Elizabeth Jeffreys FAHA (22 July 1941 – 12 September 2023) was a distinguished academic who specialized in Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature. She served as the Bywater and Sotheby Professor at the University of Oxford and was a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, from 1996 to 2006. Post-retirement, she held the title of Emeritus Professor and Emeritus Fellow of Exeter College.


Early Education and Career Start

Jeffreys received her education at Blackheath High School and Girton College, Cambridge. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Letters (BLitt) degree from St Anne’s College, Oxford. Her teaching career began at Mary Datchelor Girls’ School in London from 1965 to 1969.

Academic Journey and Fellowships

Jeffreys served as a senior resident fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London, from 1969 to 1972. She was a visiting fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies between 1972 and 1974 and a resident fellow at the University of Ioannina from 1974 to 1976.

She then moved to Australia and held various positions including lecturer at universities in Sydney, Resident Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and senior resident fellow at the University of Sydney. In 1996, she returned to the University of Oxford as a fellow and professor. After retiring, she was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship for the year 2008–09.


Jeffreys was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and an honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford.


Elizabeth Jeffreys died on 12 September 2023.


Jeffreys’ scholarly contributions to Byzantine studies are substantial. Some of her key publications include:

  • Byzantine Papers, proceedings of the First Australian Byzantine Studies Conference, Canberra, May 1978 (ed. with Michael Jeffreys and Ann Moffatt), Australian National University, 1981. ISBN 0-86784-009-9
  • Popular literature in late Byzantium: collected papers (with Michael Jeffreys), Variorum Reprints, 1983. ISBN 0-86078-118-6
  • The Chronicle of John Malalas (tr. with Michael Jeffreys and Roger Scott), Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 1986. ISBN 0-9593626-2-2
  • Digenis Akritis: the Grottaferrata and Escorial versions (ed. and tr.), Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-39472-4
  • Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, with Robin Cormack and John Haldon, Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN 0-19-925246-7


Elizabeth Jeffreys’ work has had a lasting impact on Byzantine and Modern Greek studies. Her extensive academic journey, marked by fellowships and professorships across the globe, adds to her distinguished legacy in the field.