Europe in the 11th century


Episode 8: simony with Lioba Geis (Germany)

Ep. 8

Simony (the illicit purchase of church office) was a major issue in 11th-century Europe. In this episode, I talk with Dr Lioba Geis about her "Habilitation" research into the nature and origins of simony, and what (if anything) changed in the 11th century.

Reading mentioned in the podcast:

  • Lioba Geis, 'The Battle Against Simony in Norman Italy. Perceptions, Interpretations, Measures and Consequences', in: J. H. Drell, P. Oldfield (ed), Rethinking Norman Italy. Studies in Honour of Graham A. Loud, Artes liberales (Manchester 2021), pp. 227-244.
  • Lioba Geis, 'Kirchenrechtliche Norm und diözesane Praxis. Strategien des Umgangs mit Simonie im frühen 11. Jahrhundert, in: A. Bihrer, S. Bruhn (ed.), Jenseits des Königshofs. Bischöfe und ihre Diözesen im nachkarolingischen ostfränkisch-deutschen Reich (850-1100), Studien zur Germania Sacra. Neue Folge 10 (Berlin/Boston 2019), pp. 177-208
  • Hans Meier-Welcker, 'Die Simonie im frühen Mittelalter. Begriff und Erscheinung in ihrer Entwicklung von der Spätantike bis zum Investiturstreit' in: Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 64 (1952/53), 61-93
  • Timothy Reuter, 'Gifts and simony', in Medieval transformations: texts, power and gifts in context (Leiden, 2001) p. 157-168

Image: Paris BnF lat. 9448, fol. 54v

Music: Karen Gomyo (CC BY-NC 3.0)

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Episode 10: state formation in north-western Iberia with Alvaro Carvajal (Spain)

Ep. 10
Northwestern Iberia is renowned amongst medievalists for its wealth of charters. In this episode, I talk to Alvaro Carvajal Castro about how historians are using these documents in concert with archaeology to investigate social and political changes in the 10th and 11th centuries, as kings and elites increasingly intruded upon long-established peasant communities.Works mentioned in the podcastCarvajal Castro, Alvaro, 'Early Medieval Commons? Or How the History of Early Medieval Europe Could Benefit from a Necessary Conversation: The Case From NW Iberia',International Journal of the Commons, 15(1) (2021), 338–353. DOI: Castro, Álvaro and Tejerizo-García, Carlos (eds.),El Estado y la Alta Edad Media(Bilbao, Forthcoming).Davies, Wendy,Windows on Justice in Northern Iberia, 800-1000 (London, 2016)Escalona, Julio, and Iñaki Martín Viso. "The Life and Death of an Historiographical Folly: The Early Medieval Depopulation And Repopulation of the Duero Basin." In Beyond the Reconquista: New Directions in the History of Medieval Iberia (711–1085), edited by Simon Barton and Robert Portass, 21-51. Leiden: Brill, 2020.Quirós Castillo, Juan Antonio. "An Archaeology of “Small Worlds”: Social Inequality in Early Medieval Iberian Rural Communities." Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 12, no. 1 (2020): 3-27.Music: Karen Gomyo (CC BY-NC 3.0)Image: Escorial Beatus, B_Escorial_a.jpg (1650×1928) (

Episode 9: monasticism with Steven Vanderputten (Belgium)

Ep. 9
What does the eleventh century mean for monastic history? In this podcast, I'm joined by Professor Steven Vanderputten to talk about his latest research on monastic leadership and collaboration around the year 1000.Works mentioned in the podcast:Bruce, Scott and Vanderputten, Steven, eds., A Companion to the Abbey of Clunyin the Middle Ages (2022)Lawrence, C.H.,Medieval Monasticism. Forms of religious life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages(London, 1989)Vanderputten, Steven, "'Columbanus wore a single cowl, not a double one": The "Vita deicoli" and the legacy of Columbanian monasticism at the turn of the first millenium',Traditio76 (2021) p. 157-184Vanderputten, Steven, '"Against the Custom": Hagiographical Rewriting and Female Abbatial Leadership at Mid-Eleventh-Century Remiremont';Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies10 (2021), 41-66Vanderputten, Steven, Medieval monasticisms: forms and experiences of the monastic life in the Latin West(2020)Vanderputten, Steven, 'Pope Leo IX and the (Quasi-)Canonization of St Deodatus (1049). Hagiography, Papal Politics, and Local Competition at the Collegiate Chapter of Saint-Dié',Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique(2022), forthcomingVanderputten, Steven and De Gussem, Jeroen, 'Monachus ac Sacerdos Peregrinus: A Stylometric and Contextual Re-investigation of the Work of Theoderic of Fleury/Trier/Amorbach (fl. 970s–1020s)', forthcomingVanderputten, Steven, ed., Rethinking Reform in the High Middle Ages, 900-1150, forthcomingMusic: Karen Gomyo (CC BY-NC 3.0)Image: Bamberg SB MS Lit.142, fol. 65r