Dr Levi Roach
My teaching and research interests lie in the history of western Europe in the early and high Middle Ages. To date, my work has focused on themes of kingship and governance with an emphasis on the role of ritual and symbolic display. My most recent book, King Æthelred 'the Unready', was awarded the Longman-History Today prize for best 'scholarly but accessible' book. Future projects include a study of forgery and historical memory in western Europe at the turn of the first millennium, to be published by Princeton University Press; a popular history of the viking raids on Europe (including the British Isles), to be published by Yale University Press; and an edition of the Anglo-Saxon charters from continental houses for the British Academy Anglo-Saxon Charters series.
I can be found on Twitter as @DrLRoach.
My background lies in the study of kingship and royal governance, particularly in using charters and other documentary sources for this purpose, and I retain an active interest in these themes. Most of my work to had has been on later Anglo-Saxon England, but I increasingly work on France, northern Italy and (in particular) Germany, and the rich archival materials preserved there. I also have an active interest in modern debates about feudalism and the so-called mutation féodale ('Feudal Transformation/Mutation').
I am happy to supervise students working on the religious and political history of England and western Europe between c.800 and c.1200, particularly in the following areas:
- Kingship and governance
- Charters and diplomatic
- Religious reform
- Apocalypticism and prophecy
- Feudalism and the 'Feudal Revolution/Transformation'
External impact and engagement
I enjoy sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with a wider audience. I have spoken to a variety of local groups, including the Exeter branch of the Historical Association, the Exeter Cathedral, the Boniface Link Group (Crediton) and the South West Trust. My AHRC-funded project on 'Forging Memory: Falsified Documents and Institutional History in Europe, c. 970-1020' will see these contacts expand, and will be capped off with an exhbition at the local Cathedral (13-31 May 2019).
This past acadmic year, I spoke at the public 'Faking It!' event at Macquarie University, Sydney (22 Sept. 2018), at the BBC History Weekend in York (20 Oct. 2018), and at the local Cathedral here in Exeter (30 May 2019).
Contribution to discipline
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (2014–)
- Member of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (2014–)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015–)
- Member of the British Academy Anglo-Saxon Charters Committee (2016–)
- Member of the Viking Society for Northern Research (2017–)
- Review Editor, The Medieval Review (2017–)
I enjoy writing for a wider audience and have published articles and reviews in History Today, BBC History Magazine, the Literary Review and the Times Literary Supplement. I have also been quoted in the Mail Online and Independent, and appeared on BBC Radio 4's When Greeks Flew Kites, discussing medieval promises and modern misuses of the Middle Ages.
- HIH1410 - Understanding the Medieval and Early-Modern World
- HIH1602 - The Fall of Rome: The Western Empire in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
- HIH2092B - Europe in the Tenth Century: Continuity and Change
- HIH3117 - The Age of AEthelred 'the Unready': Sources
- HIH3118 - The Age of AEthelred 'the Unready': Context
- HIH3618 - Power Elites: Ruling Groups across Space and Time
- HISM018 - Research Skills for Medievalists
- HISM019 - Critical Approaches in Medieval Research
I studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, completing my PhD at the former in 2011. My doctoral work focused on royal assemblies in later Anglo-Saxon England and a revised version of my thesis was published by the Cambridge University Press in October 2013. From 2011-12 I held a Research Fellowship (Title A Fellowship) at St John's College, Cambridge. In 2012 I took up a lectureship at the University of Exeter.