Niels Gaul

Niels Gaul is A.G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Acting Head of Classics (until 31 July 2016) at Edinburgh University and a member of ETT‘s network. 

Having graduated from Oxford (MSt, 1999) and Bonn (PhD, 2005), Niels was Dilts-Lyell Research Fellow in Greek palaeography (University of Oxford, 2005–2007), Associate Professor of Byzantine studies (Central European University, 2007–2015) and most recently, in 2015, he was appointed A. G. Leventis Chair of Byzantine Studies at Edinburgh.

Niels is currently serving on the editorial boards of both the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML), with Harvard University Press, and the Translated Texts for Byzantinists (TTB), with Liverpool University Press. His research focuses on the middle and, especially, later Byzantine empire. Recently, Niels has focused on various aspects of social performance in Byzantium, such as the rhetorical ‘theatre’ or (staged) miracles, and on the scholarly networks permeating late Byzantine society.


Role in the project

Niels is organising the third ETT workshop Visualising and Enacting Emotions (June/July 2017) together with another network member, namely Prof. Lioba Theis (Institut für Kunstgeschichte, University of Vienna). Within the ETT, Niels will focus on the political contexts of affectivity, the performance of Byzantine rhetoric, as well as on performances in Byzantine cultural life more generally. He is currently also investigating ekplexis (excitement, astonishment) as a key emotional response that Byzantine rhetoricians (following ancient rhetorical theory) sought to evoke in their audiences.


Related publications

Gaul, N. (2011) Thomas Magistros und die spätbyzantinische Sophistik. Studien zum Humanismus urbaner Eliten in der frühen Palaiologenzeit. Mainzer Veröffentlichungen zur Byzantinistik, 10. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Gaul, N. (forthcoming) ‘The Letter and its Audience: Epistolography in the Theatron’. In Riehle, A. (ed.), Companion to Byzantine Epistolography. Leiden: Brill.

Gaul, N. (forthcoming) ‘Performative Reading in the Late Byzantine Theatron’. In Toth, I. and Shawcross, T. (eds.), Reading in the Byzantine Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gaul, N. (forthcoming 2016) ‘Embedded Dialogues and Dialogical Voices in Palaiologan Rhetoric’. In Cameron, Av. and Gaul, N. (eds), Dialogues and Debates from Late Antiquity to Late Byzantium. Ashgate/Routledge.

Gaul, N. (2015) ‘Writing “With Joyful and Leaping Soul”: Sacralizing Strategies, Scribal Hands, and Ceremonial in the Lincoln College Typikon’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 69. 243–71 (with eleven figures).


A complete list of Niels’s publications is available here.




To learn more about Niels’s research, visit his page.


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