Prof. Dr. Jaś Elsner

Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Art and Archaeology, Corpus Christi College, Oxford / Professor of Late Antique Art, Oxford University


Jaś Elsner studied Classics and Art History at Cambridge, Harvard and London, receiving his doctorate from King's College Cambridge. He has held visiting attachments at the British School at Rome, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, UCLA, the Institute of Fine Art in New York and Princeton University. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of Journals around the world and is the joint editor of two monograph series, Greek Culture in the Roman World, with the Cambridge University Press and Ashgate Studies in Pilgrimage. He has been a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2009 and was Kosmos Fellow in Globalized Classics at the Humboldt University in Berlin 2015–16. From 2013–2018 Prof. Elsner was Principal Investigator on the Empires of Faith Project between the British Museum and Wolfson College, Oxford, exploring the visual cultures of the world religions in the Mediterranean and Asia between 200 and 800 AD. In 2019 he was nominated External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

  • Greek and Roman art
  • Late antique art
  • Early Christian and Byzantine art
  • Buddhist art
  • Comparative art history
  • The history and historiography of art history
  • Pilgrimage
  • Art and text, especially ekphrasis
  • Collecting, display and the reception of art (especially ancient and medieval art)


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