Kostis Smyrlis

Associate Professor of History, Hellenic Studies

Ph.D., history, Paris I-Sorbonne, 2002.
D.E.A., Byzantine history, Paris I-Sorbonne, 1996.
M.A., Byzantine Studies, Birmingham University, 1995.
Degree in Law Athens University Law School, 1992.

Office Address: 

King Juan Carlos Center, Room 715



Field of Study: 

Medieval Europe

Research Interests: 

Byzantine empire, 9th to 15th century; political economy; taxation and state finances; economic and social history; settlement and demography; law and land ownership; the archives and history of Mount Athos monasteries; Byzantine diplomatics and medieval Greek paleography

Curriculum Vitae


Kostis Smyrlis was educated in Athens, Birmingham and Paris. He taught in Istanbul before coming to NYU in 2006. He is currently working on a book project dealing with the Political Economy of the Byzantine Empire, 1081-1345. The book proposes a new interpretation of the evolution of state finances suggesting that Byzantium’s pervasive fiscal apparatus, a powerful imperial ideology and the high aristocracy’s alliance allowed the emperor to maintain a strong grip over the empire’s territory throughout the middle ages. Having published a book on great monastic landowners in Byzantium, Smyrlis pursues his interest in the evolution of the Byzantine economy, settlement and social relations in the countryside. Another major area of his research concerns the edition in the series Archives de l’Athos of the medieval documents of Mount Athos monasteries. He is co-editor of two volumes (Actes de Vatopédi II-III) and currently heads the work on a third volume (Actes de Zographou).

Selected Works:


PlaceholderBook.pngActes de Vatopédi III, de 1377 à 1500, Archives de l’Athos 23, ed. J. Lefort, V. Kravari, Ch. Giros, K. Smyrlis and R. Estangüi Gómez (Paris: Lethielleux, in press).




ActesBOOK.jpgActes de Vatopédi II, de 1330 à 1376, Archives de l’Athos 22, ed. J. Lefort, V. Kravari, Ch. Giros and K. Smyrlis (Paris: Lethielleux, 2006).




MonasteresBOOK.jpgLa fortune des grands monastères byzantins, fin du xe-milieu du xive siècle (Paris: Centre de Recherche d’Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance-Collège de France, Monographies 21, 2006). 


Sybaris on the Bosporοs: Luxury, Corruption and the Byzantine State under the Angeloi (1185-1203), in Byzantium, 1180-1204: “The Sad Quarter Of A Century”?, ed. A. Simpson (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2015), 159-178.

Settlement and Environment in Halkidiki, Ninth to Fifteenth Century AD, in Mines, Olives and Monasteries. Aspects of Halkidiki’s Enviromental History, ed. B. Gounaris (Thessaloniki: Epikentro and Pharos, 2015), 109-121.

Financial Crisis and the Limits of Taxation under Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282-1321), in Power and Subversion in Byzantium, ed. D. Angelov and M. Saxby (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), 71-82.

Mount Athos in the Fifteenth Century: Crisis and the Beginning of Recovery, in The Holy Mountain in the 15th and 16th Century (Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2012), 33-55.

Byzantium, in Agrarian Change and Crisis in Europe, 1200-1500, ed. H. Kitsikopoulos (New York and London: Routledge, 2012), 128-166.

‘Our Lord and Father’. Peasants and Monks in Mid-fourteenth-century Macedonia, Travaux et Mémoires 16 (2010) [= Mélanges Cécile Morrisson], 779-791.

Taxation Reform and the Pronoia System in Thirteenth-Century Byzantium, in Change in the Byzantine World in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. First International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium: Proceedings, ed. A. Ödekan, E. Akyürek, N. Necipoğlu (Istanbul, 2010), 211-217.

Private Property and State Finances. The Emperor’s Right to Donate his Subjects’ Land in the Comnenian Period, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 33/2 (2009), 115-132.

The State, the Land and Private Property. Confiscating Church and Monastic Properties in the Palaiologan Period, in Church and Society in Late Byzantium, ed. D. Angelov (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2009), 58-87.



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Updated on 09/12/2016