Patrick J. Geary

Patrick J. Geary (born September 26, 1948)[2] is an American medieval historian. He is Professor Emeritus of Western Medieval History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and also holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Medieval History Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Patrick J. Geary
Born (1948-09-26) September 26, 1948 (age 72)
Louisiana, U.S.
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
DisciplineMedieval history

Early life and education

Raised in Louisiana, Geary was educated at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama, and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 1974, he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in medieval studies from Yale University,[3] where he studied with Roberto Sabatino Lopez and Jaroslav Pelikan.


Geary's primary area of research has been in the early Middle Ages, from circa AD 500 to circa 1100 His scholarship has made significant contributions to a number of areas of medieval social and cultural history, including the cult of relics, literacy and social memory, conflict and dispute resolution, and the formation of ethnic identity in early Europe. He has also published and spoken frequently on the development of medieval history as an academic discipline in Europe and the United States.

Over the course of his career, he has taught at Princeton University, the University of Florida, UCLA and the University of Notre Dame. He has also held visiting professorships at several European universities. In 2009, he served as the president of the Medieval Academy of America, and was previously director of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Medieval Institute at University of Notre Dame.[4]

At UCLA from 2005 to 2012, Geary directed a multi-year, international collaborative project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to produce a computerized image and object database of the Plan of Saint Gall, a medieval architectural drawing of a monastic compound dating from the early ninth century.[5]

At the Institute for Advanced Study, Geary worked with an interdisciplinary team of North American and European researchers to apply advanced DNA analysis to early medieval burial remains from Italy and central Europe to help understand population movement and social structures during the so-called "barbarian migrations".[6]

Selected works

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  • Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978. Revised edition 1991. French translation Le Vol des Reliques. Aubier, 1993. Italian translation Coltura e Pensiero 2000.
  • "L'humiliation des saints", Annales, E.S.C. 34 (1979), pp. 2742
  • "Ethnic Identity as a Situational Construct in the Early Middle Ages", Mitteilungen der anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien vol. 113 (1983) pp. 1526
  • Aristocracy in Provence: The Rhone Basin at the Dawn of the Carolingian Age. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia; Anton Hiersemann Verlag, Stuttgart, 1985.
  • "Vivre en conflit dans une France sans état: Typologie des mécanismes de règlement des conflits (10501200)", Annales, E.S.C. (1985) pp. 11071133.
  • Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World, Oxford University Press, New York, 1988. French translation, Le monde Mérovingien Flammarion, 1989. German Translation, Die Merowinger, C. H. Beck, 1996 Korean Translation Vistabooks, 1999.
  • Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the end of the first Millennium, Princeton University Press, 1994. French translation Aubier 1996
  • Medieval Germany in America. German Historical Institute Annual Lecture 1995 (German Historical Institute, 1996).
  • The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. German Translation: Europäische Völker im frühen Mittelalter. Zur Legende vom Werden der Nationen. Frankfurt: Fischer, 2002.
  • Women at the Beginning: Origin Myths from the Amazons to the Virgin Mary. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006).
  • Historians as Public Intellectuals. Southampton: University of Southampton, Centre for Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 2007 (The Reuter Lecture 2006).

See also



  1. Booker 1998, p. 15.
  2. U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, Utah: Operations, Inc.), 2010
  3. "Patrick J. Geary", IAS
  4. "Medieval Institute // University of Notre Dame". Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  5. "UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies | St. Gall Project". Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  6. "NSF Award Search: Award#1450606 - Inferring Biological Relatedness And Genomic Ancestry Using 2nd Generation Sequencing".