Dr Ruth Macrides

Dr Ruth Macrides

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Reader in Byzantine Studies

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Dr Ruth Macrides, a much-loved colleague and friend.

If you have any queries regarding Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, or the 2020 Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, please contact Professor Leslie Brubaker.


  • BA (Columbia, New York)
  • PhD (London)


Ruth Macrides studied Greek and art history at Columbia University before taking her doctorate in Byzantine history at Kings College, London. She taught mediaeval history at the University of St Andrews before coming to the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, Birmingham. She is editor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.


  • Historical Narratives
  • Crusades
  • Ritual

Postgraduate supervision

My main areas of supervision are in the Comnenian and Palaiologan period, with special interest in historical writing, social and legal history, Byzantium and the crusades, the reception of Byzantium in the 19th and 20th centuries in Britain and Greece.

I have supervised a number of PhDs to completion on a vareity of topics: the Late Byzantine army, Late Byzantine cities, Diplomacy in the Palaiologan period, The Palaiologan court, Social relations in fourteenth-century Byzantium, War-writing in the middle Byzantine period, a biography of Manuel II,  diplomacy at the empire of Nicaea, the horse in Byzantium, the horseback emperor on coins.  My present PhD students are working on the following topics: the empire of Trebizond and its relations with Constantinople, usurpation and dynastic succession.

Find out more - our PhD Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Main areas of interest: Byzantine historiography; late Roman and Byzantine law, especially relating to marriage, inheritance, dowry, criminal law; social and kinship structures in the middle and late Byzantine period; western travellers to the east Mediterranean; the reception of Byzantium in Britain and Greece in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Other activities

  • Editor, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
  • Senior Fellow, Dumbarton Oaks Centre for Byzantine Studies
  • Member of the Committee for Society, Arts, and Letters of the British School at Athens.



  • (Ed with J.A. Munitiz and Dimiter Angelov) Pseudo-Kodinos, the Constantinopolitan Court, Offices and Ceremonies (Ashgate 2013:
  • (Ed) History as Literature in Byzantium (Farnham 2010).
  • George Akropolites The History (Oxford 2007)
  • Ed., Travel in the Byzantine World (Aldershot 2002)
  • Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11th-15th centuries (Aldershot 1999)

Articles (a selection)

  • ‘Emperor and Church in the Last Centuies of Byzantium’, Studies in Church History 54 (2018) 123-143.
  • ‘Ceremonies and the city: the court in fourteenth-century Constantinople’. in Royal courts in dynastic states and empires: a global perspective, eds. J. Duindam, T. Artan, M. Kunt (Leiden 2011) 217-35.   
  • ‘The citadel of Byzantine Constantinople’, in Cities and citadels in Turkey from the Iron Age to the Seljuks, eds. S. Redford and N. Ergin (Louvain, 2013) 277-304.
  • ‘Trial by ordeal in Byzantium: on whose authority?’, in Authority in Byzantium, ed. P. Armstrong (Farnham 2013) 31-46. 
  • '"The reason is not known". Remembering and recording the past. Pseudo-Kodinos as a historian', in P. Odorico, P.A. Agapitos, M. Hinterberger (eds), L'écriture de la mémoire. La littérarité de l'histographie (Paris 2006) 317 - 330
  • 'The law outside the lawbooks: law and literature', Fontes Minores XI (2005) 133-145
  • '1204: The Greek Sources' in A. Laiou (ed) Urbs capta: The fourth Crusade and its consequences; la quatrième croisade et ses conséquences,  (Paris 2005), 143- 152
  • 'The ritual of petition', in P. Roilos and D. Yatromanolakis, eds., Greek Ritual Poetics (Cambridge, Mass. 2004), pp. 356-370.
  • 'The thirteenth century in Byzantine historical writing', in Ch. Dendrinos, J. Harris, E. Harvalia-Crook, J. Herrin, eds., Porphyrogenita: Essays in honour of Julian Chrysostomides (London 2003), 63-76.
  • 'George Akropolites' rhetoric', in E. Jeffreys, ed., Rhetoric in Byzantium (Aldershot 2003), 201-111.
  • 'Constantinople: the crusaders' gaze', in R. Macrides, ed., Travel in the Byzantine World (Aldershot 2002), 193-212.
  • 'Substitute parents and their children', in M. Corbier, ed., Adoption et fosterage (Paris 2000), 307-319.
  • 'The pen and the sword: who wrote the Alexiad?', in Th. Gouma-Peterson, ed., Anna Komnene and her times (New York 2000), 63-81.
  • ‘”As Byzantine then as it is today”: Pope Joan and Roidis’ Greece’, in D. Ricks and P. Magdalino, eds., Byzantium and the Modern Greek Identity (Aldershot 1998) 73-86
  • ‘From the Komnenoi to the Palaiologoi: imperial models in decline and exile’, in P. Magdalino, ed., New Constantines (Aldershot 1992) 269-282
  • ‘Dynastic marriages and political kinship’, in J. Shepard and S. Frnaklin, eds., Byzantine diplomacy (Aldershot 1992) 380-410
  • ‘Subversion and loyalty in the cult of St Demetrios’, Byzantinoslavica 51 (1990) 189-197
  • ‘The Byzantine godfather’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 11 (1987) 139-162
  • ‘Saints and sainthood in the early Palaiologan period’, in S. Hackel, ed., The Byzantine Saint (London 1981) 67-8

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