Ancient and Medieval History

Research theme

In addition to expertise in all aspects of ancient and medieval history, and in associated disciplines, at Cambridge we have access to a huge array of resources to support research in these fields. The colleges hold large numbers of medieval manuscripts of many different kinds, and the University Library has its own extensive manuscript collection, an unparalleled collection of rare books and important archives (such as the Ely Diocesan Archives). There is a dedicated palaeography scholar who teaches on the M.Phil. and generously supports other scholars, and a dedicated Latin specialist. The Fitzwilliam Museum is home not only to art and coins but also objects from armour to reliquaries, and to yet more manuscripts. Easy access to London, and via Stansted Airport to the continent, provides a route to even wider resources for the study of the ancient and medieval pasts.

Our work in this area

The faculty members have wide and varied interests, but share some overlapping areas of thematic strength, including the intersection of law and society, cross-cultural communication and exchange, the peasantry, religious belief and religious authority, intellectual culture, and gender. There has been an established professorship of medieval history since 1937, now held by Professor John H. Arnold (following the retirement of Professor Rosamond McKitterick in 2016).

Research culture

The medievalist community at Cambridge is extensive, and there are a number of vibrant research seminars held within and between faculties, where graduate students, postgraduates and early career scholars play a key role. Conferences are held regularly, and it is possible for postgraduates to propose themes for workshops or small conferences.

Medieval colleagues are also involved in the following cross-period seminars:

Graduate students in medieval history run a series of further workshops.

For latest news about medieval events and publications follow @camedieval on Twitter 

Research Area Contacts

Convenor: Professor Tessa Webber

Graduate Comms Officer: Savannah Pine


The following people specialise in this area both within their own research and in collaboration with others.