Dr Daniel Reynolds

Dr Daniel Reynolds

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Senior Lecturer in Byzantine History

Contact details

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Daniel Reynolds is Senior Lecturer in Byzantine History with research interests in the material and visual culture of the Byzantine empire, the Byzantine and early Islamic Levant (c.350-c.1099), “iconoclasm” and the history of peasant and non-elite communities (c.400-1000). He is co-director of the project “At the Crossroads of Empires: the Longobard Church of Sant’Ambrogio at Montecorvino Rovella (Salerno)” which has involved a re-dating of the site and its burials to the mid-ninth century.


  • BA (EU), Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester and Universitat de València (2007)
  • MA Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham (2008)
  • PhD Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham (2014)


Daniel received his Bachelor’s degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Leicester. Following a year at the Universitat de València, Spain and working in field archaeology and social services, he moved to the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies to pursue an MA in Byzantine Studies. His postgraduate experience at the Centre further cemented his interest in the late antique and early medieval Levant, and he went on to complete an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded PhD which was submitted in September 2013 and successfully defended in March 2014.

Following this, Daniel became a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow in the School of History and Cultures and taught a number of undergraduate courses on Archaeology, Late Antique and Medieval History and the material culture of the East Mediterranean. In the year 2013/14, he was also the co-curator of the Faith and Fortune exhibition on display at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and have subsequently mentored postgraduate students at the University of Birmingham and other Midlands3Cities institutions in the curation of two exhibitions Excavating Empire: The Forgotten Archive of Mount Sinai and Excavating Empire: David Talbot Rice and the Rediscovery of Byzantium.

Between September 2014 and 2017 he was employed as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre on my project ‘Forging the Christian Holy Land 330-1099’ the subject of his first monograph. Most recently he has lead on the re-dating of the Longobard Church of Sant’Ambrogio at Montecorvino Rovella, and the discovery and this has justified the site’s inclusion within two EU heritage funding initiatives.


Daniel’s teaching experience ranges from late antique/early medieval and early Islamic Archaeology, Art History and History, to broader surveys of the late antique and early medieval Mediterranean. He has taught on broad surveys of Byzantine history (c.250-c.900) and Late Antiquity (c.200-c.650) (East and West) with more specialised courses on the history of the Levant from the late Roman to the Fatimid period, art and architecture in the medieval Mediterranean and urban life in the Mediterranean 300-1000.

Postgraduate teaching 2015-present

  • Approaches to Medieval Studies
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Global History
  • Methodologies in Byzantine Studies
  • Research Skills in Medieval Studies

Undergraduate teaching 2015-present

  • Ancient Worlds
  • Art and Society in the Medieval Mediterranean 330-1204
  • Barbarians and the Transformation of the Roman World (250-600)
  • Byzantium, the Transformation of the Roman World and the Rise of Islam (330-850)
  • Byzantium and its Forgotten People
  • Cities and Monuments in the Medieval Mediterranean
  • Discovering the Middle Ages
  • Forging the Christian Holy Land, 300-10
  • Late Antiquity
  • Living in the Medieval World, 1050-1500
  • Sex to Salvation: A Byzantine Life Course

Postgraduate supervision

Daniel has supervised and co-supervised a number of MA dissertations and doctoral theses. Past topics have included relics and ‘pilgrim souvenirs’ in the early medieval west, social care in the early Byzantine empire, the Justinianic plague and Middle Byzantine stucco. Daniel is currently supervising eight PhD theses on topics such as:

Armenian textile production
Burial practices in the Byzantine East
Byzantine stucco
Late Antique Graffiti
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem
Rural life in Byzantine North Africa
The Byzantine-Anatolian frontier c.600-c.1050
Daniel is interested in supervising a range of topics connected with the themes below.

