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Dr James Corke-Webster

James Corke-Webster-296-croppedLecturer in Roman History

Address Room E4, North Wing
Department of Classics
King's College London
London, WC2R 2LS




I am a Roman historian with particular interests in early Christian and late antique history and literature. I studied Classics and Theology at Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester, before taking up a Fulbright Scholarship at Berkeley. I then held lectureships at Edinburgh and Durham before moving to Kings in 2017.

Research interests
  • Early Christian history and literature
  • Late antiquity
  • Ancient historiography
  • Roman imperial history
  • Epistolography

I have recently finished a monograph on Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History,arguing that this first narrative of early Christian history uses events and individuals from Christianity’s past to create a new vision of Christianity tailored to Eusebius’ fourth century context. My next project, ‘Paperwork and Persecution: From Administrative Violence to Christian Identity’, is a new study of the "persecution” of the Christians. It will re-evaluate both the reality of Christian experience under Rome, and how those experiences were later “written up”. I am also the PI, with Dr. Christa Gray, of the BA/Leverhulme-funded project ‘Constructed Sainthood: The Genesis of Hagiography’.

Selected Publications
  • ‘Trouble in Pontus: The Pliny-Trajan Correspondence on the Christians Reconsidered’ TAPA 147.2 (2017).
  • ‘The Early Reception of Pliny the Younger in Tertullian of Carthage and Eusebius of Caesarea’, Classical Quarterly 67.1 (2017), 247-262.
  • ‘A Man for the Times: Jesus and the Abgar Correspondence in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History’, Harvard Theological Review 110 (2017).
  • ‘A Bishop’s Biography: Eusebius of Caesarea’s Life of Constantine’, in K. de Temmerman (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Ancient Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • ‘Mothers and Martyrdom: Familial Piety and the Model of the Maccabees in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History’, in A. Johnson & J. Schott (eds.), Eusebius of Caesarea: Traditions and Innovations (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2013), 51-82.

I teach a range of modules in Roman history, covering the late Republican, early and high imperial, and late antique periods.

Expertise and public engagement

In 2013-14 while working in Edinburgh I contributed to the Church of Scotland’s 2014 report on ordination.

I have spoken to school pupils on a range of topics in early Christian studies and Roman history, and am happy to given such talks in future.


full Research profile
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