Ray Van Dam

Ray Van Dam


  • Email: rvandam@umich.edu
  • Phone: 734.763.1193
  • Office: 1029 Tisch Hall, 435 South State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
  • Ph.D. 1977, Cambridge University

Research Interests


  • Roman history, including later Roman empire, religion and society, the Greek East under Roman rule
  • Early medieval history
  • Early Byzantine history


  • The ancient Mediterranean
  • The Roman empire and its neighbors

Research Description

One common theme in my current research is the meaning and impact of big cities in the Roman empire. Ongoing projects about big cities include studies of migrations and the food supply (based in part on archaeological surveys), the statues of Constantine at Rome, and the political and economic consequences of Constantinople for eastern provinces. The evidence for these projects includes the study of inscriptions, which will also serve as the preparatory infrastructure for a volume on inscriptions from the Roman empire during the fourth century. Another preoccupation is with how we modern scholars write interpretive analysis. The narrative in my book Remembering Constantine followed a backward chronology, from now to then. A new book about the history of one day in the Roman empire will feature a narrative with no chronology.