Darren Barber

IMS PG Researcher

Summary: Thesis: The Heirs of Alcuin: Educational Standards and Career Advancement in Ninth-Century Carolingian Europe


My thesis will seek to provide a synthesized view of ninth-century education and clerical career advancement. It will re-examine Alcuin of York’s legacy in terms of a dynamic and yet coherent link between educational standards and ecclesiastical promotion. His writings, along with royal capitularies and conciliar decrees, will provide the basis for a new prosopography of key ninth-century figures like Hraban Maur and Lupus of Ferrières. Viewing these sources and careers as the products of an intersection of schooling and advancement, of the schola and the cursus honorum, should tell us more about how these figures may be linked to each other as ‘heirs’ of a tradition going back to Alcuin.

About me:

I received a Master of Divinity from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California in 2004, and an MA from the Institute for Medieval Studies at Leeds in 2010. My MA dissertation was on Gregory of Tours’ Libri historiarum, after which my interests shifted to the Carolingian renewal. After further research and writing, specifically on Alcuin and the liberal arts, I joined the IMS once again in 2016.


Julia Barrow and William Flynn (Institute for Medieval Studies)