Wendy Davies

Wendy Davies

B.A., Ph.D., F.B.A., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S.

Additional member of the Faculty of History, University of Oxford

Professor of History Emerita, University College London

Formerly Pro-Provost (Europe), UCL

Email: w.davies@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests

Wendy Davies’s research centres on the social and economic history of pre-industrial rural communities in Europe; to that end, she has worked on the way surviving text conditions our perception of community identity and land-use (hence work on early medieval charters) and has been much involved in archaeological fieldwork. She is committed to working across disciplines and to working in collaboration with other scholars: she has convened the – still active – ‘Bucknell’ charter group since 1979, and, with others, has run interdisciplinary projects which explore the interaction between text and field evidence. Always with a broad interest in western Europe, her earlier work tended to focus on Wales and Brittany, but in recent years she has been much occupied with northern Spain in the early middle ages.

Selected Publications:


Wales in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester, 1982)

(ed. with Paul Fouracre) The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 1986)

Small Worlds. The Village Community in Early Medieval Brittany (London, 1988)

Patterns of Power in Early Wales (Oxford, 1990)

(with G. G. Astill) The East Brittany Survey: Fieldwork and Field Data (Aldershot, 1994)

(ed. with Paul Fouracre) Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1995)

(with G. G. Astill) A Breton Landscape (London, 1997)

(with James Graham-Campbell et al.) The Inscriptions of Early Medieval Brittany (Oakville CT & Aberystwyth, 2000)

Acts of Giving. Individual, Community, and Church in Tenth-Century Christian Spain (Oxford, 2007)

Welsh History in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies. Farnham: Ashgate, Variorum Collected Studies Series (2009). xiv + 346 pp.

Brittany in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies. Farnham: Ashgate, Variorum Collected Studies Series (2009). xvi + 340 pp.

(edited, with Paul Fouracre) The Languages of Gift. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2010). xv + 305 pp.



‘Surface Scatters of Building Stone: Enhancing Field Survey Work’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 12 (1993), 337–53

‘On servile status in the early middle ages’ in M. L. Bush (ed.), Serfdom and Slavery. Studies in Legal Bondage (London, 1996), 225–46

‘Thinking about the Welsh environment a thousand years ago’ in G. Jenkins (ed.), Cymru a’r Cymry 2000. Wales and the Welsh 2000 (Aberystwyth, 2001), 1–18

‘Sale, price and valuation in Galicia and Castile-León in the tenth century’, Early Medieval Europe, 11 (2002), 149–74

‘Looking backwards to the early medieval past: Wales and England, a contrast in approaches’, Welsh History Review, 22 (2004), 197–221

‘Buying with masses: “donation” pro remedio animae in tenth-century Galicia and Castile-León’ in F. Bougard, C. La Rocca, R. Le Jan (eds.), Sauver son âme et se perpétuer. Transmission du patrimoine et mémoire au haut moyen âge, Collection de l’école française de Rome 351 (2005), 401–16

‘The early middle ages and Spanish identity’ in H. Pryce & J. Watts (eds.), Power and Identity in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007), 68–84

‘Economic change in early medieval Ireland: the case for growth’, Settimane di Studio di Centro Italiano di Studi sull’alto medioevo, 57 (2010), 111–33

‘Judges and judging. Truth and justice in northern Iberia on the eve of the millennium’, Journal of Medieval History 36/3 (2010), 193–203

‘Notions of wealth in the charters of ninth- and tenth-century Christian Iberia’, in J.-P. Devroey, L. Feller, R. Le Jan (eds.), Les élites et la richesse au haut moyen âge, Collection Haut Moyen Âge 10, Turnhout: Brepols, 2010, 265–84

‘Holding court: judicial presidency in Brittany, Wales and northern Iberia in the early middle ages’, in Tome: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards, ed. F. Edmonds and P. Russell, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press,2011, 145–54

Water mills and cattle standards; probing the economic comparison between Ireland and Spain in the early middle ages, H. M. Chadwick Memorial Lectures 21, Cambridge: Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, 2012, pp. 1–28

‘Summary justice and seigneurial justice in northern Iberia on the eve of the millennium’, Haskins Society Journal , 22 (2010 [2012]), 43–58


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