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Durham University

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Mr Alastair Forbes

Anglo-Norman Monastic Conceptualisations on the Place, Nature, and Fate of the milites, c. 1050 – 1150 in the Department of History

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Project Overview

This project is concerned with the members of Anglo-Norman society most commonly referenced in the Latin as milites, through the lens of contemporary monastic chroniclers. It takes as its basis case studies of larger historical works from the period, supported by theological and other non-chronicle works, to explore how different monastic commentators conceptualised the milites in terms of both their place in the world and their ultimate post-mortem prospects.

Research Interests

I am interested in the nature of the milites and of “knighthood” across the high medieval period, particularly in the 11th and 12th centuries. Particularly, I explore this through the monastic lens, and as such also have an interest in contemporary monastic worldviews and its impact upon their writing of history. My focus is primarily upon the areas of Norman occupation in this period, as well as the militarised frontiers of Iberia and the Levant.

Seminars and Conferences

Transforming the Tirones: The Role of Women in Establishing the Nature of Twelfth-Century Knighthood (Connexions Seminar Series, ‘Gendered Spaces’, Durham University, March 2019)

Anselm, Eadmer and the Conceptualisation of Courtly Society (IAAS Conference 2019: ‘Anselm of Canterbury: Nature, Order, and the Divine’, Durham, July 2019)

Research Interests

  • Anglo-Norman History
  • Knights and knighthood
  • Monasticism and monastic worldviews
  • Warfare and Crusade

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