Photo of Dr Damien Kempf

Dr Damien Kempf BA (Sorbonne), MA (Sorbonne/EHESS), Ph.D (Johns Hopkins)

Senior Lecturer in European History History


Research Interest 1

My PhD dissertation focused on the early medieval period and reconsidered the rise of the Carolingians through the analysis of a key source from this period, Paul the Deacon’s 'Liber de episcopis Mettensibus', written in the early 780s. I have edited, translated and introduced the text for the Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations Series (published by Peeters in 2013). I am currently completing a project initially started at the University of Bristol with Prof. Marcus Bull, and which addresses the cultural history of the First Crusade and its reception in medieval Europe. More specifically, I am investigating the political, religious and cultural impact of the most successful account of the First Crusade, Robert the Monk’s 'Historia Iherosolimitana'. The number of surviving manuscripts ― more than a hundred ― makes the text one of the most popular historical works of the Middle Ages. An important part of my work focuses on the cultural and political uses of the 'Historia Iherosolimitana' in the twelfth century (from which no fewer than 38 manuscripts survive), examining the text’s journey from northern France, where it was first written and copied, to the German-speaking lands, where it enjoyed an enormous success. This research has already translated into a number of publications: in addition to a new edition of the text that Prof. Marcus Bull and I have recently completed (Boydell & Brewer, 2013), I am writing a monograph tentatively called 'A cultural history of a medieval best-seller: Robert the Monk’s Historia Iherosolimitana', which examines the multifaceted nature of the reception of Robert's text in medieval Europe.