Rosamond McKitterick

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Rosamond McKitterick , FRSA (born May 31, 1949 in Chesterfield ) is a British historian .

Rosamond McKitterick grew up in Australia and began studying at the University of Western Australia in 1967, graduating with a BA in 1970 . From 1971 to 1974 she attended the College Clare Hall of the University of Cambridge , where she prepared for her doctorate under the direction of Walter Ullmann . She then studied Latin palaeography for a year with Bernhard Bischoff at the University of Munich (1974/75). In 1976 she was awarded with a record of the Carolingian Renaissance the Ph.D. and in the following year an MA at the University of Cambridge. There she worked as an Assistant Lecturer from 1979 and as a University Lecturer from 1985. In 1991 McKitterick was awarded the Doctor of Letters (Litt D.) for her publications published up to that point . She then taught for six years as a reader for early medieval history in Europe at Cambridge University. In 1997 she received a Personal Chair in the same subject (a chair set up for her personally). McKitterick has been a full professor of medieval history at the University of Cambridge since 1999.

Her research focus is in particular the tradition, church and cultural history of the Carolingian era . She is internationally regarded as one of the best connoisseurs of this time. McKitterick published several studies on Carolingian manuscripts. The foundation of her book, The Carolingians and the Written Word , published in 1989 , was a comprehensive reassessment of the role of literacy in all areas of Carolingian society. In this book she investigated the question of whether the society of the Carolingian Franconian Empire was shaped more by written or spoken language. In 2008 she published a monograph on Charlemagne . In doing so, she attempted to “trace the development of Carolingian political identity during the reign of Charlemagne”. The presentation met with numerous contradictions in the professional world. It assumes a “system of traveling scribes and notaries” in Charlemagne's office. In their view, there is a discrepancy between the places where the documents were issued and Charlemagne's itinerary . The usual equation of the place of issue of a document with the place of residence of the king is incorrect. Notaries of the royal chancellery have drawn up deeds without the presence of the ruler. This view was rejected by Theo Kölzer (2016) in a review of the arguments put forward by McKitterick.

McKitterick has received numerous academic honors and memberships for her research. She is a Fellow in History and Vice Masters at Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge. She is a corresponding member of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (since 1999), a corresponding member of the philosophical-historical class abroad in the Austrian Academy of Sciences (since 2006) and the Medieval Academy of America (since 2006). McKitterick is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts , Manufacturing and Commerce. In 2002 she was Hugh Balsdon Fellow at the British School at Rome and in 2005/06 Fellow-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study . In 2010 she received the AH Heineken Prize for History . She has been a member of the Academia Europaea since 2011 .



  • Charlemagne. The Formation of a European Identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-71645-1 (In German: Karl der Große. From the English by Susanne Fischer. Primus-Verlag, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-89678-599- 2 ).
  • History and Memory in the Carolingian World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 2004, ISBN 978-0-521-53436-9 ( review ).
  • The Frankish Kings and Culture in the Early Middle Ages (= Variorum Collected Studies Series. 477). Variorum, Aldershot et al. 1995, ISBN 0-86078-458-4 .
  • Books, scribes and learning in the Frankish kingdoms, 6th - 9th centuries (= Variorum Collected Studies Series. 452). Variorum, Aldershot et al. 1994, ISBN 0-86078-406-1 .
  • The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1989, ISBN 0-521-30539-X (several reprints).
  • The Frankish kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-983. Longman, London et al. 1983, ISBN 0-582-49005-7 (several reprints).
  • The Frankish church and the Carolingian reforms, 789-895 (= Studies in History Series. 2). Royal Historical Society, London 1977, ISBN 0-901050-32-6 .


  • The Early Middle Ages. Europe 400-1000 (= The Short Oxford History of Europe. ). Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 2001, ISBN 0-19-873173-6 (several reprints; with own contribution).
  • The New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2: c. 700-c. 900. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1995, ISBN 0-521-36292-X (several reprints; with own contributions).
  • Carolingian Culture. Emulation and innovation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1994, ISBN 0-521-40524-6 .
  • The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1990, ISBN 0-521-34409-3 (several reprints).


  • Walter Pohl : Rosamond McKitterick. In: Almanac of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Vol. 156, 2005/2006, ISSN  0378-8644 , p. 159.

Web links


  1. Rosamond McKitterick: Charlemagne. Darmstadt 2008, p. 11.
  2. Wilfried Hartmann in: Concilium medii aevi 11 (2008) pp. 1019-1025 ( online ); Roger Collins in: Early Medieval Europe 18 (2010) pp. 356-360.
  3. Rosamond McKitterick: Charlemagne. Darmstadt 2008, p. 176.
  4. Theo Kölzer: A “System of Traveling Scribes and Notaries” in Charlemagne's office? In: Archives for Diplomatics. 62 (2016), pp. 41–58.