Professor Peter Sarris
Peter Sarris read Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford (1990-93), after which he was elected to a Prize Fellowship (by examination) at All Souls College, Oxford (where he was a Fellow from 1993 to 2006). He came to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of Trinity College in 2000, and has held Visiting Fellowships at Rice University, Texas, and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington D.C. (Harvard University). He has published extensively on the history of the Early Middle Ages both East and West, and is a leading authority on the 'Plague of Justinian' and the 'Age of Justinian' more generally. His latest book JUSTINIAN: EMPEROR, SOLDIER, SAINT (Basic Book, 2023) is a Sunday Times and BBC History Magazine 'Book of the Year'.
Peter Sarris has published extensively on the social, economic and legal history of Late Antiquity, the Early Middle Ages and Byzantium, with a particular focus on the political economy of the East Roman Empire from the fourth to sixth centuries, the transmission of Roman economic and legal culture, and the background to the rise of Islam. His current research focuses on the development of Eurasian trading networks between Constantinople, Persia, Central Asia and China, and also on the emergent contours of the 'confessional state' in the age of Justinian. He also has a long-standing interest in the the so-called 'Plague of Justinian' - the wave of bubonic plague that swept much of Eurasia in the sixth century.
Peter Sarris has supervised a number of students for various M.Phil. courses and has supervised doctoral students on topics ranging from early Byzantine monastic literature, scepticism towards the cult of the saints in early Byzantine Constantinople and Rome, Byzantine merchants, imperial ideology in the Iconoclast era, the Byzantine presence in early medieval Spain, and Byzantine law, to Justinianic Political Thought and the Byzantine-Arab frontier. He is especially keen to work with students interested in breaking down the lines of intellectual demarcation between Byzantine studies and ancient and medieval history, and between the history of pre-modern Western Eurasia and World history.
Lectures and supervisions on late antiquity and Byzantium, including the history of Sasanian Persia and the early Islamic world, in Part I of the Historical Tripos (Papers 13 and 14); lectures and supervisions on 'The Transformation of the Roman World' and 'The Near East in the Age of Justinian and Muhammad' for Part II of the Historical Tripos.
Peter Sarris is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. In 2019 he was 'Symposiarch' for the Spring Symposium of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies on 'Blood in Byzantium'.
Tags & Themes
Peter Sarris is available for consultancy.
Cambridge CB2 1TQ
Office Phone: 01223 3 39927