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Damian J. Smith, Ph.D.


Courses Taught

Cross-cultural encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean World; Medieval History with Auxiliary Historical Sciences (Palaeography; Diplomatic; Codicology; Numismatics; Canon Law); Heresy and Inquisition in the High Middle Ages; Medieval Spain; Medieval Survey 1100-1500; The Pontificate of Innocent III, The Medieval Idea of the University


  • Ph.D., University of Birmingham, 1997
  • M.A., University of London, 1991
  • B.A., University of London, 1990

Research Interests

Prof. Smith is interested in all periods of history really and most subjects but he specializes in Medieval Europe, especially the Iberian Peninsula (particularly the Crown of Aragon), the Papacy (from Eugenius III to Gregory X), heresy and inquisition (usually before the mid-fourteenth century), and cross-cultural interaction in the Mediterranean World.  He is currently writing a history of the reign of James I of Aragon (1213-76), the longest reigning king of the Middle Ages, and writing a series of essays on the treaties and negotiations between Catalonia and France in the Middle Ages for the Institut d’Estudis Catalans in Barcelona.

He is also a series editor for Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West, a series that reflects the central concerns necessary for any in-depth study of the medieval Church - greater cultural awareness and interdisciplinarity. Including both monographs and edited collections, this series draws on the most innovative work from established and younger scholars alike, offering a balance of interests, vertically through the period from c. 400 to c. 1500 or horizontally across Latin Christendom. Topics covered include cultural history, the monastic life, relations between Church and State, law and ritual, palaeography and textual transmission. All authors, from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, share a commitment to innovation, analysis and historical accuracy.

Publications and Media Placements


  • Crusade, Heresy and Inquisition in the lands of the Crown of Aragon, c. 1167-1276 (Leiden: Brill Academic Press, 2010).
  • Innocent III and the Crown of Aragon: the limits of papal authority (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2004).

Journal Articles

  • 'Additional Letters of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) to Catalonia’, Römische Historische Mitteilungen 65 (2023), 373-386 (with Paul Freedman).
  • ‘The Conception of James I of Aragon and its literary consequences’, Revista Chilena de Estudios Medievales 9 (2017): 1-11.
  • "Inocencio III, Pedro Beneventano y la historia de España", Vergentis, 2 (2016): 87-100.
  • "The 1240-1 Accounts of the Vicar Pere Ferrer and a heretic hunt around Barcelona", Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, 124 (2016): 26-52. (Co-author)
  • "La Catalogne, Le Midi et la libertas Ecclesiae à l'époque du pape Innocent III", Cahiers de Fanjeaux, 50 (2015): 453-466.
  • "Dinner and Diplomacy in the Deeds of the Conqueror", E-Humanista (Ivitra), 5 (2015): 86-93.
  • "Los orígines y el significado de la batalla de Muret", Revista Chilena de Estudios Medievales, 5 (2014): 11─27.
  • "A Privilege of Pope Innocent III for the Premonstratensian house of Bellpuig de les Avellanes", Römische Historische Mitteilungen, 55 (2013): 81-97. (co-author).
  • "Cruzada, herejía e inquisición en las tierras de la Corona de Aragón (siglos XII-XIII)", Hispania Sacra 65 (2013): 29-48.
  • "Las Navas and the Restoration of Spain", Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, 4 (2012): 39─43.
  • "The Papacy, the Spanish kingdoms and Las Navas de Tolosa", Anuario de Historia de la Iglesia, 20 (2011): 157-78.
  • "Le temps de la Grande Couronne d'Aragon du roi Pierre le Catholique. A propos de deux documents relatifs a l'abbaye de Poblet (fevrier et septembre 1213)", Annales du Midi, 265 (2009): 5-22. (co-author).
  • "Saint Rosendo, Cardinal Hyacinth and the Almohads," Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, 1 (2009): 53-66.
  • "A new letter of Innocent III from the archive of Vic shedding light on Cum Oporteat (X. 5.1.19)', Römische Historische Mitteilungen 50 (2008): 197-207.
  • "Politica antiheretica en la Corona de Aragon: una carta inedita de Inocencio III a la reina Sancha (1203)," Acta Historica et Archaeologica Medievalia 27/8 (2008): 65-88. (co-author)..
  • "James I and God: legitimation, protection and consolation in the Libre dels Fets," Imago Temporis Acti: Medium Aevum, 1 (2007): 105-119.
  • "Bibliografia delle crociate albigesi', Reti Medievali 7 (2006): 1-57.  (co-author).
  • "Motivo y significado de la coronacion de Pedro II de Aragon," Hispania 204 (2000): 163-79.
  • "Innocent III and the Minority of James I of Aragon," Anuario de Estudios Medievales 31 (1999): 19-50.
  • "Sancho Ramirez and the Roman Rite," Studies in Church History 31 (1996): 95-105.

