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Department of History

Staff Profile

Professor David Rollason, MA (Oxford), PhD (Birmingham)

Professor Emeritus (Early Medieval History) in the Department of History

(email at

Funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2010-13), David Rollason has completed a project on royal and imperial sites in Europe from the Roman to the early modern periods, and published it as The Power of Place: Rulers and their Palaces, Landscapes, Cities, and Holy Places (Princeton University Press, 2016). Having convened a conference on bishops’ palaces at Auckland Castle in 2015, he has now edited the proceedings as Princes of the Church: Bishops and their Palaces (Routledge, forthcoming 2017). He is now embarking on a preliminary exploration, with Professor Morgan Pitelka (Chapel Hill University), of palace-cities in Japan, Europe, and the Middle East. Before that gets under way, David Rollason is completing the second edition of his Early Medieval Europe (Routledge, forthcoming 2017), and the edition and translation, with Professor Michael Lapidge (University of Cambridge), of Symeon of Durham, Historia de regibus Anglorum et Dacorum (Oxford Medieval Texts). He is involved with three other research projects: the Royal Scone RSE Network, Royal Residence in Early Medieval Britain, and People and Place:The Making of the Kingdom of Northumbria AD300-800.

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
  • Palace-Cities in Japan, Europe, and the Middle East
  • Royal and Imperial Sites in Europe
  • Symeon of Durham's historical writing

Related Links


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • 2010 ''Levison in Exile'', in Becher, Matthias & Hen, Yitzhak (eds.), Wilhelm Levison (1876-1947) - Ein jüdisches Forscherleben zwischen wissenschaftlicher Anerkennung und politischem Exil, Siegburg: Franz Schmitt, pp. 319-32
  • 2010 ''The Cult of Bede'', in De Gregorio, Scott (ed.), Companion to the Venerable Bede, Cambridge University Press, pp. 193-200
  • 2009 (co-authored with Lambert, T B) 'Protection and the Mead-Hall', in Lambert, T B & Rollason, David (eds.), Peace and Protection in the Middle Ages, Durham Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies/Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, pp. 19-35
  • 2004 'Anglo-Scandinavian York: the evidence of historical sources', in Richard A. Hall, D. W. Rollason, M. Blackburn, D. N. Parsons, G. Fellows-Jensen, A. R. Hall, H. K. Kenward, T. P. O'Connor, D. Tweddle, A. J. Mainmain & N. S. H. Rogers (eds.), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, Council for British Archaeology, pp. 305-324
  • 1999 'Historical evidence for Anglian York', in D Tweddle, J Moulden & E Logan (eds.), Anglian York: A Survey of the Evidence, York Archaeological Trust, pp. 117-40
  • 1999 'Le corps incorruptible de saint Cuthbert et l'église de Durham vers l'an 1100'', in E. Bozóky & A-M. Helvétius (eds.), Les reliques: objets, cultes, symboles, Turnhout, pp. 313-20
  • 1999 'Monasteries and society in early medieval Northumbria', in B. Thompson & Paul Watkins (eds.), in Monasteries and Society, Harlaxton Papers, pp. 59-74
  • 1998 'Symeon's contribution to historical writing in Northern England' and 'The making of the Libellus de exordio: the evidence of erasures and alterations in the two earliest manuscripts', in David Rollason (ed.), Symeon of Durham: Historian of Durham and the North, Shaun Tyas, pp. 1-13, 140-56
  • 1996 'Hagiography and politics in eighth-century Northumbria', in Paul Szarmach (ed.), Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints’ Lives and their Contexts, State University of New York Press, pp. 95-114
  • 1995 'The cult of St Oswald in post-conquest England', in Clare Stancliffe & Eric Cambridge (eds.), Oswald, King and Martyr, Paul Watkins, pp. 164-77
  • 1993 'Durham Cathedral 1093-1193: bishops, monks, and kings', in Peter Isaac & Michael Jackson (eds.), Engineering a Cathedral, Thomas Telford, pp. 1-15
  • 1992 'Symeon of Durham and the community of St Cuthbert in the eleventh century', in Carola Hicks (ed.), England in the Eleventh Century, Boydell and Brewer, pp. 183-98
  • 1992 (co-edited with N. Ramsay, M. Sparks & T. Tatton-Brown) 'The concept of sanctity in Dunstan’s England', in (ed.), in St Dunstan his Life, Times and Cult, Boydell and Brewer, pp. 261-72
  • 1992 'The ecclesiastical context', in Harold Fox (ed.), The Origins of the Midland Village, Economic History Society/University of Leicester, pp. 73-90
  • 1989 'St. Cuthbert and Wessex: the evidence of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 183', in Gerald Bonner, David Rollason & Clare Stancliffe (eds.), St Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community to AD 1200, Boydell and Brewer, pp. 413-24
  • 1986 'The shrines of saints in later Anglo-Saxon England: distribution and significance', in L.A.S. Butler & R.K. Morris (eds.), The Anglo-Saxon Church: Papers on History, Architecture and Archaeology in Honour of Dr H.M. Taylor, Council for British Archaeology, pp. 32-43
  • 1985 'The miracles of St Benedict: a window on early medieval France', in Henry Mayr-Harting & R.I. Moore (eds.), Studies in Medieval History Presented to R.H.C. Davis, Hambledon Press, pp. 73-90

Edited book

  • 2011 (co-edited with Leyser, Conrad & Williams, Hannah) England and the Continent in the Tenth Century: Studies in Memory of Wilhelm Levison, Brepols: Turnhout.
  • 2009 (co-edited with Lambert, T. B. ) Peace and Protection in the Middle Ages, Durham Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies/ Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies: Toronto.
  • 1998 Symeon of Durham: Historian of Durham and the North, Paul Watkins, 430 pp.
  • 1998 (co-edited with Michael Prestwich) The Battle of Neville’s Cross 1346, Paul Watkins, 163 pp.
  • 1994 (co-edited with Margaret Harvey and Michael Prestwich) Anglo-Norman Durham 1093-1193, Boydell and Brewer, 506 pp.
  • 1989 (co-edited with Bonner, Gerald & Stancliffe,Clare) St Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community to AD 1200, Boydell and Brewer, 467 pp.
  • 1987 Cuthbert: Saint and Patron, Dean and Chapter of Durham, 61 pp.

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

  • 2000 Symeon of Durham. Libellus de exordio atque procursu istius hoc est Dunelmensis ecclesie (Church of Durham), Oxford University Press, xcv + 353 pp.
  • 1986 'Goscelin of Canterbury’s account of the translation and miracles of St Mildrith (BHL 5961/4): an edition with notes’ Medieval Studies 48, pp. 139-210.

Journal Article

  • 2009 ''The Origins of Kingship in England and on the Continent (published in Japanese translation by Keizo Asaji)'', Bulletin of Kansai University pp. 29-57
  • 2009 ''The Royal Palace in the Early Middle Ages: Representation and Reality of Power'', Rekishi 113, pp. 26-44
  • 2008 'St Aethelberht of Hereford and the cults of European royal saints', Cantilupe Journal 18, pp. 8-26
  • 1995 'Hexham after the Vikings', Hexham Historian 5, pp. 6-21
  • 1993 'The origins of parishes: a debate’, with John Blair and Eric Cambridge', Early Medieval Europe 2.
  • 1986 'Relic-cults as an instrument of royal policy c.900-c.1050', Anglo-Saxon England 15, pp. 91-103
  • 1983 'The cults of murdered royal saints in Anglo-Saxon England', Anglo-Saxon England 11, pp. 1-22
  • 1979 'The date of the parish boundary of Minster-in-Thanet (Kent)', Archaeologia Cantiana 95, pp. 7-17
  • 1978 'Lists of saints’ resting-places in Anglo-Saxon England', Anglo-Saxon England 7, pp. 61-93

Other (Print)

  • 2001 'Bede and Germany', pp. 42
  • 1988 'Two Anglo-Saxon Rituals: The Dedication of a Church and the Judicial Ordeal', pp. 20
  • 1981 'The Search for St Wigstan, Prince-Martyr of the Kingdom of Mercia', pp. 19