Francesca Petrizzo

Francesca Petrizzo

IMS PG Researcher

Summary: The Normans in Southern Italy and Syria, the Crusades, the Hauteville Family, Family History, Military History, Gender History.


After obtaining my BA in History from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, I have attended the MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University College London. Here I deepened my studies in Palaeography and Medieval Latin Literature. Throughout my academic career I have been aiming to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to focus on my primary research interest, the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean. 


In October 2014 I have begun my PhD studying the family dynamics of the Norman Hautevilles between Southern Italy and Syria. Focusing on the period from their first coming South to the early years of Roger II's reign, I am seeking to identify any patterns of behaviour and family trends to both gain an insight into the Hautevilles' methods of conquest and their models of family relationships. I aim to produce the first comprehensive review of Hauteville family dynamics across the Mediterranean, drawing together strands of scholarship from both Southern Italian and Crusader studies. In order to do so I am exploring both the main narrative sources and the numerous charter collections of Southern Italy, and the documentary and material evidence from Antioch.

Conference papers

The Evil That Kings Do – Kingship, Tyranny and William I in Hugo Falcandus an exploration of the concept of kingship and its exemplification in William the Bad in the Liber de Regno, delivered at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds in July 2015


Unto Death: Funerary Architecture and Family Bonds among the Normans of Southern Italy, 1046-1172. To be delivered at the Mausolea and Monuments Trust Student Symposium, London, March 2016.

Twelve Hungry Normans: Fear, Famine and Poetic Licence in the Norman Conquest of Southern Italy: an exploration of the literary presentation of the logistical aspects of the Norman conquest in Southern Italy, focusing on its value for research into logistical issues. To be delivered at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds in July 2016.