Diliana Angelova

Job title: 
Associate Professor
Early Christian and Byzantine Art

Professor Angelova’s main research focus is Early Christian and Byzantine art. Her scholarship concerns the intersection of two basic issues: continuity and change in the realm of ideas, and the role of women in ancient societies. By taking gender and material culture seriously she seeks to reframe the traditional male- and literary-centered way in which fundamental topics such as Roman imperial power, early Christian art, or romantic love have been defined in scholarship.

Professor Angelova has published exhibition catalogue entries and written encyclopedia essays on various topics in Early Christian art. Her Gesta article on the iconography of early Byzantine empresses won the 2006 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America. Two recent articles deal with imperial interventions in the urban development of Constantinople. She is the author of Sacred Founders: Women, Men, and Gods in the Discourse of Imperial Founding, Rome through Early Byzantium (UC Press, 2015).

She has a joint appointment in the Department of History and belongs to the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology. Her classes focus on ancient Mediterranean art and visual culture. They include offerings in late antique art and society, women’s history, devotion to the Virgin Mary, the cities of Rome and Constantinople, the history of love, past and present iconoclasms, Byzantine art, and the history and meaning of religious images and architecture.

Before joining the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley, she taught at Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Together with Pamela Patton, she co-edits the Studies in Iconography, a journal devoted to the expressive power of medieval images. 

Select publications

Weaver of Tales: The Power of Eros in Byzantium” in Emotions and Gender in Byzantine Culture (Cham : Springer International Publishing, 2018), 191-244.

Sacred Founders: Women, Men, and Gods in the Discourse of Imperial Founding, Rome through Early Byzantium (UC Press, September 2015).

“Stamp of Power: The Life and Afterlife of Pulcheria’s Buildings” in Byzantine Images and Their Afterlives, ed. Lynn Jones (Ashgate, 2014), 83-103.

Review of Beat Brenk, The Apse, the Image, and the Icon: An Historical Perspective of the Apse as a Space for Images (Reichert, 2010). In Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik, vol. 61 (2011).

“The Ivories of Ariadne and Ideas about Female Imperial Ideology in Early Byzantium,” Gesta 43/1 (2004): 1-15 (peer-reviewed). Received The Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize (“for an outstanding first article” in the field of medieval studies), Medieval Academy of America, 2006.


Ph.D., Harvard University, 2005
M.A., Harvard University, 2002
M.A., Southern Methodist University, 1998

B.A., American University in Bulgaria, 1995


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