For thirty years Oliver Nicholson taught small courses on later Latin texts and, in Extension as well as in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, large (sometimes very large) lecture courses on the history, religion and culture of Late Antiquity (ca. 250-750 AD). This experience informed his work as General Editor of the two-volume encyclopaedia the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity (2018). For over ten years he fostered liaison between the University and schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin teaching Latin through the College in the Schools programme. Before that for five happy years from 1995-2000 he was the Director of the Center for Mediaeval Studies and enjoyed sustained and witty teasing from the graduate student staff for his way of spelling ‘mediaeval’. He has now retired to rural Devonshire (hic gens, haec patria) where he has returned to his first interest, the Latin Christian apologist Lactantius, who has some claim to being the brains behind Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • (B.A. 1972), M.A. 1976: Modern History , University of Oxford
  • D.Phil.: Ancient History , University of Oxford, 1982 -


  • early Christianity
  • late antiquity
  • Early Byzantium
  • Later Latin