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Annual Riggsby Lecture on Medieval Mediterranean History and Culture

2019 Riggsby Lecture:

Dr. Maureen Miller

Professor of History, UC-Berkeley

“Medieval Italy’s Bishops: A Mediterranean Episcopate in its European Context, c. 1050-1300”

Time: 5:30 pm

Date: Monday, October 21

Location: Toyota Auditorium, Howard Baker Center

A reception will follow the talk

This year’s Riggsby lecture, “Medieval Italy’s Bishops: A Mediterranean Episcopate in its European Context, c. 1050-1300,” explores a distinctive aspect of the medieval Italian church: its extraordinarily high number of bishops. Professor Maureen Miller will sketch the distribution of bishops across the peninsula, the historical circumstances that yielded this plethora of prelates, and the vast differences in resources they had to carry out their pastoral duties. She will then turn to the ramifications of these conditions. How did this abundance of bishops influence the quality and character of pastoral care, the institutions of local churches, and the kinds of men who became diocesan leaders? Throughout the lecture, Miller will explore differences between northern and southern Italy as well as relations with the increasingly powerful bishop of Rome, the pope.

Maureen Miller is a professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines the capacity of individuals and societies for change during the social, economic, political, and cultural transformations of Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. She has a particular interest in movements for reform during this period, as well as in the development of institutions, social relations, urban landscapes, and cultures of medieval Italian cities.

Questions? Email

An image of the poster of the Riggsby Lecture. The central image is a medieval image of a bishop. The text gives the title, date, and location of the lecture, stated above.

About the Riggsby Lecture:


Thanks to the generous support of donors Stuart and Kate Riggsby, the Marco Institute was able to establish the annual Riggsby Lecture in 2004. This lecture series brings a prestigious scholar of the medieval Mediterranean to the University of Tennessee campus every fall to give a public talk on a medieval Mediterranean topic of the speaker’s choosing. We are grateful to the Riggsbys to have been able to host the following distinguished academics in past years.


Hussein Fancy

Associate Professor of History, Univ. of Michigan

“The Impostor Sea: The Making of the Medieval Mediterranean”


Nuria Silleras-Fernandez

Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Colorado – Boulder

“The Crown of Aragon and the Mediterranean: Politics, Gender, and Culture”


Karla Mallette

Professor of Italian and Near-Eastern Studies, University of Michigan

Cosmopolitan Languages, Lingua Franca, and Linguistic Frontiers in the Medieval Mediterranean


Paul M. Cobb

Professor of Medieval Islamic History, University of Pennsylvania

“Charlemagne’s Muslim Elephant: Kingship, Nature, and Monotheism in the Early Middle Ages”
Click Here to watch the simulcast on November 5 @ 5:30p


Jonathan P. Phillips

Professor of History, Royal Holloway, University of London

“Saladin: Life and Legend”


Catherine Brown

University of Michigan

“Traveling Hands: Mobile Manuscript in the Early Medieval Mediterranean”


Amy Remensnyder

Brown University

“La Conquistadora: A Tale of Two Seas, the Virgin Mary, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Indians”


Paul H. Freedman

Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University

“A Phantom Spanish Archive: The Past Slips Through Our Fingers”


Cynthia Robinson

Cornell University

“Who’s that Girl?: Cross-cultural Narrative, Mysticism and the Lady on the Alhambra Ceilings”


Sharon Kinoshita

University of California, Santa Cruz

“How To Do Things in the Medieval Mediterranean”


Michelle Hamilton

University of California, Irvine

“The Fall of ‘Spain’: The Problem of Muslims in Medieval Iberia”


Joel Cohen

Director, Boston Camerata

“Music of the Three Religions in Medieval Spain”


Timothy Barnes

University of Toronto

“What is the Theodosian Code?”


David Nirenberg

Johns Hopkins University“King Alfonso VIII and the Jewess of Toledo: A Love Story”


Olivia Remie Constable

University of Notre Dame

“A Game for Everybody: Chess and Society at the Court of Alfonso X of Castile”