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Dr Caroline Goodson

Dr Caroline  Goodson

University Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History

Fellow of King's College

2017-18 Leverhulme Research Fellow (on leave)


Biography:

I completed a PhD at Columbia University in 2004, after living in Rome for 3 years to carry out dissertation research. I was a member of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London, from 2005-2017, and joined the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, in 2017. 

Subject groups/Research projects

Ancient and Medieval History:

Research Interests

I take a transdisciplinary approach to the period between c. 600 and c. 1100, working with a range of textual evidence as well as archaeology and material culture to examine the rise of early medieval polities in the Western Mediterranean, including North Africa and in particular, Italy. The Western Mediterranean witnessed the emergence of several different political structures in the post-Roman period, ranging from provinces within a larger empire to independent city-states. 

My research concentrates on the nature of power in this part of the early medieval world, looking at how different groups positioned themselves as successors of the Romans’ past glories or innovators in a new world order. I am particularly interested in how changing religious beliefs related to day-to-day experiences (and how these have been transmitted to us through material and textual records) and how cities facilitated certain forms of social interaction and political authority. My work deliberately moves between the disciplines of history and archaeology. I have published extensively on medieval documentary and historical texts, such as chronicles, hagiography, and more recently charters and diplomata. The archaeological record is the only body of early medieval evidence that is presently expanding and a consideration of material sources against and alongside textual ones offers new vantage points on how early medieval rulers claimed political and cultural hegemony and how it was experienced by their subjects. In addition to excavation, I use standing buildings archaeology, archaeological archives, and material culture studies in my research. 

Research Supervision

I am happy to supervise research students working on early medieval Italy and its neighbours, cults of saints, medieval settlement, environment, economies and urbanism in the Western Mediterranean.   

Other Professional Activities

Fellow, Royal Historical Society (since 2010); Società degli Archeologi Medievisti Italiani (since 2010); Higher Education Academy (since 2009); American Academy, Rome (since 2002)Associazione internazionale di archeologia classica (since 2002).

Key Publications

Books:

The Rome of Pope Paschal I (817-824): papal power, urban renovation, church rebuilding and relic translation, Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought 77. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Villa Magna: an Imperial Estate and its Legacies. Excavations 2006–10, ed. with E. Fentress, M. MaiuroArchaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome, 22 (London: British School at Rome2016),  + online database, catalogue, and specialist essays

Graphic Signs of IdentityFaith, and Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, ed. with Ildar Garipzanov and Henry MaguireCursor Mundi, 27 (TurnhoutBrepols, 2017).

Cities, Texts and Social Networks, 400-1500:  Experiences and Perceptions of Medieval Urban Space, ed. with Anne LesterCarol Symes  (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010).

Walls and Memory: The Abbey of San Sebastiano, Alatri (Lazio) from Late Roman Monastery to Renaissance Villa and Beyond, ed. with Elizabeth Fentress, Margaret Laird and Stephanie Leone, Disciplina Monastica 2(TurnhoutBrepols, 2005) 

Book Chapters and Articles:

Christograms on North African Lamps: Considering Context,’ in Graphic Signs of Identity, Faith, and Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ageseds Ildar Garipzanov, Caroline Goodson, Henry Maguire (Turnhout: Brepols2017), pp. 179–94  

Topographies of Power in Aghlabid-era Kairouan,’ in The Aghlabids and their Neighbourseds Glaire AndersonCorisande Fenwick, Mariam Rosser-Owen (Leiden: Brill2017), pp. 88–105

 ‘To be the daughter of Saint Peter: S. Petronilla and forging the Franco-Papal Alliance,’ in Three Empires, Three Cities: Identity, Material Culture and Legitimacy in Venice, Ravenna and Rome, 750-1000, ed. Veronica West-Harling (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), pp. 159-82

‘Archaeology and the Cult of Saints in the Early Middle Ages: Accessing the Sacred,’ in Le culte de sainte-Agnès in Agone, Rome, entre Antiquité et Moyen-Âge, ed. C. Sotinel (= Mélanges de l’École française de Rome - Moyen Âge 126.1 (2014): 124–48

with E. Fentress, ‘L’eredità di una villa imperiale in epoca bizantina e medievale,’ Archeologia Medievale 29 (2012): 57–86

with John Arnold, ‘Resounding Community: The History and Meaning of Medieval Church Bells,’ Viator 43.1 (January 2012): 99–130

‘Roman Archaeology in Medieval Rome,’ in Rome: Continuing Encounters Between Past and Present, eds Dorigen Caldwell, Lesley Caldwell (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 23–45

with Janet Nelson, ‘The Roman Contexts of the ‘Donation of Constantine’ Review Article,’ Early Medieval Europe 18.4 (November 2010): 446–67

‘La cripta anulare di S. Vincenzo Maggiore nel contesto dell’architettura di epoca carolingia,’ in Monasteri in Europa occidentale (secoli VIII-XI): topografia e strutture, eds Federico Marazzi, Flavia de Rubeis (Rome, Viella, 2008)pp425–42 

‘Building for Bodies: The Architecture of Saint Veneration in Early Medieval Rome,’ in Felix Roma : The  Production, Experience and Reflection of Medieval Romeeds Éamonn Ó Carragain and Carol Neuman de Vegvar  (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 5180 

Material Memory: Rebuilding the Basilica of S. Cecilia in TrastevereRome,’ Early Medieval Europe 15.1 (2007): 20–52

‘The Relic Translations of Paschal I (817–824) :  Transforming city and cult,’ in Roman Bodieseds Andrew Hopkins, Maria Wyke (Rome: British School at Rome, 2005, pp. 12341