Professor Julia Hillner
M.A., Ph.D. (Bonn)
Professor of Medieval History
Late Antiquity; in particular the city of Rome; the family; crime and punishment.
+44 (0)114 22 22564 | Jessop West 3.09
Semester Two 2017/18: On Research Leave
Julia Hillner joined the Department of History in 2008. She studied for her degrees at the Universities of Bonn, Perugia and Padova and graduated with a PhD in Ancient History in 2001. Before coming to Sheffield she worked for the AHRB funded project "Religion, Dynasty and Patronage in Rome, c. 440-840", as a Teaching Fellow in Early Christianity, and as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, all at the University of Manchester. Julia's research has been funded by the British Academy, the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. She is the Principal Investigator of The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity and of Women Conflict and Peace: Gendered Networks in Early Medieval Narratives, a Co-Director of the Medieval and Ancient Research Centre at the University of Sheffield (MARCUS) , and a member of the Faculty of Archaeology, History and Letters of the British School at Rome
Grants and Awards
Follow-on Fellowship, Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung, Autumn Semester 2017-18
Julia is a member of the Faculty of Archaeology, History and Letters of the British School at Rome (2017-2021)
She is also a member of the Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica (AIAC)
Julia is on the Advisory Board of the ERC funded project "Connected Clerics. Building a Universal Church in the Late Antique West" (CONNEC), directed by Dr David Natal (Royal Holloway)
Julia’s research interests focus on anything to do with late Roman law: from the political, social and philosophical contexts of its production and codification at the imperial centre, to legal practices ‘on the ground’ and how they helped individuals to shape their relationships and environment.
She has a particular interest in the transformations of the family and the household in the period 300-750 and how these transformations are reflected in legal norms and practices. She has published widely on related topics: from the urban context of the family and property holding, particularly in the late antique city of Rome, to issues of authority, hierarchy and discipline within the household and how these have influenced concepts and practices of public punishment in late antiquity.
Julia currently has three research projects: the first one, funded by the AHRC, is a collaborative project with colleagues at the Universities of Halle, Aarhus and Vienna, investigating the cultural encounters generated by legal banishment of religious dissidents in late antiquity and their influence on the development and institutionalisation of the Christian church in this period. Within this project, Julia investigates how exiled clerics' social relationships, in particular with members of their households and with women, structured their experiences and the memory of their exile. She is particularly interested in the possibilities of social network analysis to assess the roles of such more 'marginal' people. For further information and publication plans see http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/sites/clericalexile/.
Julia's second project is a biography of Helena, mother of the first Christian emperor Constantine (under contract with Oxford University Press, for the Women in Antiquity series). This book will examine Helena's life and reception against the background of female networks within and across the imperial and royal dynasties of late antiquity and against the social and legal parametres of female life in the late Roman empire. Julia is blogging about this project here.
Finally, Julia is working on a project on a role of women in early medieval conflict resolution, together with Dr Máirín MacCarron (Sheffield), Prof Silvio Dahmen (Porto Alegre) and Prof Ralph Kenna (Coventry). This project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, analyses how early medieval history-writing fitted women and their networks into stories of conflict and peace-building. Is objective is to reveal whether women only appear as peace-building and conflict-sowing conduits between men in early medieval texts, or whether early medieval authors afforded women more expansive roles within their networks. It will do so using an interdisciplinary approach combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies from History, Literature and Network Science. It will build on ground-breaking developments in literary network analysis, that is, mathematical calculation of character relationships over the course of a narrative, and adapt this method as historical source criticism. One outcome of the project will be a monograph co-authored with Dr MacCarron.
Julia is also a founding member, with Dr Charles West (History) and Dr Jane Rempel (Archaeology), of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities' interdisciplinary Medieval and Ancient Research Seminar (MARS) part of the The Medieval and Ancient Research Centre at the University of Sheffield (MARCUS). She is also a founding member of the University of Sheffield's Interpersonal Violence Research Group, a collaboration between colleagues in History, Geography, Law, Education and Health which
Julia teaches social history of the Roman and late Roman empire. She is happy to supervise students interested in any aspect of this area, in particular those with interests in the city of Rome, the family, monasticism, crime and punishment, and late Roman and early medieval law.
Lewis Dagnall - Tribute in Late Antiquity
Robert Heffron - Gendered Spaces in Rome and Constantinople.
Harry Mawdsley - Exile in the Post-Roman Sucessor States.
Simon Hosie - The Purpose of Bureaucratic Inventories in Late Antiquity.
Hannah Probert - Fatherhood between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
Articles and Chapters
'Empresses, Queens and Letters: Finding a 'Female Voice' in Late Antiquity?, Gender & History (in press).
