Matthew Coulter

PhD Candidate in Medieval History

I graduated in 2017 with a BA in History from Balliol College, Oxford. Subsequently, I spent a year as an exchange student at the Stiftung Maximilianeum in Munich, during which time I studied at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU Munich). In 2019 I completed my MPhil at St John’s College, Cambridge, with funding from the Newton College Masters Award. My MPhil Thesis analysed the reception of the 1241 Mongol invasion of Hungary in Austrian charters and annals, with particular reference to the significance of border warfare and dynastic relations between the Duchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary in mediating the reaction to and legacy of this event. My doctoral research continues on the theme of Central European connections, and focuses on the forms of diplomacy and political communication employed by the German-speaking Saxon towns in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Transylvania.

Medieval Hungary; Transylvania; East-Central Europe; medieval concepts of Europe; letters and letter collections; communication; literacy; diplomacy and political culture; towns and urban life.

I have lectured on the subject of 'Late Medieval Town Life' for Paper 14 of Part I and have taught on the subject of 'States' for Historical Argument and Practice (HAP).

'Versus partes Transalpinenses: The Transylvanian Saxon Towns and Transcarpathian Political Communication, c. 1467–1526', International Medieval Congress (Session 1115: Crossing Medieval Borders: Multicultural and Contested Spaces II – Navigating the Multiculturalism of Borders), Leeds, 4–7 July 2022.

'Primo exponat et narret: Petitioning the King in Late Medieval Hungary', Cambridge-Columbia Medieval History Exchange (Session on 'Exchange and Communication'), Online Workshop, 10 June 2022.

'Transylvanian Saxon Elites as Envoys to the Hungarian Royal Court, c. 1486–1526', Twelfth Medieval History Seminar, German Historical Institute London and German Historical Institute Washington DC, Online Conference, 30 September–2 October 2021.

'Patterns of Communication during the 1241 Mongol Invasion of Europe: Insights from the Ottobeuren Letter Collection', The Mongols in Central Europe: The Profile and Impact of their Thirteenth-Century Invasions, Online Conference, 26–7 November 2020 (originally to be held 26–7 March 2020 in Budapest).

'The Saxon Towns in Transylvania: Communication and Connections in the Fifteenth Century', Second Doctoral Colloquium Cambridge/QMUL, St Catharine's College, Cambridge, 7 February 2020.


Tags & Themes


Key publications

'Patterns of Communication during the 1241 Mongol Invasion of Europe: Insights from the Ottobeuren Letter Collection', Journal of Medieval History 48, no. 4 (2022),

'"Hec est quedam profetia que fuit inventa": A Prophecy in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 372', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 17, no. 1 (2020): 39–51, available here