Jeremy Schott

Jeremy Schott

Professor, Religious Studies

Director, Medieval Studies Institute

Adjunct Associate Professor, History

Adjunct Faculty, Borns Jewish Studies Program

Adjunct Faculty, Classical Studies

Affiliate Faculty, Ancient Studies

Affiliate Faculty, Medieval Studies


  • Ph.D., Duke University, 2005
  • B.A., University of Rochester, 1999

About Jeremy Schott

I am a specialist in early Christian literature and culture (1st-10th centuries), with secondary expertise in early Judaism (especially Philo and Josephus), ancient philosophy (especially Platonism), and critical theory. I teach across the full geographic and linguistic range of Christianity in the first millennium, from Gaul to Mesopotamia.

A central aspect of my research has been thinking about difference and belonging in antiquity. My first book, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion and Late Antiquity, and related articles contributed significantly to the study of identity in late antiquity by bringing the insights of post-colonial theory to bear on the study of early Christian literature. My research emphasizes not only the intersection of “religion” and “ethnicity” in antiquity, but the fuzziness of this distinction itself.

My more recent work has turned to consider language and its embodiment in texts. I study how early Christians—and in turn, those who engage their writings today—theorize the theology and ethics of textuality; that is, ways of thinking and doing writing, reading, interpreting, and book production.

Translation and commentary serves as a fundamental laboratory for my work on early Christian textuality and book history. Translation also contributes to the democratization of scholarship and learning; it is a way for experts to make the best research widely accessible, inside and outside the academy. Moreover, scholarship about early Christianity does not stand in isolation from those traditions, but in genealogical relationship with them. The textual traditions of late antiquity were commentary traditions, and the work of commentary and translation should prompt scholars to critical engagement with these genealogical relationships. I have produced or have forthcoming several major translation/commentary projects: the first thoroughly annotated translation of Macarius of Magnesia’s Apocriticus, a new annotated translation of Eusebius of Caesarea’s History of the Church, and the first translation in English of the Ecclesiastical History of Ps.-Gelasius of Cyzicus.

I am also beginning a research project that traces my interests in Christian reading and book culture into the middle Byzantine period, to which we owe the manuscripts that preserve the majority of ancient Christian literature (and, indeed, most of classical Greek literature more broadly). Byzantine books occupy a critical place in the transmission and reception of these literatures, but Byzantine scribes, readers, and their books receive little attention beyond specialized studies in codicology. Despite the flourishing of book history studies—the interdisciplinary field of research on the material, social, and cultural histories of books, readers, and reading—Byzantine book culture remains relatively understudied. This project aims to help us understand how Byzantines read their Bibles and early Christian texts by studying the material traces of their reading practices—namely, the marginal notes left by readers of Byzantine codices. In addition to shedding important new light on the ways Byzantine readers used their copies of ancient Greek and early Christian literature, this project will in turn consider the ways in which modern receptions of the Bible and early Christian literature depend on and/or diverge from Byzantine practices.

I am also committed to community outreach. If your school, church, synagogue, or other group has an interest in learning more about the history and literature of early Christianity, feel free to contact me.

Selected Research (in-progress)

Reading Ecclesiastical History in Byzantium: An Edition and Study of the Scholia in Laur. Plut.70.7

As part of my work on Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History I returned to some of the most important manuscript witnesses to the text. One early 10th-century manuscript, currently held in the Laurentian library in Florence but likely originating in a monastic context, contains the text of Eusebius along with that of Socrates Scholasticus. The manuscript is unique among those of the HE for its extensive scholia, or learned marginal notes. The scholia are additionally significant because they represent at least three different periods of commentary on the text: a first stratum produced at the same time as the manuscript, a second stratum replete with anti-Origenist polemics, and a third layer that polemicizes against the second. By studying the way in which these scholia interact with the main text as well as with each other, I hope to shed light on the hermeneutics of Byzantine readings of a specific patristic text and help understand how Byzantine readers used the specific materiality of the manuscript to embody and contest tradition.


