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Academic History

2017-           Professor of Ancient History, Macquarie University

2015-2016     Burke Associate Professor in Ecclesiastical Latin, Australian Catholic University

2014-2018     ARC Future Fellow

2010-          Burke Senior Lecturer, Australian Catholic University

2005-          Burke Lecturer in Ecclesiastical Latin, Australian Catholic University

2001-2004    Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow

2000           Awarded Doctor of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

1997-1998    Master of Arts in Theological Research (Distinction), University of Durham, UK

1992-93       Latin Language and Literature, Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Rome

1991            BA First Class Honours (Latin), Classics, University of Queensland

1989            BA (Linguistics), University of Queensland


Research Income, Awards and Prizes

Category 1 ARC Research Grants

2014-2018       ARC Future Fellowship Level 3 Dreams, Prophecy and Violence from Early Christianity to                          Early Islam. $843K. Sole investigator.

2014-2016       ARC Discovery Project Lead Investigator: “Negotiating Religious Conflict Between Rome                        and Constantinople through Letter-Writing in the Seventh Century, An Era of Crisis”. Co-                      CI: Pauline Allen. ($150K)

2010-2012       ARC Discovery Project chief investigator, “Crisis management in late antiquity: the                                evidence of episcopal letters”. Co-CI: Pauline Allen. ($262K)

2006-2009     ARC Discovery Project chief investigator, “Poverty and welfare in late antiquity”. Co-CIs:                        Pauline Allen and Wendy Mayer ($325K).

2001-2005      ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, ACU, “The politics of hagiography in ninth-century Rome”.

1999-2001      ARC Large Grant, ACU: “The Life of Maximus the Confessor, Recension 2”. Senior Research                      Associate (0.66).

1996-1998      ARC Large Grant, ACU: “The Life of Maximus the Confessor, Recension 3”. Principal                                Research Assistant (0.5).


Other Research Income

2014-2018       Australian Catholic University Research Funding ($2.63M) for research program: “Agency                        and Power in Early Christian Social Issues”. Neil is co-ordinator of Project 1: ‘Negotiating                        Ecumenical Conflict from 400-700CE’.



2012              Election to the Australian Academy of the Humanities

2012               Secondment to Institute for the Advancement of Research, ACU, Jan.-June. ACU Further                          Research Support Scheme for top 25% of unfunded ARC applications in 2011 ($10K)

2008              Alexander von Humboldt Foundation research fellowship, 6 months, University of Bonn,                        Germany ($45K)

2001               Australian Academy of the Humanities Publication subsidy ($1K) with Prof. Pauline Allen                        FAHA

1997-1998      Commonwealth Scholarship, UK Award

1992-1995      Australian Postgraduate Award

1994              C. Aspromourgos Memorial Scholarship for Greek Studies, Uni. Qld.

1992             Italian Government Study Bursary (three months)

1991              University Medal, University of Queensland


Teaching Experience

2010              Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, ACU (FT)

2005-2009      Burke Lectureship in Ecclesiastical Latin, ACU (0.75)

2001-2005       Lecturer (0.25), Latin and Patristics, School of Theology, ACU

2000-2001       Tutor, Latin, Brisbane College of Theology

1999-2000       Sessional Lecturer in Patristics including Distance Education, School of Theology, ACU

1995-1996       Lecturer, Latin Summer School, University of Sydney, December 1995, 1996.


Professional Memberships
  • Australian Academy of the Humanities (2013-)

  • Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows (2009-)

  • Australian Association for Byzantine Studies (1992-)

  • Association Internationale des Études Patristiques/International Association for Patristic Studies (2000-)

  • North American Patristics Society (2001-)

  • Canadian Association for Patristic Studies (2007-2011)

  • West Pacific Rim Patristics Society (2003-2008), Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society (2009-)

  • Australian Catholic Theological Association (2003-)

  • Australian Early Medieval Association (2005-)

  • Network for Early European Research (2005-)

Positions Held

Journals and other editorial boards

  • Associate Editor, Vigiliae Christianae and Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae (Leiden, 2014-)

  • Subject editor, Brill Encyclopedia for Early Christianity (Leiden, 2014-)

  • Advisory board, Sacris Erudiri (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium), (2010-)

  • Editorial board, Phronema. Journal of St Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College (Sydney College of Divinity) (2012-).

  • Consultative committee, Ephemerides Liturgicae (Rome) (2007-)


Professional bodies

  • Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, President (2009-), Treasurer (2005-2007)

  • International editorial board of Early Christian Studies monograph series (2006-)

  • Australian Early Medieval Association executive committee (2008)

  • Australian Society for Classical Studies, Executive: ACU Representative (2000-2005)


International bodies

  • International Commission on English in the Liturgy, Australian Team (2003-2005)

  • Affiliate, Center for the Study of Early Christianity, Catholic University of America, Washington DC (2005-)


Keynote Addresses

‘The Future of Byzantine Studies in Australia’, International Byzantine Congress, Belgrade August 2016.

