The Byzantine Empire; medieval and byzantine Greek literature; the Silk Roads; Central Asia; steppe nomads; global history; medieval and modern Russia; Iran; the Caucasus.


The Near East in the Age of Justinian and Muhammad; Byzantium in the Age of Justinian and Muhammad; The Crusades; Eurasian Empires; Byzantium and its Northern Neighbours; History and Literature: Late Antiquity; History and Literature: Byzantium; Byzantine sigillopraphy.


Selected Articles/Chapters:

'Aristocratic family narratives in 12th century Byzantium’, in eds. I. Toth and T. Shawcross, Reading in the Byzantine Empire and Beyond (Cambridge, 2018), 317-35.

‘Le grandi vie del passato per capire il futuro', Aspenia 78 (2017), 112-23

'The Asian Library at Leiden University', in A. Reeuwijk (ed.) Voyage of Discovery. Exploring the Collections of the Asian Library at Leiden University (Leiden, 2017), 12-13.

‘Re-interpreting the family in Comnenian Byzantium: where blood is not thicker than water’, Byzantium in the 11th Century, eds. M. Lauxtermann and M. Whittow (London, 2017), pp. 281-96

‘Understanding the Greek sources for the First Crusade’, in eds. M. Bull and D. Kempf, Writing the Early Crusades. Text, Transmission and Memory (Woodbridge, 2014), pp. 38-52.

‘Byzantine military expeditions against the Serbs in the 1090s: a new interpretation’, Bulgaria Medievalis 3 (2012), 385-97.                               
‘Turning Latin into Greek: Anna Komnene and the Gesta Roberti Wiscardi’, Journal of Medieval History 39 (2013), 80-99.

'11th Century Military Seals from Bulgaria: Some Suggestions’, in Bulgaria Medievalis 2: Festschrift in honour of Professor Vassil Giuzelev (2011), 137-43.

‘The Literary, Cultural and Political Context for the Twelfth-century Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics’ in ed. C. Barber, Medieval Greek Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics (Leiden, 2009), pp. 45-62.

‘Where Advice meets Criticism in 11th Century Byzantium: Theophylact of Ohrid, John the Oxite and their (re)presentations to the Emperor’, Al-Masaq, vol. 20 (2008), 71-88. 

‘Kinship and the distribution of power in Komnenian Byzantium’, English Historical Review 495 (2007), 1-34.

‘The fall of Nicaea and the towns of western Asia Minor to the Turks in the later 11th Century: the curious case of Nikephoros Melissenos’, Byzantion 76 (2006) 153-84.

‘Who was ‘Devgenevich’ of the Russian Primary Chronicle and ‘Pseudo-Diogenes’ of the Greek sources?’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 29, pt 2 (2005), 147-66.

‘Byzantine trade privileges to Venice in the eleventh century: the chrysobull of 1092’, Journal of Medieval History 30 (2004), 135-60.

Selected Publications: