Prof Bjorn Weiler

MA (St. Andrews) PhD (St. Andrews)

Prof Bjorn Weiler


Institute Director of Research (Science)

Contact Details


Professor Weiler has held visiting fellowships at Bergen, Cambridge, Freiburg i. Br., and Harvard, and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He works on political and historical culture in the European Middle Ages between the tenth and the thirteenth century, with a particular focus on comparative and transregional history; notions and practices of kingship; and on constructions and uses of the past in high medieval society.


Module Coordinator

Europe in the Central Middle Ages (c.950-1250); Political and historical culture; exchanges between east and west; religion and society in medieval Britain and Europe.


Politics and Political Culture in medieval Europe:  How did people in the Middle Ages think about power? More specifically, I am looking at how – during the two centuries preceding Magna Carta - both kings and their subjects expressed sometimes conflicting expectations of royal power, how they sought to enforce these readings, and the means they employed to turn them into political reality. A comparison of rebellion and political culture in England and Germany in the thirteenth century was published in 2007. A second book, on the theory and practice of kingship in Europe, 900-1200, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Historical Writing and Historical Culture:  How did people in the Middle Ages think, why and how did they engage with the past, and what did they hope to gain from doing so? These questions are approached with relation to the thirteenth-century English chronicler Matthew Paris (one of the most prolific historians of the European Middle Ages), and to the historical culture of high medieval England and Germany. A first outcome is a volume, edited jointly with Peter Lambert, on How the Past was Used: historical cultures, . 700 – 2000, to be published in the Proceedings of the British Academy in 2017.

England and Europe in the Central Middle Ages: From 2005-2013, Phillipp Schofield at Aberystwyth, Janet Burton at Lampeter, and I convened the Thirteenth-Century England conferences. My specific interest has been in the means and processes of interaction, but also in comparisons: what was specific about the English experience? This will lead to a new project mapping channels of communication and exchange in thirteenth-century Europe, taking on board institutional as well as communal and individual links, trade relations as well as cultural and religious exchanges, intellectual contacts, etc.<