'A Woman's Place: Imperial Women in Late Antique Rome', Antiquité tardive 25 (2017)
‘Confined Exiles: An Aspect of the Late Antique Prison System’, Millennium. Jahrbuch zur Geschichte und Kultur des ersten Jahrtausend 10 (2013)
'Gregory the Great´s prisons: Monastic confinement in early Byzantine Italy', Journal of Early Christian Studies 19 (2011)
'Monks and Children: Corporal Punishment in Late Antiquity', European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 16 (2009)
'Monastic Imprisonment in Justinian's Novels', Journal of Early Christian Studies 15 (2007)
'Clerics, Property, and Patronage: The Case of the Roman Titular Churches', Antiquité tardive 14 (2006)
'Domus, Family, and Inheritance: The Senatorial Family House in Late Antique Rome', Journal of Roman Studies 93 (2003)
'Die Berufsangaben und Adressen auf den stadtrömischen Sklavenhalsbändern', Historia 50 (2001)
Chapters in Edited Collections
‘Preserving Female Voices: Female Letters in Late Antique Letter Collections‘, in R. Lizzi, G. Marconi (eds.), A Late Antique Experiment in Roman Canon Law. The Collectio Avellana and its Revivals (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, in press).
Anicia Iuliana and the Collectio Avellana: What Difference Do Her Letters Make?’, in A. Evers (ed.), Emperors, Bishops, Senators: The Evidence of the Collectio Avellana (Leuven: Peeters, in press)
‘Female Crime and Female Confinement in Late Antiquity’, in K. Cooper, J. Wood (eds.), The Violence of Small Worlds: Conflict and Social Control in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in press)
‘Exclusion, intégration ou exclusion par l’intégration? Géographies du banissement et asile à la fin de l’empire romain (ve-vie siècle)’, in C. La Rocca, S.Joye (eds.), La construction du sujet exclu (IVe-XIe siècle): l’individu, la société et l’exclusion (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018)
'Approaches to Clerical Exile: Strategies, Experiences, Memories and Social Networks', in J. Hillner, J. Ulrich, J. Engberg (eds.), Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2016)
‘Family Violence: Punishment and Abuse in the Late Roman Household’ in S. Tougher and L. Brubaker (eds.), Approaching the Byzantine Family (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013)
'L´enfermement monastique au VIe siècle' in J. Claustre, I. Heullant-Donant (eds.), Enfermement. Le cloître et la prison (Ve-XVIIIe siècle) (Paris : Sorbonne, 2011)
'Families, Patronage, and the Titular Churches of Rome', Religion, Dynasty, and Patronage in Early Christian Rome, 300-900 (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)
with Kate Cooper and Conrad Leyser, 'Dark Age Rome: An Interactive Topography. A GIS Project of the Centre for Late Antiquity, University of Manchester', in: L. Lavan/W. Bowden (eds.), The Social and Political Archaeology of Late Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 2006)
with Conrad Leyser, 'Religion, Dynasty, and Patronage in Early Medieval Rome, 440-840: An Electronic Approach', in F. De Rubeis/W. Pohl (eds.), La scrittura dai monasteri. Atti del II seminario internazionale di studio "I Monasteri nell'alto Medioevo" (Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, 2003)
'Le chiese paleocristiane di Roma e l'occupazione degli spazi pubblici', Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi sulle Chiese di Roma (IV-X secolo) "Ecclesiae urbis" (Vatican City: PIAC, 2002)
The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity https://www.clericalexile.org/
Peer-Reviewed Dictionary Entries
Constantina, daughter of Constantine, wife of Gallus Caesar and patron of St Agnes’, Oxford Classical Dictionary (New York: Oxford University Press, in press).
'Constantia, half-sister of Constantine and wife of Licinius', Oxford Classical Dictionary (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017)
Other Dictionary Entries
‘Execution’, ‘Punishment’, ‘Prisons’, ‘Homicide’, ‘Violence, crimes of’, ‘Torture’, in O. Nicholson (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Julia is a committee member of the Sheffield branch of the Classical Association, which she chaired in 2010-11. In 2015-6 Julia supervised research into the history of the Sheffield Classical Association, conducted by Isobel Bowden and supported by a SURE project grant of the University of Sheffield. The results of this project can be found on the branch's website.
Julia is also on the Roman Society's Panel of Lecturers and can be booked for local Classical Association and school talks. She has recently given lectures in Bangor, Hull, Cardiff, Leeds, Edinburgh and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
In The Media
Julia is a regular contributor to the department's History Matters blog.
Current Administrative Duties
Julia is the Department of History's REF coordinator.