Mike Saxby

Mike Saxby

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Title of thesis: Remilitarizing the Byzantine Imperial Image: a Study of Numismatic and Other Evidence

Supervisor: Dr Ruth Macrides


  • BSc
  • DDS
  • FDSRCS (Ed)
  • MA (Distinction)


On retiring from being a senior lecturer/consultant in periodontology I started working as a volunteer guide at the Barber Institute. I was asked to specialise in the Coin Collection and developed an interest in Byzantine Studies, and started the MA in this topic in 2007. Studying part-time I graduated in 2009 and started my PhD immediately.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Remilitarizing the Byzantine Imperial Image: a Study of Numismatic and Other Evidence
Dr Ruth Macrides
Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


During my MA I became fascinated with some coins of Constantius II which were of the 'falling horseman' type. This type represents a clear inversion in that a foot soldier is shown killing a horseman. This led me to types in which the emperor is shown riding, and also types where the emperor wears military dress. Such military types disappeared in the early 8th century, and were reintroduced in the 11th century. My PhD examines this reintroduction, and the use of such images in the imperial projection of power, until the end of the empire.

Other activities

Occasional practical sessions of coin-handling.

Other activities:
Papers given:

  • 11 02 15 'Coin Design: Masterly Tool or False Representation?'
  • GEM Forum.30 05 15 'Arms in Exile: an Analysis of Military Iconography on Coins of the Byzantine Successor States'. CBOMGS Colloquium.
  • 25 05 13 'Arms and the Emperor: Military Imagery on the Coins of Constantine IX and Isaac I', CBOMGS Colloquium.
  • 25 04 12 'Constantine IX: the Indolent Hero?', IAA Colloquium.
  • 12 01 12 'Money and the Projection of Power in Byzantium and the Medieval World', presentation at General Seminar, Centre for Byzantine Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (jointly with Ali Miynat and Maria Vrij).
  • 19 01 11 'The Coinage of Constantine I and His Sons: Symbols of Power", at symposium 'The Sons of Constantine', Cardiff University.
  • 28 04 10 'Fallen Glories: a Byzantine Ambassador in Lichfield', public lecture at the Barber Institute.
  • 14 07 09 'Symbols of Power on the Coinage of Constantine I and His Sons',  Leeds International Medieval Congress.
  • 06 09 08 'With Neither Sword Nor Spear', guest lecture, British  Association of Numismatic Studies Annual Conference, University of Nottingham.

Membership of learned societies:

  • Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (2008 to date).
  • Member, Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (2008 to date)
  • Assistant Symposiarch, Spring Symposium, University of Birmingham, 2010 (with Dr E Davies and Prof D Angelov).
  • Membership Secretary (2010 to date).



  • 2013: Power and Subversion in Byzantium (edited with Prof D Angelov).

Journal papers:

  • 2013: 'Constantine IX: the Indolent Hero?', Rosetta 12.5, 66-72.
  • 2011: Review of Elizabeth Jeffreys, John Haldon and Robin Cormack (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies</