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School of History

Dr Tom Asbridge


Reader in Medieval History

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8343
Room Number: ArtsTwo 4.06


I studied for a BA in Ancient and Medieval History at Cardiff University, and then undertook doctoral research on the early history of the ‘crusader’ principality of Antioch at Royal Holloway, University of London.

I then taught at St Andrews and the University of Reading, before joining Queen Mary in 1999.


Research Interests:

I am a medieval historian specialising in the study of the crusades, knighthood and chivalry, and medieval violence. My major publications include The Crusades – The War for the Holy Land (link is external)(2010), which so far has been translated into eight different languages, and a biography of the influential medieval knight William Marshal titled The Greatest Knight (link is external) (2015). My current research explores whether the violence enacted during the crusades was more extreme than that witnessed in other forms of medieval warfare.

  • Medieval history
  • Crusades & the Crusader States
  • Medieval Knighthood
  • Medieval Violence




  • Thomas Abridge, 'An Experiment in Extremity: The Portrayal of Violence in Robert the Monk's Narrative of the First Crusade', History 105 (2020), pp. 719-50.
  • ‘William of Tyre and the first rulers of the Latin principality of Antioch’, Deeds Done Beyond the Sea: William of Tyre, Crusade and Settlement, ed. S.B. Edgington & H. Nicholson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 35-42.
  • ‘Bohemond of Taranto and the foundation of the principality of Antioch’, Convegno IX centenario morte Boemondo I d’Altavilla, ed. C.D. Fonseca (Canosa di Puglia, 2014), pp.134-50.
  • 'How the crusades could have been won: King Baldwin II of Jerusalem’s campaigns against Aleppo (1124-5) and Damascus (1129)’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 11 (2013), pp. 73-93.
  • ‘Talking to the Enemy: The role and purpose of negotiations between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 39 (2013).
  • ‘The principality of Antioch and the early history of the Latin East’, East and West in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean II, ed. K. Ciggaar & V. Van Aalst (Wilsele: Peeters, January 2013).
  • ‘The Holy Lance of Antioch: Power, devotion and memory on the First Crusade’, Reading Medieval Studies, vol. 33 (2007), pp. 3-36.
  • ‘Knowing the Enemy: Latin relations with Islam at the time of the First Crusade’, Knighthoods of Christ, ed. N. Housley (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 17-25.
  • ‘Alice of Antioch: a case study of female power in the twelfth century’, The Experience of Crusading: Defining the Crusader Kingdom, ed. P. Edbury and J. Phillips (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 29-47.
  • ‘The impact of Islam and Byzantium upon the crusader community at Antioch’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, vol. 9 (1999), pp. 305-325.
  • ‘The significance and causes of the battle of the Field of Blood’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 24.3 (1997), pp. 301-316.
  • ‘The Jabal as-Summaq and the principality of Antioch’, The First Crusade: Origins and Impact, ed. J. Phillips (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), pp. 142-152.

Web Publications 


I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research on any field of medieval history, with particular reference to:

  • military and religious history
  • the crusades and the crusader states
  • knighthood and chivalry

Public Engagement

I am currently engaged in a number of projects that disseminate the findings of my research. These include:

  • Co-curating a major exhibition to commemorate the 1217 Battle of Lincoln with The Collection, Lincoln and Lincoln Cathedral.
  • Founding and running the Teaching the Crusades Network, which brings together school teachers and academic specialists
  • Developing a number of digital humanities projects exploring crusading history and the life of William Marshal
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