Stephen Rapp, Ph.D.



PhD, History, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1997

MA, History, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1992

BA, Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1990


Dr Steve Rapp completed his BA in Political Science, with a focus on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, at Indiana University. Shifting his primary research focus to pre-modern times, he spent his graduate career investigating the later Roman Empire, the Caucasus region, and Iran and Central Asia at the University of Michigan. For ten years Dr Rapp taught world history at Georgia State University and was the founding director of its Program in World History and Cultures. Dr Rapp joined SHSU’s Department of History in fall 2012 where he teaches on a variety of subjects ranging from early Christianities to the Mongol Empire and the “roots” of globalization.

At the crux of Dr Rapp’s interdisciplinary research is a cross-cultural interrogation of the interlocked Byzantine and Iranian Commonwealths, the tri-continental abode of Eastern Christianity. He approaches this enterprise through the lens of the Caucasus region, its most culturally diverse component. Already in the fourth century, the Christianization of Caucasia’s élites brought the realms of Armenia, Georgia, and Caucasian Albania into the emergent Byzantine world as charter members. But, as he demonstrates, scholars have tended to overstate the affiliation by presuming Christian Caucasia’s exclusive attachment to the Greek core of the Byzantine Empire. This supposition obscures not only the intrinsic diversity and dynamism of commonwealths but also the prospect of concurrent relationships with the Iranian cultural world—two defining attributes of late antiquity.



Survey of World History to 1500

Early Christianities

Cross-Cultural Encounters: Silk Roads, Mongol Empire, and Atlantic World


Cross-Cultural Interactions (from the Silk Road to the Columbian Exchange)

World Historiography

Globalization in World History

Roman Empire to Byzantine Commonwealth

Christian Roman Empire: Byzantium to the Fourth Crusade

Ancient Christianities

Mongol Imperialism and Empire

Selected Publications

The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature. Farnham, Surrey—Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.

Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts and Eurasian Contexts. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, vol. 601, Subsidia, vol. 113. Louvain: Peeters, 2003.

With Paul Crego, eds., Languages and Literatures of Eastern Christianity: Georgian, The Worlds of Eastern Christianity 300-1500, vol. 5. Farnham, Surrey—Burlington, VT: Ashgate/Variorum, 2012.

“The Georgian Nimrod,” in The Armenian Apocalyptic Tradition: A Comparative Perspective, Kevork Bardakjian and Sergio La Porta eds., 2 vols. Leiden—Boston: Brill, 2014. Pp. 188-216.

“Caucasia and Byzantine Culture,” in Byzantine Culture: Papers from the Conference ‘Byzantine Days of Istanbul’ May 21-23, 2010, Dean Sakel ed. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 2014. Pp. 217-234.

With Tamila Mgaloblishvili, “Manichaeism in Late Antique Georgia?,” in ‘In Search of Truth’:

Augustine, Manichaeism and Other Gnosticism, Jacob Albert van den Berg, Annemaré Kotzé, Tobias Nicklas, and Madeleine Scopello eds., Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, vol. 74. Leiden—Boston: Brill, 2011. Pp. 263-290.

“The Iranian Heritage of Medieval Georgia: Breathing New Life into the Pre-Bagratid Historiographical Tradition,” Iranica Antiqua 44 (2009): 645-692.

 “Georgian Sources,” in Byzantines and Crusaders in Non-Greek Sources 1025-1204, Mary Whitby ed., Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 132. Oxford: Oxford UP/British Academy, 2007. Pp. 183-220.

The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature (Hardback) - Routledge Languages and Cultures of Eastern Christianity: Georgian (The Worlds of Eastern Christianity, 300-1500) (9780754659860): Stephen H. Rapp: Books