Noel Lenski

Noel Lenski's picture
Dunham Professor of Classics and History
Phelps Hall
+1 (203) 432-0982
Lenski focuses on Roman history and particularly the history of the later Roman Empire. He is interested in power relations as these played themselves out at all levels of society, from emperors to slaves. His research ranges broadly across Late Antiquity and includes studies in political, military, social, economic, religious, cultural and art history. His two monographs, on the emperors Valens and Constantine, explore the limits of imperial power in light of reader response theory and life-worlds theory. He has also published extensively on the history of slavery in antiquity and is currently working on monographs on slavery in Late Antiquity and another on the global history of slavery in premodernity. His study of ancient law will soon result in a co-authored translation and commentary of the Liber Iudiciorum or Laws of the Visigoths, to appear with Liverpool University Press. And he is also working on a monograph on human migration in the late Roman period.
Recent Articles
  • “The Late Roman Colonate – A New Status between Slave and Free,” in S. Hodkinson, M. Kleijwegt, and K. Vlassopoulos (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Slaveries (Oxford 2022) C24.P1–C24.S8,
  • “Moving the Mail: The Status and Operations of Letter Carriers in the Collectio Avellana,” in R. Lizzi Testa, G. Marcone, and A. Giomma, eds. The Collectio Avellana and the Development of Notarial Practices in Late Antiquity, GIFBIB, 31 (Turnhout 2023) 507-63.
  • “Law and Language in the Roman and Germanic Traditions: A Study of Liber Iudiciorum 6.4.3 and the Idea of iniuria in Visigothic Law”, in Carlo Lorenzi and Marialuisa Navarro, eds. Atti dell’Accademia Romanistica Costantiniana, 25, La costruzione del testo giuridico tardoantico (2023), 355-427.
  • “Slavery in the Roman Empire”, in Damian Pargas and Julianne Schiel, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery Throughout History (Palgrave 2023) 87-107 -
  • “New Paths to Power: The Bipartite Division of Italy and Its Realignment of Society and Economy in Fourth-Century Italy”, in J. Wijnendaele, ed. A Companion to Late Roman Italy (Edinburgh 2023) 35-66.
Books Edited
  • The Fifth Century: Age of Transformation. Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference. Munera, Studi storici sulla Tarda Antichità 46 (Edipuglia 2019)
  • The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (Cambridge University Press 2006; revised edition 2011)
  • The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity (Ashgate Press, 2009) (with Andrew Cain)
  • Costantino prima e dopo Costantino — Constantine before and after Constantine (Edipuglia, 2012) (with G. Bonamente and R. Lizzi Testa)
  • What is a Slave Society? The Practice of Slavery in Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2018) (co-edited with Catherine M. Cameron)