Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Angeliki Laiou, Professor of Byzantine History

We are sad to report the passing of Angeliki Laiou, who is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Byzantine History at Harvard University. She died of thyroid cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital on Thursday afternoon. She was 67.

Professor Laiou was an important historian in the fields of Byzantine history, economic history and the crusades. After earning her Ph.D from Harvard University in 1966, she taught at Rutgers University, Brandeis University, Princeton and the Sorbonne. In 1981 she became a Professor of History, at Harvard University, only the second tenured woman in the department's history.

Her most important work is The Economic History of Byzantium from the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century, a 3 volume book in which she served as Editor-in-Chief and wrote seven chapters for.

Born in Athens, Laiou served as deputy secretary of foreign affairs of Greece in 2000 and as a member of the Parliament.

Her colleagues at Harvard were saddened by this loss. “She was a very strong woman, a great fighter,” said History of Art and Architecture Professor Ioli Kalavrezou. “It was a shock to all of us...although we knew she was sick, nobody believed that Angeliki would die.”

“Nothing can do justice to that woman. She was in a class of her own,” said medieval history professor Michael McCormick. “We are all infinitely poorer for her departure.”

Laiou is survived by her son, Vassili N. Thomadakis

Click here to see a full list of Angeliki Laiou's publications