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Biography

I read Byzantine and Medieval History in Muenster, where I obtained my first degree. I took my doctorate at the University of Vienna with a thesis on Famines and Epidemics in late Antiquity now published by Ashgate. I have taught at the University of Vienna and the Central European University in Budapest.

Research Interests and PhD supervision

  • Wealth and its uses in the late Byzantine empire (1261-1453)
  • Poverty and social stratification

I am preparing a book on wealth and its uses in the late Byzantine empire (1261-1453), particularly investments in afterlife management strategies such as charity and the cult of remembrance. Furthermore, I am interested in the study of poverty and social stratification. For an overview see this recent publication: The Kindness of Strangers. Charity in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean. I am part of an international team that was recently granted a major award from the Leverhulme Trust for the research Project Damned in Hell in the Frescoes of Venetian-dominated Crete (13th- 17th centuries). I am equally part of a King's team working on a pilot project  entitled Register Medicorum Medii Aevi funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

I am interested in supervising students in:

  • Late Antique and Byzantine History
  • History of medicine

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Selected publications

  • A Short History of the Byzantine Empire (London, 2014). Translations in: Estonian (AS Äripäev, 2016), Greek (Patakis, 2016), Turkish (İletişim, 2018).
  • (edited with G. Saint-Guillain) Liquid & Multiple: Individuals & Identities in the Thirteenth-Century Aegean, Association des amis du Centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance (Paris, 2012).
  • Famine and Pestilence in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine Empire. A System­atic Survey of Subsistence Crises and Epidemics, Birmingham Byzantine and Otto­man Monographs 9 (Aldershot, 2004).
  • 'Sister, Widow, Consort, Bride: Four Latin Ladies in Greece (1330-1430)', in Cross-Cultural Interaction between Byzantium and the West, 1204-1669. Whose Mediterranean is it anyway? ed. A. Lymberopoulou (London and New York, 2018) 236-57.
  • 'I seek not my own: Is there a female mode of charity?', in: Female Founders in Byzantium and Beyond, eds L. Theis, M. Mullett and M. Gruenbart = special volume of Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 60-61 (2011/12, published 2014) 383-97.