Sean V.  Leatherbury Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Sean V. Leatherbury

Assistant Professor
University College Dublin

Sean V. Leatherbury is an art historian interested in the visual and material culture of the Roman, late antique, and Byzantine worlds, with a particular focus on the art and architecture of the eastern Mediterranean.


Sean V. Leatherbury is an historian of Roman, late antique, and medieval art and architecture, and is currently Assistant Professor in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, University College Dublin. His research has been supported by residential fellowships at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles (2014-15), the Bard Graduate Center in New York (2013-14), and the Council for British Research in the Levant (2013-14), and by grants from the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics (ASPROM). Most recently, he was Assistant Professor of Art History at Bowling Green State University in Ohio (2015-2019) and Research Associate of the ERC-funded Monumental Art of the Christian and Early Islamic East project at Oxford (

Dr. Leatherbury is currently mosaics curator and board member of Manar al-Athar (, an open-access photo archive for the study of the ancient and medieval Middle East, based at Oxford.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Dr. Leatherbury's research examines the relationship between art and text, issues of identity and geography ('regionalism', 'provincialism'), and the transformation of the so-called minor arts (votive offerings, textiles, silver vessels, gold-glass, jewelry) from the Roman period to the early Middle Ages. His first monograph, Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity: Between Reading and Seeing (Routledge,  2019), considers the visual functions of texts inscribed within Christian, Jewish, and early Islamic buildings across the Mediterranean. Previous projects include contributions to museum catalogues of objects, including decorated gold-glasses, from the catacombs of Rome (Ashmolean Museum) and Roman and late antique mosaics (Getty Villa); chapters and articles on word-image relations and the visual powers of words in late antiquity, early Christian textiles and silver, Christian visual engagement with Jewish sacrificial traditions, and the ritual use of coins as offerings; and contributions to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity and the Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art. Current projects include a book on the mosaics of Roman and late antique Syria in their cultural and regional context; an edited volume on late antique art and identity; and articles and essays on iconoclasm and/as repair, early Christian perceptions of portrait statues, unusual materials in floor mosaics, inscribed cross-pendant necklaces, lead coffins from Roman Lebanon, and wall mosaics as sites of cross-cultural negotiation.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Inscribing Faith - 1st Edition book cover


Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry

Writing (and reading) Silver with Sidonius: the material contexts of late antique texts

Published: Mar 15, 2017 by Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry
Authors: Sean V. Leatherbury
Subjects: Classical Studies, Art & Visual Culture

While scholars have begun to examine the potent visual dimensions of the inscribed word in antiquity, texts written onto smaller objects have yet to receive the same amount of attention. This article examines a poem composed by the fifth-century author Sidonius Apollinaris, which is to be written onto a silver bowl. While the bowl does not survive, the poem and its frame within a letter force readers to reconsider the flexibility of the relationship between word, image, and object.


Reading and Seeing Faith in Byzantium: The Sinai Inscription as Verbal and Visual “Text”

Published: Oct 01, 2016 by Gesta
Authors: Sean V. Leatherbury
Subjects: Classical Studies, Art & Visual Culture

Inscriptions were a significant—and significantly visual—form of religious, political, cultural, and social display in the early By­z­antine period, but scholars have paid little serious attention to the ways in which viewers read and looked at inscribed prose texts. This article analyzes one such inscription, the Greek dedicatory text written in mosaic in the apse of the main church of the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, in its religious, political, and visual contexts.