Revisiting the 'Europe of Bishops'

11:00am - 4:00pm / Thursday 11th January 2018
Type: Workshop / Category: Department
  • Suitable for: Those with research interests relating to the topic.
  • Admission: Admission is free, please visit Eventbrite to register.
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Thu, 11 Jan 2018, 11:00 – Fri, 12 Jan 2018, 16:00

Episcopal politics and culture in comparison, 900–1100
In 2000, the late Timothy Reuter described millennial Europe as ‘a Europe of bishops’, a patchwork of small episcopal states characterised by their shared institutional culture, frameworks of governance and charismatic leadership.
Reuter’s ideas have stimulated a surge of interest in clerical culture and episcopal authority between the demise of the Carolingian Empire and the age of ‘Gregorian reform’. This period is now the focus of an unprecedented degree of interest as historians investigate the implications of the end of Carolingian hegemony, mindful of the long shadows of national historiographies and of classic narratives casting the tenth and eleventh centuries as a ‘post-Carolingian’ or ‘pre-Gregorian’ age of mutation féodale, nation-state formation, the Personenverbandsstaat, cultural decline and ecclesiastical decadence.
This colloquium revisits Reuter’s observations in the light of recent advances, inviting scholars to consider the qualities of episcopal office in this period with respect to questions of diversification or convergence on regional and European scales. What did it mean to be a bishop, and how was that office conceived in theory and in practice across Europe? If there was a common episcopal culture, how far beyond the core regions of the Latin West did it stretch?
In the spirit of Reuter’s deep interest in comparative history, this workshop aims for a broad geographical perspective which encompasses late Carolingian and early Capetian France, the Ottonian and Salian Reich, the British Isles, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, northern and eastern Europe, and Byzantium.


Julia Barrow (Leeds)
Elizabeth Boyle (NUI Maynooth)
Lindy Brady (Mississippi)
Marios Costambeys (Liverpool)
Robert Gallagher (Oxford)
Conrad Leyser (Oxford)
Fraser McNair (Tübingen)
Maroula Perisanidi (Leeds)
Levi Roach (Exeter)
Francesca Tinti (UPV/Ikerbasque)
Giorgia Vocino (Venice)
Charles West (Sheffield)

For any enquiries, please contact the organiser, Edward Roberts (