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Richard W. Kaeuper

  • Professor of History

PhD, Princeton University, 1967

441 Rush Rhees Library
(585) 275-7878


European History

Research Overview

My teaching and research interests concentrate on Western Europe between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries and more specifically focus on both sides of the Channel. I maintain a special interest in English history and my early publications were centered there; but I have expanded my scope across the Channel and into topical rather than geographical subjects: justice and public order (War, Justice and Public Order and, in preparation, a book of essays from a conference on law, justice and governance held at UR in May, 2009); chivalry and religion in NW Europe generally (The Book of ChivalryA Knight's Own Book of ChivalryChivalry and Violence and Holy Warrior). I am writing a general book on chivalry for Cambridge University Press.In these works I have made major use of literary evidence as essential insight into mentalite.

Graduate Fields

I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Graduate Overview" page in the Graduate Handbook.

Teaching Field:
Medieval European History

Research Field:
Medieval European History

I will not be accepting students for admission.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • HIS 230  History from Myth: King Arthur and Robin Hood, Syllabus
  • HIS 234  Knights, Criminals, and the Crown: Research in Medieval England, Syllabus
  • HIS 331W/431  Europe in 1215, Syllabus

Selected Publications

  • Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).
  • "The Tension Between Vengeance and Mercy in Chivalric Mentalite" forthcoming in David Rollason, ed., Peace and Reconciliation (Durham Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies).
  • "Social Ideals and Social Disruption," Cambridge Companion to Post-Conquest England(forthcoming).
  • "Chivalry and War," Blackwell Companion to Medieval Literature and Culture (2007) written with Monte Bohna.
  • A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) written with Elspeth Kennedy. (A new book based on the Charny text, for which I wrote a new historical study as introduction to this text).
  • "Chivalric Violence and Religious Valorization." Courtiers and Warriors (Kyoto, 2003; published in both Japanese and English).
  • "The King and the Fox: Reactions to Kingship in Tales of Reynard the Fox," Expectations of the Law in the Middle Ages (Boydell & Brewer, 2001).
  • Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe (Clarendon, Oxford, 1999, paperback 2001).
  • Violence in Medieval Society (edited, with introduction; Boydell and Brewer, 2000).
  • "The Social Meaning of Chivalry in Romance," Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance(Cambridge University Press, 2000).
  • "Chivalry: Fantasy and Fear," Writing & Fantasy (Longman, London, 1999) eds., B. White and C. Sullivan.
  • The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charny: Text, Context and Translation (written with Elspeth Kennedy), (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).
  • War, Justice and Public Order: England and France in the Later Middle Ages (Clarendon, Oxford, 1988); translated as Guerre, justice et ordre publique (Editions Aubier Paris, 1994).
  • "Text and Context: Chaucer's 'Friar's Tale,'" with T.G. Hahn, Studies in the Age of Chaucer(1983).
  • "An Historian's Reading of the Tale of Gamelyn," Medium Aevum LII (1983), 51-62.
  • "Law and Order in Fourteenth-Century England: the Evidence of Special Commissions of Oyer and Terminer," Speculum (1979).
  • Bankers to the Crown: The Riccardi of Lucca and Edward I (Princeton University Press, 1973).
  • "The Frescobaldi of Florence and the English Crown," Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 10 (1973), 41-95.

Selected Book Covers