OXFORD University has received a gift of £3m from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to support the expansion of Late Antique and Byzantine studies.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is a longstanding and generous supporter of the humanities at Oxford.

Prof Peter Frankopan, Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, said: "This magnificent gift is testimony to the work done in the field of Late Antique and Byzantine studies at Oxford."

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, said: "Understanding today’s world requires tracing the dots of history and connecting them through to the present.

"The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is proud to help Late Antique and Byzantine studies at Oxford, and the field as a whole, grow and flourish in the years to come.

"The grant to secure two important endowed academic positions and fund graduate scholarships is very timely, since support for the humanities in general and Byzantine studies in particular has declined in recent years.”