Byzantine material and visual culture
Non-elite communities
The Byzantine and early Islamic Levant
Pilgrimage and monasticism

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


Daniel’s research focuses on the social and economic history of the Byzantium in the period c.300-c.1100, with particular interest in Byzantine and early Islamic Syria, Israel/Palestine and Jordan, and southern Italy. His main interest is in the history and archaeology of the Christian communities of these regions in the early Middle Ages, which he uses to discuss broader patterns of diplomatic, economic and human contact across the early medieval Mediterranean and central Europe. He uses a multidisciplinary approach and harnesses his expertise in archaeology and material culture, combined with numismatics, epigraphy and a familiarity with the traditions of Greek and Arabic historical texts. In more recent years he has developed further interests and publications in iconoclasm in the Mediterranean c.700-c.900 as well as questions of identity in Byzantine and post-Byzantine provincial contexts (c.500-1100), and peasant communities in the Mediterranean, where I have collaborated with colleagues based in Vienna, Princeton, Oxford and Tate Britain.

Daniel is co-director of the project “At the Crossroads of Empires:  the Longobard Church of Sant’Ambrogio at Montecorvino Rovella (Salerno)”.  This is a British Academy funded project, collaborating with Dr. Francesca Dell'Acqua, (Università di Salerno/ Birmingham) and Prof. Chiara Lambert (Università di Salerno), and a number of higher education intuitions across the UK, Italy and the Czech Republic. The project involves a full archaeological and historical analysis of the ninth-century Longobard Church of Sant’Ambrogio, Montecorvino Rovella, and has resulted in a re-dating of the site and its burials to the mid-ninth century. It also explores the significance of Sant’Ambrogio and the nearby site of San Michele Olevano sul Tusciano, to ninth-century pilgrimage routes and sacred landscapes. This discovery and reconsideration of its dating underpinned and justified the inclusion of the church within two EU heritage initiative, and has also influenced local public policy. The project will also work closely with UNESCO and the European Commission with the aim of incorporating Sant’Ambrogio within its World Heritage List, ‘Italia Langobardorum'.

Other activities

Daniel is currently on the executive committee for the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies and also contribute to the Early Career Researcher Network for the College of Arts and Law and Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham.  In addition, he has sat on the committees of two management bodies in the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CESMA) and the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies(CBOMGS). 


Recent publications


Reynolds, D, Wickham, C & Darley, R 2014, Open access journals in Humanities and Social Science: The British Academy.


Reynolds, D 2019, 'History and exegesis in the Itinerarium of Bernard the Monk (c.867)', Medieval Worlds, no. 10, pp. 252-296. https://doi.org/10.1553/medievalworlds_no10_2019s252

Reynolds, D 2017, 'Rethinking Palestinian Iconoclasm', Dumbarton Oaks Papers, vol. 71, pp. 1-64. <https://www.jstor.org/stable/26497745>

Darley, R & Reynolds, D 2015, 'Exhibiting coins as economic artefacts: Curating historical interpretation in Faith and Fortune: visualizing the divine on Byzantine and early Islamic coinage (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, November 2013-January 2015)', Journal of Art Historiography, no. 13, pp. 1-23. <https://search.proquest.com/docview/1772449368?accountid=8630>

Reynolds, D & Darby, P 2014, '‘Reassessing the ‘Jerusalem Pilgrims’: the Case of Bede’s De locis sanctis’', Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 27-31. https://doi.org/10.1179/1752726014Z.00000000022

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Reynolds, D 2024, Competitive Piety: Rural Patrons in Byzantine Arabia and Palaestina, c.500-c.630. in Dialogues between rich and poor: approaching social stratification in Byzantium . Routledge.

Reynolds, D 2024, Silent Partners: Christians in the Economy of Early Islamic Palestine. in H Kennedy & F Bessard (eds), Land and Trade in Early Islam: The Economy of the Islamic Middle East 750-1050 CE. Oxford University Press, pp. 272-314.

Reynolds, D 2022, Conclusion: Postcolonial reflections and the challenge of Global Byzantium. in L Brubaker , R Darley & D Reynolds (eds), Global Byzantium Papers from the Fiftieth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. 1st edn, Publications of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies, Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429291012-20

Reynolds, D 2015, Monasticism in Early Islamic Palestine: Contours of Debate. in RG Hoyland (ed.), The late antique world of early Islam: Muslims among Christians and Jews in the East Mediterranean. Darwin Press, pp. 339-391.

View all publications in research portal