Christopher Wickham Lecture


Location: Medieval Institute Reading Room (715 Hesburgh Library)

“Administrator’s Time: The Social Memory of the Early Medieval State in Iraq and China”

Professor Christopher Wickham, Chichele Professor of Medieval History and Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford, will lecture today.

Prof. Wickham’s main area of research is medieval Italy, particularly Tuscany and central Italy, from the end of the Roman empire through the thirteenth century. His emphasis has largely been social and economic, though he has undertaken study into the legal and political history of the area as well. More generally Wickham has worked under a modified Marxist framework on how European society changed from late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, and has pioneered comparative socio-economic analysis in this period.

In 2005 his work Framing the Early Middle Ages was published. It is exceptional for its use of hitherto unincorporated evidence from both documentary and archaeological sources, as well as its bold use of comparative methods and rejection of national narratives. It has been recognized by various prizes, including the Wolfson History Prize in 2005, the Deutscher Memorial Prize in 2006, and the James Henry Breasted Prize from the American Historical Association in 2007. He edited Marxist History Writing for the Twenty-First Century, a volume that discusses the status and profile of Marxist historiography, and his 2009 book The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000, examines cultural, religious, and intellectual developments of the period not covered in his previous socio-economic study.

A short reception will follow the lecture.