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Dr Alice Rio

Dr Alice Rio

Reader in Medieval European History

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1228
Address Department of History
King’s College London
Room C10, East Wing
London WC2R 2LS



I was born and raised in Paris. I did my PhD (2006) in the History department at King’s under the supervision of Jinty Nelson. After that I was Junior Research Fellow at New College, Oxford, then Osborn Fellow and College Lecturer in Medieval History and Culture at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and then came back to the department in September 2009 as Lecturer in Medieval European History. Between 2012 and 2015 I was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe, 768-814’. I have been a member of the editorial board of Past & Present since 2011.


Research interests and PhD supervision

I am particularly interested in the following topics, and would be pleased to hear from prospective PhD students who want to work on any aspect of them:

  • The Frankish kingdoms under the Merovingians and Carolingians
  • Social and economic relationships, and their conceptualisation, in early medieval Europe more broadly
  • Early medieval law, legal texts, and legal practice
  • Early medieval literature, especially narrative texts

I have just finished a book on slavery and unfreedom between the 5th and the 12th centuries, and I am currently putting together a sourcebook on the same topic.

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Alice Rio (2017) Slavery After Rome, 500–1100 (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Alice Rio (2015) ‘Penal enslavement in the early middle ages’, in A. Lichtenstein and C. de Vito eds, Global Convict Labour (Leiden: Brill), pp. 79-107
  • Alice Rio (2015) ‘“Half-free” categories in the early middle ages: fine status distinctions before professional lawyers’, in P. Dresch and J. Scheele eds, Legalism: Rules and Categories (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 129-152
  • Alice Rio (2015) ‘Waltharius at Fontenoy? Epic heroism and Carolingian political thought’, Viator 46:2, pp. 41-64
  • Alice Rio (2009) Legal Practice and the Written Word in the Early Middle Ages: Frankish Formulae, c. 500–1000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • Alice Rio (2008) The Formularies of Angers and Marculf: Two Merovingian Legal Handbooks (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press)

For a complete list of publications, please see Alice's full research profile.

Expertise and public engagement

I am a co-convenor of the Earlier Middle Ages seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR).


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