Chair: Professor Niels Gaul, The University of Edinburgh
Co-chair: Professor Richard Flower, University of Exeter

The ‘Prosopography of the Later Roman and Byzantine Worlds’ (PLRBW) project unites two Academy projects under one umbrella: the recently revived Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (PLRE) and the Prosopography of the Byzantine World (PBW), which arose from the former.

PLRE was originally published in three seminal print volumes between 1971 and 1992 (with a fourth volume including addenda and corrigenda explicitly envisaged but never realised) and covers the governing class of the Roman Empire from 260 to 641. The Connecting Late Antiquities project is now updating it and making it more accessible, beginning with digitising PLRE and making it freely available on the Cambridge University Press website. This will be followed by incorporating the various addenda and corrigenda articles to PLRE published during the last five decades and also creating a new framework for linking the Digital PLRE to other online prosopographical resources. This project will therefore take the place of the final supplementary volume to PLRE that was supposed to have been published, but never was.

From its inception, PBW has been a pioneering project in the Digital Humanities and is published online (currently in the 2016 version), with the technical responsibility for the site being undertaken by King’s Digital Lab (KCL). The project aims to record every individual mentioned in Byzantine sources during the period from 1025 to 1204, and every individual mentioned in non-Byzantine sources during the same period who is ‘relevant’ (on a generous interpretation) to Byzantine affairs; currently, coverage is near complete into the 1180s. The project was directed from 2000 to 2016 by Professor Michael Jeffreys and subsequently chaired by Professor Dame Averil Cameron (2011–2015) and Professor Charlotte Roueché (2015–2019).

For the 641 to 1025 period that bridges PLRE and PBW there is now the Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (PmbZ), originally produced at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences; while the post-1261 period is covered by the Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit produced by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, with a smaller prosopography to fill the 1204 to 1261 gap presently under way in Vienna. 

The PLRBW project is part of the PROSOPON international research network based at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

For any queries, please contact Professor Richard Flower (for PLRE) or Professor Niels Gaul (for PBW).

Professors Flower and Gaul are Associate Fellows of the ICS.