Arethas of Caesarea and the Reception of Patristic Literature in Byzantium

Arethas (c.860-c.939), archbishop of Cappadocian Caesarea, is one of the most important figures in the flowering of literary culture in late 9th and early-10th century Byzantium. Although there is a solid basic understanding of Arethas’s career and several summary treatments of the extant manuscripts of his library, most scholarship has focused on Arethas’s role in preserving works of classical Greek thought (one of the earliest and most important manuscripts of Plato as well as one of the most important manuscripts of Euclid’s Elements come from Arethas’s library, for example). Yet, Arethas also played a critical role in the transmission and reception of Greek patristic literature. The “Arethas-codex” (Paris Gr. 451) is one of the key (and in some cases the only) witnesses to key works of early Christian apologetic literature. The codex is also important for the many scholia—learned commentary and notes—that stand in its margins. In addition to the extant codices of Arethas’ library, a number of Arethas’ minor works and letters have also been preserved. Arethas’s extant books, together with his extant works, constitute an as-yet untapped resource for understanding the ways in which orthodoxy was practiced in the work of reading and writing. Again, because patristic literature comes to us through middle-Byzantine reception, our own engagement with patristic thought will be enriched by a more thorough and nuanced understanding of the way middle Byzantine theologians engaged the patristic tradition.


Eustathius of Antioch, Opera Omnia: English translation, introduction, and notes.

Eustathius was the pro-Nicene bishop of Antioch during the Council of Nicaea and its aftermath. From the works of Athanasius and the historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, he is best known as the victim of political machinations orchestrated by his “Ariomaniac” opponents. Eustathius, however, was also a significant theologian whose thought and writings were of great import during this important period. This volume will present all of his known extant works, both complete and fragmentary, with Greek text and facing English translation, along with a thorough introduction and ample annotation.


Remembering Nicaea: The Ecclesiastical History of Ps.-Gelasius (CPG 6034)

with Martin Shedd and Sean Tandy (forthcoming in the SBL Writings from the Greco-Roman World Series)

The anonymous Ecclesiastical History ascribed to “Gelasius of Cyzicus” (CPG 6034) and dating to the late 5th century, is a 3-book account of Constantine the Great’s rise to sole rule, the Council of Nicaea, and the immediate aftermath of the Council. The work has never been translated into English, and has been the subject of only two dedicated studies, both in German. It has also been largely ignored in studies of the reception and memory of Nicaea, because it has usually been considered “merely” a pastiche of other, familiar texts, in particular, Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History and Life of Constantine. In fact, the text is compiled from a variety of sources, and many of these are otherwise-unknown. In addition to offering the first complete English translation of this work, the volume will offer a comprehensive introduction which locates the work within its theological, literary, and socio-historical contexts, along with extensive explanatory and exegetical notes.

Journal articles & other publications

“Plotinus’ Portrait and Pamphilus’ Prison Notebook: Neoplatonic and Early Christian Textualties at the Turn of the Fourth Century C.E.,” Journal of Early Christian Studies, forthcoming Fall 2013.

“Textuality and Territorialization: Eusebius’ Exegeses of Isaiah, and Empire,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture, Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).

“Afterword: Receptions,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture, Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).

Recent courses

  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Sexuality and Gender in Early Christianity
  • Pilgrims and Exiles: Late-ancient and early-medieval imaginings of travel, territory and identity

Awards & Honors

  • American Academy of Religion Regional Development Grant 2012-2013
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2011-2012
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship
  • Faculty Research Grant, UNC-Charlotte, 2008
  • International Travel Grant, UNC-Charlotte, 2007, 2008
  • Graduate Fellowship, Duke University, 2003-2004
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, 1999-2003

Prospective graduate students

Prospective graduate students interested in the study of the Roman world, late antiquity, and early Christianity should check out the description of the AMNER area (Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions) on the Religious Studies website. Indiana has excellent resources for the study of late antiquity, and prospective students should also take a look at faculty in History, Art History, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the Borns Jewish Studies Program.

Students interested in graduate study in early Christianity and religions of late antiquity should have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. Classics, Near Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, etc.) and good basic coursework in the history and culture of late antiquity and/or premodern Christianity. Students should also be prepared with intermediate reading ability in a relevant ancient language (e.g. Greek, Latin, Syriac), and preferably, at least elementary experience in a second. Reading knowledge of either French or German is strongly recommended as well.