Edited Volumes and Translations

  • Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241): Power and Authority (Amsterdam, 2023) (editor) 
  • King Alfonso VIII of Castile: Government, Family and War (New York, 2019) (co-editor)
  • The Fourth Lateran Council and the Crusading Movement (Brepols, 2018) (co-editor)\
  • Pope Innocent II (1130-43): The World vs The City (New York, 2016) (Co-editor)
  • Pope Celestine III (1191-8): Diplomat and Pastor (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2008). (Co-editor) 
  • The Book of Deeds of James I of Aragon (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2003) (Co-author/translator), paperback 2010.

Essays in edited volumes

  • The Letters of Popes Innocent III and Honorius III to the Iberian Peninsula’, in Innocenz III., Honorius III. und ihre Briefe: Die Edition der päpstlichen Kanzleiregister im Kontext der Geschichtsforschung, ed. Andrea Sommerlechner and Herwig Weigl (Vienna, 2023), 201-209. 
  • Pope Gregory IX’ in Pope Gregory IX (above), 15-22 (with Brenda Bolton). 
  • ‘Pope Gregory IX and Spain’ in Pope Gregory IX (above), 215-34.
  • The Merchant, the Captive, and the Holy Swaddling Cloth of Lleida’, in ‘Personae’. Microstorie medievali di vita religiosa, ed. Maria Teresa Brolis, Silvia Carraro (Milan, 2022), 139-150.
  • ‘The Early Waldenses and the Catholic Poor in the Crown of Aragon (12th-13th centuries)’ in A Companion to the Waldenses in the Middle Ages, ed. Marina Benedetti and Euan Cameron (Leiden, 2022), 78-97.
  • Simon of Montfort and the Orphan King’, in Simon de Montfort (c. 1170-1218): le croisé, son lignage, et son temps, ed. M. Aurell, G. Lippiatt, L. Macé (Brepols, 2020), pp. 87-102.
  • ‘Alfonso VIII of Castile and the Papacy’ in King Alfonso VIII of Castile (above), pp. 172-84
  • ‘The Reconciliation of Guillem Ramon de Montcada, the Albigensian Crusade and Lateran IV’, in Fourth Lateran and the Crusades (Turnhout, 2018), 131-150.
  • ‘Fourth Lateran and the Crusades’ as above (with Jessalynn Bird), pp. 1-9
  • ‘Ramon de Penyafort and his Influence’, in The Friars in Medieval Spain, ed. F. García Serrano (Amsterdam, 2018), pp. 45-60
  • ‘A Golden Rose and the Deaf Adder that stoppeth her ears: Eugenius III and Spain’, The Pontificate of Eugenius III, ed. Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt and Andrew Jotischy (Amsterdam 2018), pp. 219-42.
  • "La Guerra contra los musulmanes en España "en palabras" del papa Inocencio III", in Orígines y desarrollo de la guerra santa en la Peninsula Ibérica: palabras e imágenes para una legitimación (siglos X-XIV), ed. Carlos de Ayala Martínez, Patrick Henriet and J. Santiago Palacio Oliva (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid, 2016): 207-18.
  • "The Papacy and Spain at the time of the Almohads", Crusading on the Edge: Ideas and Practice of Crusading in Iberia and the Baltic Region, 1100-1500, ed. Torben Nielsen and Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt (Turnhout, 2016): 91-115.
  • "The Men who would be Kings : Innocent II and Spain", in Pope Innocent II (1130-43): the World vs The City (above), 181-204.
  • "Pope Innocent II : a very short introduction", in Pope Innocent II (1130-43): the World vs The City (above), 1-4.
  • ‘Muret y las limitaciones del poder del papado', in La cruïlla de Muret: una nova definició per Europa i el Mediterrani, ed. Juan Francisco Jiménez Alcázar (Madrid 2015), pp. 277-88.
  • 'Networking to Orthodoxy: the Case of Durán of Huesca', in International Religious Networks, ed. Jeremy Gregory and Hugh McLeod, Studies in Church History, Subsidia 14 (Woodbridge, 2012), pp. 44─54.
  • 'Alexander III and Spain' in Pope Alexander III (1159-81). The Art of Survival, ed. Peter D. Clarke and Anne J.Duggan (Ashgate: Farnham, 2012), pp. 203-242.
  • 'Jaime I y el Papado', in Any Jaume I. Commemoració del VIII centenari del naixement de Jaume I. Volum I: La política internacional, ed. Maria Teresa Ferrer Mallol (Barcelona, 2011), pp. 513-25.
  • 'Religious minorities viewed from Rome: the papacy and the heretics', Minorités et régulations sociales en Méditerranée médiévale. Actes du colloque international, Centre culturel de l'Ouest (abbaye royale de Fontevraud), 79, juin 2007, éds. Stephane Boissellier, John Tolan et François Clement (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010), pp. 317-30.
  • "The Iberian Legations of Cardinal Hyacinth Bobone," in Pope Celestine III: Diplomat and Pastor (above): 84-115.
  • "Guerra Santa y Tierra Santa en el pensamiento y la accion de Jaime I de Aragon," in Guerre, religion et ideologie dans l'espace mediterraneen latin du xie au xiiie siecle, ed. Daniel Baloup and Philippe Josserand, (Madrid 2006): 305-321.
  • "The Resignations of Bishop Bernat de Castello and the problems of La Seu d'Urgell," in Pope, Church and City, ed. F. Andrews, C. Egger and C. Rousseau (Leiden 2004): 115-28.
  • "Aragon, Catalogne et papaute pendant la croisade Albigeoise," in La Croisade Albigeoise, ed. Marie Paul Gimenez, (Toulouse, 2004): 157-70.
  • "The Crusader-abbot: Nicholas Breakspear and the Catalans," in The English Pope: Adrian IV, ed. B. Bolton and A. Duggan, (Aldershot 2003): 29-39.
  • "Peter II, Innocent III and the Albigensian Crusade," in Innocenzo III: Urbs et Orbis, 2 vols, ed. A. Sommerlechner, Nuovi studi storici 55, (Rome, 2003) 2:1065-81.

