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Dr Nic Baker-Brian

Dr Nic Baker-Brian

Reader in New Testament and Early Christian Studies, Deputy Head of Ancient History and Religion

+44 (0)29 2087 4000 ext 77404
5.12, John Percival Building


Research interests

  • Early Christian History
  • Greek and Latin Patristics
  • Religion in Late Antiquity, incl. Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism Christianity, and Islam
  • The Constantinian Dynasty
  • The Writings of Julian the Apostate
  • Byzantine Chronicles

Research projects

  • The Roman Empire: AD 337-363
  • Rumour as Cultural Memory in Christian and Islamic Heresiology
  • Faustus and Augustine: Theology and Text in Late Antique North Africa

Research group

Impact and engagement

Detailed interview on my research into late antique Manichaeism in The Gnostic 5, 2012, 166-175, conducted by Andrew Phillip Smith


Education and qualifications

  • BA Theology with Philosophy (Wales 1996)
  • MA Celtic Studies (Wales 1997)
  • PhD Late Antique Latin literature (Wales 2002)

Career overview

  • 2004-5 Lecturer, Ancient History, Cardiff University
  • 2005-12 Lecturer, Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University
  • 2012-Present Senior Lecturer, Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

British Academy Doctoral Award-Holder

Professional memberships

  • Member: North American Patristics Society
  • Member: International Association of Manichaean Studies

Speaking engagements

Recent presentations

2012: 'Materialism, Pork, Scatology, and Cruelty' in Augustine's De moribus manichaeorum', Cardiff Religious Studies Seminar Series

2011: 'The Role of Women in the Diffusion of Manichaeism in the Roman Empire', International Patristics Conference, Oxford University

2009: 'Julian's Misopogon', Emperor and Author: Religion, Culture and Politics in the Writings of Julian the Apostate, Cardiff University

2008: 'The Frailty of the Apostle: Observations on the Body of Mani in Greek and Coptic Manichaean Literature', International Medievalists Conference, Leeds University

2008: 'The Fossilisation of Heresy: Possidius of Calama and the Manichaeans', Classical Association Conference, University of Liverpool

2008: 'Manufacturing Tradition: The Rediscovery of Manichaeism beyond Augustine', World-View Society, Bath-Spa University
















Teaching profile

I teach a range of Undergraduate modules in the areas of ancient Greek language, New Testament exegesis, Late Antique Religions, and Judaism. I also teach on a range of MA modules, available as part of the MA in Religious Studies (Late Antiquity Route), and MA Late Antique and Byzantine Studies.

  • RT1218 Exploring Gnosticism
  • RT4207 Early Celtic Religion
  • RT3209 New Testament Greek Texts I
  • RT3327 New Testament Greek Texts II
  • RT6104 Religion Culture and Society II

Postgraduate students

  • Victoria Leonard: Imperial Authority and the Providence of Monotheism in Book Seven of the Orosius'Historia adversus paganos
  • William Jupp: The Writings and Historical Portrayal of Arsenius the Great
  • Katrina O'Brien: The Theology of Faustus on Milevis and Fourth-Century Manichaeism


The Roman Empire AD 337-363

This project investigates evidence for the dynastic consolidation of the so-called 'Constantinian Revolution' by the sons of Constantine, with a particular focus on the imperial rule of Constantius II and Julian the Apostate. The project also seeks to examine in greater detail the political and cultural concerns of the Constantinian monarch, Julian the Apostate, as evidenced in his own collection of writings.

The project aims are three-fold: the first took place between 2009-12, and involved the hosting of an international conference at Cardiff University in 2009 on the writings of Julian, and the publication of that conference's proceedings as Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate in 2012. The second aim of the project will be to produce literary and historical commentaries on selected writings of Julian. The third concern involves the writing of a biography on Constantius II, due to appear ca. 2015.

All three projects employ a variety of methods, and include philological, historical, epigraphic, literary, and material forms of analysis. Activities include the upcoming international panel, 'The Roman Empire: AD 337-361' at the Celtic Classics Conference, Bordeaux 3, Sept. 2012.

'Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate' conference was supported by the Loeb Classical Library Foundation £5,000.

Conference document available at Ausonius website.


Research links