Nicholas Venable

Research Interests: 

Roman Law, Juristic Papyrology, Hellenistic and Roman Administration


Nicholas Venable is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World. He is writing a dissertation on Legal Authority and Monastic Institutions in Late Antique Egypt. His work examines how imperial legal conventions persist after an empire's decline, using little-studied Coptic papyri documenting the legal role played by monks and clergy in A.D. 400-800 Egypt. Nicholas studies the legal role played by religious institutions and clergy, who provided access to law within their communities while continuing to frame their actions in terms acceptable within the Roman legal discourse. Using Egyptian literary and documentary texts, his project charts how the social prestige of Roman legal forms persisted after the Roman imperial bureaucracy deteriorated.

Before coming to Chicago, Nicholas received a B.A. cum laude in History and Classics from Yale University. He has produced editions of legal documents preserved on papyrus and participated in the American Society of Papyrologists Summer Institute in Papyrology held at Princeton University in 2014. During the 2016-2017 academic year, he was a visiting researcher at the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Archive in Berlin.