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Dr Dion Smythe

MA, PhD (St Andrews)

Lecturer in Byzantine History


Dr Smythe left the university in December 2015

Dion C. Smythe MA PhD FRGS gained an MA in history from the University of St Andrews in 1983. He began research on the topic of social perceptions of Byzantine outsiders with Paul Magdalino at St Andrews. He continued his research work at Vienna and Belfast. He was awarded his PhD on Byzantine perceptions of social outsiders in 1992 by the University of St Andrews. He taught at Queen's University of Belfast from 1988 to 1993. In October 1993, he joined the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire Project, based at King’s College, London, and left at the end of January 2001 to take up a lectureship in Byzantine Studies at Queen's University, Belfast. He has written on barbarians, women, outsiders by social class, Macedonians and the role of the computer in Byzantine research.

Select Publications:

Articles and chapters:

  • 'Insiders and outsiders', in L. James (ed.) A companion to Byzantium (Oxford, 2010)
  • 'Prosopography' in E. Jefferys et al (ed.) The Oxford handbook of Byzantine studies (Oxford, 2008)
  • 'Middle Byzantine family values and Anna Komnene's Alexiad', in L. Garland (ed) Byzantine Women: Varieties of Experience AD 800-1200 (2006)

Entry on PURE research portal



Dr Smythe usually teaches some combination of the following undergraduate modules:

HIS1003 Exploring History I Byzantine History 1025-1204

HIS1002 Exploring History II Women men and eunuchs: gender in Byzantium

HIS2049 Roman Origins East and West (with Dr O’Sullivan)

HIS2047 Expansion of Medieval Europe (with Dr Warntjes)

HIS3112 Heretics and Social Outcasts in the Middle Ages

HIS3113 Age of Justinian

HIS3077 Undergraduate Dissertation (with Dr Coleman)


Current PhD Students:

  • Jeffrey Donnelly, 'John II Komnenos’s policy towards Antioch'
  • Andrei Psarev, 'The Limits of Communion in the Byzantine Church (861-1300)'

Previous PhD Students:

  • Redzo Trako, ‘The role of Bogomilism in the creation of Bosnian identity in the Middle Ages’ (2007)
  • Bernard James Mulholland, ‘Paralitugical activities in the early Byzantine basilical church’ (2012)
  • Nikolaos Barkas, ‘Sleep and sleeplessness in Byzantium’ (2013)