Noel Lenski studied Classics at The Colorado College (BA 1989) and Classics and Ancient History at Princeton (MA, PhD 1995).
Lenski focuses on Roman history and particularly the history of the later Roman Empire. He is interested in power relations as these played themselves out at all levels of society, from emperors to slaves. His research ranges broadly across Late Antiquity and includes studies in political, military, social, economic, religious, cultural and art history. His two monographs, on the emperors Valens and Constantine, explore the limits of imperial power in light of reader response theory and life-worlds theory. He has also published extensively on the history of slavery in antiquity and is currently working on a monograph on slave law in the later Empire.
Professor Lenski is on research leave for the academic year 2018/19.
- “Constantine and the Donatists: Exploring the Limits of Religious Toleration,” in M. Wallraff, ed. Religiöse Toleranz: Moderne Idealien im Spiegel antiker Realien. Colloquium Rauricum XIV (Berlin: DeGruyter, 2015) 101-39.
- “Violence and the Roman Slave,” in Gareth G. Fagan and Werner Reiss (eds.) The Topography of Ancient Greek and Roman Violence (Cambridge, 2016) 275-98.
- “Il valore dell’editto di Milano,” in R. Macchioro, ed. Costantino a Milano: L’editto e la sua storia (313-2013) (Milan, 2018) 5-58
- “Captivity and Slavery among the Saracens in Late Antiquity (ca. 250–630 CE),” Antiquité Tardive 19 (2011) 237–66
Books Authored or Co-Authored
- Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State In the Fourth Century AD (University of California Press 2002; paper 2014)
- The Romans: From Village to Empire, second edition (Oxford University Press, 2011) (with M.T. Boatwright, D. Gargola, and R. Talbert)
- A Brief History of the Romans, second edition (Oxford University Press, 2013) (with M.T. Boatwright, D. Gargola, and R. Talbert)
- Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press 2016)
- What is a Slave Society? The Study of Slavery in Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2018) (co-edited with Catherine M. Cameron)
- The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (Cambridge University Press 2006; revised edition 2011)
- The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity (Ashgate Press, 2009) (with Andrew Cain)
- Costantino prima e dopo Costantino — Constantine before and after Constantine (Edipuglia, 2012) (with G. Bonamente and R. Lizzi Testa)