Charles Roe

Charles Roe


I completed my PhD at the University of Leeds, and worked at the University of Derby in 2022-3.

Research interests

I'm a historian of Roman literacy and its legacy in the medieval period. I study texts with their roots in the Roman world and the material evidence for their production.

My current work includes a study of the relationship between the socially privileged activity of literary composition and the physical work of writing in imperial Roman society, with particular attention to the way late Roman ascetics like St Jerome and Rufinus engaged with traditional forms of literary work. These individuals lived highly mobile lives, between Rome, Egypt, Palestine, Gaul, and Algeria, and survived on versions of the classical literary patronage system even as they performatively exposed themselves to physical pain and discomfort in pursuit of holiness. My research includes studying their texts, surviving books from their own time, and the objects which they engaged with as they interrogated their own role as privileged actors in a complex social environment, using the tools which gave them that privilege. The final product will be a history of writers' work from the high empire of the second century to the confident monastic circles of the sixth century.

Alongside this, I am undertaking work on the textual history of John Cassian's elaborate works of ascetic guidance.

My research extends these interests beyond the political boundaries of the Roman empire: I am also in the final stages of completing a study of Geoffrey Chaucer's translations of philosophical and devotional texts from Latin. These are works in which Chaucer inherits a pose of ascetic labour from many of the Roman writers which my wider work involves - one which sits in a complex relationship with his more famous work as a poet.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I provide teaching across the range of medieval history at undergraduate level, with particular attention to late Rome and the early medieval period. At postgraduate level I also offer specialised training in medieval Latin and palaeography.