Call for Entries: SAIMS/TMJ Essay Prize St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies in conjunction with the Mediaeval Journal invites entries for its annual Essay Competition, submitted according to the following rules:

1. The competition is open to all medievalists who are graduate students or have completed a higher degree within the last three years. For PhD students the time period of three years begins from the date of the successful viva, but excludes any career break. Any candidate in doubt of their eligibility should contact the Director of SAIMS.

2. A candidate may make only one submission to the competition.

3. The submission must be the candidate’s own work, based on original research, and must not have been previously published or accepted for publication.

4. Submissions are welcomed on any topic that falls within the scope of medieval studies.

5. The submission should be in the English language.

6. The word limit is 8,000 words, including notes, bibliography, and any appendices.

7. The text should be double-spaced, and be accompanied by footnotes with short referencing and a full bibliography of works cited, following the guidelines on the TMJ webpage. An abstract of 200 words should preface the main text.

8. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2014.

9. The essay must be submitted electronically to, in both Word and pdf formats, to arrive by the deadline.

10. The submission must be accompanied by a completed cover sheet and signed declaration; the template for this is available at The candidate’s name should not appear on the submission itself, nor be indicated in any form in the notes.

11. Decisions concerning the Competition lie with the Editors and Editorial Board of The Mediaeval Journal, who can, if they consider there to have been appropriate submissions, award an Essay Prize and in addition declare a proxime accessit. In the unlikely event that, in the judges’ opinion, the material submitted is not of a suitable standard, no prize will be awarded.

12. The value of the Prize is £500.

13. A candidate whose entry is declared proxime accessit will be awarded £100.

14. In addition to the Prize, the winning submission will be published within twelve months in The Mediaeval Journal, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal. Any queries concerning these rules may be directed to the Director of SAIMS who can be contacted at: Mediaeval History, 71 South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9QW and

Call for Applications: Donald Bullough Fellowship for a Medieval Historian

Leaves 72v-73r of the “St Andrews Psalter” (St Andrews msBX2033.A00), with full border decorations and illuminationsThe St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies invites applications for the Donald Bullough Fellowship in Mediaeval History, to be taken up during either semester of the academic year 2014-15.

The Fellowship is open to any academic in a permanent university post with research interests in mediaeval history. The financial aspect of the fellowship is a subsidy (up to £3000) towards the cost of travel to St Andrews and accommodation during your stay.

Previous Fellows have included Dr Christina Pössel, Professor Cynthia Neville, Dr Ross Balzaretti, Dr Marlene Hennessy, Professor Warren Brown.  The fellowship is currently held by Dr Edward Coleman.

The Fellowship carries with it no teaching duties, though the Fellow is expected to take part in the normal seminar life of the mediaeval historians during their stay in St Andrews. Weekly seminars, held on a Monday evening, run from September – December, and February – May. You will also be invited to lead a workshop on your chosen research theme during your stay. Fellows are provided with computing facilities and an office alongside the mediaeval historians in the Institute. The university library has an excellent collection for mediaeval historians.

You should send a letter of application by the advertised closing date, together with a scheme of research for the project on which you will be engaged during your time in St Andrews.  You should also enclose a CV, together with the names of two academic referees, who should be asked to write by the closing date. All correspondence should be addressed to

The closing date for applications is 31 March 2014.

Further enquiries may be addressed to the Director, Professor Simon MacLean ( or to colleagues in the Institute.


Spotlight on Simon MacLean

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA After years at school spent studying the Nazis, Victorian reform acts and the origins of the First World War (several times each), Dr Simon MacLean went to the University of Glasgow intending to do more of the same.  While there he realised there was more to pre-modern Europe than poor sanitation and book-burning, and he was inspired to pursue postgraduate research on Western Europe in the era of the Carolingian Empire (8th and 9th centuries).  This led to a PhD at King’s College London on the reign of the last Carolingian emperor Charles III ‘the Fat’ (d. 888), supervised by Professor Janet Nelson.  Simon then spent two years as a Research Fellow in Cambridge turning his thesis into a book, snappily entitled Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire (Cambridge UP, 2003).  The book’s essential argument is that Charles III does not quite live down to the reputation bestowed upon him by posterity, encapsulated by the declamation of one very eminent Victorian historian that he was ‘dangerous and unmanageable; a diseased, idiotic raving madman … who was probably put out of the way for his own good’.

simon maclean bookSince coming to St Andrews in 2002 Simon has continued to research the last years of the Carolingian Empire in the ninth century and its fragmentation into a series of successor kingdoms in the tenth – a key moment in the process by which the Late Antique world of great empires was transformed into the more immediately recognisable map of medieval European kingdoms.  He has published several articles on politics and history-writing in the ninth and tenth centuries, as well as two further books: History and Politics in Late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe: the Chronicle of Regino of Prüm and Adalbert of Magdeburg (Manchester UP, 2009), a translation and study of one of the most important chronicles of the period, and The Carolingian World (Cambridge UP, 2011), co-authored with Marios Costambeys and Matthew Innes.  In 2008 he was lucky enough to receive a Philip Leverhulme Prize for some of this research.  Since then he has been working on a book about the prominent role played by queens in tenth-century European politics.

simon maclean book 2

Simon teaches at all levels of the School’s provision and currently offers honours courses entitled: The Rise and Fall of the Carolingian Empire; Queens and Queenship in the Early Middle Ages; and A Century of Iron? England and Germany in the Tenth Century.  For more information see his staff page on the School of History website.