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Peter Heather joined the department in January 2008 as the Chair of Medieval History. He was educated at Maidstone Grammar School, before moving to New College Oxford to complete his undergraduate degree and doctoral work. Prior to joining King’s, Peter Heather worked at University College London, Yale University and Worcester College, Oxford.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Late Roman Empire 
  • Successor States to the Roman Empire
  • Barbarian Hordes
  • Late Roman and medieval legal systems
  • The Evolution of Christianity c.200-1200 AD

Professor Peter Heather’s research interests lie in the later Roman Empire and its successor states. He is widely published in these matters, with a focus on the Goth and Visigoth kingdoms of the Medieval period and publications including The Goths (Oxford, 1996) and (with D. Moncur), Politics, philosophy, and Empire in the fourth century (Liverpool, 2001). In recent years, his research has looked at propaganda in the late Roman elite, and issues of migration and ethnicity among the groups who dismantled the western half of the Roman Empire.  Future work is likely to centre on developing legal systems of the Roman Empire and its successor states, and the evolution of particularly Christian authority structures in the same contexts.

Peter Heather is happy to to receive applications from students interested particularly in

  • Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages: c. 200-800 AD (but a bit later still for non-Carolingian topics).
  • Barbarians and the Roman Empire
  • Legal sources and the social history of dispute settlement
  • The late & post-Roman development of the Christian Church, everything from Popes to ascetics
  • States and their operations

For more details, please see his full research profile.