Centre for Medieval Studies

Melve, Leidulf


Phone: (+47) 55 58 30 41
E-mail: leidulf.melve@cms.uib.no

Coordinator of Nordic Centre for Medieval Studies (NCMS)

My main field of interest is European intellectual history in the early and high middle ages, with a particular focus on four interrelated topics:

  • Public debate in medieval Europe, 800-1300. A book-length study of several cases of public debate stretching from the Carolingian period until the last half of the thirteenth century, accentuating the dialogical and argumentative basis of conflict solution.
  • The Investiture Contest and the reform movement of the 11th century, mainly based on my study Inventing the Public Sphere. Continuity and Innovation in the Polemical Literature of the Investiture Contest (c. 1030-1122), which deals with the arguably most important and far-reaching confrontation between the secular and the sacerdotal powers. The Contest includes diverse topics, ranging from theological questions to the political history of the nascent territorial states of medieval Europe.
  • Literacy-studies and the relationship between oral and written forms of communication. Literacy studies deals with the implications of the written word when introduced and diffused in previously oral societies. More in detail, the extent to which this new technology leads to cognitive, social, and institutional changes.
  • The Crusades, in particular the first four Crusades, starting with Pope Urban II’s venture in 1095 to the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, terminating the fourth Crusade.

In addition, I have also published on a number of theoretical issues, including theoretical and methodical approaches in history and the social sciences, historiography, historical sociology, histories of ideas, and comparative history.

Publications and activities registered in CRISTIN