Professor Michael Whitby

Professor Michael Whitby

Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts and Law

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Michael Whitby is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts and Law. The College comprises five Schools:  Birmingham Law School; English, Drama, and American & Canadian Studies; History and Cultures; Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music; and Philosophy, Theology and Religion. The College is responsible for the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford and the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage.


Michael Whitby studied Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and then returned for postgraduate study in Byzantine History after three years as a civil servant in the Scottish Office. Following research fellowships and lectureships in various Oxford Colleges, he joined the Ancient History department at St Andrews in 1987, subsequently becoming head of department in 1993 and receiving a personal chair in 1995. He moved to Warwick in 1996 as Professor of Classics and Ancient History, where he was appointed Chair of Faculty (2001) and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor (2003). As PVC his main responsibilities were Learning and Teaching, International Strategy, and Academic Resourcing.   He served on the 2001 RAE panel for Classics, and chaired the Classics Sub-panel for the 2008 RAE.

Michael was founder editor of the Brill series on The Medieval Mediterranean, served as editor of Classical Review, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Liverpool series Translated Texts for Historians. He was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of Warwick for his work on Late Roman history. He has written or edited a dozen books, and numerous articles or book chapters.


Michael’s principal research focuses on the history of the Christian Roman Empire and ancient warfare. This has resulted in publications on the historians Theophylact Simocatta and Procopius, as well as edited volumes such as The Cambridge Ancient History XIV, AD 425-600 (2000) and The Cambridge History of Ancient Warfare (2007), of which the latter received a prize from the Society of Military Historians. Making text accessible through modern translations has been an important activity, resulting in translations of Theophylact Simocatta, the Chronicon Paschale, and Evagrius Scholasticus. 

His main current projects are editing an Enclyclopedia of Ancient Battles for Wiley-Blackwell, and translating the miracles of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki for Liverpool University Press.


History and society of the Mediterranean World and the Middle East between 1000 BC and AD 1000, with particular interests in religion, warfare, urbanisation and literary culture

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