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English Faculty

Lilla Kopár – Associate Professor of English, Director of the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies

Dr. Lilla Kopár

Lilla Kopár is Associate Professor of English, with a focus on medieval literature (of England and Scandinavia) and historical linguistics. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies and oversees the Center’s interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs. Dr. Kopár joined the faculty of CUA in 2006, having taught in various capacities in Hungary, Germany, and at UNC—Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Kopár is an interdisciplinary scholar of the early Middle Ages with an interest in the intersections of visual representations and literature; art and religion; epigraphy, commemoration, and material culture. Her research focuses on the visual culture of Anglo-Saxon England, in particular on stone sculpture, on myth and religion in the Viking Age, and on stone monuments and inscribed objects in early medieval northern Europe. Her monograph Gods and Settlers: The Iconography of Norse Mythology in Anglo-Scandinavian Sculpture (Brepols 2012) explores the influence of Norse mythological narratives on stone carvings of Viking Age England, and evaluates the sculptural evidence for the process of cultural integration and conversion of Scandinavian settlers. Her most recent work focuses on inscribed objects in a commemorative context, on the iconography of myth and heroic legend, and on runic inscriptions. Dr. Kopár is also active in the field of digital humanities and serves as the PI and director (with Prof. Nancy Wicker) of the NEH-funded Project Andvari: A Digital Portal to the Visual World of Early Medieval Northern Europe.
She offers undergraduate courses on medieval literature and Norse mythology, interdisciplinary courses in medieval studies, and graduate courses on the history of English, Old English poetry, and (sometimes) on medieval monsters. She supervises undergraduate and graduate research on early medieval literature and culture both at the English Department and at MBS.

Dr. Lilla Kopár field work



Selected Publications 

Gods and Settlers: The Iconography of Norse Mythology in Anglo-Scandinavian Sculpture. Studies in the Early Middle Ages 25. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012.
Martin Findell and Lilla Kopár, “Runes and Commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England.” Fragments: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Ancient and Medieval Pasts, Volume 6 (2017): 110-137. Permalink:
“Eddic Poetry and the Imagery of Stone Monuments.” In: A Handbook to Eddic Poetry: Myths and Legends of Early Scandinavia. Ed. by Carolyne Larrington, Judy Quinn, and Brittany Schorn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, 190-211.
“The Case of the Headless Body: A Note on the Iconography of Sigurd and Wayland in Viking-Age England.” In: Bilddenkmäler zur germanischen Götter- und Heldensage. Ed. by Wilhelm Heizmann and Sigmund Oehrl. Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, Ergänzungsband 91. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015, 315–332.
“Heroes on the Fringes of the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Corpus: Vernacular Memorial Inscriptions on Stone Sculpture.” In: Heroes and Saints: Studies in Honour of Katalin Halácsy. Ed. by Zsuzsanna Simonkay and Andrea Nagy. Budapest: Mondat, 2015, 85-120.
“Spatial Understanding of Time in Early Germanic Cultures: The Evidence of Old English Time Words and Norse Mythology.” In: Interfaces between Language and Culture in Medieval England: A Festschrift for Matti Kilpiö. Ed. A. Hall, et al. The Northern World 48. Leiden: Brill, 2010, 203-230.
“Thuróczy, János.” In: Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle. Ed. R.G. Dunphy. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010, 1429-30.
“The Use of Artistic Media in Norse Greenland.” Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 2 (2009), 102-113.
“The Wings of Weland.” In: The Iconography of the Fantastic. Eastern and Western Traditions of European Iconography 2. Ed. A. Kiss, et al. Papers in English and American Studies X / Studia Poetica 11. Szeged: JATE Press, 2002, 39-48
“The Colorful Fabric of Time. Contemporary Reception and Intellectual Background of Viking-Age Stone Carvings on the Example of the Gosforth Cross.” In: Aspects of Time in English and American Literature. Ed. T. Fabiny. Piliscsaba: Pázmány Péter Catholic University, 2001, 24-33.
“Leben und Taten verstorbener Könige. Entstehung literarischer Zeugnisse über das Leben von Ólafr Tryggvason und König Harold II von England nach ihrem (angeblichen) Tod.” In: Arbeiten zur Skandinavistik. 13. Arbeitstagung der deutschsprachigen Skandinavistik, 29.7-3.8.1997 in Lysebu (Oslo). Ed. F. Paul, et al. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Germanistik und Skandinavistik 45. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2000, 181-188.
International Cooperative Research Projects
Project Andvari: A Digital Portal to the Visual World of Early Medieval Northern Europe. Project director, with Prof. Nancy L. Wicker (University of Mississippi), in collaboration with Worthy Martin and Daniel Pitti (IATH, University of Virginia). Sponsored by the NEH Office of Digital Humanities (2013 Digital Humanities Level I Start-Up Grant recipient)
Project RuneS: Runic Writing in the Germanic Languages [Akademieprojekt Runische Schriftlichkeit in den germanischen Sprachen]. Funded by the German Academy of Sciences.
RMMC: Runes, Monuments, and Memorial Carvings—An International Research Network.

Media Appearances 

“Mellom hedendom og kristendom.” Radio interview and podcast for the program Museum at NRK P2 (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation). Broadcast on May 8 and 9, 2010.



Dr. Kopár is Director of the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies and serves on the Executive Committee of the Center for the Study of Early Christianity. 


Dr. Kopár has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge, Leicester, Durham, Göttingen, Munich, and Eichstätt. Her research has been recognized and supported by The British Academy, NEH, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), TEMPUS, the Soros Foundation, Arthur Prowse Fellowship of Durham University, Pro Renovanda Cultura Hungariae Award, and the Norwegian Ministry of Education.



Office: 107A Aquinas Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5794 (MBS) or 5488 (English)


Sample Courses

  • MDST 201 – Medieval Pathways
  • ENG 312 – Norse Mythology
  • ENG 352 – Chaucer and His Age II
  • ENG 501-502 – Introduction to Old English
  • ENG 621 – History of the English Language
  • ENG 853 – Seminar: Medieval Monsters


Ph.D. in English, 2004, University of Szeged, Hungary

M.A. in English and EFL, 1996, University of Szeged, Hungary

M.A. in German and GFL, 1996, University of Szeged, Hungary 

Areas of Expertise

  • Anglo-Saxon sculpture
  • Early medieval stone monuments and memorial carvings
  • Old English language and literature
  • The Vikings
  • Norse Mythology
  • Runology