Book Series Studies in the Early Middle Ages, vol. 46

Cities, Saints, and Communities in Early Medieval Europe

Essays in Honour of Alan Thacker

Scott DeGregorio, Paul Kershaw (eds)

  • Pages: 408 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:8 b/w, 9 tables b/w., 1 maps b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56504-0
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56566-8
  • E-book
  • Available

Explores the insular, the European and, more broadly, the Mediterranean connections and contexts of the history and culture of Anglo-Saxon England.


“Der Band, dessen Aufsätze jeweils einen direkten Bezug zum Geehrten herstellen, sind durchgehend gut geschrieben und von hoher wissenschaftlicher Qualität. Sie bieten einen wertvollen Beitrag zu den genannten Themen.” (Laury Sarti, in Historische Zeitschrift,  313, 2021, p. 769)

“The quality of these chapters is uniformly excellent.” (Raymond Van Dam, in The Medieval Review, 22.01.17)

“The celebration of Alan Thacker’s stellar contributions to early medieval history has resulted in a stellar contribution. For this reader, there can be no higher praise than that commonly held: this book was so engrossing, I missed my train station.” (Stephen J. Joyce, in Parergon, 38/2, 2021, p. 207)

“It is a volume worthy of its dedicatee. It will be influential for years to come.” (Andrew Breeze, in Mediaevistik, 34, 2021, p. 406)

“Overall, this volume encapsulates and honors Alan Thacker as a scholar and mentor while the exceptional essays themselves stand alone as important contributions to the field.” (Carolyn Twomey, in Church History, December 2023, p. 951)





This book honours the scholarship of English historian Dr. Alan Thacker by exploring the insular, the European and, more broadly, the Mediterranean connections and contexts of the history and culture of Anglo-Saxon England in the age of Bede, and beyond. It brings together original contributions by leading European and North American scholars of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages working across a range of disciplines: history, theology, epigraphy, and art history. Moving from the Irish Sea to the Bosporus, this collection presents a linked world in which saints, scholars, and the city of Rome all played powerful connective roles, creating communities, generating relationships, linking east to west, north to south, and present to past.

As in Thacker’s own work, Bede’s life and thought is a central presence. Bede’s attitudes to historical and contemporaneous conceptions of heresy, to the Irish church, and the evidence for his often complex relationships with his Northumbrian contemporaries all come under scrutiny, together with groundbreaking studies of his exegesis, christology, and historical method. Many of the contributions offer original insights into figures and phenomena that have been the focus of Dr. Thacker’s highly influential scholarship.


List of Illustrations, Acknowledgements

Introduction: Alan T. Thacker, an Appreciation

Paul Kershaw

A Bibliography of the Publications of Alan T. Thacker, 1979–2019

Paul Kershaw

Gildebertus rex fr[ancorum]: The Least–Famous Epitaph of a Merovingian King and the Cult of a Spanish Martyr in Sixth-Century Paris

Mark A. Handley

The ‘Political’ Use of the Cult of Saints in Early Medieval Ravenna

Tom Brown

The Impact of the Lateran Council of 649 in Francia: The Martyrdom of Pope Martin and the Life of St Eligius

Catherine Cubitt

Bede and Monotheletism

Jennifer O’Reilly

Rectores at Risk: Erudition and Heresy in Bede’s Commentary on Proverbs

Faith Wallis

Heresy and Authority in Bede’s Letter to Plegwine

Peter Darby

Bede and Bishop Acca

Clare Stancliffe

King Ceadwalla and Bishop Wilfrid

Richard Sharpe

Bede’s Preferential Treatment of the Irish

Barbara Yorke

Bede’s Midlife Crisis: The Commentary on First Samuel

Scott DeGregorio

Bede’s perfecti, the Vision of God, and the Foretaste of Heaven

Arthur Holder

Bede’s Wise and Foolish Virgins: Streanæshalch and Coldingham

Julia Barrow

Risano Revisited: A Step Too Far for Charlemagne?

Paul Fouracre

Hincmar of Reims meets Bede

Jinty Nelson

The English Presence in Rome in the Later Anglo-Saxon Period: Change or Continuity?

Francesca Tinti

A Renaissance Synthesis of Ancient Christian Themes: Architecture, Altarpieces, and Imagined Spaces in San Giovanni Crisostomo, Venice, 1495–1520

Éamonn Ó Carragáin