Averil Millicent Cameron
DBE FSA FBA FRHistS
8 February 1940|
Leek, Staffordshire, England
|Thesis||The Histories of Agathias (1966)|
Dame Averil Millicent Cameron DBE FSA FBA FRHistS (born 8 February 1940), often cited as A. M. Cameron, is professor emerita of Late Antique and Byzantine History at the University of Oxford, and was formerly the Warden of Keble College, Oxford, between 1994 and 2010.
Cameron was born in Leek, Staffordshire, the only child of working-class parents. She read Literae Humaniores at Somerville College, Oxford, and was married to Alan Cameron, with whom she has a son and a daughter.
From 1978 to 1994 Cameron taught at King's College, London, serving as Professor of Ancient History (1978-1989), Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (1989-1994), and Founding Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies. In 1994 she was appointed Warden of Keble College, Oxford, where she served as Chair of the Conference of Colleges and as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Chair of the Committee on the Sackler Library and the Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees and sat on committees for Conflict of Interest, Select Preachers, the Bampton Lectures and the Wainwright Fund. She has served as Chair of a number of academic institutions, including the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, the Institute of Classical Studies Advisory Council, the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (1999-2005), and of the Prosopography of the Byzantine World.
Cameron has also acted as the President of multiple society including: the Ecclesiastical History Society (2005-2006), the Council for British Research in the Levant, and the Fédération internationale des associations d'études classiques (2009-2014);. From 2018 she will become President of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (2018-2023).
Cameron is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the British Academy, the Ecclesiastical History Society (from 2001),King's College, London, the Royal Historical Society, and the Institute of Classical Studies, London.
In 2007 a Festschrift edited by Hagit Amirav and Bas ter Haar Romeny, From Rome to Constantinople: Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron (Leuven: Peeters), was published in Cameron's honour.
Cameron's early articles explored early Byzantine and early Medieval Latin writers such as Corippus, Procopius, and Gregory of Tours from literary and historical perspectives. Her early monographs, Agathias (1970) and Procopius and the Sixth Century (1985) were accompanied by a number of influential edited collections, including Images of Women in Antiquity, edited jointly with Amélie Kuhrt (1983), and History as Text (1989). With Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire: The Development of Christian Discourse (1990), Cameron sparked a scholarly conversation about 'the power of discourse in society' in later antiquity, seeking to understand 'how Christianity was able to develop a "totalizing discourse" ' (the phrase itself is borrowed from the work of Michel Foucault).
Cameron's mature scholarship has included substantial surveys such as The Later Roman Empire, AD 284-430 (1993) and significant editorial commissions, including joint editorship of volumes 12, 13, and 14 of the Cambridge Ancient History (second edition) along with a number of influential studies on dialogue and debate in Byzantium from the early Christian period to the twelfth century.
Recent articles include 'The Cost of Orthodoxy', Church History and Religious Culture, vol. 93 (2013) 339-61, and 'Early Christianity and the discourse of female desire', repr. from Women in Ancient Societies, ed. L. J. Archer, S. Fischler and M. Wyke (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994), 152-68, with an afterword, in The Religious History of the Roman Empire. Pagans, Jews and Christians, ed. J.A. North and S.R.F. Price (Oxford readings in Classical Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 505-30, and 'Byzantium and the limits of Orthodoxy', Raleigh Lecture in History, (Proceedings of the British Academy 154 2008), 139-52.