Youval Rotman is a social historian of the ancient and early medieval Eastern Mediterranean world. His research ascribes a central role to the social and cultural processes in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East under Roman and Byzantine rule, which gave rise to new forms of religious communities. Three orbits of cultural influence met in this world: the Hellenistic tradition, the Jewish civilization, and the new emerging Christian culture. Within this framework he has worked on slavery, on child labor, on captives and redeeming of captives, and on religious conversion. His current research focuses on two topics: sanctity and social abnormality in the religious life of the late antique Near East, and rivalry between religious communities of different faith in the Byzantine world.
Youval Rotman was a fellow at Yad Hanadiv (2001-2003) and at Princeton University (2003-2004). He taught in the department of History at Yale University (2004-2009) before joining the department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University.