Samuel Cohen

Assistant Professor

Samuel Cohen
Samuel Cohen


Schulz Library, 2nd Floor, North

Office Hours

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Dr. Cohen's Zoom Link
9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Dr. Cohen's Zoom Link

PhD, University of Toronto


Ancient and Medieval History


Dr. Samuel Cohen is a historian of late antique and early medieval history, focusing on late and post-Roman Italy and the Mediterranean world. His research interests include religious controversy and the Church of Rome, episcopal authority, the rhetoric of heresy, migration between North Africa and Italy, the religious topography of late antique Rome, and exile in Late Antiquity. He has published articles and book chapters on the papal biographies known as the Liber Pontificalis and its relationship to the construction of episcopal authority, religious diversity in Ostrogothic Italy, Roman martyrial cemeteries, church rededication, African migration to Rome, and the language of Roman polemical literature. He is currently working on a monograph about the rhetoric of heresy and the authority of Roman bishops in the fifth and sixth centuries. Samuel is also a 2019 Summer Research Fellow at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Kollegforschergruppe Migration und Mobilität in Spätantike at the Universität Tübingen.

Dr. Cohen has taught courses on a variety of subjects including Late Antiquity, the Roman Republic and Empire, Roman social history, early Christianity, histories of violence in the ancient and medieval worlds, the ‘fall of Rome,’ and tolerance and intolerance.

Selected Publications & Presentations


“(Re)creating Sacred Space: Gregory I and the Rededication of ‘Arian’ Church Buildings in Late Antique Rome.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, 2020 [forthcoming].

“You have made common cause with the Persecutors”: The Language of Persecution and the Acacian Schism." In Heirs of Roman Persecution: Studies on a Christian and para-Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity, edited by Éric Fournier and Wendy Mayer: Routledge, 2019.

“The non-funerary use of Cemetery Space in Late Antique Rome.” In Burial and Memorial in Late Antiquity. Late Antique Archaeology 13, Brill (2019, forthcoming).

“Gregory the Great, Saint Severinus, and Reconciliation of an ecclesia arianorum.” Hagiotheca 6 [2019, forthcoming].

“The Cemetery as a Space of Exile in Late Antique Rome.” In Forced Migration in Late Antiquity: Early Christianity in the Context of Antiquity, edited by Julia Hilner, Jörg Ulrich, and Jakob Engberg. Peter Lang, 2018.

“Religious Diversity." In A Companion to Ostrogothic Italy, edited by Michael Shane Bjornlie, Kristina Sessa and Jonathan J. Arnold. Brill, 2016.  

"Schism and the Polemic of Heresy: Manichaeism and the Representation of Papal Authority in the Liber Pontificalis." Journal of Late Antiquity 8, no. 1 (2015).


“The Rhetoric and Reality of “foreignness” in Late Antique Roman Polemical Texts.” Presented at the XVIII International Conference on Patristics Studies, Oxford University, UK. August 2019.

“Between suburbium and City Centre: Mobility, Materiality, and Religious Controversy in Late Antique Rome.” Presented at a special panel Materialities of Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, at the twenty-sixth International Medieval Congress in Leeds, UK. July 2019.

“The Cemetery as Contested Space in Late Antiquity.” Presented at the Society for Late Antiquity Panel at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University. May 9-12, 2019.

“Gregory I, Constantinople, and the Rhetoric of Suffering in the Aftermath of the Lombard Sieges of Rome, 592-593.” Presented at the 13th Biennial meeting of Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity, at Claremont McKenna College. March 14-17, 2019.

“North Africans Exiles and the Bishops of Rome: Clerics, Heretics, and the Politics of Belonging in Late Antiquity.” Presented at the Micropolitics of Mobility in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages Conference, held at Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany. July 19-24, 2018.