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Personal profile


Malcolm Choat is Professor of Ancient History in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University. His current research interests centre on discourses of authenticity, debates over cultural heritage, and the reception of the ancient world. He is interested in the way the ancient world is experienced today, and our interactions with the nations and peoples whose pasts we study. He addresses these issues in the ‘Forging Antiquity’ research project, and via the 'Markers of Authenticity' research stream based in the ‘Modes of Communication’ research theme in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University.

By training he is an ancient historian, papyrologist, and copticist, and his research has foccused on early Christianity, monasticism, magic, and Greek and Coptic papyrology in Roman and Late antique Egypt. He has worked on Australian Research Council funded projects on Religious authority and linguistic change in late antique Egypt, Communication networks in Upper Egyptian monastic communities, and Scribal Practice in Duplicate documents on papyrus in the project Knowledge transfer and administrative professionalism in a pre-typographic society: observing the scribe at work in Roman and early Islamic Egypt. He is involved in several editoral projects, including Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt; the reedition of the magical handbooks on papyrus in the Neubauer Collegium funded project Transmission of Magical Knowledge in Antiquity; a new edition of the fourth century papyrus archive of Apa Johannes; and the publication of the Greek and Coptic texts from Macquarie excavations on Dra’ Abu el-Naga in West Thebes.


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Research Outputs

Earliest Christianity in the Great Oasis

Choat, M., 2020, Dust, demons and pots: studies in honour of Colin A. Hope. Warfe, A. R., Gill, J. C. R., Hamilton, C. R., Pettman, A. J. & Stewart, D. A. (eds.). Leuven: Peeters Publishers, p. 77–87 10 p. (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta; vol. 289).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dating papyri: familiarity, instinct and guesswork

Choat, M., 1 Sep 2019, In : Journal for the Study of the New Testament. 42, 1, p. 58-83 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Egypt's role in the rise of Christianity, monasticism, and regional schisms

    Choat, M., 2019, A companion to Greco-Roman and late antique Egypt. Vandorpe, K. (ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, p. 449-471 23 p. (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Forging antiquities: the case of papyrus fakes

    Choat, M., 2019, The Palgrave handbook on art crime. Hufnagel, S. & Chappell, D. (eds.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 557-586 30 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Gnostic elements in ancient magical papyri

    Choat, M., 2019, The Gnostic world. Trompf, G. W., Mikkelsen, G. B. & Johnston, J. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 217-224 8 p. (Routledge Worlds Series).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter