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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Wilhelm Levison Memorial Lecture

Wilhelm Levison, born in Düsseldorf in 1876 of a Jewish family, was one of the greatest historians of the early middle ages. Lecturer at Bonn in 1903 and professor in 1909, the Nuremberg laws of 1935 forced him as a Jew to resign his chair, and in November 1938 he was debarred from the use of libraries. In early 1939, Durham University, which had in 1931 awarded him an honorary doctorate, offered him a fellowship. In April 1939 he and his wife Elsa moved to Durham where he continued his research until his death in 1947 and prepared for publication his most important work, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century. He and his wife are buried in the Bow Cemetery.

This lecture series was inaugurated in 2008 in order to celebrate the scholarly vision and achievements of Professor Levison. Each year a speaker is invited to build upon the foundations of cross-Channel cooperation and understanding in medieval history which Professor Levison did so much to establish.

11th Wihelm Levison Memorial Workshop 2019

5th June 2019, 10:00 to 12:00, Seminar Room 1, History Department, 43 North Bailey, Durham, Professor John Blair, Oxford University

Following on from Prof. Blair's lecture, the workshop will provide the opportunity for a focused group discussion of certain themes proceeding from it. These themes will include territorial organisation and power, commercial contacts, the built environment and material culture, and regional identities. Supplementing Prof. Blair's expertise with that of Durham's medievalist staff and research students, we will tackle the themes by drawing on interdisciplinary approaches and placing Anglo-Saxon England within the context of the wider early medieval world.

Please note that numbers are limited; to reserve a place, email John Clay ( directly

Contact for more information about this event.

Past Lectures