Spotlight on Tim Greenwood

Greenwood Photo 28xii13Tim Greenwood came to St Andrews School of History from the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford in January 2006. Originally from Kent, he studied Modern History at Oriel College, Oxford. On graduating he chose to qualify as a solicitor and worked in a large London practice. At his job interview, the managing partner had asked him whether he had been tempted to follow an academic path and Tim had replied that he had no intention of doing so and had left Oxford for good. This partner at least should not have been surprised when five years later Tim resigned from the firm and returned to Oxford to undertake a Masters in Classical Armenian and a DPhil in mediaeval Armenian history. He then held successive research fellowships at the Oriental Institute.

Tim’s research interests range widely across most aspects of mediaeval Armenian political, social and cultural history between c. 500 and 1100 CE. He has published studies of mediaeval Armenian historical texts, epigraphy, material culture and manuscript illumination. With an Armenian colleague from the Institute of Manuscripts in Yerevan, Dr Edda Vardanyan, he wrote the first substantial study of a late sixteenth-century Armenian artist, Hakob Jułayec‘i, who ended his days working in the newly-established Armenian community of New Julfa in Isfahan. Tim is particularly interested in exploring Armenian engagement with the religious and intellectual traditions of Byzantium, Sasanian Iran and the Islamic caliphate. By way of illustration, his two most recent pieces address the new possibilities which Byzantine expansion into Armenia afforded to Armenian religious institutions at the end of the tenth century; and the existence of a confessional network of Armenian and Mesopotamian clerics in the Sasanian Empire in Late Antiquity, together with their lively theological and philosophical exchanges.

The western wall of the church of Avan, constructed between 630 and 640 CE.

The western wall of the church of Avan, constructed between 630 and 640 CE.

Tim is currently completing a translation and commentary on the so-called Universal History of Step‘anos Tarōnec‘i, who completed his composition in 1004. His next project will involve the study of a significant corpus of mediaeval Armenian land charters and their possible reflection of late Sasanian legal practice.

Tim has taught on several sub-Honours modules in Mediaeval and Middle Eastern History, as well as offering Honours modules in the Late Antique Middle East (ME 3611 and ME3612), tenth-century Byzantium (ME4852) and mediaeval Armenia (ME3608). He presently has three doctoral students, two of whom he has compelled to learn Classical Armenian – classes at 5pm on Wednesdays, all welcome.

Beyond academia, Tim and his family are keen walkers, enthusiastic cooks and attend a local church. Knee-permitting, Tim hopes to take to the tennis courts again soon but asks you all to keep this from his wife Gilly who will be seriously annoyed if he requires a third operation.

About standrewshistory
With over forty full time members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from S cotland to Byzantium and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching and tutorials allowing for in depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

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