Medieval History

To outsiders, the contentiousness, divisiveness, and downright un-neighborliness evident in the small Spanish town of Deza by the autumn of 1607 might well have seemed a tempest in a teapot. Those living in the newer Upper Neighborhood had been...

Giles Constable, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, has authored Medieval Thought and Historiography (Routledge, 2017), examining how people in the Middle Ages thought and which...

Giles Constable, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, has authored Medieval Monasticism (Routledge, 2017), a collection of his key articles on medieval monastic and ecclesiastical history, which provides a...

Few twentieth-century historians deserve a full-scale biography more than Ernst Kantorowicz (1895–1963) on the basis both of “work” and “life.” More than fifty years after his death Kantorowicz remains one of the most influential of all medieval...

Early this December, newspaper headlines made the sensational claim that recent DNA evidence had called into question the legitimacy of the British monarchy: scientists had identified what is known as a false-paternity event. Genetic analysis of...

The Institute is a remarkably modest place. Like all Members of the School of Historical Studies, I was provided a lovely apartment, a simple office (with computer), access to both the Institute’s libraries and those of Princeton University,...

Dumbarton Oaks has published How to Defeat the Saracens by William of Adam in a new translation and critical edition (2012) by ...

A natural starting point for any attempt to know a past society is its histories—the texts with which its members recorded what had happened and was happening in their world. Many precious witnesses of this kind have survived from medieval Europe...

Material objects play a role in all religions. Jewish women light candles for the Sabbath; Christians sprinkle or douse bodies with water to baptize; Hindus offer coconuts and clarified butter to images of the gods and goddesses; the ancient...

Reliquaries were designed as receptacles for tiny bundles of sacred stuff such as handfuls of dust, pebbles from Biblical sites in the Holy Land, tiny fragments of the hair, clothing, and even bone of those deemed to be saints and martyrs by the...

The hundred and fifty years before the Protestant Reformation used to be seen as a period of religious decadence. More recently, they have been understood as an era of rather anxious piety, in which the faithful purchased indulgences, went on...