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Dr James  Corke-Webster

Dr James Corke-Webster

  • Academics

Senior Lecturer in Roman History, Deputy Director of the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies

Contact details


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

My first monograph, on Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History, argued that the first narrative of early Christian history used events and individuals from Christianity’s past to create a new vision of Christianity tailored to Eusebius’ fourth century context. I am now working on a new study of the persecution of the early Christians that aims to pioneer a new “bottom up” approach to the reality of Christian experience under Rome.

I also have ongoing funded research projects on hagiography, with Dr. Christa Gray, and on governance in the Roman world, with Dr. Lisa Eberle.


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

I currently sit on the Council of the Roman Society, am on the editorial board of the journal Studia Theologica, and am the Roman History reviewer for the biannual subject reviews in Greece and Rome. I have appeared on a number of podcasts, including the HistoryHit podcast (“Episode 9: Rome and the Mediterranean”) and the Audible series Hijacked Histories (“Episode 1: Caligula and Nero”).

I regularly speak to school pupils on a range of topics in Roman and Christian history and literature.

Selected publications


Eusebius and Empire: Constructing Church and Rome in the Ecclesiastical History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). [joint winner of the University of Oxford Faculty of Classics 2018 Conington Prize; winner of the North American Patristics Society First Book Prize; shortlisted for the Ecclesiastical History Society Best Book Prize].

The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood. Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae (Leiden, 2020) [co-edited with C. Gray].

Journal articles

‘Emperors, Bishops, Art and Jurisprudence: The Transformation of Law in Eusebius of Caesarea’, Early Mediaeval Europe 27.1 (2019), 12-34.

‘Trouble in Pontus: The Pliny-Trajan Correspondence on the Christians Reconsidered’ TAPA 147.2 (2017), 371-411.

‘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 110.4 (2017), 563-587.