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15th September 2023

Exeter College mourns Emeritus Fellow Elizabeth Jeffreys

Elizabeth Jeffreys

Elizabeth Jeffreys photographed in 2011 by Lizzie Maughan

We are sorry to learn of the death, on 12 September, of Emeritus Fellow Elizabeth Jeffreys.

A well-known and highly regarded scholar of Byzantine studies, Elizabeth Jeffreys was Emeritus Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Exeter College.

Elizabeth took her undergraduate degree at Girton College, Cambridge before coming to Oxford in 1963 to read for a BLitt at St Anne’s College. She taught at a grammar school for four years before becoming a senior resident fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London (1969–72), a visiting fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies (1972–74), and then resident fellow at the University of Ioannina (1974-76). Elizabeth then moved to Australia, working as a lecturer in Sydney before becoming a resident fellow at the University of Melbourne (1987–89) and subsequently a resident fellow then senior resident fellow at the University of Sydney (1990–95).

In 1996 Elizabeth returned to Oxford to become a Professorial Fellow of Exeter College and Oxford’s Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature. Unusually for a Professorial Fellow, she served as Sub-Rector for two years in 1997–99. She retired in 2006 and spent her retirement in Oxford. After retiring she held a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship (2008–09). Elizabeth was strongly attached to Exeter, and she and her husband Michael (who survives her) frequently and enthusiastically attended Exeter events.

Elizabeth was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Michael Jeffreys, with whom she often collaborated on research and publications, and by a daughter.

Elizabeth’s funeral will be held at the Exeter College Chapel on Tuesday 26 September at 11:00 AM. Everyone associated with Exeter, or otherwise connected to Professor Jeffreys and her family, is welcome to attend.

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