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 Ewan Short

Ewan Short

Research student,


I am an AHRC funded doctoral research student. My Ph.D. thesis is provisionally titled The Empresses Aikaterine and Eudokia Makrembolitissa. Visibility and Power in Eleventh-Century Byzantium. More widely, I am interested in the writing of biography as a historical discipline, women's history in late antiquity and the early medieval period, gender studies, eleventh- and twelfth-century Greek literature and the history of the built environment of Istanbul. 

Academic Background:

  • PhD, Ancient History - Cardiff University (2018 - Present) Thesis Title: 'Aikaterine, Eudokia and Maria. Byzantine Empresses and the Legitimisation of Power in the Eleventh Century'. Supervisors: Professor Shaun Tougher and Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou (Reading). 

  • Visiting Researcher, Swedish Institute in Istanbul (January-April 2020). 

  • MA, Late Antique and Byzantine Studies - Cardiff University (2017-18) Thesis Title: Female agency and authority in eleventh-century Byzantium. The case of Maria Skleraina. Supervisor: Professor Shaun Tougher.

  • BA, History - University of Oxford (2009-12). 


Research interests

I have published and presented on a variety of topics relating to women's history in late antiquity and the medieval period, middle-Byzantine literature and the built environment in Istanbul. 


Short, E., (forthcoming, 2021), 'Maria, Monomachos and the Mangana: Imperial Legitimacy (1042-1046)'. Scandinavian Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 6. 

Short, E. and MacDonald, E. (forthcoming, 2021) ‘Shirin in Context: The Wives of Khosrow Parvez’, in Kerstin Droß-Krüpe & Sebastian Fink (eds.), (Self-)Presentation and Perception of Powerful Women in the Ancient World, Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop of the Melammu Project, University of Kassel, 30 January-1 February 2019. Münster: Zaphon. 

Short, E. and Huig, E., 2020, 'Feasting and Reading: Some Suggestions on Approaching Banquet Scenes in Rhodanthe and Dosikles'. SHARE: Studies In History, Archaeology, Religion And Conservation 4 (1). Pp. 1–25. 

Short, E., 2019, ‘The Agency and Authority of Agnes of France and Margaret of Hungary in the Aftermath of the Fall of Constantinople (1204-1206)’. Question Journal 3. Pp. 28-37.

Short, E., 2019, ‘The Socioemotional Labour Performed by Women in the Medieval Byzantine Oikos (1000 – 1118)’. Gendered Voices 4. Pp. 18-23.

In preparation

Short, E., 'The Role of Sichelgaita in Marriage Negotiations between South Italy and Byzantium (c.1071-1074)'.

Short E., 'Oude geschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Cardiff. Een casestudy'. 

Selected Conference and Seminar Presentations

Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar Series. Oxford. (March 2021). 'The Visibility of Aikaterine as a Former Empress (1059-63)'. 

The World of the Late Byzantine Romance in Context: Storytelling across Europe (12th–15th c.) Uppsala (June 2020)Co-presented with E. Huig. 'Feasting and Reading: Some Suggestions on Approaching Banquet Scenes in Rhodanthe and Dosikles'. 

Swedish Research Institute Istanbul Spring Seminar Series. Istanbul (February 2020). ‘Ways of looking at the designed landscape of the Mangana (1042-1046)’. 

International Medieval Congress. Leeds (July 2019). ‘Women’s agency in eleventh-century Byzantium; the development of the site of the Mangana during the tenure of Maria Skleraina (1042-1046)’. 

Celtic Conference in Classics. Coimbra (June 2019). ‘The Agency and Authority of sisters of emperors within the Byzantine Komnenian dynasty (1081-1182)’. 

Universities in Wales Institute of Classics and Ancient History Colloquium. Ancient Worlds. East and West. Gregynog (May 2018). ‘Memories of Shirin as Heroine and Femme Fatale: Responses to a Historical Queen in Late Antiquity’. 


2019-2021: Seminar Tutor, Cardiff University, School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

HS1112: Medieval Worlds.

HS2123: Archaeology of Mediterranean Societies.

HS3105: Introduction to Ancient History 1.

HS3106: Introduction to Ancient History 2.

HS4336: Pots, Poems and Pictures.

RT0105. Introduction to the Bible.


Aikaterine, Eudokia and Maria. Byzantine Empresses and the Legitimisation of Power in the Eleventh Century.

The purpose of this study is to explain the visibility of three empresses in sources for the history of eleventh-century Byzantium. Using a biographical approach influenced by the social sciences, I examine these individual's significance within discourses which rationalised and shaped imperial legitimacy in the twenty-four years between 1057 and 1081. I further investigate how each empress enacted agency within the framework structured by these discourses.

Funding source

South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.