Current Students:

  • Joel Cerimele, PHD ABD, Approaching the Saracen on the Way to the Eschaton: Multivalent Images and Uses of the Saracen in the Joachimite Tradition
  • Judith Nelams, Ph.D ABD add (with Dr. Fabien Montcher), The Power of the Stars: The Life and Death of Cecco d’Ascoli 
  • William Edmundson, Ph.D., ABD, The Autier Heresy, 1295-1330
  • David Olsen, Ph.D., ABD, The Almohad Economy and the Commercial Revolution (with Dr. Gilbert)
  • Dillon Knackstedt, ABD, Founding the Fourth Estate: Law and Order According to Saint Louis Parlement of Paris
  • Brian Merlo, Ph.D., ABD, The Papacy in the Early Tenth Century as seen through the Pontificate of Pope John X
  • Kenan Nerad, Ph.D., ABD,The Living Memory of St. Norbert of Xanten (1075-1134)
  • Courtney Knight, M.A., Ph.D.
  • Glaube Wisniewski, M.A., Ph.D
  • Ron Thurber, M.A.
Past Students
  • Erin Abraham, PHD, 2011, Anticipating Sin in Medieval Society: Irish Penitential Literature
  • Adam Hoose, PHD, 2011, The Early Franciscans and Waldensians: a comparative analsysis
  • Elizabeth Sherman, PHD, 2012, Heresy and Charity in Thirteenth Century Languedoc
  • Andrew Jones, PHD, 2012, Saint Louis and the French Popes
  • Matthew Morgan, PHD, 2016, Saint Oleguer Bonestruga and the Rise of Catalonia
  • Kyle Lincoln, PHD, 2016, The Episcopate in the kingdom of Alfonso VIII of Castile 
  • Edward Holt, PHD, 2017, Liturgy and Ritual in the Reign of Fernando III of Castile
  • Amy Boland, PHD, 2019, Paris and the Pugio: Ramon Martí’s Connections to Scholastic Controversy and Dominican 
    Theology in the Pugio Fidei
  • Nicole Koopman, PHD, 2019, The life and career of Pierre de Tarentaise
  • Katie Walkowiak, PHD, 2020, Established upon the Capitoline for the Sake of Justice: Power, Memory, and Law in the Roman Senate from 1143 to 1188
  • Emily Henry, Ph.D. 2022, The Grief of Queen Leonor: Royal Women and Emotion in Twelfth and Thirteenth Century Castile
  • Margaret Mary Summers, Ph.D. 2023, Schools of Prayer: Liturgy and Student Culture at Paris, c. 1150-1430
  • Philip Constantine, MA, 2011
  • Rebekah Sheldon, MA, 2013
  • Rodney Malone, MA, 2016
  • Lilian Oberdorfer, MA, 2017
  • Andrew Smith, MA, 2020

Honors and Awards

  • Carpenter Fellowship, Hill Museum and Monastic Library, 2019
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2015-2016.
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, elected 2005.
  • British Academy Research Grant, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris 2004.
  • Batista i Roca Fellowship, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2001-2003.
  • Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellowship, 1999-2001.
  • Series Editor, Church, Faith and Society in the Medieval West, Ashgate Press.