Professor Dimiter Angelov BA (Wabash), MA and PhD (Harvard)

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Professor of Byzantine History

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research  and teaching interests lie in the intellectual, political and institutional history of the Byzantine Empire.with a particular focus on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. I work mostly with textual and literary sources. My book on imperial ideology and political thought in Byzantium (1204-1330) published by Cambridge University Press in 2007 examined a wide variety of little known texts in order to shed light on the political imagination of the Byzantines, who saw their empire being transformed into a second-rate power in the Eastern Mediterranean. My recent article on the Donation of Constantine in Byzantium has addressed in a new way an old historiographical problem.

In recent years I have initiated and organised a number of symposia, conferences, seminar series, and exploratory workshops at the University of Birmingham, such the 43rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies Byzantium Behind the Scenes: Power and Subversion (March, 2010) and Conceptualising Balkan Space: Late Medieval and Early Modern Approaches (September, 2007).


Born in Bulgaria, I finished the National Classical Lyceum in Sofia and then pursued university studies in the United States where I spent fourteen years, interrupted only by brief spells in Oxford and Birmingham.  After being trained as both a Byzantine and a medieval historian at Harvard (PhD 2002), I was Assistant Professor of Medieval History at Western Michigan University (2002-2005) and in 2006 joined the University of Birmingham.


I teach seminars and lectures courses in the field of Byzantine history and civilization, including “Byzantine Society” and “Byzantium and the Transformation of the Roman World.” I offer also graduate teaching in Byzantine history: seminars on modern historiography, heuristics, diplomatics,  hagiography, paleography, etc. In recent years I have supervised BA and PhD dissertations on topics as diverse as Byzantine diplomacy, the relations between Byzantium and the Rus, governance in the late Byzantine empire, and Florentine trade with Byzantium.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Byzantine and medieval Balkan history


I am currently working on a monograph on the Byzantine crown prince, emperor and philosopher Theodore II Laskaris (1221/22-1258); the study makes use of the analytical and discursive potential of the genre of historical biography in order to open up a broader vista on the transformation of Byzantine culture after the fall of Constantinople in 1204. I am also preparing (in close collaboration with my Birmingham colleagues Ruth Macrides and Joseph Munitiz) the Ashgate translation with accompanying commentary of the Byzantine book on court ceremonies and dress dating to the fourteenth century. Other projects and research interests include the edition and translation of works by Theodore II Laskaris (e.g., his Ethical Epitomes), the history of political and social thought in Byzantium, the study of geographical notions in Byzantium, and the history of the high and late medieval Balkans

Other activities

I am among the founders of the summer Comparative Cultures Seminar of Harvard University in Olympia and Nafplio, Greece:



  • The Byzantine Hellene: Theodore Laskaris and the Transformation of Byzantine Culture in Exile. Monograph in preparation.
  • Theodore Laskaris on Politics, Humour and the Philosophy of Life. A volume of translations prepared in collaboration with Joseph Munitiz.
  • Pseudo-Kodinos: The Constantinopolitan Court Offices and Ceremonies. Farnham: Ashgate, 2013.(co-authored with Ruth Macrides and Joseph Munitiz)
  • Power and Subversion in Byzantium. Papers from the Forty-third Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, 27-29 March 2010. Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. (edited book with Michael Saxby)
  • Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. (edited book with Sahar Bazzaz and Yota Batsaki)
  • Church and Society in Late Byzantium, Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2009. (edited book)
  • Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium (1204-1330). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007. 


