Rebecca Darley

Headshot - RRDI am Lecturer in Medieval History at Birkbeck, University of London.

I joined Birkbeck in September 2015 from the international project, ‘Bilderfahrzeuge’, at the Warburg Institute. Prior to that my PhD at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham focused on the use of Byzantine gold coins in India and involved time at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Washington D.C.). I have taught at the University of Birmingham and Kings College London, spent time as an exhibition curator and worked on the issue of Open Access in the humanities and social sciences.

My research focuses on how people and things moved and how people understood and described the world far beyond their locality. I focus particularly on Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (AD c. 200-1000), and geographically on the eastern Mediterranean and western Indian Ocean. regions. This includes work on the Byzantine, Sasanian and Aksumite empires and kingdoms in south India and Sri Lanka, though my core focus is on Byzantine history. I am interested in why and when commentators, past and present, have taken an interest in historical mobility, and when mobility has been restricted or reduced. A combination of narrative textual sources and archaeological material is central to my research, coming together especially in the study of coins, as objects which could often move extremely long distances from their point of origin, but which retain a clear visual link to their place of production. In another strand of my research, maps and travel accounts provide a different sort of visualisation of movement and space.



‘Travelling in a disconnected sea: the Late Antique western Indian Ocean’, a book chapter contributed to the project ‘Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000CE‘, organised by Prof. Hugh Kennedy (SOAS) and Dr Fanny Bessard (Bristol). With the editors.

‘Art and Representation’ (2018) in R. Naismith (ed.) The Bloomsbury Cultural History of Medieval Money, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, pagination TBC.

‘All that glitters…: the Byzantine gold solidus, c. 300-1092’ (2017) in Proceedings of the 25th International Numismatic Congress, Rome, pagination TBC.

Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity (2017), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Area Advisor for Numismatics (editorial responsibility for 100+ entries), sole author of 55 entries, including ‘Money, Roman and post-Roman’ and ‘Trade, India and Ceylon’, contributor to 45 entries.


Darley, R. (2017) ‘‘Implicit cosmopolitanism’ and the commercial role of ancient Lanka’ in Z. Biedermann and A. Strathern (eds) Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, London: UCL Press, 44-65. Available in PDF from UCL Press here.

‘Self, Other and the Use and Appropriation of Late Roman coins in south India and Sri Lanka (4th-7th centuries A.D.)’ (2015) in H. P. Ray (ed) Negotiating Cultural Identity: Landscapes in Early Medieval South Asian History, London and New Delhi: Routledge, 60-84.

With D. Reynolds ‘Exhibiting coins as economic artefacts: Curating historical interpretation in Faith and Fortune‘ (2015) Journal of Art Historiography 13, 1-23.

With D. Reynolds and C. Wickham Open Access Journals in Humanities and Social Science (2014) British Academy: London.

Published as R. Day, ‘A tale of ‘four’ hoards or unpicking Akki Alur’ (2012) Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society 211, 5-13.

Reviews and Media Publications

Review of: R. GURUKKAL, 2016, Rethinking Classical Indo-Roman Trade. Political Economy of Eastern Mediterranean Exchange Relations, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, (2016) The Classical Review, 1-3.

‘Review of: M. CRUSAFONT, A. M. BALAGUER and P. GRIERSON, 2015, Medieval European Coinage 6: The Iberian Peninsula, with a Catalogue of the Coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2015) Numismatic Chronicle 175, 366-375.

Review of: C. NESBITT and M. JACKSON (eds), 2013, Experiencing Byzantium, Farnham: Ashgate, (2014) Diogenes 2, 91-94.

‘Faith and Fortune: visualising the divine on Byzantine and early Islamic coinage’ (January 2014) Minerva, Jan/Feb 40-43.

Published as R. Day ‘Review of: G. CLARK, Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction (2011) Oxford, Oxford University Press’ (2012) Rosetta 11, 82-86.

Published as R. Day ‘Exhibition Review: ‘Roman Coins in South India: the Centenary Exhibition Hall, Government Museum, Chennai (18th January-2nd February 2011)‘ Rosetta 11, 98-102.

Blog Posts

The priceless legacy of P. L. Gupta‘, blog post for Livemint, the web component of ‘The Mint’, a leading Indian financial and business newspaper, for their regular slot ‘The Mint on Sunday’, published 12/11/2016.

The Lost Box‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, reporting on an exhibition curated for the AHRC project ‘Research in Translation‘, published 08/09/2015.

Beyond Imperial Frontiers‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, reporting on the initial phases of the project of the same name (see ‘Current Activities’), published on 11/08/2015.

All that glitters…‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, reporting on the initial phases of the project of the same name (see ‘Current Activities’), published on 20/05/2016.

Stable sources, vanishing resources‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, published 28/04/2015.

Exhibiting as research(?)‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, published 23/04/2015.

Coining metaphors, continuing a conversation‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, published 17/02/2015.

Exhibition reflections: Experiencing Images at the Warburg Institute (Being Human Festival 2014)‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, published 17/12/2014.

Andean adventures in ancient art‘, blog post for the Bilderfahrzeuge Project, about archaeological field work in Guachipas, northern Argentina, published 23/09/2014.

1 Response to Rebecca Darley

  1. Pingback: Seminar CCXXVIII: a new method for analysing Mediterranean connectivity | A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

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