I have been a Fellow at Trinity since 1981, and am now the ‘Senior Fellow’ (which only means I have been here longer than anyone else). My undergraduate degree, and doctorate, were in History, but I have also been a practicing archaeologist (working mainly in Italy), and am happy using the evidence of both material objects and texts in my work. All my research has been within ‘Late Antiquity’, the period between about 300 and 700 AD, which saw the collapse of the western Roman empire and the rise of both Christianity and Islam. All periods of history are interesting and important, but I find this one particularly absorbing because it witnessed vast cultural change, and because the evidence for it, though extensive, is not overwhelming. My wide-ranging interests in Late Antiquity led me to set up the ‘Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity’, a community that links some eighty academics, working within the period in six different Faculties of the University. I am currently seconded from Trinity to run the Ertegun Programme and Ertegun House, which were set up for graduate scholars in the Humanities through a remarkable benefaction from Mrs Mica Ertegun: http://www.ertegun.ox.ac.uk/.