Postgraduate research

Slavery and the Households of Sixth-Century Gaul

Qualification: PhD

Department: History

Application deadline: 25 November 2022

Start date: 9 January 2023 or no later than 25 September 2023



Project description

Slavery in the early medieval West remains an understudied topic, especially in regards to the relationships that formed between the free and unfree. Interactions within domestic space, and the management of enslaved people by the heads of household, created dynamic mechanisms for regulating, changing, or stabilising society and its hierarchies during a period of wider transformation.

Sixth-century Gaul offers a uniquely rich evidence base from which to investigate the question of slavery and society in the post-Roman world. The Histories of Gregory of Tours, the sermons of Caesarius of Arles, the acts of Church Councils, numerous hagiographies, inscriptions, and other materials mention slaves, slaveholding, enslavement, and manumission in sufficient detail to enable an in-depth study of the topic.

This doctoral project will utilise the presence of enslaved people in Gallic society, and their visibility in the historical record, as an opportunity to better understand social relationships within the transformative period represented by the sixth century, as the old Roman order began to be replaced by its medieval heir.

This research will be conducted as part of a much larger project, involving a team of scholars investigating the question of Domestic Slavery and Sexual Exploitation in the Household of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East, from Constantine to AD 900 / AH 287 (, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. As part of a team of scholars, you will collaborate and share your findings with your fellow researchers, as the team collectively seeks to investigate this greater theme. Your completion of your PhD, and your career success, will be prioritised as one of the project’s outcomes. 



This 3-year PhD Studentship provides:

  • UK tuition fee waiver
  • Annual stipend at UKRI rates

*International students will need to cover the difference between the UK and International tuition fee for the duration of their studies. Please provide details of how you will fund the diffference within your personal statement.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a UK Bachelor's Degree 2:1 or better (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Applicants are required to hold a Masters degree in History or a related discipline (e.g. Medieval Studies).

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.


Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries

Application enquiries

How to apply

How to apply

To submit your application, please use the 'Apply' button at the bottom of the page and select January 2023 from the dropdown menu.

Include with your application:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the funding section please specify that you wish to be considered for the ERC Dailey Studentship 
  • In the research proposal section please provide the name of the project supervisor and project title, and also a proposed plan of research that outlines your approach to the subject and the sources (one page)





UK and International applicants

*Applicants holding EU Settled and Pre-Settled status, we will require a UK government share code so that we can verify your status (The share code we require starts with S)  please email your share code together with your application ID to  once you have submitted your PhD application.

*International students must be able to demonstrate that they can fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of their study.

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