Theofili Kampianaki

Theofili Kampianaki

Department of History
BRIHC Research Fellow

Contact details

  • Twelfth-century Medieval Greek Historiography
  • Reception Studies – Images of Flavius Josephus in the Medieval Greek and Latin Literary Traditions

Feedback and office hours

  • Thursdays 13.30-15.00


  • 2018: Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford – Wolfson College
  • 2013: Master of Studies in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford, History Faculty
  • 2011: Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Medieval Greek and Modern Greek Literature, University of Athens, Department of Philology


I coordinate various outreach activities across the School of History and Cultures, most notably the new “Classics for the Classroom” project at the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology and the 2020 International Byzantine Greek Summer School, which will be hosted at the University of Birmingham.


  • Aspects of Byzantine History I: Poetics and Storytelling in History Writing (Master’s Course)
  • Methodologies of Byzantine Studies (Master’s Module)


My project as a BRIHC Research Fellow explores the range of different ways in which Flavius Josephus, the reputed historian of the 1st century AD, was perceived by Medieval Greek and Latin men of letters from the 5th century onwards. By adopting a comparative approach to how Josephus was seen across East and West, I aim to demonstrate that the emphasis on characteristics and attributes, such as the historian’s Jewishness, truthfulness, wisdom, and expertise, were all means adopted by medieval literati to enhance the validity of his works.

I developed a keen interest in ancient authors, such as Plutarch and Josephus, in the course of my doctoral research. My thesis was dedicated to the twelfth-century chronicle of John Zonaras, a Medieval Greek text with enormous popularity, which combines an incredible variety of sources related to Jewish, Roman and Byzantine history. Among the topics investigated in my thesis was Zonaras’ creative treatment of his sources. My doctoral research challenged the view that medieval authors like Zonaras, who draw extensively on earlier texts, are mere ‘compilers’. Exploring Zonaras’ method of work, I demonstrated that he subjected his material to a thoughtful process of selection and adaptation. The principles that governed this process reflected his cultural, ideological and indeed political orientation.


Edited volumes

  • From Constantinople to the Frontier: The City and the cities, edited by N. Matheou, T. Kampianaki and L. Bondioli (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016). Review in: The Medieval Review

Refereed articles and book chapters

  • “Plutarch and Zonaras: From Biography to a Chronicle with a Political Leaning.” In: The Brill Companion to the Reception of Plutarch, ed. by S. Xenophontos and K. Oikonomopoulou (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 248-264.
  • Preliminary Observations on the Reception of Flavius Josephus in Byzantine Historical Writings: The Accounts of John Zonaras, Niketas Choniates and Michael Kritovoulos.Byzantina Symmeikta, 28 (2018), 209-228
  • “Plutarch’s Lives in the Byzantine Chronographic Tradition: The Chronicle of John Zonaras.” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 41/1 (2017), 15-29
  • “Sayings Attributed to Emperors of Old and New Rome in Michael Psellos’ Historia Syntomos.” In: From Constantinople to the Frontier: The City and the cities, ed. by N. Matheou, T. Kampianaki and L. Bondioli (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016), 311-25
  • “Vita Basilii: The Power of Rhythm in Constructing the Narrative Landscape of Imperial Propaganda.” In: Landscapes of Power, ed. by. M. Lau, C. Franchi, M. Di Rodi (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2014), 179-194