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Katie Sykes

Katie Sykes

Current Post / Principal Activity:

Translator and Editor

Contact details:


I spent three years, from 2014 to 2017, as a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Simon Franklin. My doctoral thesis, entitled Latins in the Literary Landscape of Early Rus, c. 988–1330, drew on a broad range of written sources from Rus to tackle the thorny question of when, how, and why the Rus painted the ‘Latins’ of what is now Western Europe as different to themselves. Over this period, I also taught Russian (and occasionally Old Slavonic) language, culture, and translation, presented and published my work in various forums, and helped to create and annotate a large online collection of Old Slavonic and Middle Russian texts (available to browse and search at

Since graduating, I have been working as a freelance translator and editor. I have maintained my ties with academia: I continue to consult on Old Slavonic (most recently for the TV series Vikings), and a significant proportion of my translation and editing work is academic in nature, often for researchers in the humanities who wish to publish in English but are not native speakers.

Selected Publications:

  • Latins in the Literary Landscape of Early Rus, c. 988–1300 (doctoral thesis, University of Cambridge, 2018), 
  • In press: ‘The Place of Anti-Latin Polemic in the Writing of Early Rus’, Byzantinoslavica, 2018
  • ‘Holy Bodies, Holy Relics: The Evolution of Late Antique Hagiographical Topoi in the Patericon of the Kievan Caves Monastery’, in Kirsty Stewart and James Moreton Wakeley, eds, Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Byzantine World, c. 300–1500 AD: Selected Papers from the XVII International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society, Byzantine and Neohellenic Studies, 14 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016), pp. 131–42


2015: Winner of Newnham College’s Wood-Whistler Prize and Scholarship for an essay entitled Constructing the Body in the Christian Culture of Early Rus

Languages used academically and professionally:

British English, Russian, Old Slavonic