Noel Lenski, whose work focuses on the history of the later Roman Empire, and how power relations played themselves out at all levels of society, from emperors to slaves, has been appointed the Dunham Professor of Classics and of History at Yale University.
He is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Classics, the Department of History, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Medieval Studies program.
In his scholarship, Lenski has transformed understandings of political, military, social, economic, religious, cultural, and art history. He is the author or co-author of four books in the broader field of Roman history. The award-winning Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century AD (2002) was the first comprehensive biography of the Roman emperor Valens and his troubled reign. With a focus on political and military history, it has been lauded for providing the first synthetic analysis of events on the Balkan and eastern frontier during the fourth century.
Lenski’s co-authored histories The Romans: From Village to Empire (2011) and A Brief History of the Romans (2013) are standard textbooks used in Roman history classes nationwide.
His most recent monograph, Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics (2016), examined the dialogic nature of imperial power and revealed how Christianity rose from a religion persecuted by the authority of the Roman empire to become a religion of state through skillful manipulation of the political process by emperor Constantine.
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