Weiler, B 2017, 'Clerical Admonitio, letters of advice to kings, and episcopal self-fashioning, c. 1000-1200' History, vol 102, no. 352, pp. 557-575. DOI: 10.1111/1468-229X.12465
Weiler, B 2017, Historical writing in medieval Britain: the case of Matthew Paris. in The Oxford Handbook of Historical Writing in Britain, 1100-1300. Oxford University Press.
Weiler, B 2017, 'History, prophecy and the Apocalypse in the chronicles of Matthew Paris' English Historical Review.
Weiler, B & Lambert, P 2017, How the Past was Used: Historical cultures, c. 750-2000. Proceedings of the British Academy, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Weiler, B 2017, How unusual was Matthew Paris? in M Campopiano & H Bainton (eds), Universal Chronicles in the High Middle Ages. Writing History in the Middle Ages, Boydell & Brewer.
Weiler, B 2016, Historical writing and the experience of Europeanisation - the view from St Albans. in The Making of Europe: Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett. Brill, Leiden, pp. 205-43.
Weiler, B 2015, 'Tales of First Kings and the culture of kingship in western Europe, c.1050 - c.1200' Viator, vol 46, no. 2, pp. 101-127. DOI: 10.1484/J.VIATOR.5.105363
Weiler, B, Schofield, P & Burton, J 2015, Thirteenth Century England XV: Authority and Resistance in the Age of Magna Carta. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge.
Weiler, B 2013, Describing Rituals of Succession and the Legitimation of Kinship in the West. in A Beihammer, S Constantinou & MG Parani (eds), Court Ceremonies and Rituals of Power in Byzantium and the Medieval Mediterranean. Brill, Leiden, pp. 115-140.
Weiler, B 2013, Machtstrukturen und Machtvorstellungen in England. in N Kersken & G Vercamer (eds), Macht und Spiegel der Macht. Herrschaft in Europa im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert vor dem Hintergrund der Chronistik. Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, pp. 119-144.
Weiler, B 2013, Bishops and kings in England, c. 1066 - c. 1215. in L Korntgen & D Wasenhoven (eds), Religion and Politics in the Middle Ages. Germany and England in Comparison. Prinz-Albert Studien, De Gruyter, Berlin & Boston, pp. 157-203.
Weiler, B 2012, 'Tales of Trickery and Deceit: the election of Frederick Barbarossa (1152), historical memory, and the culture of kingship in later Staufen Germany' Journal of Medieval History, vol 38, no. 3, pp. 295-317. DOI: 10.1080/03044181.2012.694336
Weiler, B 2012, 'Matthew Paris in Norway' Revue Bénédictine, vol 122, no. 1, pp. 153-181.
Schofield, P, Weiler, B, Stoeber, K, Lachaud, F & Burton, J 2011, Thirteenth-century England xiii. in Thirteenth-century England xiii. Boydell & Brewer, pp. i-171.
Weiler, B 2010, 'Crown-giving and king-making in the west ca. 1000-ca. 1250' Viator, vol 41, no. 1, pp. 57-88. DOI: 10.1484/J.VIATOR.1.100567
Weiler, B 2009, The King as Judge: Henry II and Frederick Barbarossa as seen by their contemporaries. in P Skinner (ed.), Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter. Studies in the Early Middle Ages, Brepols, pp. 115-141.
Weiler, B 2009, 'Matthew Paris on writing history' Journal of Medieval History, vol 35, no. 3, pp. 254-278. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmedhist.2009.05.001
Weiler, B 2009, William of Malmesbury, King Henry I, and the Gesta Regum Anglorum . in CP Lewis (ed.), Anglo-Norman Studies 31: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2008. vol. 31, Boydell & Brewer, pp. 157-176, 31st Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies, Battle, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2008.
Schofield, P & Weiler, BKU 2009, Thirteenth-Century England XII: Proceedings of the 2007 Gregynog Conference. in J Burton, P Schofield & B Weiler (eds), Thirteenth-Century England XII: Proceedings of the Gregynog Conference, 2007. vol. 12, Boydell & Brewer.
Weiler, B 2009, 'Kings and sons: princely rebellions and the structures of revolt in western Europe, c.1170–c.1280' Historical Research, vol 82, no. 215, pp. 17-40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2281.2007.00450.x
Weiler, BKU 2008, 'Power and politics in medieval history, c.850–c.1170' Early Medieval Europe, vol 16, no. 4, pp. 477-493. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0254.2008.00239.x
Weiler, BKU 2008, The Commendatio Lamentabilis for Edward I, and Plantagenet kingship. in LE Scales, A Kettle & C Given-Wilson (eds), War, Government and Aristocracy in the British Isles, c. 1150-1500: Essays in Honour of Michael Prestwich. Boydell & Brewer, pp. 114-130.
Weiler, B 2008, Stupor Mundi : Matthäus Paris und die zeitgenössische Wahrnehmung Friedrichs II. in England. in K Görich, J Keupp & T Broekmann (eds), Herrschaftspraxis und Kommunikation zur Zeit Friedrichs II. Herbert Utz, pp. 63-95.
Weiler, B 2008, Suitability and right: imperial succession and the norms of politics in early Staufen Germany. in F Lachaud & M Penman (eds), Making and Breaking the Rules: Succession in Medieval Europe, c. 1000 - c. 1600: Établir et abolir les norms: la succession dans l'Europe médiévale, vers 1000 - vers 1600. Brepols, pp. 71-86.
Weiler, B 2007, Kingship, Rebellion and Political Culture: England and Germany, c.1215 - c.1250. Springer Nature.
Weiler, B 2006, Henry III of England and the Staufen Empire, 1216-1272. Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series, Royal Historical Society.
Weiler, B 2006, 'Knighting, homage, and the meaning of ritual: the kings of England and their neighbors in the thirteenth century' Viator, vol 37, pp. 275-299. DOI: 10.1484/J.VIATOR.2.3017488
Weiler, B 2005, 'William of Malmesbury on Kingship' History, vol 90, no. 297, pp. 3-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-229X.2005.00320.x