‘Patristic Studies in Australia: Past, Present and Future’, Patristics in the 21st Century, 50th Anniversary Conference of the International Association for Patristic Studies, Hebrew University, 25-27 June 2013, Jerusalem.


‘The Interpretation of Dreams in Fifth-Century Alexandria’, St Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College Patristics Symposium From Alexandria to Antioch and Back, Sydney College of Divinity, Redfern, 25-26 September 2014.


‘The Life of Maximus the Confessor’, St Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College Roundtable on Maximus the Confessor, Sydney College of Divinity, Redfern, 24 September 2013.


‘Patristic Studies in Australia’, Patristics in the 21st Century, 50th Anniversary Conference of the International Association for Patristic Studies, Hebrew University, 25-27 June 2013, Jerusalem.


‘On How to Be A Late-Antique Pope, Textuality as a Means and Medium of Ethical Formation in Early Christianity, J. Göttenburg University, 4-6 July 2013, Mainz (invited; conference cancelled).


‘Leo the Great’s Ascension Homilies in the Context of Debates on the Resurrection of the Body’, Keynote address, Preaching After Easter, KU Leuven, 25-27 March 2013, Leuven.


 ‘Divine Providence in Gregory of Nyssa and his Forebears’, Gregory of Nyssa Symposium, St Andrew’s Orthodox Theological College, Sydney, September 2011.


 ‘Gifts and Giving: Modelling evergetism in the fifth century’, North American Patristics Society Annual Conference, Chicago, May 2008.


‘Leo the Great and the Roman Poor’, International Patristics Conference, Oxford University, Oxford, August 2007.


‘Attitudes to Poverty in Fifth-Century Rome’, Network for Early European Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, July 2007.


‘The Patristic Origins of the Cult of St George’, University of Malta, International Symposium on St George, The Icon and its Mystery, Gozo, April 2003.


University Seminars

‘Signs of Theosis in Synesius of Cyrene’, Japanese Patristics Seminar, Chuo University, Tokyo, September 2014.


‘The Letters of Pelagius I: A New Model of Crisis Management?’, Ancient History Seminar, Macquarie University, 9 November 2012, Sydney.


‘The Letters of Gelasius I: A New Model of Crisis Management?’, Epistolary Conversations II: Letter Collections in Classical and Late Antiquity, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, September 2011.


‘Crisis and Wealth in Byzantine Italy: the Libri Pontificales of Rome and Ravenna’, Classics Seminar, University of Queensland, April 2011.


‘Class and Crisis in Fifth Century Papal Letters’, Epistolary Conversations: Opening the Letter of Classical and Late Antiquity, Macquarie University, Sydney, November 2010.


‘The Miracles of Cyrus and John in the translation of Anastasius Bibliothecarius’, Center for Hellenic Traditions Seminar, Central European University, Budapest, October 2008.


‘Evergetism in the Fifth Century’, seminar of the Abteilung für Kirchengeschichte, Universitat Bonn, Bonn, July 2008.


‘Frogmarched to Constantinople and Out Again: the arrest and exile of Pope Martin’, Keio University, Late Antiquity Seminar, Centre for the Integrated Study of the Mind, Tokyo, September 2004.


‘Rufinus’ translation of the Epistola Clementis ad Jacobum’, Brisbane Seminar for New Testament and Patristic Studies, Brisbane, May 2002.


‘Narratives of Exile’, Ancient History Seminar, Macquarie University, Sydney, August 2005.


Invited Conference Papers

‘Reception of Late-Antique Papal Letters, from Leo I to Gregory I’, workshop at International Patristics Conference, Oxford, chair: David Hunter, August 2015.


‘Papal Letter Collections’, paper delivered to Letter Collections in Late Antiquity, University of California San Diego, 14-15 January 2014.


‘Anastasius Bibliothecarius’ Translation of Theophanes’ Account of the Arab Conquests’, Theophanes the Confessor: An International Workshop, Paris, 14-15 September 2012.


‘Early Byzantine Notions of Divine Providence’, International Byzantine Congress, Sofia, Bulgaria, August 2011.


 ‘Early Byzantine Understandings of Islam’, Inaugural Greek History Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, October 2010.


‘From Tristia to Gaudia: Pope Martin I’s narrative of exile”, Symposium on Latin Identities, Network for Early European Research, University of Sydney, 14 November 2009.


‘The Introduction of Old Church Slavonic to the First Bulgarian Empire: the rôle of SS. Cyril and Methodius’, Anglo-American Conference of Historians, University of London, July 2001.


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