General Reference Works

Brief Biographical Sketches

(and lists of suggested reading)

  • Hornblower, Simon, Antony Spawforth, and Esther Eidinow, eds. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Fourth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
    Online & print.
  • Cross, F. L. and Elizabeth A Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 3rd ed. rev. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Jones, A. H. M., J. R Martindale, and J Morris. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Cambridge: University Press, 1971.
    Vol.1: AD 360-395 - Vol. 2: AD 395-527 - Vols. 3a and 3b: AD 527-641.
    These 3 vols. have become essential reference tools for Late Antique studies.  Prosopography, from the Greek prosopon - "face", is the study of a group of individuals through an examination of their careers, relations, and writings.  Consequently, the entries in PRLE 1, 2, and 3 (as they are abbreviated), are important sources of biographical information.  Their main limitation is that they exclude Christians who did not gain political or literary prominence.

Christian Authors

Although writers from the Greek east sometimes appear in the works listed above, the following items will provide more detailed information.  There does not exist a single comprehensive treatment (in English) of early Byzantine literature.  A wide range of authors are treated in the essays and longer monographs of Alan Cameron and Averil Cameron, as well as in the works of R. C. Blockley.