Articles and book chapters

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  • 'Power and Subversion in Byzantium: Approaches and Frameworks', in D. Angelov and M. Saxby (eds.), Power and Subversion in Byzantium. Aldershot, 2013, 1-19.
  • ' "Asia and Europe Commonly Called East and West”: Constantinople and Geographical Imagination in Byzantium', in Angelov, Bazzaz and Batsaki (eds.), Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space. Cambridge, MA, 2013, 43-68.
  • 'Theodore II Laskaris, Elena Asenina and Bulgaria', in A. Nikolov and G. Nikolov (eds.), The Medieval Bulgarian and “the Others” (Srednovekovniiat Bŭlgarin i “Drugite”). Sofia, 2013, 273-297.    
  • 'Classifications of Political Philosophy in Byzantium and the Concept of Royal Science', in B. Bydén and K. Ierodiakonou (eds.), The Many Faces of Byzantine Philosophy. Athens, 2012, 23-49.
  • 'The Christian Imperial Tradition: Greek and Latin'. in P. Bang and D. Kolodziejczyk (eds.),  Universal Empire: Genealogies of Imperial Culture and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 149-174. (co-authored with Judith Herrin)
  • The Moral Pieces by Theodore II Laskaris', Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 65-66 (2011-12), 237-269.
  • ‘Theodore II Laskaris on the Sultanate of Rum and the Flight of ‘Izz al-Dīn Kay Kāwūs II’, Journal of Turkish Studies (In Memoriam Angeliki Laiou, eds. C. Kafadar and N. Necipoğlu), 36 (2011), 26-43.
  • 'Three Kinds of Liberty as Political Ideals in Byzantium, Twelfth to Fifteenth Century', Proceedings of the 22nd  International Congress of Byzantine Studies, I: Plenary Sessions. Sofia, 2011, 311-331. Bulgarian translation in Istoricheski Pregled.
  • 'Prosopography of the Byzantine World (1204-1261) in the Light of Bulgarian Sources', in J. Herrin and G. Saint-Guillain (eds.), Identities and Allegiances in the Eastern Mediterranean after 1204. Aldershot, 2011, 101-120.
  • The Donation of Constantine and the Church in Late Byzantium' in D. Angelov (ed.), Church and Society in Late Byzantium, 91-157.
  • 'Emperors and Patriarchs as Ideal Children and Adolescents: Literary Conventions and Cultural Expectations' in A. Papaconstantinou and A.-M. Talbot (eds.), Becoming Byzantine: Children and Childhood in Byzantium. Washington, 2009, 85-125.
  • Introduction, commentary and appendix in the Bulgarian translation of Robert Browning, Justinian and Theodora (London, 1987, second revised edition): Юстиниан и Теодора. Sofia, 2008.
  • 'The Confession of Michael VIII Palaiologos and King David', Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik, 56 (2006), 193-204.
  • ‘Domestic Opposition to Byzantium’s Alliance with Saladin: Niketas Choniates and His Epiphany Oration of 1190’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 30 (2006), 49-68.
  • ‘Byzantine Ideological Reactions to the Latin Conquest of Constantinople’, in A. Laiou (ed.), Urbs capta: la quatrième croisade et ses conséquences (Réalités byzantines, 10), Paris, 2005, 293-310
  • ‘Plato, Aristotle, and Byzantine Political Philosophy’,  in E. Gannagé, P. Crone and M. Aouad (eds.), The Greek Strand in Islamic Political Thought: Proceedings of the Conference Held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton 16-27 June 2003 Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph, 57), Beirut, 2004, 499-523.
  • ‘New Greek Inscriptions from the Strymon Valley (Province of Macedonia)’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 143 (2003), 138-142.
  • ‘Late Byzantine Imperial Panegyric as Advice Literature’, in E. Jeffreys (ed.), Rhetoric in Byzantium. Aldershot, 2003, 55-72.
  • ‘Byzantinism: The Real and the Imaginary Influence of a Medieval Civilization on the Modern Balkans’, in D. Keridis, E. Bursac, and N. Yatromanolakis (eds.), New Approaches to Balkan Studies. Dulles, VA, 2003, 3-23.
  • ‘Observations on a Byzantine Manuscript in the Harvard College Library’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 100 (2000), 501-514, co-authored with John Duffy.