School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Mihail Mitrea

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow

Background

A native of Sibiu (Romania), Mihail holds a BA in Classical Philology from the Babeș-Bolyai University (2008) and a BA in Theology from the ‘1 Decembrie 1918’ University (2009), Romania. In 2009 he moved to Budapest to study at the Central European University (CEU) for an MA in Interdisciplinary Medieval/Byzantine Studies, which he graduated with distinction in 2011, with a thesis on the hitherto unedited letters of the fourteenth-century Constantinopolitan schoolmaster Maximos Neamonites. He started his doctoral studies at the same university under the supervision of Prof. Niels Gaul, and subsequently moved to the School of History, Classics and Archaeology of the University of Edinburgh. In February 2018 he successfully defended his PhD dissertation, which offers the first systematic historical contextualization and literary analysis of the five saints’ lives composed by Philotheos Kokkinos (ca. 1300–1378) for his contemporaries.

Prior to joining the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University, Mihail was a Teaching Fellow in Byzantine studies at the University of Edinburgh (Sept.–Dec. 2017), and also taught Greek Palaeography and Byzantine manuscript studies at CEU (2014), as well as at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and the Matenadaran, Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, Yerevan (2014). Mihail’s doctoral studies have been supported through prestigious fellowships, awarded by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation and the National and Kapodistrian University (2014–2015), and Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (2016–2017).

Area of expertise

  • Late-Byzantine literature
  • Hagiography
  • Epistolography
  • Byzantine manuscript studies
  • Textual criticism

Research

I am currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University, working on a project titled “Sacred Landscapes in Late Byzantium” (SLLB). This interdisciplinary project explores late Byzantine hagiographical compositions, especially the saints’ lives composed by the fourteenth-century Constantinopolitan Patriarch Philotheos Kokkinos, with a threefold focus on:

  1. The creation of sacred landscape(s) in fourteenth-century Byzantium.
  2. The attitude(s) towards and representation(s) of women in late Byzantine patriarchal society.
  3. The textual transmission of Philotheos Kokkinos’ saints’ lives.

The third part of the project includes the preparation of critical editions for two hitherto unedited hagiographical texts written by Kokkinos:

  1. Logos on All Saints (BHG 1617g).
  2. Logos enkomiastikos on the Twelve Apostles (BHG 160h).

Mihail has a particular interest in manuscripts and the transmission of Byzantine texts, and was trained in Greek palaeography and Byzantine manuscript studies at the University of Oxford (2010), the Central European University (2010), and the Gennadius Library (2011). Moreover, his research interests lie in the fields of late Byzantine literature, hagiography, epistolography, and theology.

Publications