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The Koraes Chair

Koraes Chair of Modern Greek & Byzantine History, Language & Literature

Academic staff | Holders of Koraes Chair | Courses and teaching

The Koraes Chair was established in 1918, with generous support from the Greek business community and the Parliament of the Hellenes, as a focal point in the UK and beyond for the study of Greek history and culture from the end of antiquity to the present day. It is unusual in covering three academic disciplines (history, language, literature), as well as a chronological span of some 1700 years. Since the 1970s the Koraes Professor has provided academic leadership to a group of scholars who collectively have been responsible for developing and delivering high-quality teaching and research in the fields designated by the Chair. These subjects now attract large numbers of students not only from within the Department of Classics but from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, particularly from Comparative Literature, English, History, Liberal Arts, and Theology & Religious Studies.

The current Koraes Professor is Gonda Van Steen .

Read about the history and achievements of the Chair since 1918 here

Koraes wikipedia copyAdamantios Koraes, also known as Adamance Coray (1747 Smyrna – 1833 Paris)

Academic staff of the Department of Classics specialising in Modern Greek & Byzantine Studies

Permanent Staff

David Ricks, Professor of Modern Greek & Comparative Literature (shared post with Department of Comparative Literature)

Dr Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Byzantine Studies (shared post with Department of History)

Dr Tassos Papacostas, Senior Lecturer in Byzantine Material Culture

Dr Ioannis Papadogiannakis, Lecturer in Patristics  (shared post with Department of Theology & Religious Studies)

Research Fellowships and Opportunities for Early Career Researchers

The Department regularly hosts post-doctoral fellowships funded by outside bodies, who work on specific projects under the direction of the Koraes Professor:

• 2016-2018    Dr Polina Tambakaki, Niki Marangou Postdoctoral Fellow (modern Greek literature of Cyprus)

• 2017-2019    Dr Katerina Levidou, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (modern Greek music and national identity).

• 2018-2020    Tassos and Angele Nomikos Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies (tba)

Holders of the Koraes Chair and Selected Works

1919 – 1924    Arnold Toynbee, FBA

A Study of History, 12 vols (1934-1961)

Constantine Porphyrogenitus and his World (1973)

The Greeks and their Heritages (1981)


1926 – 1943    F.H. Marshall

Three Cretan Plays: The Sacrifice of Abraham; Erophile; Gyparis; also the Cretan Pastoral Poem, The Fair Shepherdess, translated (1929)


1946 – 1960    Romilly Jenkins

Dionysius Solomòs (1940)

The Dilessi Murders (1961)

Byzantium: The Imperial Centuries AD 610-1071 (1966)


1963 – 1968    Cyril Mango, FBA

The Art of the Byzantine Empire, 312-1453: Sources and Documents (1972)

Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome (1980)

The Oxford History of Byzantium (edited, 2002)


1970 – 1988    Donald Nicol, FBA

The Despotate of Epiros (2 vols, 1957, 1984)

The Last Centuries of Byzantium (1972)

Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations (1988)


1988 – 2018    Roderick Beaton, FBA

The Medieval Greek Romance (1989)

An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature (1994)

George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel. A Biography (2003)

Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013)


Toynbee 1919 title page copyCover page of the inaugural lecture of the first Koraes Professor, Arnold Toynbee, in October 1919, introduced by the Greek ambassador to London, Ioannes Gennadius, in the presence of prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos

Courses and Teaching in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

The Department of Classics offers the following programmes of study in the fields covered by the Koraes Chair:

• BA Classical & Modern Greek Studies

MA The Classical World and its Reception

• PhD in Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies

A range of undergraduate modules (courses) in modern Greek and Byzantine studies is also available to students following any programme of study in the Department of Classics. Full information about modules available each year can be found here.

Approximately 100-150 students are enrolled on modules (courses) in modern Greek and Byzantine studies in any one year, from the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, History, Liberal Arts, Theology & Religious Studies, and students visiting King’s under the Study Abroad scheme as well as the Department of Classics.

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Academic staff | Holders of Koraes Chair | Courses and teaching

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