Peter Brown

2011 Balzan Prize for Ancient History (The Graeco-Roman World)

For his exceptional contributions to the historical interpretation of late antiquity through highly original studies of strong impact and extraordinary influence, with works on the cult of the saints, the body and sexuality, the emergence of Christianity, and poverty and power.

Biographical and Bibliographical Data

Peter Robert Lamont Brown, born in Dublin, Ireland, on 26 July 1935, is an Irish citizen and a US resident.

Since 1986, Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University
He earned his BA in History from Oxford University in 1956. He was Prize Fellow and, later, Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, 1956-1972; Lecturer in Medieval History, Merton College, Oxford, 1970-1975; University Reader in Late Roman and Byzantine Studies, All Souls College, Oxford, 1972-1975.

He was Professor of Modern History and Head of Department, Royal Holloway College, University of London, 1975-1977. He took up a position at the University of California, Berkeley, as Professor of History and Classics in 1978. In 1986 he moved to Princeton where he took up his current position. 
He has held the following Visiting Professorships: University of California, Berkeley, January-March 1975; Department of History, Princeton University, 1983-1986; University of Padua, November-December 1985; Department of History, UCLA, January-March 1990. 

He has received honorary degrees from the following universities: Université de Fribourg, Switzerland, 1974; University of Chicago, 1978; Trinity College, Dublin, 1990; Wesleyan University, 1993; Tulane University, 1994; University of Pisa, 2001; Columbia University, New York, 2001; Harvard University, 2002; Southern Methodist University, 2004; Cambridge University, 2004; Central European University, 2005; Yale University, 2006; Oxford University, 2006; Notre Dame University, 2008; King’s College, University of London, 2008; Amherst College, 2009; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2010; Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2010.    

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Medieval Academy of America, an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway, University of London, and New College, Oxford, a Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Corresponding Member of the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres, Barcelona. 

He is the author of a significant number of major published works, some of which have been translated into various languages:

– Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (London: Faber/Berkeley: University of California Press 1967; repr. with Epilogue 2000)
– Religion and Society in the Age of Saint Augustine (London: Faber 1971) – collected articles
– The World of Late Antiquity (London: Thames and Hudson 1971; repr. with revised bibliography, New York: Harcourt Brace 1989)
– The Making of Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 1978)
– The Cult of the Saints (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1982)
– Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity (London: Faber/Berkeley: University of California Press 1983) – collected articles
– The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press 1988)
– Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity: towards a Christian Empire (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press 1992)
– Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World (Cambridge University Press 1995)
– The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000 (Oxford: Blackwell 1996; repr.1997 with footnotes; 2nd ed. 2003)
– Poverty and Leadership in the Later Roman Empire (Hanover, New Hampshire: University of New England Press 2002)

He is also the author of more than 55 articles and academic papers published throughout the world.

(October 2011)

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