Dr Alice Rio
Lecturer in Medieval European History
+44 (0)20 7848 1228
Department of History
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS
Research interests and PhD supervision
I was born and raised in Paris. I moved to London to do a BA in Ancient History in the Classics Department at King’s (2002), then did an MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek (2003). I then completed my transformation into a medievalist by moving to History to do my PhD (2006) under the supervision of Professor Dame Jinty Nelson. After that I was a Junior Research Fellow at New College, Oxford (2006-07), then Osborn Fellow and College Lecturer in Medieval History and Culture at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (2007-2009), and then came back to the department in September 2009 as Lecturer in Medieval European History.
Medieval slavery and unfreedom
The conceptualisation of social relationships
The Frankish kingdoms under the Merovingians and Carolingians
Law and legal texts
Early medieval narrative texts
I am currently working on slavery and unfreedom between the 5th and the 12th centuries, on which I am preparing a monograph and a sourcebook. More generally I am interested in the social history of late antique and early medieval Europe, particularly in the Frankish kingdoms under the Merovingians and Carolingians. I also work on legal practice and legal texts. I am especially interested in the ways in which different kinds of social relationship were governed and conceptualised – what rules and norms were deemed relevant to them, whether or not they were expressed in a legal framework, and what expectations came with them; and above all what bearing all this had on the lived experience of human relationships, from the most explicitly rule-bound (slavery) to the most informal (friendship). I am also in charge of the AHRC-funded project ‘The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe’.
I am happy to receive applications from PhD students interested in:
Any Merovingian and Carolingian topics
Social and economic history between 500 and 1100
Law, crime, legal and diplomatic sources
Women and gender
Early medieval narrative texts
For more details, please see my full research profile.
Alice Rio (2012) 'Self-sale and voluntary entry into unfreedom, 300–1100', Journal of Social History, 45:2, pp. 1-25. [Article in print Journal]
Alice Rio (2011) Law, Custom, and Justice in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 2008 Byzantine Colloquium London: Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London. [Edited book in print]
Alice Rio (2009) Legal Practice and the Written Word in the Early Middle Ages: Frankish Formulae, c.500–1000 CUP. [Authored Book in print]
Alice Rio (2008) The Formularies of Angers and Marculf: Two Merovingian Legal Handbooks Liverpool University Press. [Authored Book in print]
For a complete list of publications, please see Alice's full research profile.
Expertise and public engagement
4AAH1002 European History 400-1500
[code pending] Gregory of Tours and the Merovingian World
[code pending] The Sociology of the Middle Ages
6AAH3023/24 Carolingian Europe, c.750-900
7AAH1012 Medieval Slavery
7AAH1009 The History of Medieval Women: Image & Reality
I am a co-convenor of the Earlier Middle Ages seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), and a member of the editorial board of Past & Present.