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Samuel Cohen

Associate Professor

Samuel Cohen
Samuel Cohen



Stevenson Hall 3709

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Advising Area

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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, social and religious conflict, episcopal authority, heresiology and polemical writing, Ostrogothic Italy, migration in Late Antiquity, and the religious topography of late antique Rome. He has published articles and book chapters on the Ostrogoths and their relationship with the Roman church, 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, the reception of African migrants to Rome in the fifth century, and 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 was 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 antique and early medieval history, the Roman Republic and Empire, Roman social history, early Christianity, histories of violence, the ‘fall of Rome,’ and tolerance and intolerance in the late antique and early medieval worlds.


PhD, University of Toronto


Early and Late Antique Christianity; Roman and Late Antique History; Religious and Social Conflict

Selected Publications & Presentations

Publications (Journal Articles)

"The Evolution of a Disaster: Gregory I, the Rhetoric of Suffering, and Lombard 'Sieges' of Rome, 592-593." Studies in Late antiquity, vol. 8.4 (Forthcoming, 2024). 

Bishops and Barbarians: The Rhetoric of Disaster in Late Antiquity, an Introduction.” Studies in Late Antiquity, vol. 8.4 (Forthcoming, 2024).

“Topography and Ideology: Contested Episcopal Elections and Suburban Cemeteries in Late Antique Rome.” Late Antique Archaeology, vol. 13.1 (Forthcoming, 2024).

“Jurisdiction and Religious Community in late Fifth-Century Italy.” Early Medieval Europe, vol. 30.1 (2022).

“(Re)creating Sacred Space: Gregory I and the Rededication of ‘Arian’ Church Buildings in Late Antique Rome.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, vol. 30.2 (2022).

Eutychianorum furor! Heresiological Polemic and the Invention of ‘Eutychians’.” Entangled Religions: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer, 11, vol. 4 (2020).

Nostra civitas. Heresy, charity, and community in fifth-century Rome." Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum vol. 63 (2020), 139-160.

“Migration in the Ancient Roman World: Rhetoric and Reality.” Introduction to special volume, co-authored with András Handl. Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum vol. 63 (2020), 111-117.

"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).

Publications (Book Chapters)

“Violence and Episcopal Elections in Late Antique Rome, AD 300–500.” In Late Roman Italy - Imperium to Regnum (c. 250 – 500 CE), edited by Jeroen Wijnendaele, Edinburgh University Press, 2023.

“Gregory the Great, Saint Severinus, and Reconciliation of an ecclesia arianorum.” Hagiotheca vol. 6 (2023).

“‘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 Discourse in Late Antiquity, edited by Éric Fournier and Wendy Meyer. Routledge, 2019.

“Bishop Liberius and the Cemetery as a Space of Exile in Late Antique Rome.” In Mobility and Exile at the End of Antiquity, edited by Dirk Rohmann, Jörg Ulrich and Margarita Vallejo Girvés. Peter Lang, 2018.

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

Encyclopedia Entries

“The Church of Rome.” In the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, edited by Jacob A. Latham, Kristina Sessa, et. al., 2021.

"Papal Schism." In the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, edited by Jacob A. Latham, Kristina Sessa, et. al., 2021.

Book Reviews

Review of Theoderich der Große und das gotische Königreich in Italien, edited by Hans-Ulrich Wiemer. Speculum vol. 98.4, (2023) 1328-1329.

Review of Inclusion and Exclusion in Mediterranean Christianities, 400-800, edited by Y. Fox, and E. Buchberger. The Medieval Review, 21.12.21.

Review of M. Wegener-Rieckesmann, Bischof Gaudiosus, die heilige Restituta und die ecclesia Neapolitana. Zu den Zeugnissen vandalenzeitlicher Exilanten und dem kulturellen nordafrikanischen Einfluss in Neapel sowie zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der örtlichen Bischofskirche zwischen dem 4. und 9. Jahrhundert. Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum vol. 63 (2020), 268-271.

Review of  The Merovingian Kingdoms and the Mediterranean World: Revisiting the Sources. Mediterranean Studies, edited byStefan Esders, Yitzhak Hen, Pia Lucas and Tamar Rotman. 28 vol. 2 (2020), 285–289.

Review of Maya Maskarinec, City of Saints Rebuilding Rome in the Early Middle Ages. Church History 88.4 (2019), 1046-1048.

Review of Jonathan J. Arnold, Theoderic and the Roman Imperial Restoration. The Classical Review (2015), 1-3.

Review of Ross Balzaretti, Dark Age Liguria: Regional Identity and Local Power c. 400-1020. The Medieval Review 15.03.02.