Wiles Lecture Series
The Wiles Lectures were founded in 1953 by Mrs Austen Boyd of Craigavad, Co. Down, in memory of her father, Thomas S. Wiles of Albany, New York. Acting with the advice of the then vice-chancellor of Queen’s, Sir Eric Ashby, and of Sir Herbert Butterfield, then master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Mrs Boyd generously endowed a trust fund to support an annual series of lectures ‘to promote the study of the history of civilisation and to encourage the extension of historical thinking into the realm of general ideas’.
The fund brings to Belfast each year an expert in a particular field of historical scholarship to deliver four lectures on successive days, related to the lecturer's research and reflecting on the wider implications of their work for historical understanding.
The Wiles Trust also supports other scholarly activities at Queen's, including a series of Wiles Colloquia on historical topics, convened by members of School staff.
For more information, contact the Chair of Trustees, Prof. Peter Gray
Wiles Lectures 2021
The Wiles Lectures 2021 will be given by Professor Chris Wickham, on the topic:
'Rethinking the Commercial Revolution of the 11th and 12th-Century Mediterranean'
The lectures will be given in person on 27-30 October 2021
The idea that there was a revolution in commerce in the central middle ages has been around for over a century, and it has been associated with the trading activities of ships from the major Italian ports since at least the 1950s. These lectures will question that. Italian ships were, beyond doubt, more active in the Mediterranean after 1100 than they ever had been before. But economic development around the sea was not led by sea traffic; rather, it was led by growth in economic complexity inside the regions around the sea. These lectures will look at, in turn, new work on Egypt, Byzantium, Islamic Spain, Sicily and northern Italy, to see how economic development worked in each, and how far it linked to the changing activities of merchants on the sea.
Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History (Emeritus) at the University of Oxford and a fellow of All Souls' College. He has worked on a range of topics in medieval history: detailed rural/regional analyses in an Annales tradition, and also urban histories, of Italy up to the early thirteenth century; comparative history, of socio-economic and socio-political patterns, particularly in late Antiquity and the early middle ages, but later on as well; socio-legal history; the study of social memory in Europe and more widely; and the interface between history and archaeology. His current research focusses on the Mediterranean in a long eleventh century and the development of exchange/commercial patterns in that period, from Spain to Egypt.
Grand narratives and Egyptian realities
|Wed. 27 Oct. 5pm. Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)|
The central and the tangential: Islamic/Norman Sicily and Islamic Spain
|Thurs. 28 Oct. 5pm. Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)|
The paradox of northern Italy
|Fri. 29 Oct. 5pm. Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)|
The underpinnings of Mediterranean trade, 1000-1200
|Sat. 30 Oct. 11am. Emeleus Lecture Theatre (Lanyon Building)|
All lectures are free and open to the public.
Please register here to attend