Areas of interest
Arietta Papaconstantinou's research interests cover the religious, social and economic history of Egypt and the Near East during the transition from the Roman Empire to the Caliphate.
She is particularly interested in the evolution of Christian communities during the first two centuries of Islamic rule.
She likes to mobilise a wide range of sources and approaches, from economic to textual and linguistic, using traditional narrative sources as well as archaeology, papyrology and epigraphy.
Research centres and groups
- Papaconstantinou is currently completing a project that was funded from 2014 to 2016 by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, entitled Credit, debt, and the transformation of rural society in Egypt and Palestine from Constantine to the Abbasids, studying the evolution and effects of credit and debt on the rural societies of Egypt and Palestine from the fourth to the eighth century.
- She also participated in the recently concluded Oxford-based ERC-funded project The Cult of Saints, is a collaborator in the international project Provinces et Empires: l'Égypte islamique dans le monde antique, and a member of the network Defining the Global Middle Ages.
- She was General Editor of the book series The Worlds of Eastern Christianity, ca 300-1500 initiated by Ashgate (now terminated), and is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Ancient History. She is also a member of the scientific committee of the Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée, of the advisory board of the journal Estudios Bizantinos, and of the Advisory Editorial board of the series Studies in Classical and Late Antiquity(Gorgias Press).
- Papaconstantinou is also an associate member of the Centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance in Paris, the Maison française d'Oxford, the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and of the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity.
Before joining Reading in 2011, Papaconstantinou was Maître de Conférences at the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, where she had taught since 1999, after several years at the Universities of Strasbourg, Franche-Comté, and Val de Marne (Paris XII).
She was educated at the German School in Athens, Deree College in Athens, and the Université de Strasbourg, from where she holds an MA in Archaeology and a PhD in Ancient History.